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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a Polaroid FLM-3701 37" LCD HDTV and signed up for HD programming with my cable-provider, Charter Communications. Today, they sent someone to my house who installed a new Motorolla HD cable receiver and activated the HD programming.


For the most part, things work great, it's gorgeous... but I'm confused about the aspect ratios. With my DVD player and with the old non-HD cable receiver, my television would let me change the aspect ratio from 16:9, 4:3, Panorama, or Zoom. But, with the new receiver I can only choose from 16:9 and 4:3.


I get about 15 HD channels right now and when I tune into almost all of them, I get black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. When I switch to 4:3, the aspect ratio still seems to be widescreen, but it won't completely fill out the screen in 16:9. Some channels even have bars on all four sides, so that if the Zoom option were available, it looks like it would perfectly fill out the screen. Like with a computer monitor, it would nice if I could manually adjust the picture dimensions. Is there something I can look for in the settings, whether on the cable receiver or the TV, that might help? Or is this just "normal"?


Also, on non-HD channels there is now a flicker on the very top and bottom of the screen that is very annoying. I've been looking around for a solution, but haven't found anything that pertains to these issues specifically.
 

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It sounds like your box may be set to 4:3 instead of 16:9, and is sending a 4:3 signal to the TV which is then stretching the picture.
 

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I agree with Rocky, sounds like the STB is set to 4:3 hence the letterboxing on the top and bottom of the screen. Figure out what model STB you have and search on here for how to set it up. Also, most TV's don't have as many stretch modes when you feed them HD resolutions also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Seems you guys were on the right track. I found some more info on my cable box (Motorola DCT6200). Just in case someone else has this problem, if you are using a widescreen HDTV with this cable receiver, you need to let the cable box know you have a widescreen (16:9) television, and not a standard sized screen (4:3). Here's how to change it:


Turn off the cable box. Then hit 'Menu' on the remote. A new menu should appear. Using the arrow buttons on your remote, you can change the settings. The first option allows you to change your television aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9. After doing so, most of your HD channels should not have black bars on the top/bottom.


Anyways, thanks for steering me in the right direction, guys. I'm so relieved!
 
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