Originally Posted by chibul
This is absolutely the case. The casual viewer (and to an extent, myself as well) doesn't want bars on the sides of their TV. They want it to cover the screen. The thinking is, why pay for a 42" display when I'm only seeing 32" of it? (An exaggeration, but you get my point)
I guess we all have our own opinion on such matters & I'm no different.
If the original program is 4x3 SD being broadcast on an HD channel you'll get side bars. So what? HDNET MOVIES has broadcast several pre-widescreen movies in 1440x1080 HD (4x3) leaving black side bars. What else could they do?
What I really hate is when HD channels like HBO HD & TNT HD re-format 2.35 movies to fit 16x9 TVs. I'd rather see those black bars at the top & bottom for 2.35 movies than watch it knowing 33% of the video is cut out.
Anyways, most newer sets have size controls on their remotes that work with HD content (older sets wouldn't do this with HD content) that will stretch or zoom if the viewer wishes. That would seem to be the best option as every viewer could control their own viewing rather than have someone else do it for them.