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Video Monitors and Televisions

Why is the playback of my DVD split into two side-by-side B&W; images?

Cause: Your DVD player is set to playback in progressive scan mode, but you are using a TV that cannot display progressive scan video. Older, and less expensive televisions are only capable of displaying video in what is called interlaced mode. When a progressive scan signal is applied to them, they will either display no image, a distorted image, or a double image side by side in black and white with a black vertical bar down the center between them.

Solution: Buy a new TV that is capable of displaying progressive scanning. (Okay, that's not the answer anyone was looking for so here's the real answer.) In some cases the solution is as simple as turning off progressive scan mode by pressing a button labeled as such on the front panel. (On some Sony DVD/VCR combo units the button on the left front panel, and is lit blue when progressive scan is enabled.). With many other DVD and combo units you must get into the on-screen menu and select the type of output as Interlaced, rather than progressive. This can be very difficult without being able to see the picture properly, so it's easiest to find a TV compatible with progressive scan and use that temporarily to switch back to Interlaced scanning.

Some basic details: Progressive scanning simply means all the lines of video displayed are shown in order from top to bottom. Normal TV has classically been done using interlace scanning, which means every other line is displayed (evens) and then the scan starts at the top again displaying the missing lines (odds). The advantage of progressive scanning is that things line up better, and the entire image is displayed at once because a higher scanning frequency is used. The apparent resolution of the progressive scan images in increased, giving a much crisper picture.

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