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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not really that familiar with HDTV STBs and was not planning to get into it yet, but since my DirecTV receiver went out the other day I was looking for a new revceiver and ran into what seemed like a good deal on a Sony HD100 HDTV/DTV receiver at CC(599). When I set it up I ran into some issues I'm hoping someone can help me out here.


Biggest problem is an aspect ratio problem. I have an OTA and figured to get good reception since I can get Baltimore & DC stations thru my roof top antenna. All locals here broadcast a digital as well as analog signal. I thought I could get the regular digital signal during times when no HDTV programming is coming through & it would be free of snow, etc. I can get the stations, but with the exception of one they all come out as windowboxed on my WEGA. I am using the component outs & have tried both the variable 480i/1081 setting and the all 1080i output on the HD100. No luck, it's always windowboxed on digital(non HDTV) signals. The Wega locks into 16:9 mode when I guess it senses a 1080i signal. The HD100 locks into wide letterbox display when using the component outs. So, I have no way to adjust the image. Is this normal? I thought I'd be well off getting a Sony receiver to go with a Sony TV. But watching a tiny windowboxed image on a 36 inch screen isn't my idea of a step up. I suppose I could feed the Wega thru a S-vid port and use 480i out of the HD100 and only use the component out for true HDTV signals, but that seems to defeat the purpose of ease of use for my SO that I wanted & need for permission for this purchase.


Second problem is the optical out. I have a Yamaha receiver that senses the inputs and assigns priority to optical/coax digital and then the regular AV. I have both th optical out from the HD100 & the AV output of my TV going to the TV/DBS input on the receiver. Problem is the receiver always picks the optical signal as being on, even if the HD100 is turned off. I have to physically unplug it to get the receiver to switch. Seems like the HD100s optical out is always outputting a signal, even when off. Anyone know if this is normal?


Any help is appreciated.


I guess maybe I need to wait somemore or get a STB that allows more aspect controls?


Thanks
 

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When using the component inputs of your Wega, there is no way to defeat the 4:3 image in a 16:9 frame (ie: black bars on all four sides) regardless of the signal being sent (1080i/720p/480p/480i). 16:9 programming looks great on XBR Wegas even with the 16:9 letterbox, but there is no good solution for viewing programming thru component video when 4:3 signals are sent.


Your SigOther can either accept the quality of S-video for all programming, or learn how to switch between component and S-video. My wife actually chose to accept the quality of S-video! Most learning remotes with macros can make the process much easier, so you can switch between Video-5 (for component HDTV) and Video-1 (for S-video non-HDTV) and if you have enough macros, you could even make another one for viewing DVD's thru Video-6 which would allow you to avoid the senseing function of your Yamaha (otherwise, I dont know the solution to your second question). Learning remotes dont need to be $400.00 prontos ... I got my One-For-All for $30.00 at RadioShack.
 

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Regarding the second issue of the optical out. I think that this is quite normal for most set-top boxes. I have an RCA (non-HD) DirecTV box with optical output and it seems to always be on (the red light at the connector on the box is always on). My guess is that this is because these receivers are actually never really "off" -- they're just not tuning. This is how/why your set-top box upgrades itself or downloads program guide info while it is "off." Unfortunately, I don't think there is much of a solution for you. However, you could use this as an excuse with your SO to get a new receiver with more inputs.;)


I have an 36XBR450 and have had the same frustration as you (though I have a Toshiba set-top box). I have a Pronto remote that has a macro to switch the box and TV to s-video for 4:3 material and component for 16:9 HD material. My wife will switch when HD stuff is on. As suggested above, you should be able to program a similar macro on 2 buttons of other universal (macro able) remotes. Your SO will either do it or not.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RScogland
Your SigOther can either accept the quality of S-video for all programming, or learn how to switch between component and S-video.
Or, simply change the HD100 to 480i Fixed output - no need to change the TV input to SVideo, as the WeGa will switch to the 4:3 aspect ratio automatically when it sees 480i input on the component inputs.


I tend to leave my HD100 in the 480i/1080i Variable mode by default, and manually switch to 480i only when watching 4:3 stuff on HD channels.
 

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Quote:
I tried that setting it to 480i and it was still windowboxed when going through the component out on Vid 6.
I don't have an HD100, so this might be wrong -- it's a shot in the dark...


Have you checked your setting on the HD100 to see whether it is set to output to 4:3 or a 16:9 TV? If set to 16:9, try switching to 4:3 to see if that solves it (i.e., to see if that won't cause the XBR to squeeze).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by brewerboy
Thanks all, that helps.


Sandood : I tried that setting it to 480i and it was still windowboxed when going through the component out on Vid 6. Do you have an XBR400?
OK - you got me - I have a 53" HS10, not an XBR. In prior discussions, it has appeared that both work the same with regards to the HD100 component outputs, but I may well be mistaken. The HS10's auto-switch - 1080i is always displayed 16:9 which can't be overridden, and 480i/480p can optionally be shown "normal" or "squeezed" (via the menus - squeezed is for DVD widescreen).
 

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Your problem may not be with native 480i material. Many local OTA broadcasters are upconverting their broadcasts to 1080i and formatting it as a 4:3 image inside a 16:9 frame. In this case, the black bars are part of the picture and theres not much your TV can do about it. How does it handle a standard-def DirecTV or Cable channel?.


Tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
DirecTV gets displayed correctly, it's only a matter with 'some OTA stations. As has been stated I expect it's with the way the station is broadcasting the material.


Thanks David. The info in the thread is exactly what I found that needs to be done. The HD100 needs to be in 480i to display these channels correctly. :mad: Not what I want to have to tell my SO to do. Kinda stupid to leave it set to 480i all the time.


Would another STB display differently? Is there any value in going to a DST3000 or the soon to be Zenith? Will they have more native display modes? That is, if I'm even understanding what is happeneing correctly and if this would even help.
 

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If its just some OTA stations, then it sounds like what I described above. They are broadcasting a 4:3 window inside a 16:9 frame.


If you use variable mode on the HD100, then 480i gets passed through as 480i and everything else gets upconverted to 1080i. This should take care of regular cable and DirecTV channels.


Tony
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by SANdood


Or, simply change the HD100 to 480i Fixed output - no need to change the TV input to SVideo, as the WeGa will switch to the 4:3 aspect ratio automatically when it sees 480i input on the component inputs.
That won't work. If a TV station is transmitting a 4x3 picture in a 16x9 frame, the TV senses the 16x9 frame and formats the picture accordingly, no matter what's in the actual picture. The transmitted 16x9 frame includes the black space to the left and right of the 4x3 picture. Most stations seem to always be in 16x9 format, even if the picture really is 4x3. The only station I've seen actually format a 4x3 frame for a 4x3 picture is our Seattle PBS affiliate, KCTS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Artshotwell,


Actually that does work in my situation with these stations. So does that mean that they are not transmitting a 4:3 in a 16:9 and it's something being done by either the Wega or the STB?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by brewerboy
Artshotwell,


Actually that does work in my situation with these stations. So does that mean that they are not transmitting a 4:3 in a 16:9 and it's something being done by either the Wega or the STB?
Yup, that would be my guess. If the station is transmitting a 16x9 frame with a 4x3 picture inside, it means you'll get those vertical black bars on each side of the 4x3 picture. If you get a full sized 4x3 picture on a Wega (and using the Sony HD100), it means the station is transmitting a 4x3 frame. Some STBs might be able to zoom in (so to speak) eliminating the black frame around a 4x3 picture in a 16x9 frame. The Wega doesn't have that capability, though.
 
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