4:3 TV Users

RC51Jim

Member
May 7, 2004
9
0
Nor Cal
Per Ilya's advice I have reposted my original post in the general forum to attract for readers.

So I have been lurking around this forum for the past week, procrastinating at work. I have been searching this forum for an answer to one of the foremost questions on my mind. I have used the search function but still not come up with a firm answer so here goes. I have a HD ready 4:3 TV, (Sony KV40XBR700), and I believe most/all Voom programming, including all menus, are in 16:9. My TV does not have a stretch feature, not that I would use it if it did. Will all of the programming and menus have bars at the top and bottom? I read something about the Motorola STB that comes with Voom having a setting to accommodate 4:3 TV’s but it was very vague. Any insight would be helpful, thanks.

Sean Moto replied to my question right away (Thanks Sean!!) I did have some further questions, see below:
Thanks for the response, I have a few more questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Mota
Menus are displayed 16x9 or to fill the screen.


So all of the menus will have black bars top and bottom on my 4:3 TV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Mota
SD: programming is mostly 4x3 with black bars on the side. Besides this there are two types that you get: SD programming in HD channels will have bars on the side but not at top or bottom. With SD programming on regular channels there are side bars but there will be a small little black bar at the top and at the bottom.


For SD programming: will it fill my 4:3 TV without bars on the side? SD on Regular Station: will it fill my 4:3 TV without Side bars and also top and bottom "litle black bars"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Mota
Note: my Sony GWII on DVI input will not allow me to stretch the picture or zoom the picture but it will on component.


My Sony does not have DVI (only component) and it has no capability to stretch. Does the Motorola STB have a feature to adjust for a 4:3 screen?

Thanks again for your help!!


Any additional information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

n0qcu

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
4,900
1,483
Earth
Since the Voom STB does not have a setting for a 4x3 HD TV all programing will be stretched vertically (no bars top or bottom). You can set the STB to stretch SD signals horizontally. Will end up filling whole screen and look 'normal'.
If you are watching a 4x3 upconvert on an HD channel you will have a tall sknny picture with bars on the sides. No setting to change currently.
 

mkatts

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2004
467
0
I have a Sony KP53S10 53" 4:3 HDTV.
I set the stb to "native" and all Hd prgramming is widescreen with black bars top and bottom. When I switch to an sd channel like TLC or Discovery then the image switches to fill my whole screen with black bars anywhere.

Now if I have watching an OTA channel like nbc or cbs and the program is not HD then I get black bars on all four sides.

The channel guide follows the resolution of the program. It is only in a 16:9 format when I am on an hd channel. If I switch to TLc, ro whatever then the guide takes up the hole screen.
 

stevil

New Member
May 18, 2004
1
0
mkatts said:
I have a Sony KP53S10 53" 4:3 HDTV.
I set the stb to "native" and all Hd prgramming is widescreen with black bars top and bottom. When I switch to an sd channel like TLC or Discovery then the image switches to fill my whole screen with black bars anywhere.

Now if I have watching an OTA channel like nbc or cbs and the program is not HD then I get black bars on all four sides.

I have the same TV and am anxiously awaiting my installation. I want to make sure I understand your response. Do 4:3 programs (SD or HDTV) fill the entire screen (when the tv is in 4:3 mode) or do you have bars on all four sides? That's a problem I had when I beta-tested my local cable providers HDTV offering... it was very annoying.
 

mkatts

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2004
467
0
If you set the stb to "native" resoltion, then the stb will switch it's resolution to the incoming program.
So when watching an SD channel like TLc or Discovery, the image fills the whole screen. My TV is set to "auto" on the 16x9 enhanced. Once the TV recieves a 16x9 signal it automatically switches ti widescreen and you can't change it. But still watching any of the SD cahnnels, they alwasy fill the screem. So does the program guide.

If I turn to an HD channel, the TV switches to widescreen, you can tell, because the channel label in the top left corner comes down to the wide screen portion of the tv, like is it not drawing anything in the very upper left corner. once you see it, you will know what I mean. The same with the volume bar across the bottom.
Also, when watching a wide screen image, the program guide also will be 16x9.

You can put the stb into 1080i and everything will be 16x9 but SD channels look short and fat and I couldn't get used to it. Using native mode, makes changing from HD to SD channels a split second longer. I prefer the native mode to make use of the rest of the TV when I can.

Now ota channels on the other hand. Ota's are always 16x9. If the program is sd, then you get the box on all four sides.

Hope that didn't make it worse.
 

slffl

SatelliteGuys Guru
Nov 18, 2003
124
0
stevil said:
I have the same TV and am anxiously awaiting my installation. I want to make sure I understand your response. Do 4:3 programs (SD or HDTV) fill the entire screen (when the tv is in 4:3 mode) or do you have bars on all four sides? That's a problem I had when I beta-tested my local cable providers HDTV offering... it was very annoying.

Well I don't know about this particular model, but with my Panasonic 4:3 TV, I switch the STB to stretch 4:3 images, and then I have an option on the TV to set it to 4:3 or 16:9, when it's at 4:3, SD channels upconverted to 1080i fill the entire screen. And looks a lot better than using the native mode of the STB.
 

mkatts

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2004
467
0
The KP53S10 has a 16x9 enhanced mode that can be either "on" or "auto". If you set it to "on" everything is 16x9 and SD programming is awful as far as I am concerned. My wife doesn't mind it at all. In "auto" it follows the input. There is also a DRC or Cinamotion function that I believe upconverts to 1080i that I haven't messed with much. But I don't think it stretch the image to fill the screen from an SD image. Unless I have it set wrong. I can cycle from interlaced, progreesive and Cinamotion. I have yet to see any differences between the three at all.
 

oddwunn

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 5, 2004
84
0
The lack of user selectable aspect ratio on the HD outputs is a MAJOR flaw in the Voom software, as I have been saying since the first day that I got my box.

Voom has made 2 assumptions when they designed the box:

1. All SD display devices have a 4:3 aspect ratio
2. All HD display devices have a 16:9 aspect ratio

While it may or may not be true that all SD displays are presented in 4:3 (but then again, who really cares?), it is DEFINITELY WRONG on Voom's part to assume that all HD displays are 16:9 devices. Many RPTVs (as evidenced here), as well as the majority of front projectors already in consumer hands, are 4:3 display devices. When the Voom box assumes that the display is 16:9, the screen real estate occupied by any Voom signal (SD or HD) already has black bars at the top and bottom - a 16:9 frame (Voom's definition) within a 4:3 frame (AR of display device). HD signals will use the full height and width of this reduced real estate, and SD signals will now have black bars on both sides, essentially creating a smaller 4:3 frame within a larger 4:3 frame.

If Voom just added a setup option which allowed the user to define the aspect ratio of his HD display device, 4:3 users could make the greatest use of their availble screen area. 16:9 material (HD) would still have black bars on the top and bottom (correctly), and 4:3 material would fill the ENTIRE screen, rather than be presented in a small box within a larger box.

Native mode does not work in all circumstances, as different input types have different specifications which work under some circumstances (some RPTVs and direct view units), but not in all (a LOT of front projectors). The addition of a user definable HD display device aspect ratio would not only be incredibly easy to implement, but equally easy and effective for the end user to get the most out of his display, for both 4:3 users and 16:9 users alike
 

TechCop

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 14, 2004
253
0
Aiken, SC
mkatts, thanks for the post.

I have the same sony as you and I've been watching my sd channels in "condensed" 4:3 (black bars all around). Now I can fill my screen again!
One note to those who try "native resolution" on the stb: When you cycle thru the formats, four orange bars means you are in native mode. Also, my sony was a little slow to follow the stb change, iI had to flip channels on the stb to see the difference. :D
 

BigFunMark

New Member
May 21, 2004
2
0
Why does it have to be this way?

I am trying to make the decision to move to Voom from DirecTV. One of the problems appears to be the 4:3 issue isn't handled well. My current receiver (Panasonic) offers a hybrid mode where 720p programming is upconvered to 1080i and everything else goes to 480p. This is required as my RPTV doesn't support 720p and apparently the current native mode will cause some programming to be unviewable. My RPTV (Toshiba) will detect the 1080i and go into 16:9 hi-res mode automatically.

Am I also to understand that the OTA signals are all presented as 16:9 regardless of the actual format?
 

RC51Jim

Member
May 7, 2004
9
0
Nor Cal
BigFunMark said:
Am I also to understand that the OTA signals are all presented as 16:9 regardless of the actual format?

Yes and no, if your STB is in native mode, some stations fill the entire screen. There are stations out there that as you say broadcast in 16:9 regardless of the program's format; In those cases you have the black bars all the way 'round. If you are like me and cannot recieve 720p you will have to switch the STB to upconvert all signals to 1080i, I believe this will put black bars around all 4:3 signals. About 1/3-1/2 of the OTA stations in my area broadcast 720p (along with Voom's cinema 1-10) so I just switch the STB to 1080i if I watch those channels and leave it in the native setting for all others. Voom really needs to address this issue. I know I am not alone when I say the situation kinda sucks and could be easily addressed via software.
 

Dvlos

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 5, 2004
1,887
0
Just curious, is your TV new? Man I would take it back for a widescreen, that will be the wave of the future. Personally I have a huge DVD library all in widescreen just because I can't stand cropping. That was first of all, then when I saw Voom and realized that all HD is broadcast in 16:9 the answer becomes a resounding YES PLEASE on the widescreen choice.

My very good friend out in Orlando bought a Sony 51 4:3, so that his DirectTV channels look bigger and better. Recently he took a trip to Best Buy and saw ESPN HD and Discovery THeatre HD on display on a nice DLP TV. He crapped himself, then when he called me to tell me I was right on the 16:9, I replied "Yeah, I got Voom"

I think he's dead now.
 

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