DVP642/37 Picture format on 16:9 TV

I have 2 x DVP642/37 and both have same problem when attched by composite ot component to a Philips 32" 16:9 TV
DVD which are 4:3 format recorded on DVD985 or commecial 4:3 like old TV series are always displayed horizontaly stretched to fill the full width of the screen in place of being dispayed in a 4:3 window in center of the screen as was doing my old Malata DVD
I tried all adjustments nothing works
Francois :a

Francois - happy to try and help, but I must ask you not to post the same question twice in different threads :cop:.

Do you have all the settings (TV, player) set to output at 4:3?

In the DVP642 player there is in Video menu 3 options
I triend all the 3 setup on a 4:3 TV and on the 16:9 tv there is absolutly NO CHANGE it is exactly if the action of this menu was not implemented in the player
Sorry to have placed question in an other subjet but I tought it was related to the problem reported

I thing I have found the explaination, I analyze several DVD which are in 4:3 and 16:9, more precisely the IFO files of these DVD with the progam ifoedit096.zip which decode the IFO file bytes and put it in clear on the computer screen.

The problem the DVP642 dont read or dont understand the bits which define the display format 4:3 or 16:9 which are contained in the IFO files

That mean defective DVP (I have a doubt the 2 I have doing same problem) or an error in writing ofthe firmware, that is possible but that will mean a NEW firmware update.
Will Philips ready to do it???
Francois :sad:

OK good - you have used IFOedit to look at the disc. Do you mean that the aspect ratio (a/r) of the 4:3 recordings on the disc is definitely set at ‘4:3’ (seen in IFOedit), yet they don’t play at that a/r on the TV?

It’s a well-known fact that Philips recorders won’t record the a/r flag properly, so a manual change to 4:3 needs to be set on the DVD IFO files (after copying to the PC HDD). However, if you are saying that even with 4:3 defined in the IFO fie, the DVP642 will not change the a/r of the playback? Maybe that’s something to do with the composite connection to the TV, which may not carry the a/r switching signal …

I confirm info found with IFO edit
a dvd with 4:3 menus and 16:9 film is displayed in 4:3 for the menus and 16:9 for the film on the 32" Philips LCD when played on a Malata DVD player

a dvd with 4:3 menus and 16:9 film is displayed in 16:9 for the menus and 16:9 film on the 32" Philips LCD when played Philips DVP 642

also I remarqued that a 16:9 film when played on a DVP642 attached to a 4:3 TV il ALWAYS in 4:3LB the 4:3PS is in the menu but selecting it has NO EFFECTS

It seems that the IFO decoding is wrong in DVP642 and that it see
ALWAYS 16:9 which are 2 adjacet bits in the IFO file

My firmware is VER 1223 642/37 01E1

The question is is it a defective IFO decoder chip?
Is it an error in Firmware? in this case why not reported before?

Thanks for your help


I forgot
I tried composite connection
I tried component s connection
same problem

I also verified several DVD burned on a DVDR985 they ALL have the proper 4:3 info burned

The Philips technician from Montreal just came out, He came with a DVP642 firmware 1109 and confirm THERE ARE 3 FIRMWARE BUGS IN THE DVP642

  • on 4:3 screen with wide screen DVD 4:3 PS or 4:3 LB menu has no effects always 4:3 LB
  • on 16:9 screen 4:3 DVD or menu in 4:3 on wide screen DVD are displayed streched to fill full width of screen

ONLY PHILIPS can solve both problems by writing new firmware


Hmmm… well that’s pretty disappointing about the bugs, but thanks for doing all the testing work. Also well done for getting a technician to visit you - I’ve not heard of that before.

Unfortunately we will just have to wait for another firmware upgrade to come out. Version 1109 is the latest (from Feb 2006) and claimed to enhance the MPEG4 playback only.

1109 is not the latest firmware, I have 1223 in my 2 units, but I never saw it available for download, the unit were faricated in August 2005, it is an addendum in the manual explaining that new version solve problem with DIVX

Thanks Francois - I was meaning 1109 was the latest downloadable firmware, but that’s interesting to know there is more firmwares than we can know about. Typical of Philips and their firmware secrets :a.

There were many times before that machines appeared with weird firmware that never became available.

By the way, what did the Philips technician say when he saw you had 1223 already installed?

More surprises with Philips : :a
Tired of the problems with the DVP642, I returned them to Best Buy where I bought them. I take in place a Yamaha DV-S5750 which is a Philips DVP727 but with a couple of improvements like a faster Video D/A 108MHz/12 bits in place of 54MHz/12 bit


So I decided to test my recorder DVP985 which write the proper bits infos for 4:3 decoded by Malata player, AT Playback it totaly Ignore the format bit which tell the TV to switch from 4:3 to 16:9 and vice versa

Philips who is one of the DVD standard developer dont respect the standard and DVD made on Philips recorder CANNOT BE PLAYED ON PHILIPS PLAYER, the picture is horizontaly stretched

Francois :a

OK I realise what is happening now :o.

There is a basic incompatibility between what bits a +VR recorder will write for the aspect ratio change, and what a +RW player will pick up and use from the video stream. This is because aspect ratio switching is NOT a feature of the DVD-Video standard (see the ‘Aspect ratio’ section of the sticky thread on 'The DVD+RW real-time video format’, at the top of the Philips forum page here).

Aspect ratio change is implemented in Philips recorders, but in a different (and usually incompatible) way. I bet if you play your DVDR985 recordings back on the DVDR985 again, the aspect ratio switching will be correct. Perhaps it’s a happy accident that your Malata player will recognise the non-standard a/r switch signals. My Yamada (not Yamaha) DVD player will too…

The only reliable way people have found to ensure true a/r switching with a DVD player and recordings made on a +RW DVD recorder, is to rip the recordings from the +RW with DVD Decrypter and reauthor them as a proper DVD-Video. In this way the a/r is reinstated in the DVD-Video IFO file and invariably works in any standalone player.

You can use DVD Patcher on the ripped MPEG2 file, or author to DVD folders on the PC HDD and change the a/r in the IFO file using IFOEdit.

Do you have a PC DVD writer and authoring software?

The DVDR 985 dont read the bit it wrote to tell 4:3 format, the playback of a 4:3 DVD recorded on the DVDR985, played on the same DVDR985 is steched to 16:9 when it is connected to a 16:9 TV.
It is possible that the problem is more important, that is not the firmware error but an Hardware error in the design of the Philips integrated circuit wich control the video display, if it is the case the solution is to go to DVD player built around the National Semiconductor Medimetrics IC set like products from Malata, JVC inthink and ???, I asked Mediametrics to have thelist of manufacturer whou use their chip set

I sent all the infos about the problem to Philips , I dont know if I will ever have an answer

About the Yamaha DV-S5750 the quality of picture is superior to the one of the DVP642


That’s strange because it’s pretty well established that an anamorphic recording on a DVDR985 will play back correctly on the same machine. This is certainly true for my DVDR880 as well (the series which came after the 985). The common factor seems to be that these reports were from a setup where the conection between DVDR and display was RGB via SCART. If you have this option (rather than composite or component), can you try it out?

I wouldn’t hold out much hope that Philips can help, but I’m grateful that you are continuing to report your problems and suggestions here :flower:.

My 2 DVDR985 are DVDR985A/37 typicaly USA model with no SCART connector, In place I have Y, Pr, PB in and out, both have version ff12x of the firmware, the latest coming from revision 6.3
i continue my investigations on Mediametrics side and will let you know the results

An other solution is to use a 16:9 tv which has the format option valid on component input like the BenQ. On the BenQ you can swith 4:3, 16:9, 14:9 zoom… on all inputs, on Philips TV the multi option format is only available on composite and SVHS inputs, not on components or HDMI.


After a lot of Email exchanges in US , Nederland and China, Philips recognized they have BIG problem with many of their DVD player and 16;9 screen where 4:3 picture are streched
I received a complete report of the design group in china and there saw the problem were able to reproduce it it and are working on an expretimental firmware to fix the problem on the 642 and when the mod will work it will be implemented in ALL new models, I already received 2 firmware but still acouple of bugs to fix

Attached a Microsoft Excel with the results of Philips tests

DVP642 37 TV Test Results.xls (16 KB)