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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My buddy and I went to my friends place who has a 50" projection HDTV. When we were watching stuff, I noticed that TV programs were stretched and skewed. He kept telling me that it was a setting, and since the TV was 16.9 that movies and the like looked great.


My buddy and I couldn't stand the stretched look of the TV, so we finally got him to put it to "normal" (forgive my lack of knowledge here) and there were grey vertical bars on either side of the picture.


When we did finally watch a movie, the movie itself still looked skewed to me, but not as bad as the TV shows.


What is causing this...and if I get a plasma will I have to deal with the same issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Whoops...the reason I put this in the plasma section is because I'm looking into buying a TH-42PWD6UY...but I don't know anyone who has a tv that is 16.9. :)
 

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I've got the TH-42PWD6UY and like the auto stretch mode. It seems to do a good job of automatically chosing the proper stretch mode. Mine barely looks stretched at all, and certainly not skewed.
 

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There's no reason a movie (assuming it was a DVD) should have looked skewed unless he accidentally put the TV in the wrong mode. Many people with plasmas use one of the stretch modes to fill the screen and get used to it, others just never get used to it never use them for 4:3 programming. The Panasonics have a couple of different strech modes. 'Full' will stretch 4:3 the same amount throughout the screen. I normally only use this mode for anamorphic DVDs. 'Just' mode stretches the sides more than the center of the screen. This is what I use to watch 4:3 material most of the time. 'Zoom' mode doesn't stretch it, but cuts off the top and bottom of the picture as needed so that the image fills the screen. If you use the 4:3 mode, you can turn off the gray bars on the side if you don't like them and just have it black.
 

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I encountered a similar problem watching movies on my buddy's pio plasma. Turned out his DVD player was set up to output for 4:3 monitor, and the plasma was then taking the 4:3 signal and putting it into wide mode, resulting in the same stretch and clip you would get on 4:3 NTSC material. Once the DVD player was properly set to 16:9 and the display set to full the movie looked much better. Of course this assumes the DVD is anamorphic widescreen. If not you'll have to use the zoom setting and lose some resolution to get a well sized picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info. But it's safe to say, all regular programming will be "stretched" or "skewed" unless you set it to have the bars to the sides? Since all reg programming is 4:3?


My wife and I mostly watch SD, the last thing I want is to either sit and watch hours of programming where everyone looks suashed, or hours of programming with large bars on either side of the picture. :(


From what I'm slowly learning here, this would be the case if I purchase a plasma and the large % of our viewing time is SD?


-Juice
 

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JuiceRocket


The various "stretch" modes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and have gotten better over time. The best ones, zoom the image in (slice off top and bottom a little bit) or partly-zoom plus partly-stretch the sides of the image. The center portion of the image remains undistorted.


There is some (although still little) 16x9 programming which is SD. I hope this tiny trend will increase as more and more people own widescreen TVs.


Mike
 

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What do you call "regular" programming? Most of the primetime major network shows (dramas and comedies, but not reality shows) are all available in widescreen 16:9 HD.
 

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Another common mode is just plain zoomed in without anything stretched anywhere. Then some of the image is run off the screen so you don't see it. In this mode, you can usually scroll up and down so you're not stuck with the middle section of the image. From some experimenting I did by covering up part of my 4:3 TV at home, zooming in and scrolling up to or near the top is usually the best for TV shows. I actually found many to be arranged better that way than with the whole picture showing, as if the networks had decided to arrange things that way on purpose. It's like they set up the actors' positions on the floor and the camera distances and angles to make a good 16:9 image, and then just let in some extra below that for 4:3, as part of their transition from the latter to the former.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JuiceRocket
Thanks for the info. But it's safe to say, all regular programming will be "stretched" or "skewed" unless you set it to have the bars to the sides? Since all reg programming is 4:3?


-Juice
Juice,

it is simply impossible to display a 4:3 picture on a 16:9 screen without either some sort of "stretching" (to go from 12:9 to 16:9) or zooming and then missing part of the picture, or having black/grey bars.


Andrzej
 

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I have the panny 50" 6UY. When I watch OTA HD or at least digital I get black side bars and can't change the aspect ratio. What gives?


Tom
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by teecun
I have the panny 50" 6UY. When I watch OTA HD or at least digital I get black side bars and can't change the aspect ratio. What gives?


Tom
The plasma is being "locked" into a particular mode, probably full, by the STB. You need to access the STB and change the aspect ratio, if you can.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JuiceRocket
Thanks for the info. But it's safe to say, all regular programming will be "stretched" or "skewed" unless you set it to have the bars to the sides? Since all reg programming is 4:3?


My wife and I mostly watch SD, the last thing I want is to either sit and watch hours of programming where everyone looks suashed, or hours of programming with large bars on either side of the picture. :(


From what I'm slowly learning here, this would be the case if I purchase a plasma and the large % of our viewing time is SD?


-Juice
Juice,


The panny has many, many stretch modes. I have the 42" ED set just for this exact reason. For SD I use the "just" mode which is a non-linear stretch. Images in the center of the screen are pretty much left alone with a slight stretching of the very sides of the image, thereby taking a 4:3 image and making 16:9. We watch a lot of Dish

SD (food network, nickelodeon, etc.) and the picture quality is not as good as it would be on a 4:3 27" set, but this is a 42" 16:9 set and the picture is very watchable.


DVD's and HD are phenominal. Try to get a store to show you a SD feed. If they don't have one (still can't fathom that as they get HD) take in your VCR and a tape. That will probably be the worse image you can give it and should enable you to make a decision.


FYI, no matter what 16:9 display device you choose there will always be some sort of stretching or grey bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry for the late response on my end, but thanks to all of you for the info.


I live in Boston, and from what I can see, there isn't a ton of HD programming available. My wife and I aren't huge movie buffs (we watch perhaps 1 or 2 a week), so we'll just have to see. :)


My largest fear is buying a tv and hating the gray bars and the stretching. :(


-Juice
 
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