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720p content have sidebars?

632 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mkjnovak
I purchased a Samsung LNS3251D last night. I hooked up my OTA antenna and started viewing HD content. This is my first HDTV so I am not completely familiar with everything yet.

I noticed that all of the 720p had bars on the side, whereas the 1080i content was full screen. Is this normal? My native resolution is 1366 X 768.
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I think you are noticing the difference between a show in widescreen vs a show in full screen as opposed to 720p vs 1080i. 720p should not have sidebars, unless the program is broadcast in 4:3 mode. If it is broadcast 16:9 (as most prime time viewing is) there should be no sidebars even in 720p. If it was everything you want to check the settings/view mode on your tv itself. My Sharp cannot change the veiw mode when an HD source is incoming, so I get whatever is broadcast (some shows have sidebars, and some do not). I can, however use the zoom on my cable box to get rid of sidebars on HD channels. My tv is set to stretch regular channels (480i, 480p) automatically. You may have setting in your tv like this as well, so check this out.
and also

Do the people look squished or correct?

Just because a channel is digital does not necessarily mean the show will be widescreen. There's fifty years of reruns that are not about to be converted. Even new shows can be 4:3 still (think daytime).

The shows I was seeing must've been broadcast in 4:3. It was just odd that all of the 720p shows were 4:3 and the 1080i shows were widescreen. I looked at my ABC HD channel this morning and it was in 720p. The actual show was 4:3, but they put their own sidebars in. The news ticker on the bottom was widescreen also.

So is it normal for them to broadcast 720p shows in 4:3 or can I expect to see primetime 720p content in widescreen?
Probably what happened is your TV is accepting 720p from the broadcast, because the SD content (4:3 aspect ratio) has been upconverted to HD resolutions. So the picture doesn't look much better but it's still technically an HD resolution that your TV sees. One more example of how resolution doesn't always equal nice picture.
If you look at ABC tonight, Grey's Anatomy and Men In Trees should both be widescreen. I think 20/20 might still be 4:3.
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