Originally posted by Apps1
It was just stretched to 16 X 9. The picture looked horrible on my end. I can not stand to watch when they sretch a 4 X 3 show. Why they dont send out the shows in their original format and let the end user manipulate to their preference is something I dont understand. It took a long time but ESPN-HD figured out that is what people want.
I don't know about the most recent products, but from earlier experience, the encoders take a while to restart/relock when changing from 480i to 1080i or 720p and back. If they were to do as you suggest, there would be serious problems whenever they change from HD to SD and back.
If this is still the current situation, the station needs to leave the encoder in the HD mode they are using, and up-convert the SD feed before reaching the encoder. This can be either 4:3, or stretched to 16:9, or somewhere in between. There was earlier discussion in this thread about the advantages/disadvantages of running 4:3 non-stretched, and issues of screen-burn, etc.
I can't speak for all displays, but if either of mine is receiving a 16:9 signal, there is no further manipulation possible. I can only do stretch and/or zoom when receiving SD, in 4:3, so if the station chooses to run 4:3 not stretched, there is no choice at my end except to have the side panels.
If ESPN does it differently, perhaps they have more than one encoder, and a way to switch them before transmission. This could be economical given the total number of potential customers, vs the local stations.
Does your receiver change from 480i to 1080i when they change from HD to SD, or does your display allow stretching a 16:9 even wider to make the gray bars disappear?