Originally Posted by robusdin
So - wondering - is NBC10 doing this pan and scan, or is Cablevision? I've contacted Cablevision and they are looking into it but no answer. I contacted NBC10 with no response yet either. My workaround is to watch NBC4 from NYC which is fine, but I'd love an answer as to what is happening.
I believe that the answer is that it's Cablevision that's causing you to see what you're seeing.
Try this, if you can, just to experiment. The next time NBC is airing a 16:9 show, unplug your TV from all cables - or use perhaps an old portable television and tune directly to channel 10 - over-the-air.
This will require that you use some kind of antenna to receive the over-the-air analog broadcast. Many old portable TVs have rabbit ears already attached. Plug those (or screw the ends into the terminals) into the RF jack, extend them, and view free over-the-air TV.
Now, assuming you can receive channel 10 from Philadelphia at your location - you might not as you seem to be somewhere in central New Jersey, take a look at the over-the-air picture on analog channel 10. Even if you can get a fuzzy picture, it will be enough to verify what I'm saying.
If you watch say, ER, or LAW AND ORDER, you'll see a letterboxed picture - just as you expect to see on these shows. There will be bars at the top and bottom, and the full width of the picture that NBC is sending will be viewable.
Now compare that with what Cablevision is sending you. You claim (I can only go on your descriptions) that Cablevision is sending a pan'n'scan picture. What I believe they might be sending is a centered "zoomed" picture, gotten from NBC10 digital.
The digital version of NBC10 (all that will be available in February when analog TV shuts off) is a 16:9 picture. In order to fit that size picture on a 4:3 TV, there are three choices.
(1) - A letterboxed image with black bars top and bottom.
(2) - A zoomed image, centered so there are no black bars but sides are cut off.
(3) - A horizontally squeezed image. There are no bars, you get the full picture, but everone looks tall and thin.
These are the three options given by the digital-to-analog converter boxes that the government is subsidizing for the switch to digital TV. The converter boxes receive the digital signals through an antenna and convert them to analog for your old television. You have the three choices above as to how you want to view the pictures.
My belief is that Cablevision is making the choice to "zoom" NBC10 (perhaps all stations, I can't say), as we near the analg shutoff. In order to send NBC10 to its viewers, Cablevision (and other outlets) are having to make a choice as to how to send these 16:9 pictures to its customers with 4:3 sets.
Both ABC and CBS, when they broadcast 16:9 shows, still crop the image - and it's filmed to provide a safe 4:3 image, so you're not missing letters off of credits when they provide a 4:3 picture on their analog channels. When Cablevision zooms in on those, you're seeing essentially the same picture as you would viewing the analog ABC or CBS.
NBC is the only major broadcast network that's been providing a letterboxed image for its analog viewers. But when Cablevision chooses to zoom in on these shows, probably not totally 4:3 safe, you're going to notice that something's wrong.
I believe that's what's happening.