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Discussion Starter #1
There has been some mention in various threads about 16:9 standard definition ATSC video. How is that sort of signal displayed on a SD STB, such as the one Rogers provides? Does it appear letterbox or full height, chopped sides? Or perhaps a selectable mode, as on the HD STB? DVD players have been able to switch modes for many years.
 

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TAC ch 888 was doing this when they had 16X9 content to air. They are an SD channel so they aired an anamorphic image. This makes people look tall and skinny. There are no black bars on the screen. If viewed on an SD set with an SD box you can't correct the distortion. Everything is seen tall and skinny. With an SD box and an 16X9 TV you could use the TV's aspect ratio controls to stretch the image horizontally to fill the screen and restore normal geometry. If you tune this channel with an HD box and HD TV you get black bars on the sides and the same tall skinny distortion but you can stretch the image to the full width of your set and restore normal geometry by pressing the zoom button on the HD box. Circles become circles, the image fills the 16X9 screen and there are no black bars but the detail you are used to in HD is not there. The picture is soft but very watchable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
^^^^
That's what I was afraid of. I was hoping the cable companies would also make SD shows 16:9, but I guess they won't if that's the result. I wonder why the SD STBs were designed that way? DVD players have been able to handle wide screen, on a 4:3 set, for many years, as can OTA converters.
 

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With DVDs there were 16:9 movies from the start (actually almost all DVDs were originally widescreen non-anamorphic, then anamorphic, then more 4:3 material started appearing as J6P started purchasing DVD players).

In Canada, there are only select 16:9 channels available. HD STBs can handle the channels correctly, if they have the right flag and if the firmware is correct. Here's the FAQ on the topic of AFD:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=909050#post909050
 

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Discussion Starter #5
^^^^
Currently most digital broadcasters provide 16:9 HD and that signal is converted to 4:3 analog OTA and digital & analog for cable. So, the 16:9 content is there. If the SD STBs can properly display 16:9, as either letterbox or full height (viewer selected), on a 4:3 set, then there'd be no need to carry 4:3 digital channels on cable. There are many shows for which 16:9 SD is adaquate. I fully understand the need to maintain 4:3 signals for analog OTA, but why should digital signals, even SD, be limited to 4:3? As I mentioned, it easily and cheaply done in DVD players and OTA converters. Why not SD STBs? Can't they handle that flag?
 

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even though 16:9 SD is a valid standard, not many broadcaster's have the required camera's, or studio gear to properly support it, or im assuming such. Likewise, since everything has been traditionally broadcast in 4:3, even 16:9 shows were letter boxed in a 4:3 frame for regular TV broadcasting, there is no proper way to "detect" a 16:9 feed, because and if you notice a lot of time, the TV stations will put their on-air BUG or Logo or symbol over the black bar space, thus ruining a perfectly good 16:9 frame.

I'm not sure how a 16:9 broadcast will look on an SD box connected to a 16:9 wide-screen TV, I've never seen one personally, nor do I know of any SD broadcasts on DIGITAL cable in format, and if they do exist, im betting they would be cut off at the sides, as the SD box probably might not support it, anyone on here to confirm this? or have witnessed something different? please chime in. thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #7
^^^^
On Rogers, there are HD and SD feeds of many channels. The source obviously is 16:9 HD, which is then down converted to SD. So, getting 16:9 content is not an issue these days. Even cheap consumer cameras can do it. The point is getting 16:9 on all channels, where possible. However, if the SD STBs can't handle it properly, there's no point.
 

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Well, if the SD STB could preform like an HD one with respect to the flag discussed in the link in post 4, then all would be fine, but due to cost, lack of a huge need, and probably some lack of foresight, then the SD STB doesn't have the feature and you can use your TV's zoom mode to the same effect (not automatically of course).
 

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If anyone subscribes to the News Package and gets channel 195 (Deutsche Welle) and has an SD box, they can answer this question. The channel is based in Germany and like many european broadcasters has been 16:9 SD for quite a while.

This channel has been 16:9 SD on Rogers for the past couple of years (with the aspect ratio flag set correctly as 57 points out).

I have two HD boxes (Pace and SA8300HD) and when surfing to the channel, it is always displayed in anamorphic widescreen (not letterboxed, squished or anything else) and when I look at the MPEG transport stream via firewire from the rogers box, it is an anamorphic 480x480 picture.

I'd be curious to know how this looks on an SD box with a 4:3 TV.

cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If the SD STB handles it properly, it'd be either letterbox or full height, sides chopped. What would be really nice is if the Zoom button could be used to switch between those two. I don't get that channel and no longer have a SD box, so I can't try it.
 

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SD Widescreen may very well be 480 P (Progressive), but our SD boxes may likely only supprot 480i (Interlaced) thus you need to support EDTV resolutions to see it, which the HD box does support since it does both 480 standard and 480 widescreen in addition to 720 and 1080. The standard SD box e940 does not mention anywhere it supports 480 widescreen in the specs.
 
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