Originally Posted by mfrank1
I've read the helpful posts but could still use some hand-holding. I purchased a 3576 to replace a broken (and beloved) Panny EH75V. I have the 3576 connected to my Sony 46XBR4 via HDMI. Comcaset cable STB is connected to the 3576 via composite cables. Exactly the way the Panny was hooked up. On the Panny, my TV aspect was set to "Pan & Scan" for the menu item 4:3 TV for DVD, and to "Letterbox" for the menu item 4:3 for Ram. HDMI output display was set to "normal". With these settings, widescreen HD content was neatly letterboxed in my recordings, and analog broadcasts were centered much as they were boradcast. Nothing was squished or stretched. On the 3576, not matter what setting I choose for Video (i.e. I tried all 3) and no matter what the HDMI output (480ip, etc.), the picture is a bit distorted in one way or another (generally stretched). I'm hoping someone can help me get these settings right.
I had to read your post several times to figure out why you had set your DVDR/TV to letterbox for a 4:3 TV... your EH75 didn't have a digital-QAM tuner, so it could only see and record your cableco's analog channels, so it had to be a "slave" to the cable box, where it's "behind" the box so to speak.
You should place your 3576 1st on the coax, ahead of the box, as shown in Sketch 1B (Cable TV w/STB) here
. Coax out to the STB and on to TV (if box has coax passthru out).
Then do a Channel > Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital), as described here
, and see how many analog and digital channels the 3576 can tune all by itself.
Set the 3576 TV Aspect for 16:9 Wide. Analog channels will record in their normal, undistorted 4:3 aspect. Digital channels that send 16:9 WS programs will record in natural WS with the 3576 set for 16:9 Wide.
Setting your TV aspect is up to you since I don't know what "Normal" and "Full" do on that Sony but I set my 1080p LCD for WIDE, which shows my digital WS programs in natural WS and 4:3 programs on those digital channels with bars in the appropriate places to maintain 4:3 aspect. My TV shows 4:3 analog channels slightly stretched, but I don't mind the stretch since I'm almost exlusively recording digital WS channels now... YMMV on 4:3 analog channels and how you like to see them on your beautiful 16:9 TV... I can't stand to set my LCD for "proper" aspect for 4:3 analog channels where they occupy the center of the screen... PQ looks sharper than stretched, but just can't give up that full-screen pic here!
Keep your composite connection between the box and the 3576 for recording those channels only the box can tune (if any).