DirecTV HD DVR on an SD TV

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probinson

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SatelliteGuys Guru
Sep 25, 2007
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NW Pennsylvania
My parents recently upgraded their DirecTV equipment, and the installer gave them the most current HD DVR. They don't have any HDTV's in the house at all.

The problem is, their local channels are showing up letterbox with gray bars. I looked in the manual to try and figure out what I could do to change the format/aspect ratio on the local channels, but when I press the "Format' button on the remote, I get a message that says "HD Resolutions are not activated on this receiver." This makes sense, since my parents do not have an HDTV, so they don't pay for HD service.

I tried to go into the Settings to make some adjustments, but when I go into the HDTV settings, the "Video" and "TV Resolutions" tabs are grayed out (I presume because they don't have HD service).

My question is, is there anyway that I can crop the picture for my parents? They prefer that to the gray bar letterbox, and I can't say I blame them, since a lot of the programming on the local networks is in 4:3, and they get a gray letterbox AND pillar-boxed picture.

Thanks for any help.
 
cfb

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
1,492
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California
Unless you subscribe to the hd service I dont think you'll find a way to resolve this, unless the tv itself has any format options for zooming the content, and there might be some challenges to get the material to display in a clean 4:3 without distortion or reduction of picture quality.

I think the short answer is either its time to buy some HDTV's or call directv and ask them why the installer put in an HD DVR when they dont have HDTV's or HD service, and have him come out with an SD replacement if they dont have any near term plans to upgrade their televisions.

Funny, because I've heard that at least some installers wont install an HD receiver or DVR on a tv thats not HD.
 
twizt3dkitty

twizt3dkitty

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Feb 15, 2009
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are you sure you dont have an R22? either way, force a download (search is your friend) and the latest software lets you in the HDTV menu, from there change the aspect ratio to 4:3 (this affects all programming) its the only option you have access to on that box. this is an extremely common issue, and there is no other known fix for it. Post back with your results. and check your model number of the receiver, its on a sticker under the trap door on the lower right of the face of the box.
 
memory

memory

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Jan 22, 2006
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working usually
Unless you subscribe to the hd service I dont think you'll find a way to resolve this, unless the tv itself has any format options for zooming the content, and there might be some challenges to get the material to display in a clean 4:3 without distortion or reduction of picture quality.

I think the short answer is either its time to buy some HDTV's or call directv and ask them why the installer put in an HD DVR when they dont have HDTV's or HD service, and have him come out with an SD replacement if they dont have any near term plans to upgrade their televisions.

Funny, because I've heard that at least some installers wont install an HD receiver or DVR on a tv thats not HD.


Your parents are in a 72.5 market and you have a R22 and this is a huge prob we have had in these markets and directv is phasing out these recievers and if you call them and have a service call built they can swap it out for a hd dvr that you can stretch out the pic with and all 72.5 markets are using only HD equipment
 
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probinson

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Guru
Sep 25, 2007
140
0
NW Pennsylvania
are you sure you dont have an R22? either way, force a download (search is your friend) and the latest software lets you in the HDTV menu, from there change the aspect ratio to 4:3 (this affects all programming) its the only option you have access to on that box. this is an extremely common issue, and there is no other known fix for it. Post back with your results. and check your model number of the receiver, its on a sticker under the trap door on the lower right of the face of the box.


I'm not sure the model number, and since I'm asking for my parents, I can't check at the moment. As a Dish customer, I'm woefully ignorant of DirecTV's equipment.

It's gloss black, with a blue circle of light in the middle, and it had indicators on the front for 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i. The access card door was on the right and there was another door with a single USB port behind it on the left. The 480p light was lit on their receiver (if any of that helps to identify it).

I can get into the HDTV menu, but only one tab is active on that screen with the other 2 grayed out. It is set for a 4:3 aspect ratio. All other channels display properly, it is only their local channels that have this issue. My dad said that they also gave him this other box, which just had a channel 3/4 selector switch on the front for his locals, and he said the installer said he needed it now that all broadcast TV is digital...

Thanks again for all your help.
 
cfb

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
1,492
1
California
Thats probably an HR21/22 model HD dvr if its glossy. The R22 is matte black finish.

I'm really curious about the other box with the channel 3/4 selector and why they'd need that...unless the tv they have only has an antenna input which would be a REAL oldie.
 
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