what do SD channels look like with HD box- letterbox?

R

rprice54

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SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 17, 2006
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I'm still contemplating the switch to HD, I was wondering, how are the SD signals are sent to the TV if you're using HDMI- are they upscaled to 720p, etc. do they get stretched out or are there letterboxes.

I'm curious because my plasma lets me stretch or zoom a SD signal to fill the entire screen without letterboxes, but it will not stretch or zoom a HD signal.

I don't want to be staring a letterboxes all day since there's only ~12 HD channels right now.
 
MikeD-C05

MikeD-C05

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Upscaled to 720p and you can stretch them or partial zoom , zoom or pillar box them (normal mode) using the format button. You can even select for a 4x3 tv if you choose and it will make all sd channels fill the screen and then you could hit stretch & the hd picture will fill the screen . My parents use that on their lcd tv because they don't want any black bars at all except on commercials on hd. It is all up to you.
 
G

garys

SatelliteGuys Master
You have to decide what you want them to look like, in normal viewing mode the sd channels are 4:3 with black bars along both sides of the screen. The format button will change how they appear on the screen, but letterbox is not one of the choices.
 
8

8bitbytes

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Sep 8, 2003
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I don't want to be staring a letterboxes all day since there's only ~12 HD channels right now.

That's weird, I have 39 HD channels from Dish on my 622 and then I also get the locals again over OTA so I can record up to 3 HD channels at one time.
 
N

nmfiredawg

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Feb 28, 2007
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I use to stretch my SD on my Samsung DLP and it didn't look that great. (HD looks awesome) I set my SD to 4:3 and makes a world of difference. Don't get the whole screen but I try to watch as much HD as possible. The nice thing is if you set HD to normal HD channels go to full 16:9 and SD to 4:3
 
Bubba_Army

Bubba_Army

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Feb 9, 2008
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I have my 2yr old 42" Toshiba plasma set to show bars on side in SD mode and my tv now has burn in, which was not supposed to happen on newer sets. I see ghost bars on the sides on HD channels. My next TV will be LCD. Strech-o-vision is hard to watch.
 
harshness

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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SD programming in general looks not as good on an HD TV. The typical display format is "pillarbox" as opposed to being "letterboxed" on an SD TV.
 
mattopia

mattopia

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Oct 3, 2005
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Parma, OH
I have my 2yr old 42" Toshiba plasma set to show bars on side in SD mode and my tv now has burn in, which was not supposed to happen on newer sets. I see ghost bars on the sides on HD channels. My next TV will be LCD. Strech-o-vision is hard to watch.

I think you're supposed to use the grey bars and not the black bars on plasma to prevent that from happening.

My older set is plasma -- when I get any type of burnin, I tune it to a static channel for awhile (many hours) and it seems to take care of most, if not all, of it.

I switched to LCD on my newer set, plasma definitely has an edge on motion/refresh. You can see flicker on high speed scenes that my plasma doesn't have.
 
A

aperry

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Sep 26, 2003
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I have my 2yr old 42" Toshiba plasma set to show bars on side in SD mode and my tv now has burn in, which was not supposed to happen on newer sets. I see ghost bars on the sides on HD channels. My next TV will be LCD. Strech-o-vision is hard to watch.
Yeah, unfortunately, plasma sets have been as bad or worse than CRT sets on doing burn-in. I think they have improved some, but I don't know for sure.

LCD and DLP sets definitely do not have burn-in issues.

Did you by any chance purchase an extended warranty? Burn-in is excluded on some of those, but not all, so that might be worth a look.
 
R

rprice54

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 17, 2006
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thanks for the info, I meant pillarbox, sorry for the confusion.

so it's as simple as one button on the remote?

burn in was my main concern. I have a new plasma but why take chances. I am currently watching SD on it and it looks fine (of course I don't have HD to compare it to). but I zoom in on it to remove the pillars, if I have to I stretch it if I can't see a score bar during a football game or something, but usually I can zoom and then shift the image up- you almost never miss anything at the bottom of the screen during reg programming.

when I go to dish, and select their HD lineup (to add to my AT100 package) there's only 12 real channels, then some garbage channels like ppv and big 10 sports.
DISH Network -- Dish HD

Direct TV has almost 30
DIRECTV: Superior HD Programming - Packages
but it costs more after the promo period.

I am content to wait and see if Dish can add more channels, but come football season I'm pulling the trigger on one or the other.
 
K

kb7oeb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 27, 2004
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Phoenix,Arizona
The nice thing with Dish is it remembers your zoom setting independently for HD and SD, I leave my SD channels set to stretch and the HD channels on Normal. The other nice thing is the zoom options are the same for HD and SD so if you are watching an HD channel showing an upconverted letterbox show you can stretch the picture to correctly fill the 16:9 picture.
 
jwfgeol

jwfgeol

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Aug 16, 2007
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Knoxville, TN
when I go to dish, and select their HD lineup (to add to my AT100 package) there's only 12 real channels, then some garbage channels like ppv and big 10 sports.
DISH Network -- Dish HD

Direct TV has almost 30
DIRECTV: Superior HD Programming - Packages
but it costs more after the promo period.

I am content to wait and see if Dish can add more channels, but come football season I'm pulling the trigger on one or the other.

http://www.satelliteguys.us/dish-hd-discussions/111417-hd-channel-list-dish-network-vs-directtv.html
 
hankh

hankh

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 31, 2003
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0
Tyler, Texas
I find the stretch modes make people look fatter and scenes are distorted. I would like to see all SD finally go away.
 
tigerfan33

tigerfan33

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With so much compression on the sd channels, it looks awful at best stretched.
 
8

8bitbytes

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Sep 8, 2003
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I find the stretch modes make people look fatter and scenes are distorted. I would like to see all SD finally go away.
I agree, the sooner the better. Those fatter people make me feel guilty when I'm sitting on the couch eating while watching them. A&E was killing me last night with the guilt...
 

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