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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,


I am new to the board and am a HDTV novice right now, but come from a technical background. I do have a question though.


I plan to get an HDTV, and was thinking about a 30" wide-screen HDTV to replace my 27" SDTV. Then I realized that all my 4:3 viewing will be 24-26" if I don't want to stretch it. So I figured a 32" 4:3 HDTV would be the best solution (~29" wide screen view in 16:9 ratio and the full 32" in 4:3 ratio).


My problem is understanding how the HDTV or HD cable box (in my future case) will display a channel in the correct aspect ratio. Does it auto-sense the display format? If so, is this dependant on or performed by the TV or cable box. For example, I put a DVD in my player now, and it shows up with black bars on the top and bottom, which is fine with me. Will this still happen on a 32" 4:3 HDTV (I hope)? What about changing channels between SDTV and HDTV? I don't like 16:9 programming stretched vertically on a 4:3 or 4:3 programming squashed on a 16:9 widescreen. My biggist concern is if it does detection on the fly, or if I have to switch video inputs or click a button every time I switch between normal 4:3 programming and widescreen programming.


Thanks everyone!


:confused:
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hdtvtalk
I plan to get an HDTV, and was thinking about a 30" wide-screen HDTV to replace my 27" SDTV. Then I realized that all my 4:3 viewing will be 24-26" if I don't want to stretch it. So I figured a 32" 4:3 HDTV would be the best solution (~29" wide screen view in 16:9 ratio and the full 32" in 4:3 ratio).


My problem is understanding how the HDTV or HD cable box (in my future case) will display a channel in the correct aspect ratio. Does it auto-sense the display format? If so, is this dependant on or performed by the TV or cable box. For example, I put a DVD in my player now, and it shows up with black bars on the top and bottom, which is fine with me. Will this still happen on a 32" 4:3 HDTV (I hope)? What about changing channels between SDTV and HDTV? I don't like 16:9 programming stretched vertically on a 4:3 or 4:3 programming squashed on a 16:9 widescreen. My biggist concern is if it does detection on the fly, or if I have to switch video inputs or click a button every time I switch between normal 4:3 programming and widescreen programming.
Your 4.3 HD-ready TV, when connected via the component inputs, will detect the type of signal it's getting from your HD cable box and will automatically set itself to that format, just like it does with your DVDs.


I have an HD DVR/cable box with my 32" 4.3 HD-ready Panny TV - when i watch say channel 7 the picture fills the screen normally. If i tune to an HD show on an HD channel (KABC-HD 1107) the TV screen goes through a few contortions and changes to a letterboxed image (black bars top and bottom). When i change it back to a regular channel it goes back to regular full screen.


Some HD cable boxes (like my previous one) can be connected both with component *and* composite. With this setup you can watch the regular channels through the component input and the TV will behave the way i described above, or you can switch your TV's to the composite input and you'll get pretty much the same image, and it often looks a little better through composite than through the component input (less converstion going on).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Joxer
Be aware that 4:3 upconverted SD programming on HD channels are pillarboxed and will appear as a small square with black bars on all 4 sides on a 4:3 HD set.
This is true, but don't most HD TV's allow you to 'zoom' so that pillarboxed image fills the screen? Mine does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info Randy! This is exactly what I was looking for.


Quote:
Originally posted by Joxer
Be aware that 4:3 upconverted SD programming on HD channels are pillarboxed and will appear as a small square with black bars on all 4 sides on a 4:3 HD set.
Hi Joxer, could you give me a little more detail on what you are talking about? I don't understand what you are refering to. What does 4:3 upconverted look like on a widescreen?


Thanks again everyone!!!
 

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An SD program upconverted on most HD channels will have black sidebars on a widescreen display. But on a 4:3 HD set since it goes into 16:9 mode for all HD inputs will add extra top and bottom black bars as well. An even worse scenario is a letterboxed SD program - even more black bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info Joxer, so let me get this straight...


Does all HDTV programming get displayed as 16:9 format? Basically, 4:3 is only for backwards compatability of SDTV programming? I thought you can have HDTV at 480/720/1080i? Do all these resolutions get displayed in 16:9 format?


Thanks for helping me!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hdtvtalk
Randy, I just realized the TV you have looks like the one I am intersted in. Did you get it from Walmart? How do you like it?
My Panny is last year's model and was discontinued in May 2003. I bought it at Circuit City online for $950. There is one current version of this TV sold at Circuit City (and probably the one you saw at Walmart) called the CT32HXC14. It's got the same narrow cabinet as mine but the new one is silver, has only one tuner and no PIP. I think it also has a DVI/HDMI input but mine does not (i don't need it). Otherwise it's the same TV. Mine has been great - no problems whatsoever and the picture quality on all sources is very good. It's not on Panasonic's website however, but it is a carryover from last years Tau series.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by matrixrok10
What's the link to the website that compared 16:9 and 4:3 sets? Thanks.
I think THIS is the one you want....
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hdtvtalk
Does all HDTV programming get displayed as 16:9 format? Basically, 4:3 is only for backwards compatability of SDTV programming? I thought you can have HDTV at 480/720/1080i? Do all these resolutions get displayed in 16:9 format?
HD = 720p or 1080i

ED = 480p

SD = 480i


Ok, all HD (720p or 1080i) broadcasts are 16:9 ... that's in the ATSC standard. HOWEVER, what is IN that 16:9 area is the broadcaster's discretion. Say they have a 4:3 SD show that they are going to upconvert to HD for their HD channel. They need to convert that 4:3 image to a 16:9 image. They could strech/distort it some way ... but what they typically do is add pillar-bars (bars on the side). So, what you have is a 4:3 image with bars added to the side to allow them to broadcast a 16:9 'image'.


Now ... most 4:3 TVs lock into a '16:9 enhanced' mode when they get HD content. They display the 16:9 image with bars on the top / bottom. Many TV's (and STBs) don't allow you to stretch / zoom HD content. Some do. Some allow you to downconvert and then stretch / zoom. Lots of possibilities ...


However, the end result of all the above is ...


Some people with 4:3 TVs get very frustrated when for certain content they end up with a small 4:3 image in the center of the screen with black bars all around.


There are usually ways around this with the right combination of equipment / settings / etc ... but (obviously) it can be very frustrating for someone who just bought / set up their new HDTV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by dt_dc
Some people with 4:3 TVs get very frustrated when for certain content they end up with a small 4:3 image in the center of the screen with black bars all around.


There are usually ways around this with the right combination of equipment / settings / etc ... but (obviously) it can be very frustrating for someone who just bought / set up their new HDTV.
Thanks for the reply!


But as far as end-result image size (not screen, but image on the screen), a 32" 4:3 HDTV and 30" widescreen HDTV would display an upconverted 4:3 picture at the same size, the only difference is you have black bars on top, bottom, and sides on the 4:3 and only the sides on the 30" widescreen.


Is this right?
 
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