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Discussion Starter #21
I did it. Bought my first HDTV this afternoon. I bought the Sharp LC40LE700UN at Future Shop. Sales guy said it as the last one in stock. Going to hook it up tomorrow since I have a day off.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Everything is hooked up, and looks great. By the way, I also bought a Panasonic DMP-BD85K Blu-ray player. I noticed that while watching a blu-ray movie (Disney's A Christmas Carol), the black bars are still on top and beneath the picture. Is there any way to get rid of them in the menus? I looked all over for the settings, so the whole display is used, but couldn't find the right settings.

By the way, merry Christmas to all!!
 

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^^^^
Assuming everything is set up right, those bars may be due to the movie being a wider aspect ratio than 16:9. For example, I just finished watching one movie that was 2.4:1 and had black bars top & bottom. Most DVD & Blu-ray discs list the aspect ratio. The only one that perfectly fits the screen is 16:9 or 1.78:1, which is very close to one common movie format. Anything wider will provide bars top & bottom and anything narrower will have bars at both sides. Also, some DVDs will have a wide screen picture in a 4:3 frame, which will cause both bars top & bottom and at the sides. In this case, you can use the zoom function to fill the screen. And there are some shows that simply won't fit right, no matter what you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
JamesK,

Thanks for the reply. It explains everything :) I assumed that with a 16:9 TV there wouldn't be any black bars. It's too bad all newer Blu-ray movies weren't all released in 1.78:1, so that the picture would fill all the screen. I think it should be a requirement. I do have Avatar in 1.78:1, and Toy Story 3, but the rest are in 2.4:1.

Thanks for your post as I now understand it.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!!!
 

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It's too bad all newer Blu-ray movies weren't all released in 1.78:1, so that the picture would fill all the screen.
The reason is to provide the entire picture, as the director intended. Filling the screen by eliminating the "letterbox" bars, would require cutting the far right & left portions of the picture. A while ago, on Turner Classic Movies, they explained why letterbox is preferable to cutting the sides. The show had brief discussions by some famous directors and one referred to Da Vinci's Last Supper. If that picture had the sides cut off, there would have only been 6 disciples visible. While this show was referring to 4:3, it still applies to 16:9. So, it all boils down to trading black bars for full content.
 
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