"ACE" Convertor Video Zoom etc.

Four New Features were added in January 2002 to the ACE Converter.
The Aspect Ratio Conversion was further enhanced in November 2002.
Please note these new features only work if selected as described below:

To turn these ON just Press and Hold In the appropriate non-latching pushbutton when you Turn On the Power.
To turn these OFF just Turn Off the Power and then Turn On the Power without the relevant button held in.
After power has been turned on, any buttons held in can be released and used for their labelled functions.
If you prefer any of these new functions to be ON by default please see our Special Versions Page
Any combination of these new features can be selected:


When Zoom is available it operates in Seven steps of 5.5% using the "Digitise" knob in place of its normal function:

Video Zoom: When both the PAL and NTSC buttons are Out this knob will zoom up the centre portion of the screen horizontally and vertically, allowing 14:9 and 16:9 pictures to fill a 4:3 screen on the Third and Sixth positions respectively. Naturally some of the extreme left and right edges of the picture are lost in this Video Zoom Mode (unlike the Aspect Ratio Converting, Letterbox Mode below) but most video action takes place in the centre and the variable control allows you to optimise the effect for your screen.

Letterboxing: Alternatively if the "OUTPUT TYPE" button is held in for a further 2.5 seconds after the power has been turned on, the picture height will drop to 3/4. This gives true Aspect Ratio Conversion and will convert anamorphic 16:9 pictures into 4:3 letterbox format, ideal for home cinema enthusiasts wishing to feed widescreen material to both 16:9 widescreen and 4:3 TVs, or for the professional wishing to produce "rushes" of widescreen material in letterbox format. The zoom function still operates and can expand the picture in both directions to produce a series of semi-widescreen options as used in current 4:3 broadcasting.
Special Versions XP and XR Offer Horizontal Panning when zoom is applied.

Pillarboxing: If the "OUTPUT TYPE" button is held in for another 2.5 seconds (i.e. 5 seconds total) the picture height will go back to normal and instead the picture width will drop by 3/4 to allow a 4:3 picture to be compressed horizontally to fit into an anamorphic widescreen 16:9 picture. The digitise control then offers 7 steps of 5.5% expansion for a variety of compromise options with variable side bars and variable cropping of the top and bottom of the original 4:3 image. On the 6th step, settings are correct to convert a letterbox image back up to anamorphic 16:9.
Special Versions XP and XR Offer Vertical Panning when zoom is applied.

Note: If either of the PAL or NTSC buttons are depressed to select Timebase Correction mode, or when converting, letterboxing is disabled and the zoom changes to a horizontal expansion only and can be used to expand video taken on a camcorder fitted with an anamorphic lens or to convert video from an anamorphic DVD, with the player in widescreen mode, so that it will fill a 4:3 TV screen. This horizontal-only mode of operation can be selected without Timebase Correction if this is disabled as described below. However the pillarboxing option (without the zoom) can be combined with timebase correction, i.e. it still works with the PAL or NTSC buttons IN, so that older VHS material can be aspect ratio converted, standards converted and/or stabilised at the same time.


When selected, this turns on Automatic Input Switching between the rear panel "S" & Composite Video Inputs.

In this mode the ACE ignores the rear panel "Input Select" switch and automatically switches between the two inputs providing the unwanted input becomes inactive. Since there is only one stereo audio input this function is of most use to those with separate audio switching, e.g. using an AV Amplifier.


Timebase Correction is normally automatically enabled whenever one or more of the PAL and NTSC buttons are depressed. However, with stable video sources, timebase correction is not always needed when converting between different colour standards if both are 50Hz or 60Hz. This feature, when selected, will automatically disable timebase correction whenever possible, giving a fixed time delay which can be useful when editing and converting at the same time, and the highest possible quality.

NOTE: With unstable sources such as VCR, disabling the timebase correction will cause colour flashing.


This function, when selected, disables the Automatic Input Colour Standard Detection. The ACE Converter will then only accept PAL/50/4.43 (Europe) or NTSC/60/3.58 (USA & Canada).

This solves the rather rare inaccurate colour standard detection which can occur when handling some difficult faulty PAL tapes, giving rise to vertical colour bands. This function should only be needed when copying from old or damaged tapes, or where there are momentary breaks in the colour which can sometimes fool the automatic standard detection and result in false locking of the Philips video decoder chip.

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