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16:9 Picture Questions

181 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  VicF
Looking to buy a Toshiba 50H81. But I have a few questions as to what the pictures sizes are and if there will be any bars. The source is NTSC.

1. Watching a letterbox movie on lets say AMC, will I see any bars and if so how big.

2. Watching ER, they have a different letterbox format. What will that look like.

And, if I do see bars, will the harm the set.

I know I can stretch a 4:3 to fit the widescreen, but I am not sure what the letterboxed material will look like. The stores usually don't give you many viewing options other than there HDTV loop.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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When watching a 4x3 channel that is a widescreen letterboxed show, you will normally see a double letterbox with bars on the sides and top/bottom. The Toshiba has a zoom mode that zooms in without distorting the picture to make this fill the screen (completely fill it if it is a 16x9 show or leave small top/bottom bars if it is wider than 16x9). The Toshiba has 5 zoom/streach modes. You can look at their manual on their web site to see all the possibilities.

The bars will not harm anything except there is a possibility of burn in on the set phosphers. Keep your contrast below 50% and this will not be a problem. If you want to be extra safe, keep the contrast below 30% and use gray bars instead of black. The only burn in problems I have seen are in stores where they keep the contrast at 100% and run the set 24/7.


I just took delivery of this set earlier this week, and the previous post is accurate- You'll still have the black bars unless you do some zooming.

You'll find, however, that the black bars are much less annoying on a big screen TV.

Good luck,

Most DVD players today have a screen saver. I set my 2 DVD changers to screen saver position.

I never never put 4:3 format on, it's in the users manual, screen

will burn if not taken out of 4:3 for any lengthy time. So I keep my RCA F38310 in full, not fill mode at nearly all the time. I use fill mode when a really small view in widescreen to fill, but even then it doesn't fill the 16 X 9 Set completely.

Almost all of your concerts are filmed in standard or 4:3 I use full mode and picture fills the entire screen.

Only when a DVD is in a 1:85:1 ratio if you put it on fill then everything has a too tall picture. I know my TV I don't have much to fool around with because I don't use the sets sound system I have one of my own design. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


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Toshiba has the manuals on their website so you can review the modes in advance. I got my 50H81 a few weeks ago and love it. It's a terrific set.
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