Originally Posted by Jimhighdef
Do any of you know what is going on with Comcast that makes some of these channels appear in super wide screen?
Is it going to stay like this or are all of the channels going to super wide screen or is this something that Comcast needs to fix?
It's not actually CC's fault; those cable networks themselves are doing this, & some have been doing this for almost a year. It's the same thing for ALL provider's SD channel feeds on these particular networks, including on SD only sat subs.
Simply put, these networks, such as Fox News, CNN, HLN, E!, etc. made a business decision, on the SD feeds to cable & sat providers, to send a letterbox version. The reason being - when they were previously sending a full-screen feed, they were obviously center-cutting their wide-screen picture, which means they could not put "important" information on the sides of the screen. (of course, the HD feed would be full screen on an HDTV) They really wanted to utilize ALL the screen real estate for all viewers - & also, wanted to stop having to mess with having to keep center-cutting their SD feed. So now, everyone gets the same feed - but SD subs have to look at top/bottom bars.
Now, the reason why you do not have this problem on the local channel SD feeds, is because CC is using either direct SD feeds from the TV stations, &/or is using OTA SD downconverters for the SD feeds, that utilize AFD (active format description) to automatically switch the SD feeds between center-cut & letterbox, depending on the program; it is set by the broadcaster &/or TV network:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Format_Description
So your "fixes" are:
- change your TV's aspect setting to "zoom" (center-cut) the picture yourself; of course, you'll have to change it manually on non-letterboxed channels.
- pay up for an HD box; at least Comcast DOES actually carry many of these feeds in HD - I'm still waiting on D* to add the HD feeds of many of these channels CC, DISH & U-verse ALL have! So in my case, I'm paying D* for HD service, & STILL getting these in SD letterbox on my HDTV's!
Bottom line - it's only going to get WORSE as more & more networks w/HD feeds, choose to also ONLY send a letterbox SD feed; it's cheaper & easier to manage.