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post #1 of 3 Old 01-23-2013, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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My in-laws are contemplating replacing their 27" CRT TV with a flat panel. My concern is that they will be expecting the same look (more or less) on a flat panel. (BTW, I am nursing an old CRT set too, so this question is for me as well.)

So, I realize that some images on flat panels from time to time appear distorted or "squished". Is this because it's an SDTV receiving an HDTV signal? Or can the image be adjusted by going into the setup mode and selecting a different screen ratio?

Thanks in advance for an answer. smile.gif
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-23-2013, 09:22 PM
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Most broadcasters have gone fully 16x9, to utilize the extra space by going widescreen, since the majority of viewers now have flat panels (16x9).By doing this, they have to letterbox their SD channels, giving the picture bars on the top and bottom on an older CRT 4x3 tv.

So, if you get a new tv, AND you subscribe to HD cable (or satellite) with an HD capable receiver/cable box, and assuming the box is connected via an HD connection, the picture will fill the entire screen and look like it should. However, if you do not get HD cable/satellite, and are still only getting sd channels, the picture will be "postage stamped", and will only fill about 40% of the screen. Also, SD content looks horrible on an HD display vs a CRT. This is due to digital scaling vs the way CRT's scale content.

This video explains it in further detail, and there are many other videos that explain this:

So basically, if you are going to get an HDTV, get HD cable/satellite as well.
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-24-2013, 11:57 AM
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Just made the jump from a 32" CRT to a 60" HDTV and agree with Sitlet that HD channels look great but SD channels look horrible especially because my screen is so large. If everything they watch is available in HD then no problem and you can get as big a screen as you want. If some of their favorite channels are only available in SD (like me) then maybe you might want to get a smaller screen under 40". By the way if the old CRT is 27", you need to get at least a 34" HDTV for the SD channels to "pillar box" to the same size as on the CRT.

With my cable service SD signals are either shown as "pillar box" or "postage stamp" when I set my TV screen setting to "Screen Fit" or "16:9". WIth these settings you are only filling up a portion of the screen but that's the only way to get at least a viewable feed. If you use something like "Wide Fit" or "Screen Fill" the whole screen will be filled but the picture quality is horrible, especially on a big screen, and you also lose content around the edges.
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