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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else noticed that the "Zoom" function on the Hughes HTL-HD and Sony HD300 doesn't have the correct geometry? When 480i content is scaled to either 1080i or 720p you have several aspect ratio options. When watching any SD letterboxed material like "West Wing", "ER" you should be able to select "Zoom" and the screen should be stretched equally horizontally and vertically to get rid of the black bars. But it doesn't zoom enough vertically and the black bars are still visible. I would say it stretches vertically about 1/2 as much as it should.


My projector (HS20) doesn't allow aspect ratio options for 720p or 1080i material. So I don't have the option of using its adjustments. I could feed the projector 480i or 480p and use its aspect ratio options. When showing content in this mode the HD300 or HTLHD is set to normal and the HS20 zooms correctly and the black bars are zoomed off the screen. But I have determined that the PQ is best when the HS20 gets 720p. And according to the HD300 and HTL-HD manual the "Zoom" function is meant to work so that SD content letterboxed to 16X9 should fill the screen when selected.


Is this a known problem and can it be fixed with a software update?
 

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I believe when watching a 1080i and 720p source and outputting 1080i or 720p, the HTL-HD only has three zoom options: Standard (no zooming), Expand (which zooms only horizontally), and Shrink (which shrinks only horizontally).


You may want to try setting the output of the HTL-HD to 480p; this may allow you to access all five zoom options, which will then allow you to stretch horizontally and vertically. I am not at home, so I can't try it for sure, but that's the way my old Zenith SAT-520 used to work.


Hope this helps,

--

Jose R. Perez
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by josejrp
I believe when watching a 1080i and 720p source and outputting 1080i or 720p, the HTL-HD only has three zoom options: Standard (no zooming), Expand (which zooms only horizontally), and Shrink (which shrinks only horizontally).
This is correct. But I am talking about watching a 480i source (Standard Definition channel on DirecTV) and upconverting it to 1080i or 720p.

Quote:
You may want to try setting the output of the HTL-HD to 480p; this may allow you to access all five zoom options, which will then allow you to stretch horizontally and vertically.
Setting the HTL-HD to output 480i as 480p will not allow any adjustments. The "Wide Mode" button on the Sony HD300 (or the "Ratio" button on the HTL-HD) only works when in 1080i or 720p mode. The problem is not accessing the zoom options. The selection called "ZOOM" does not do what it is supposed to do. It does not stretch the picture horizontally and vertically. I have both the Sony HD300 and the HTL-HD and they both have the same problem. The Sony is hooked up to an HS20 projector and the HTL-HD is hooked up to a Pioneer Plasma. The workaround for this is to set the HD300 or HTL-HD to Variable 1 or 3. This will convert 480i material to 480p and I can use my projector (or plasma) to zoom the picture for SD sources. But as I said previously, I have found that sending my projector 720p gives a slightly better picture for sources that were originally 480i.


Thanks
 

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You are right, the Zoom option does not seem to get rid of the black bars in SD letterbox 16x9 material (just tried it on ER tonight with the DirecTV local channel feed). I agree that this is a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I thought more people would respond to this. the "Zoom" function is a pretty basic and necessary feature of any HD STB. The ability to Zoom in on 4X3 material to fit a 16X9 screen is essential. These boxes to NOT zoom correctly. This is a major flaw (bug) with these boxes that should be fixed.
 
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