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Discussion Starter #1
Recently I moved to a new condo and bought a couple of HD widescreen TVs. I got HD cable boxes and HD and BluRay DVD players.


About 6 months ago I was watching my 27" and 13" CRT TVs saying to myself "I can't wait to buy 16:9 TVs so I don't get these black bars anymore!". That was in reference to shows and movies like The Sopranos on HBO. I was under the impression that the TV was causing those black bars on top and bottom, and when I switched to a Widescreen TV that the bars would disappear and the movie would take up the whole screen.


I had NO IDEA that a widescreen TV would still have those black bars on top and bottom and also -even worse- stretch the image to fit, making everyone fat.


I didn't know that only HD would fit properly (sometimes), I thought SD channels would too!


Am I the only idiot thinking that??
 

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You could have got a TV that stretches both horizontally and vertically, then you could watch letterboxed SD on your full screen without making people fat.


You'd still have small bars on the top and bottom for programs that originated on Panavision film rather than HD video, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Shaffer /forum/post/12879765


You could have got a TV that stretches both horizontally and vertically, then you could watch letterboxed SD on your full screen without making people fat.


You'd still have small bars on the top and bottom for programs that originated on Panavision film rather than HD video, though.

I could zoom in, but it still looks crappy since it's stretched.


However, that's besides the point.


Was I the only person to think that 16:9 shows and movies on SD channels would fit perfectly on a 16:9 television.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by
/forum/post/12879848


I could zoom in, but it still looks crappy since it's stretched.


However, that's besides the point.


Was I the only person to think that 16:9 shows and movies on SD channels would fit perfectly on a 16:9 television.
[/QUOTE]


16:9 shows and movies do fit perfectly on a 16:9 television.


It is 2.35:1 movies that don't quite fit, requiring black bars (but smaller black bars than you had with a 4:3 TV).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by
/forum/post/12879848


I could zoom in, but it still looks crappy since it's stretched.


However, that's besides the point.


Was I the only person to think that 16:9 shows and movies on SD channels would fit perfectly on a 16:9 television.
[/QUOTE]



I knew to use the proper zoom mode for letterboxed SD programming. The proper mode doesn't stretch just crops the black bars on top and bottom of regular 16:9 letterboxed SD programs. This is a different mode from the full or non-linear stretch modes that usually are available with widescreen HDTVs. Proper selection of each display mode depends on the type of program and how it is presented. Works great, but its not as automatic as the old 4:3 TVs with only 4:3 programs in the old days.
 

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In reference to seeing 16:9 SD channels stretched, you have to realize that while they're filmed 16:9, they're broadcast in 4:3 with the bars added to fit.


That's why we need more HD programming
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by Telexen /forum/post/12881692


In reference to seeing 16:9 SD channels stretched, you have to realize that while they're filmed 16:9, they're broadcast in 4:3 with the bars added to fit.


That's why we need more HD programming

That's exactly what I am saying, glad someone gets it.


For the last fews years that I was watching shows with black bars at the top and bottom, I was figuring that as soon as I get a widescreen TV it would go away, like it did with DVDs. Little did I know that only happens with HD channels.
 

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What made you think SD would magically change to screen filling 16:9 just by buying a new TV? It's still the exact same signal you got before. And most SD that has the bars are meant to be zoomed in. I know my cable box does it for shows like Law and Order SVU and a few others.


Anyway, it's up to your provider to send you 16:9 HD material. It's not like they can flip a switch and turn everything to fit your TV. You can always use someone else or purchase more HD tiers, or just watch only the HD programming you have now.


Other than that, there's not much you can do unless you own the cable company.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa /forum/post/12883308


What made you think SD would magically change to screen filling 16:9 just by buying a new TV?

Because the content that I was watching was 16:9
 

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If SD has 16:9 with bars all around, you're supposed to zoom in. It shouldn't stretch them to make them look fat, it should bring the image up to fill the screen. Unless your cable box only has stretch mode.


And yes, it will still look crappy, because it's standard definition. But it shouldn't look all stretched out.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by
/forum/post/12879707


Recently I moved to a new condo and bought a couple of HD widescreen TVs. I got HD cable boxes and HD and BluRay DVD players.


About 6 months ago I was watching my 27" and 13" CRT TVs saying to myself "I can't wait to buy 16:9 TVs so I don't get these black bars anymore!". That was in reference to shows and movies like The Sopranos on HBO. I was under the impression that the TV was causing those black bars on top and bottom, and when I switched to a Widescreen TV that the bars would disappear and the movie would take up the whole screen.


I had NO IDEA that a widescreen TV would still have those black bars on top and bottom and also -even worse- stretch the image to fit, making everyone fat.


I didn't know that only HD would fit properly (sometimes), I thought SD channels would too!


Am I the only idiot thinking that??
[/QUOTE]


Even though I knew that it wouldn't fill the screen, I still get upset that some shows in SD come out like this. I was watching O Brother Where Art Thou? on Starz (not HD) and the black bars took up just as much space as the movie!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have Comcast and Motorola boxes. The only thing I could do is stretch the image if I want the people looking fat.


If I don't stretch the image with the cable box, and use the TV to zoom in, then I loose most of the Information and Channel Guide, etc.


It's a shame. All the DVDs that used to show up as 16:9 on my old 4:3 TVs now fill the screen perfectly, I just figured that SD cable would too.
 

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Sounds strange that they don't have a zoom option (that you can just zoom back out to see the guide with one button.) My Scientific Atlanta does that, and it works fine.


What Moto box do you have? Can you swap for a newer one?
 

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Well remember that the HD channels on cable are on a different number.


For instance, if Law & Order is on Channel 10 here, I have to go to Channel 232 to watch it in full screen and crystal clear. If I go to Channel 10 it's stretched, the color is watered down, and it's not in HD.


If you have a Motorola DCT-6200, 64xx, 34xx, or DCH-3xxx, 6xxx, you can set the output resolution by powering the box off and then push menu. Make sure your box is connected with Component (Red, Green, Blue) or an HDMI cable and your TV is set to the correct input. Any other way and this is not going to work.


All of the popular prime time network shows like CSI, Law and Order, Desperate Housewives, 24, House, Grey's Anatomy, etc... are filmed in HD 16:9. It's important to check with your cable provider as to where the HD channels are. Why they don't just map the HD signal to the original numbers on an HD box is beyond me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa /forum/post/12885769


Sounds strange that they don't have a zoom option (that you can just zoom back out to see the guide with one button.) My Scientific Atlanta does that, and it works fine.


What Moto box do you have? Can you swap for a newer one?

Motorola STBs and DVRs don't have a zoom function. Scientific Atlanta and Tivo HD boxes do.


Back when I had a Motorola box, I simply added my TV's zoom function to my universal remote.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by
/forum/post/12881962


That's exactly what I am saying, glad someone gets it.


For the last fews years that I was watching shows with black bars at the top and bottom, I was figuring that as soon as I get a widescreen TV it would go away, like it did with DVDs. Little did I know that only happens with HD channels.
[/QUOTE]


It doesn't magically go away with all types of DVDs either. Some older DVD movies are setup the same as the TV shows you are talking about, letterboxed with a 4:3 title. You would have the same issue with them and a manual zoom mode is needed to watch it properly on a widescreen TV. Only a newer DVD title specially formatted for 16:9 (anamorphic) doesn't require a zoom mode. Thats just like the HD channels with an HD formatted widescreen title.


Can't expect the formatting of old letterboxed titled (SD channels or nonanamorphic DVDs) to change automatically. Its easy though just select the appropriate display mode on your cable box or HDTV depending on the program source:


FULL = for anamorphic widescreen DVD titles and true HD channel programs

ZOOM = for letterboxed titles on 4:3 channels/programs and nonanamorphic DVDs

STRETCH or PILLARBOX = for 4:3 titles on SD channels or DVD
 

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1) who is broadcasting letterboxed movies in SD?

2) SD is 720x486, sets come in 1920x1080, 1366x768, etc...if you watch SD on a 1080p set in normal mode, it scales the 486 up to 1080, roughly 2.2x, so it looks like crap (haven't seen 1 HDTV display SD 4x3 nicely)

3) if you zoom into SD shows (so it is not stretched), you will lose the top and bottom of the picture, not bad if you can adjust the picture some up or down...usually down works best

4) 1.85 anamorphic DVDs are full screen on HDTVs


we will never have 1 format for everything, since film is not true 16x9, there are many aspects to shoot in, and only if all films are shot, then transferred to HD will everything be the same aspect ratio....let's not forget things shot in Imax, and 2 and 4k...makes you want to go back to the 1 screen of 10 years ago sometimes, lol



BTW, TBS HD isn't even broadcasting HD material, it is SD upconverted to 16x9, but it is stretched. My set had a 4x3 HD setting to use in this case, although it doesn't handle it very well...so i don't watch it, lol, rather watch TBS in SD if I have to, and live with the inferior PQ.
 
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