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.