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TV and Varied Screen Formats Between Channels

2468 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  fractile
I have a wide-screen display. A lot of broadcasts are still in the old 3x4 aspect ratio, I assume to keep people with this type of display happy, who may still be in the majority.

I had thought my display (Sony KDL-32XBR6) would automatically adjust and fill the screen the best it can (I have not found an adjustment in the on-screen menu).

An example of the problem is the recent Super Bowl game. The broadcast was in 3x4 ratio, yet the image was chopped off at the sides, so that only the right half of the scores at the top of the screen was visible.

Does anyone know what's going on here?

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Are you using a cable/satellite box to get your programming or are you using the built in tuner? I didn't see any 4x3 content during the super bowl, the pre/post game had some 4x3 material but not the main game.

If you have a cable/satellite box, make sure the settings are correct for TV Type and resolution.

Give us some more details about your particular setup and we should be able to sort things out for you.
Also both your cable box and tv have different format settings, you can "fill" or "stretch", "crop" ect... Being more of a purists I dont recommend using anything other than normal, leaving the material to be displayed as it was received (this setting goes for all sources as well as the display). The loss of picture quality just isnt worth full screen, especially on larger displays. Bugs me that some channels put their logo sidebars in 4x3 broadcasts to create a 16x9 transmission, espn does it constantly and a couple of my local affiliates, unsightly and a waste of bandwidth if you ask me. All of the superbowl was in 16x9 hd for me, most all the commercials except occasional local affiliate commercials and such were hd also.
In conjunction with the above two inputs, take a look inside the TV (and cable/Sat box) menus. There should be settings in each one that look like :

....the list may vary. Make sure they are both set to the same setting (or its equivalent). Generally, choosing "Full" will get you to the place you want to be, but you may need to experiment.
The source is a DishNet tuner. I looked, and it's set to 1080i and 16x9. This is connected via HDMI to a Marantz SR8002 surround receiver. I think this passes the HDMI straight thru; I didn't see any picture adjustments, other than analog video up-conversion. The Sony display is connected with HDMI to this. The HDTV settings in there are Wide Mode Full, Autowide On, 4:3 Default Off, Display Area Full Pixel. I thought about the Autowide being on, but I don't see how that would make the picture narrower :innocent: I checked; it didn't make a difference.

On checking, all of the channels display in a 4:3 ratio, with varied top to bottom screen-fill, whether it's SD or HD. All channels have 3.5" blank space on each side of the image. On HD channels this space is gray color, with SD it's black. I'm beginning to think it's the output of the Dish Network VIP211 tuner. Feeding the TV directly with HDMI from an OPPO DV-980H DVD player and SD DVD disk gives a full-screen image.

Maybe I should call Dishnet and ask them about the tuner I have?

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Full Pixel displays the picture in its native resolution and is the setting I use on my Sony. If you are receiving an HD broadcast the picture should fill the entire display. If you are on an HD channel but the source material is not HD you will get the grey bars.
I tried to get the blank space on the sides of my display during an HD broadcast and no matter the settings the entire display is filled in.
I'd suggest you try by-passing your receiver by connecting your Dish Network tuner directly to your display and see if you have the same issue.
i used to have a direct HDMI connect to the TV Ok, I'll try a direct connection; I have only begun any critical examination. I used to have a direct HDMI to the TV witha splitter to the receiver.

I don't yet see [maybe it does] how that makes a difference if the Marantz already does a simple pass-thru on HDMI.

I'll try it; despite my current cable limit
I don't recall a Full Pixel setting, but i can dig native format; gotta see it as a monitor of what is presented, I mean if you are interested or a production house.
Sorry; Full Pixel is ON in here
A direct HDMI connection to the TV may not make one bit of difference but it will eliminate or confirm the Marantz as the culprit. It's also a free, quick and easy test.
What I wonder about is the dishnet receiver.
Really not a lot to set on the Dish receiver:
TV Type = 1080i
Aspect Ratio = 16x9

and your display:
Wide Mode = Full Pixel
Auto Wide = Off
4:3 Default = Off

if so, perhaps a call to Dish Network is in order.
What marantz receiver are you using? Some do have conversion and settings for format associated with the conversion.
Actually, opening the manuals for the Dish and TV and seeing what the descriptions are for the settings might be a good step to take. Same word = different meanings can cause problems.
I called tech support at DishNet and got informed of the * (</FORMAT) button on the remote. Cycling thru that would correct the HD image, but affected SD channels, distorting the image. The tech then had me unplug the receiver for 15 seconds, during which time I assume he reconfigured my account at his end, to get consistent 'behavior'. SD broadcasts are now 4x3 with full vertical screen-fill and HD is 16x9. Overall, the images look sharper and more consistent, whatever the format, across all channels.

I did check bypassing the Marantz and also the active HDMI splitter, first, with no effect. This all helped me remember that good troubleshooting should be complete and test everything involved, not just what one might assume; and links that may be overlooked, like that active HDMI splitter. Thanks for the help, everyone.

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