Question about the mpeg4 HD channels (1 Viewer)

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postalguy

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Nov 3, 2005
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So I got an upgrade to the H23 from the H10, and some, but not all, shows on the HD channels do not fill the screen, even though it's in 16:9 size and the H23 light says it's 1080. The picture is noticably sharper over SD, but smaller than other HD shows or movies.
An example is SG-1 on the Sci-Fi HD channel. Is this something the broadcaster is doing? I've never seen this before but then again I didn't have the mpeg4 hd channels until now.
 
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bateau980

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2007
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Xenia, Land of the Demon Winds
You will see many shows that were recorded before HD became popular having bars on the side. This is just the way the shows were recorded. You do have a few options though...

1 - Make sure your settings are right in setup under the HDTV section. You should have it set to 16:9

2 - Set the desired behavior for 4:3 shows - under the same section above, you can opt to stretch or zoom the picture normally. This can also be toggled via the Format button on the top left of the remote.

Like you said, the newer MPEG4 channels have the bonus of showing the older shows in a higher resolution, improving the picture quality. The MPEG2 channels do typically modify the picture before transmission, TNT stretches their picture, along with a couple other channels.
We just have to pay for it with the 4:3 loss in screen size. We just have to wait until for more HD content to be produced.
 

atp1313

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 1, 2005
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Goose Creek, SC
And some shows (like TLC/Discovery programs) that were shot prior to HD being the "norm" are tweaked by the network to make it as HD as possible. This menas that some shows are cropped and zoomed by the network and then sent to D* that way. It is their attempt to fill as much of the screen as possible without creating the dreaded TNT stretch-o-vision effect.
 

talos4

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 26, 2005
577
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SE Wisconsin
Actually, it's not an MPEG4 issue.

It's a broadcaster issue only. D* only passes on what it's fed to distribute.

In the case you cite on SciFi, Some of the issues are licensing of the broadcast rights. I'm not well versed in the minutia of these deals and those who are will chime in.

As mentioned above, some of it is that the material is not "filmed" or "taped" in a format to be presented in a 16:9 format. Star Trek TNG is an example. It was filmed in 4:3 format.

Star Trek Enterprise was filmed in HD. But SciFi does not have the rights to broadcast it in HD apparently that belongs to HDNET.

Stretching does fill the screen but not without some degradation of the PQ. I do not stretch my picture and just watch it in what is commonly called The Postage Stamp format.

Big screen little picture. Like a stamp on an envelope. I'll take better PQ over filling the screen. If I have to.
 

postalguy

Member
Nov 3, 2005
12
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Thanks for the response guys. I thought maybe I didn't have something set right but it only seems to happen on some shows and not others. At least it's better picture quality than otherwise.

Yeah, and I hate that stretching effect on TNT too and usually find something else to watch instead.

On a side note, it was worth the wait to let D* provide me with the free upgrade to the H23 instead of having to buy it (and incur yet another 2-yr commitment). I'm commitment-free and prefer to stay that way.
 
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