Originally Posted by habudab quick question. when watching a high def channel from direct tv or Comcast.. and it is displayed with the Black bars in the side instead of the 16:9 format... what does that mean and is it coming in 1080i, 720p, or 480. just wondering, becasue when watching HD programming in 16:9 format it looks great, but when it is brodcasted with the bars on the side, the picture looks a little grainy ( is that normal)... because i thought that a few weeks ago it still looked a little pretty good even with the bars.. i was worried their was a problem with the TV, but not sure. any help would be appreciated..
Nothing to worry about. What you are seeing are standard definition programs being broadcast on an high definition (720p or 1080i) channel. The stations or networks are doing the upconversion to HD - so the set will react as if it was a HD program.
There are basically two programming philosophies used for HD networks:
1) Exclusive HD - channels such as Discovery HD Theater that have different programs than their SD counterpart - but everything is HD.
2) HD Where Possible - the "regular" networks. If a program is available in HD, it is presented in HD, if it is only available in SD, then it is upconverted.
Then there is TNT HD - where they want to make you think
everything is HD (commercials too). So they stretch SD material to fill the screen. Fortunately, their real HD material is very good, but seeing "stretched" old Law & Orders really bugs me.