I've noticed that different tv's handle this feature a little differently.
i think it's a little important since there are specific situations you'd want to use this feature. Considering, or presuming, you have a scientific atlanta box, then it can do grey bars for any non-hd channel by putting a grey background behind the picture, which then fills wherever there's no signal (such as non-hd channels).
but when you're playing SD games or watching mixed content on an HD channel, you'll need the TV to do it.
I've noticed that Samsung does it quite poorly, but adding grey bars, but forcibly squishing the center content, making it almost usless in a way.
Panasonic seems to do it by having a picture mode that just overlays two grey bars on top of the picture. Problem with that though is that they have to be mnaully turned on and cover whatver is on the screen, whether it's a 4:3 image or not (so it would be way too much of a hassle to use if the 4:3 content is short and a widescreen piece is coming up shortly).
anyway, do these or any other set just have an "auto" feature? So if i dont want to deal with hassle of manually switching, or watch an HD channel that may have alot of 4:3 stuff with black bars on and off, it would detect the black side bars and just kick in?
I could swore there were tv's that did that.