2003-06-11, 02:37 AM
Since the digital cable channels are encoded using MPEG-2 MA@PL format, which I believe is the same as that recorded on DVD-Video, and DVD supports 16x9 widescreen/letterboxing I'm wondering if these STBs also support this feature so that a channel such as BBC Canada could broadcast in widescreen as it does in the UK and have the STB letterbox the picture for 4x3 TVs and allow widescreen for 16x9 TVs.
Any ideas out there?
2003-06-11, 05:43 AM
The SA 3000, 3100, 3200 cannot do what you are asking. (Not sure if a software upgrade could change this). Perhaps a future set-top will be able to.
None of the Canadian specialities broadcast in 16:9. I would guess it would take extra bandwith in the cable/satellite signal. I know it would be nice to see UK programming in widescreen. The thing I don't get, is why don't all channels in Canada/USA start broadcasting in widescreen, and producing their programming in widescreen. It doesn't have to be HDTV, because in the UK for example, it is just a standard PAL broadcast. I also believe there is a market for 16:9 sets that don't support HDTV, maybe 480p at most. This would fuel specialty channels to start broadcasting in 16:9. Some channels wouldn't want HDTV, like CNN for example, because it's just extra work for the makeup artists.
2003-06-11, 01:50 PM
matey, the Star Choice set-top boxes have a capability like this built-in, but it's never been used before, probably never will, and who knows...it may not even work!
Hardware wise, what you suggest could easily be implemented. Just add an aspect ratio descriptor somewhere in the VBI, and add a TV type selection to the set-top box (like on a DVD player). If the user selected "4:3 P&S", add the descriptor is "16:9 Letterbox", then zoom in by 25%.
The hard part is getting all the necessary parties to agree on how to do it!