I am trying to determine the proper sequence settings in FCP, so that when I edit my footage and then ultimately export to Quicktime Movie and burn to DVD, I will have a full 16:9 image, at the HIGHEST resolution possible, displayed on my television. That is the objective.

Now here's the issue, and perhaps someone can explain why the following is happening to me: I have shot footage in 1080i/24pA. When my sequence settings (aspect ratio) are 980 v. 720 in Final Cut Pro 5.1, the image FULLY occupies the Canvas window, exports perfectly and then burns to a DVD that appears perfectly FULL on a 16:9 widescreen television. One would then ask, well, if it's working and looking fine, then what's the problem?

Well, when I looked at the various sequence settings in FCP, I realized that there are HIGHER aspect ratio settings, i.e., 1280 x 1080, which would seem APPROPRIATE for footage that I have shot in 1080, right? Maximize my resolution/aspect ratio... So, I selected that setting, had to re-render the whole timeline, but the image is now a smaller rectangle within my canvas window. Further, when I export as a Quicktime Movie and then burn to DVD, the image is ALSO a smaller rectangle on my widescreen TV.

Why is it that when I INCREASE the aspect ratio in my sequence settings in Final Cut Pro is there a subsequent DECREASE in size on my television. This seems retarded and counter-intuitive. Clearly, I'm doing something wrong or missing something...

in addition to perhaps explaining WHY this is happening, can someone please indicate what the proper sequence setting would be in Final Cut Pro, so that upon exporting to a Quick Time Movie and burning, I have a full 16:9 image on my television at the highest res possible??

Anyone have any insights??