Does DirecTV offer 4:3 aspect ratio standard definition service?

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Marc1995

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Sep 13, 2018
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Miami Florida
I have a standard definition 420p 4:3 Sony Trinitron television in the living room and a Sony TV-970 black and white TV in my bedroom. When my wife and I moved in here we got Verizon Fios and the problem that we have had is that they broadcast everything in an HDTV 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, which means that the images are letterboxed on our TV and 1/3 of the screen is taken up by black bars. we don’t want to pay for a service that we don’t want (HDTV) and we especially do not want to pay for to watch 66% of the television with big black bars on it. DirecTV and Dish Network are both popular in our area and I wanted to see if either of them offer cable service that meets our needs. We like our TVs and aren’t getting new ones.
 
I would upgrade the TVs. Yes Directv offers SD service but some providers like Nick offers their channels only in 16:9 over their SD signals. Directv hands off what the providers send them so you may be out of luck on some channels. Also, if you talk to customer service they may be able to wave the HD fee you dont want to pay.


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The with price of new TV sets now days, if the OP is that worried about PQ, they should just upgrade to new sets. I noticed a 55” forget the brand, at Wal-Mart the other day for under $300. Amazing how cheap they’ve gotten.
 
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You could get Directv and set the box to output native resolution and only watch the standard definition channels.

Your going to have High Definition available, you just don’t have to watch it.

The problem is that in 2019 SD is going away on Directv, so your going to have a similar issue.

The people who where early adopters and got HDTV back in the early 2000’s had the reverse issue Your having with standard definition 4x3 not displaying on a 16x9 television.

All new programming is in the 16x9 format and many older shows being converted to 16x9 your problem is going to get worse.

Directv will probably be a good stop gap right now, but you really need to upgrade your 20+ year old televisions.
 
Dish has SD with no plans I’ve heard to do away with them. But as noted, an ever increasing number of old SD programming is being converted to 16x9.

You can get small 16x9 flat screens pretty cheaply. They even still sell, perhaps on closeout, 720p models. And you can still find some without smart TV features.

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Dish has already switched to MPEG4 (at least on Eastern arc where I am). SD works fine and looks good zoomed. Most SD content is now 16:9 so you won't miss anything zoomed. You'll be letter-boxed on a 4:3 TV. It's time to spend a few hundred dollars on HDTVs. Even if you only subscribe to SD on either Dish or Direct, you'll be happy with the result.
 
Dish has already switched to MPEG4 (at least on Eastern arc where I am). SD works fine and looks good zoomed. Most SD content is now 16:9 so you won't miss anything zoomed. You'll be letter-boxed on a 4:3 TV. It's time to spend a few hundred dollars on HDTVs. Even if you only subscribe to SD on either Dish or Direct, you'll be happy with the result.

Eastern Arc has always been MPEG-4 from when it launched. They just never let any MPEG-2 equipment on it, since it didn’t start until ‘08 or so.
 
There isn't much choice about how to broadcast - more and more networks provide only HD feeds which are of course 16:9 so even the SD channels will be 16:9, or be broadcast as letterboxed 4:3. If you love your Trinitron and refuse to upgrade, you are going to have to accept black bars on most channels because the rest of the world is leaving SD behind.
 
There isn't much choice about how to broadcast - more and more networks provide only HD feeds which are of course 16:9 so even the SD channels will be 16:9, or be broadcast as letterboxed 4:3. .....

Or worse DIRECTV's penchant for anamorphically squeezing 16:9 SD pictures into 4:3 sometimes.

Or "squish-o-vision" ... yuck.

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Or worse DIRECTV's penchant for anamorphically squeezing 16:9 SD pictures into 4:3 sometimes.

Or "squish-o-vision" ... yuck.

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Directv does it or is it the content provider?
 
Dish has already switched to MPEG4 (at least on Eastern arc where I am). SD works fine and looks good zoomed. Most SD content is now 16:9 so you won't miss anything zoomed. You'll be letter-boxed on a 4:3 TV. It's time to spend a few hundred dollars on HDTVs. Even if you only subscribe to SD on either Dish or Direct, you'll be happy with the result.
Although it bears mentioning that there is strong speculation that if Echostar, as they have behaved so far, goes on to decide not to renew its lease with Telesat Canada to continue to use the Ciel II satellite at 129W which expires in Jan. 2019.

DISH may have to move all HD programming on the WA to 110/119W and remove all the duplicate MPEG2 SD feeds from there. And will no longer need the keep those same MPEG-4 duplicates on the EA either.

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Although it bears mentioning that there is strong speculation that if Echostar, as they have behaved so far, goes on to decide not to renew its lease with Telesat Canada to continue to use the Ciel II satellite at 129W which expires in Jan. 2019.

DISH may have to move all HD programming on the WA to 110/119W and remove all the duplicate MPEG2 SD feeds from there. And will no longer need the keep those same MPEG-4 duplicates on the EA either.

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They would have had to have already done what Directv is in the process of doing now, and forcing customers to replace all MPEG2 only hardware. Anyone know if Dish has done so, or do they still actively support MPEG2 only receivers in the western arc?
 
They would have had to have already done what Directv is in the process of doing now, and forcing customers to replace all MPEG2 only hardware. Anyone know if Dish has done so, or do they still actively support MPEG2 only receivers in the western arc?
From what I understand they still do have subs. on the WA with MPEG-2 only receivers, but they must all be 8-PSK capable.

QPSK only MPEG-2 SD receivers and feeds are history now.

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So they can't remove the duplicate MPEG2 SD feeds by Dec. 31 without impacting customers who still have MPEG2 SD receivers in service. It is curious that Dish is letting the 129W go away....obviously they must have a plan but it isn't clear what that plan is.
 
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