My DTT-901 is set to 16:9 which blocks any aspect ratio changes from the Zenith on the 16:9 HD channels. Set this way the SD sub-channels USUALLY display properly, for example THIS displays pillarbox as it should for the 4:3 broadcast. This is with the Panny set to FULL, which I rarely change. Once in awhile I will get the "postage stamp" effect on an SD sub-channel and I'll hit the ZOOM on the Panny to use some more of the screen. The Panny 4:3 and JUST settings I have never used other than briefly checking them out. What are your preferred settings?
I did not know that about the 16:9 block. I use the 16:9/Full combo too, the squeeze/unsqueeze seemed to be the best combo after several experiments, as if the converter boxes were designed for it (widescreen TVs without ATSC tuners). Couldn't get a perfect fit though as even this combo cuts off all edges some but did it the least. Here the converter box cuts off the top and bottom and the Panny over-stretches the sides. My biggest pain is the Panny reverts back to Auto on power-up and video input changes but only on s-video
although I haven't tried component yet (just got some cables for the blu-ray); I'm afraid I'm gonna wear out that Aspect button.
Letterbox/Auto works but cuts off even more pic. Plus I noticed the converter boxes screw up the pic somewhat in Letterbox (I observed horizontal line/gaps in white block-lettered text e.g. The Weather Channel). I'm guessing 16:9 requires less conversion by a converter box. Oh yeah, Panny Auto uses one called Wide when I do this but I don't see anything called Wide when toggling the Aspect button (or in the manual).
As far as which of those two combos gave me the best geometry (e.g. heads look normal) it was hard to tell but slightly in favor of 16:9/Full.
Panny Normal is what I used to see what the converter box pic looks like without being altered as the Panny isn't 'supposed' to do anything to the incoming image.
Panny Just is 'just' weird, the middle is normal but it elongates the sides. Sorta works but then I noticed a weird hourglass affect when scenes are panned.
The flexible combos are nice though as I've had movies come in with a sort of forced 4:3 that I could manipulate to fill most of the screen without distortion. Probably similar to your postage stamp solution although I'm changing the converter box aspect too.
Superzoom: Zoom the converter box and zoom the Panny
Interestingly my CM-7000 displays THIS in stretched fashion to fit the 16:9 ratio, and my plasma does the same thing with the cable signal. (I must say I've never watched much on THIS, but it is a good example of aspect ratio weirdness.) I don't know if there is a trigger in the feed that the DTT-901 is ignoring, or if something else is going on. Anyway I much prefer the proper 4:3 display put out by the DTT-901; I don't mind the pillarbox view.
Hmmm, I'll have to try that on my CM but my comparator will have to be a Zinwell. I stored away my Artec (Zenith clone).
Good point about the sharpness; I found that out myself a few weeks ago when I finally set about to adjusting for best PQ. I found that the previous owner had settings on something close to "torch mode", and I believe I cut all the picture settings to a lower level for a much improved picture. I've never seen any LCD or plasma display true black like my Panny.
Yeah the factory settings on my Panny were torch city. I wish I could get into the service menu and back off the red so I didn't have to back the color off so much. The best I could do was set COLOR TEMP to COOL. Watch out for that Normal selection in the menu as it'll wipe out your painstaking customization; plus I wish they'd recessed that Normal button on the remote.
That Dynamic pic setting gives some bodacious white/black dynamic range. I like this one for my converter box but had to back PICTURE way down, was going snow blind.
I like the Auto pic setting for my VCR as Dynamic is too strong (see too much of the VCR's color/noise artifacts). But I actually turn up PICTURE and the brightness to partially compensate. And lower sharpness is of even more help to reduce the VCR noise. Of course a big reason for all this is so I don't have to adjust the pic settings each time I change video input. Too bad they didn't give each input its own unique pic setting menu or user memory as it would be nice to change pic setting depending on the show, not the input. Auto is cool in that it activates the photo sensor on the front of the TV to auto-adjust brightness when lights are on or off.
I think I am craigslist addicted. Last night I picked-up a nice Samsung DVD-V6700 DVD/VCR combo unit with original remote. I don't actually know if it works yet but hopefully can test it out this weekend. According to the very nice owner everything works fine. I have been wanting another VCR to play all the Disney tapes I have in case my Sony VCR finally kicks the bucket.
After work this evening I am buying a Sony BDP-N460 Blu-ray player for $35. Will hook it to my Panny because it's close enough to the router I can run ethernet under the chair mat and rug for Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, etc. streaming. I remember wanting this unit a few years ago when I purchased my BDP-S350 (I think I may have mistakenly stated BDP-S360 in an earlier post
), but at the time if I remember right it was running ~ $300!
Me too - CL addict. A couple of nice scores and GL with the Samsung working OK (I suspect it does, folks just don't need VCRs much anymore and can play DVDs on their blu-rays). My friend sounds open to giving me one or both of his Toshiba SVHS units if I come over and help 'sort' his storage unit. He's all modern now with satellite/DVR, new TVs, etc. Keeps talking of buying one of these Sharp Aquos 80 inchers, I guess his year old ~50" isn't good enough anymore
Yeah the price depreciation is amazing. I showed my neighbor a Fry's ad for a $300 Onkyo AVR to make him feel better about the one he paid $800 a couple of years ago; and now this 'lower-end' $300 one does 3D, Wi-Fi, etc.