Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I am currently using a rogers 3250HD with HD service and have a 1080p wide-screen HDTV. I don't know if what I'm experiencing is a problem, or is normal so I'll try to illustrate it as best as I can.

When I view a HD channel like CTV (518 for me) all HD, widescreen broadcasts (ie. CTV news, CSI ect) take up my entire television set, and looks like this:

1.


With the exception of 4:3 commercials, in which case you get side pillars and a result that looks something like this:

2.


However.
There are non-HD channels, that normally broadcast 4:3 shows and look like image 2. from above. When these channels switch to widescreen broadcast (ie. a special movie broadcast or other widescreen program) I get a result that look this:

3.


In other words, its got both pillars a letter-boxing.

So my question is: is this normal for such channels to letterbox and add pillars to a program that would otherwise fit my entire screen?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
56,431 Posts
Perfectly normal for widescreen SD material (on SD or HD channels). See the following FAQ on Black Bars: I suggest you watch those programmes as is because trying to zoom them to fit your screen usually results in substandard picture quality and people then often forget to unzoom.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=76089 Black Bars


Please also see the following post, useful for those new to the forum/HDTV - FAQs, Search Tips, Optimization, etc:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=57741
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
on a side note, 480i/p resolutions ARE capable of being transmitted/broadcasted in full widescreen with no pillarbox. There is a signal transmitted with the shows that identifys it as a widescreen program. The sad part is our cable systems here don't read it, same with our broadcasters. its possible that none of the broadcasters can broadcast in SD Widescreen, hence the double letter box, this means untill 80 percent of broadcasts are in HD, this will be a problem, and it will be annoying as hell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
There is a signal transmitted with the shows that identifys it as a widescreen program. The sad part is our cable systems here don't read it, same with our broadcasters.
DW TV (Channel 195) broadcasts in SD Widescreen, although you might only get it that way if you have your cable box set to output SD channels in 1080i.

For widescreen programmes on SD channels (where you get bars both on top and bottom and on the sides), I usually zoom the picture and so it fills the whole screen.

You can change the colours of the bars on the left and right to black (instead of grey) in the settings on your cable box. You might find this preferable for watching 4:3 programmes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,220 Posts
Yes, it is normal. Some shows are in 16:9 format and the only way to view them that way is to use letterbox. Your TV is creating the pillars, as required for a 4:3 SD signal. You can zoom to get rid of the bars.

--

As for 16:9 SD, how many broadcast stations transmit that? Their signal still has to work with OTA analog sets. It's certainly possible on digital broadcasts, as that format is supported by ATSC.

--

Are there any other 16:9 SD channels. I'm not authorized to get DW on 195.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
56,431 Posts
Not at all. Most videophiles prefer to see their programmes in the original aspect ratio. I don't wish the stations or the providers to make decisions on my behalf.

The only time I've found an advantage is if an SD widescreen programme is properly handled by an HD station - upconverted and properly displayed. Even then, the end result can be "OK" or good. As for SD channels, please leave them alone, I'll stretch or zoom if I want. That's my vote.

This has been discussed in several threads discussing "black bars". You see, if I get the original signal, I can do what I want, whereas if someone fools with the signal before I get it, the "fooling" cannot be reversed. Now, some may think that zooming an SD programme to fill an HD screen is perfectly acceptable and, as I stated earlier, if done properly, it can be OK, but SD programmes zoomed by a factor of 2 may not look that great on a large HDTV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
My question to JamesK is this: What does DW broadcasting a SD Widescreen show look like on a STANDARD DEF STB? we know on a HD box it fills the screen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,220 Posts
^^^^^

I have no idea how DW looks. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not authorized to receive it. I don't even know what the DW channel is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
oh snap, my bad. I will re-direct the question to scampbell as I was not paying full attention to the posts above, too much going on in my head lol.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
56,431 Posts
DW is a mostly German News-type channel. If you want to know what it looks like, take any SD channel and invoke the zoom (not stretch) function on your TV (zoom stretches vertically and horizontally by a factor of 1.3 in both directions, meaning that the overall image size is increased by a factor of 2). The quality is quite poor when you do this and it's not nearly as good as upconverted widescreen programming on HD channels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
TAC, The Accessable Channel channel 888 here uses a combination of SD 4X3 and SD 16X9. Until I got my HD TV I figured they didn't know what they were doing. It is a new channel after all. Widescreen programs would be squished horizontally and everyone is tall and skinny on my SD set. Normal 4X3 programs displayed fine of course. After I got my HD set I realized all I had to do was press the stretch button on the Rogers box and then the widescreen SD programs displayed properly filling my whole screen. If they didn't do this squished effect (also know as anamorphic wide screen) they would either have to chop the sides off (called centre cut or side cut) or letterbox for widescreen material. This novel approach impairs 4X3 viewers for sure but as we all migrate to 16X9 sets this technique gives TAC an advantage over most SD channels with widscreen viewers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
thx snorlax, i tried that and yes the stretch mode has fixed the problem with the people looking too fat/wide. but i noticed another problem, some text is cut-off on the broadcast and ntohing can be done on the consumers end to fix it, perhaps they stretched it too tall when they squished it, and the words are gone for good. i hope they fix it soon
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top