Originally Posted by konfusion
well because my tv is 16.9 i had the output settings on my directtv box set to 16.9 and then when i recorded that onto a dvd and went to watch it on a normal sized tv and it had those black bars.
thanks for the info. im going to mess with it a bit to see what i like best.
What that probably means is that the black bars are in the output from your DirectTV box, so the recorder is recording the frame including the black bars on the side. Do this:
1. Make sure the TV type on your Philips 3575 is set to 16:9.
2. Set your TV to display the output from the 3575, and make sure that the TV is set to Full Screen or equivalent (no stretching or cropping). Play some wide screen content (e.g., from a DVD, or a true 16:9 broadcast signal) to make sure that it displays correctly.
3. Set the Source on the 3575 to live input from your DirectTV box (e.g., E1 or whatever you have it connected to).
4. Find a channel that's currently showing a true 16:9 wide-screen HD program (i.e., not with black bars on the side of a 4:3 picture). Check by switching the TV to direct input from your DirectTV box for a moment if necessary.
5. While watching the 3575 output on your TV, play around with all the video settings on your DirectTV box and check how the TV picture is affected. Especially play with the settings like TV type and resolution (480i/480p...1080p)
What you're looking for is a setting that makes the picture from the 3575 look exactly like the correct undistorted 16:9 direct feed from the DirectTV box, except for being a bit fuzzier due to the downscaling from HD to SD.
If you have trouble finding it this way, try reconnecting the output from your DirectTV box that currently goes to the 3575 directly to your TV instead, set the TV to show that input, and set the TV to show a 4:3 picture (<--- Very important). Play with the settings on the DirectTV box as above. When you hit the right one, you should see an "anamorphic" picture, i.e., the full 16:9 picture squeezed horizontally into a 4:3 frame so that it looks horizontally squished. That's the ideal picture for the 3575 to record.
Then the challenge with many systems is to find a setting where the STB can simultaneously output true HD to the TV on component or HDMI, while at the same time outputting this squished anamorphic 480i picture to the recorder on the S-Video output. If it can't do that, then you'll have to switch settings back and forth depending on whether you're watching or recording.