Why does FOX pillar-box HD shows? (1 Viewer)

HDNewser

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
May 21, 2007
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Long Island, New York
:confused: Watching certain FOX shows like "Mad TV" or "The Simpsons," I can clearly see a sliver of the full 16-by-9 frame at the top of my LCD screen, below which are black pillar boxes on the left and right edges of the screen, reducing the frame to 4-by-3. My local FOX affiliate's "bug" (logo) is in the bottom corner of the right pillar box. Their Master Control monitors would certainly reveal this in underscan mode. Why doesn't FOX just show these programs in their full 16-by-9 glory? Could it be they're shot in widescreen Standard Definition, and FOX doesn't want to mislead us into thinking it's HDTV? Even so, they'd look better without the pillar boxes than forcing those watching at home to use their TV or set-top box controls to blow-up the 4-by-3 image to fill their 16-by-9 screens.
 

HDNewser

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
May 21, 2007
59
0
Long Island, New York
but why wide what's on the sides?

They may be upconverts, dfergie, but I'm seeing a sliver of the full widescreen picture at the top of the screen (just below the closed-captioning data), which means whatever FOX is concealing with pillar boxes is a full 16-by-9 image. An image that's not optically distorted in the 4-by-3 part they allow us to see. I'd still prefer to see upconverted SD video in true 16-by-9 than the Stretch-O-Vision SD they give us the majority of the time on TNT-HD or Lifetime-HD.
 

rockymtnhigh

Hardly Normal
Supporting Founder
Apr 14, 2006
30,186
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Normal, IL
I don't know what you are seeing, but The Simpsons has not be filmed in HD yet.
I think you are getting some artifact on your tv. Same with Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader; SD upconvert.

Lucky for us that the four major nets don't do the TNT-HD and A&E-HD stretch-o-vision; and the vast majority of programming is in HD.
 

120inna55

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 14, 2003
1,453
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Athens, Texas, United States
I've seen what you're seeing. It's part of the data stream that you're not supposed to see but can if there's not enough overscan on your set.

I know, at times, it even appears to be the same color of the program content leading you to believe there's actually an image there, but it's not.
 

TNGTony

Unashamed Bengal Fan
Sep 7, 2003
10,019
802
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
What he said. :)

The Simpsons and the entire "animation domination" line-up on fox and Mad TV are shot in 4x3. You are seeing the data stream on a TV with not quite enough overscan. :)

See ya
Tony
 

HDNewser

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
May 21, 2007
59
0
Long Island, New York
it's not the datastream

The closed-captioning datastream is the series of flashing white dots & dashes at the very top of the frame, when viewed in underscan. What I'm seeing in a horizontal slice just below it is actual video from the full width of the 16-by-9 frame, video whose motion is evidently a continuation of the picture concealed by the pillar boxes that begin just underneath this full-width sliver.
 

rockymtnhigh

Hardly Normal
Supporting Founder
Apr 14, 2006
30,186
912
Normal, IL
The closed-captioning datastream is the series of flashing white dots & dashes at the very top of the frame, when viewed in underscan. What I'm seeing in a horizontal slice just below it is actual video from the full width of the 16-by-9 frame, video whose motion is evidently a continuation of the picture concealed by the pillar boxes that begin just underneath this full-width sliver.

Think about this for a second -- if they filmed it in HD 16x9, why would they intentionally broadcast it in 4x3 on a HD channel? That makes no sense.
 

TNGTony

Unashamed Bengal Fan
Sep 7, 2003
10,019
802
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
The closed-captioning datastream is the series of flashing white dots & dashes at the very top of the frame, when viewed in underscan. What I'm seeing in a horizontal slice just below it is actual video from the full width of the 16-by-9 frame, video whose motion is evidently a continuation of the picture concealed by the pillar boxes that begin just underneath this full-width sliver.

If you have convinced yourself that Fox is deliberately hiding 1/3 of the picture on their HD channel just because they feel like it, then there is nothing I can tell you to help you understand.

I have seen the exact same video line at the top of the image on Fox and other channels like A&E HD and National Geographic. It is NOT a continuation of the picture. It is an artifact. Your TV is trying to show you data and that is how it interprets it. You can believe that, or you can continue to create a new conspiracy theory to fit the conclusion that Fox is trying to hide something. :)

See ya
Tony
 

bjdraw

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 27, 2005
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Also to note is that FOX has no problem confusing people with widescreen SD, they have actually done this longer than anyone and for years were convinced that no one could tell the difference between their FOX Widescreen and true HD. Currently there are a few shows still presented this way including COPS and So You Think You Can Dance.

Fox Widescreen is not HD! - Engadget HD
 

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