How do I get my gray bars back?

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Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

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Just switched to D* today. Have an HR21 connected to my TV via HDMI. My TV is a RP-CRT, which can suffer screen burn-in if you watch too much 4:3 with black bars.

When watching an "HD"channel that is broadcasting a 4:3 program, I cannot find a way to force the picture to have gray bars instead of black.

My TV has no option to override the sidebars when using HDMI.

So far I have not been able to force the HR21 to impose gray bars. My E* 622 had this feature and I used it a lot.

It does superimpose gray bars on SD channels. But I really need it on HD channels showing 4:3 material without sidebars.
 
JAG72

JAG72

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Here is how you do it on an HR20. Not sure if the HR21 is the same but give it a try.

1) Parental, Fav's & Setup
2) System Setup
3) HDTV
4) Bar Color

Hope it works on the HR21 for you.
 
Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

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I have the bar color set to gray. And I get gray bars on SD channels. But not on HD channels showing 4:3 material.

I don't expect the HR21 to be able to sense 4:3 upconverted material. I only want to be able to force gray bars when I need them, like I could on the E* 622 HD DVR.
 
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Ronnie-

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I have the bar color set to gray. And I get gray bars on SD channels. But not on HD channels showing 4:3 material.

I don't expect the HR21 to be able to sense 4:3 upconverted material. I only want to be able to force gray bars when I need them, like I could on the E* 622 HD DVR.
Hmm, that should work. Not sure
 
Bob Nielsen

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The black bars on HD channels showing 4:3 material are added by the station as part of the 16:9 signal it distributes. There is no way for the receiver to change them.
 
Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

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There may be no way for the HR21 to change them, but the Dish 622 could change them. The 622/722 can overlay gray side bars over any channel you wish, even one showing a full 16:9 image if that is what you wanted.

This is a very unfortunate discovery for me. It means I won't be able to watch some programming.
 
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texasbrit

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There may be no way for the HR21 to change them, but the Dish 622 could change them. The 622/722 can overlay gray side bars over any channel you wish, even one showing a full 16:9 image if that is what you wanted.

This is a very unfortunate discovery for me. It means I won't be able to watch some programming.


I have an HD CRT RPTV (12 years old now) and have no problems with burn-in, watching lots of 4:3 material on 16:9 HD channels. If your TV is calibrated correctly (e.g. the contrast is turned down from "torch mode") burn-in should not be a problem.
 
Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

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I'll watch some 4:3 w/o gray bars, but not a lot.

I do watch my contrast and brightness, tuning these to calibration standards. And after watching a couple of hours of 4:3, I usually switch to "snow" and let that run for 15 minutes.

But after reading literally hundreds upon hundreds of RP-CRT burn-in stories over the years, I'm not keen on repeating their experience.
 
Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

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The 622/722 also allowed one to stretch, partial zoom, or zoom any channel, HD or SD.

So far I haven't been able to get my HR21 to do that on HD channels either. I thought this was commonplace technolgy.

It does all of these things on SD channels. Perhaps there is some setting that I'm missing that would enable me to do them on HD channels?
 
Bob Nielsen

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The 622/722 also allowed one to stretch, partial zoom, or zoom any channel, HD or SD.

So far I haven't been able to get my HR21 to do that on HD channels either. I thought this was commonplace technolgy.

It does all of these things on SD channels. Perhaps there is some setting that I'm missing that would enable me to do them on HD channels?

If set up for 16:9, you can do that with 4:3 channels. If set up for 4:3, you can do that with 16:9 channels. My plasma TV allows me to do some of the things which the DVR won't do, like unstretch the stretched 4:3 programming to get the proper aspect ratio.

Fortunately some stations use colors other than black for their pillar bars. As more channels convert to HD and more 16:9 HD programming becomes available, the situation should get better.
 
Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

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If by "4:3 channels" you mean standard definition channels, yes that's what I'm able to do with the HR21. However I rarely watch SD channels.

But with so many supposed "HD" channels showing upconverted, pillar-boxed 4:3 material, I need to be able to force gray bars on these channels. I assumed the HR21 would do this, as Dish's HD DVRs have had this capability for years. Never even bothered to ask anyone about it. Looks like I assumed too much.

I will have to try it using component inputs. My HDTV disables it's aspect/format functionality when it receives a 1080i signal via HDMI. So I'm wholly dependent upon the receiver. I believe my TV can override the image when using component. It's been a long time since I used component and it is a pain to switch back and forth as I have to recalibrate color, tint, contrast, and brightness when I switch from HDMI to component and vice versa.
 
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stlpaul

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I think most of the time those HD channels have an SD equivalent, so if you watch the SD version you should be able to get the bars you want (and your TV should allow you to do the things you want since it's getting a true 4:3 signal)
 
Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

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That's a thought.

Unfortunately, the SD equivalents will be fuzzier. The upconverted "HD" channels are given more bandwidth and thus are sharper. As I noted earlier, I rarely ever watch SD as my TV isn't that good on SD.

I didn't switch to D* to watch SD programs.
 
charper1

charper1

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You can be assured you are making more out of the bars, burn-in, and zoom, etc than is warranted. Just enjoy the programming. Your TV will be fine
 
Tom Bombadil

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As I know a person who has the same set as I do, and who experienced permanent screen burn-in within 10 months of buying it, due to watching too much black bar pillar-boxed 4:3, I'm going to decide to continue with being overly careful. Once you get burn-in, it visibly affects every 16:9 image forever.

I also know of multiple RP-CRT TVs that have "ticker" burn-in, from watching too many channels like CNN, HNN, and ESPN News, with the running tickers at the bottom of the screen. One can watch these channels in moderation. Way back in 2001, thousands of RP-CRT and Plasma sets were ruined by people watching news channels too much after 9/11. Plasma is much better now than it was back then.

By being careful, and through use of gray bars, my 3-yr old set is nigh perfect. The gray bar feature is a very simple solution, protects your set while having no negative impact on the screen image.

In any case, I seem to have my answer. The HR21 lacks the feature I'm looking for.
 
jdspencer

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Try changing the output of the HR21 to 480p. Then the TV may allow you to stretch the picture eliminating the bars.
 
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dirtydog

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Dont bother trying component i have my tv hooked up that way and you still get black bars, dont stress on the black bars my tv is 5 years old with no burn in.
 
DJ Rob

DJ Rob

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Tom, we recently got Directv and I'm really missing that stretch or grey bar feature we used to have on Dish as well.

I've tried all of the aspect settings and it doesn't do what I need to fill the screen. I do not want black bar burn in so I'm going to avoid any programming on the HD channels that are not filling the screen.

As for the others saying not to worry about it, are you guys using plasmas? Because burn in is a real issue.
 
Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

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I tried 480p via HDMI, outside of the picture being worse, there were no other changes.

I will still try component, because my TV might let me have more control over the picture.

I won't be completely avoiding material with black pillar bars, but I will only watch a light amount of it.

I am very surprised that this newest technology HR21 doesn't allow you to insert gray bars, zoom, or stretch HD content. It really isn't that hard to do.
 
charper1

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I tried 480p via HDMI, outside of the picture being worse, there were no other changes.

I will still try component, because my TV might let me have more control over the picture.

I won't be completely avoiding material with black pillar bars, but I will only watch a light amount of it.

I am very surprised that this newest technology HR21 doesn't allow you to insert gray bars, zoom, or stretch HD content. It really isn't that hard to do.


It may not be hard to do but in really zooming, stretching or whatever you want IS the old tech; most users want OAR and the vast majority of displays do not have burn issues.
 
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