After going through many discussions with various forum members, I have come to the following conclusion:
- SOME 4:3 SD SHOWS ARE BROADCASTED AS 'UPCONVERTED' HD SHOWS IN 16:9 RATIO. IN THIS CASE, THEY HAVE BLACK SIDE BARDS WHICH ARE PART OF THE PICTURE. THESE FORCED SIDEBARS LOCK THE ASPECT RATIO AND YOU CANNOT CHANGE IT. MOST PEOPLE SAY THAT THIS LOCKING IS A FUNCTION OF STBOX AND SO MAJORITY OF BOXES DO NOT ALLOW ZOOMING CONTENT BROADCASTED USING HD CHANNELS..
- THIS SUCKS .. AND THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE IS TO WATCH SUCH BROADCASTS THROUGH SD EVEN THOUGH THEY MIGHT NOT BE AS CLEAR AS UPCONVERTED DIGITAL ONES. (OR YOU CAN DISCOVER AND BUY A NEW STBOX)
Now, I read somewhere that T151 outputs 480i signal from the S-video and composite outputs. So the TV should be able to use the stretch mode. However, when I use the composite output, I still get the black bars, and even though now the TV toggles through some modes .. all modes contain balck bars .. some even double-bars! I was wondering if any of you has found a trick to bypass this limitation!
Does the STB have any stretch modes built in? The Hughes HTL-HD I have lets you stretch the feed to push the black bars off the screen... It's a D* receiver though, not gonna do you much good as a replacement for yours..
I just had my old 25 inch TV hooked up via a composite connection while my widescreen was in the shop, my receiver outputs 480i also but it crunches the HD feed so the whole image will fit on the screen, if I was watching an HD feed with a SD program with sidebars I would still see them though again I can use the stretch mode to expand the image so it fit the screen correctly.
rts I've got your solution, because I use it all the time.
Despite the fact that you have a 16:9 TV, set the SIR-T151 to operate with a 4:3 aspect ratio TV. Now the "ZOOM" mode on th 151 will work the way I believe you want it to, zooming the 4:3 center of the 16:9 image and lopping off the black bars. (for HDTV content this will just lop off the material outside the 4:3 area in the middle of the 16:9 frame) The "FULL" mode is the one you'll use for 16:9 encoded HDTV material.
On a 16:9 TV native mode this will give you a "stretched" looking picture. I would assume there is a mode on the TV to add grey bars and correctly display the feed as 4:3, or apply some kind of proprietary "stretch" mode.
The real practical difference you'll see is that on some material that is set up as 4:3 SD on subchannels, such as the "ABC NEWS NOW" programming, you won't be able to set up the 151 to generate the grey bars for a 16:9 TV and show the 4:3 material in the middle. If you try to zoom these subchannels you'll get a "FULL ONLY" message.
When set up as 4:3 the Sammy does indeed have a "HD Zoom" mode. I zoom HD football broadcasts in this manner, and they look absolutely fantastic on my 4:3 Infocus X1.
P.S. What's wrong with watching the 4:3 stuff with the black bars on the side? You would rather use one of the hi-tech zoom modes on the TV?
Oh the only bad thing about my solution is that you'll have to hit the "ASPECT" button on your Samsumg remote control to go back to "FULL" mode when watching 16:9 material or you'll just be zooming the center of the image instead of watching the whole thing. You'll see what I mean when you experiment.
Glad to help! I have a 4x3 Infocus X1 as my display. When I first got the 151 I set it up with a 16:9 TV since the X1 is 16:9 capable. I didn't like the fact that 4:3 material was letterboxed and windowboxed, so the size was about the same as my old 50" RPTV when I have a 94". As you observed, the broadcasters insert the sidebars into the actual 16:9 picture. I noticed that the ABC News NOW and local weather radar channels were stretched out so I could fill the screen.
So I thought, hey this X1 is a 4:3 native display, why don't I just set the 151 to 4:3. Then I noticed the "zoom" mode gave me basically a MASSIVE HD picture for football (there's a whole other thread about that) that was the center of the 16:9 image, and exactly the same as the network NTSC feed. That's how I watch sports, zoomed.
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