Burn-in from black bars, or just grey?

Jeremy_Watson

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I recently purchased a Sony 46" RPTV (KP46WT510) and have Time Warner Cable with the Pioneer HD box. I am using the option on the box to send 4:3 signals to the TV with black bars along the sides. I know if you feed in a regular 4:3 signal and allow the TV to just send grey bars along the sides, you are seriously running the risk of burn in. However, is that the case with the black bars (also present along top and bottom when watching 2.35:1 material)?

Thanks,
Jeremy
 

Jack Briggs

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It's the other way around, Jeremy. You want the grey pillarboxing bars, the theory being that the phosphors are using the blue, green, and red colors and the lighter shade to better even out the wear. It's not perfect. But keep the white level under control and the grey pillarboxing bars can help reduce the threat of phosphor burn.
 

Jeremy_Watson

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Thanks Jack. For some reason it seems the TW box needs to output a 16:9 signal, even if it is 4:3 with the black bars. It has some stretch modes, but unfortunately nothing I like as much as Wide Zoom on the Sony. Guess I'll just watch most of the 4:3 material through the S-vid on a different input.
 

Tim Jin

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I have the same box. You are right, the stretch mode on Time Warner box is kind of funky looking compare to the stretch mode on the TV. I just use an s vidoo cable to watch standard def programming and let the set do the stretch mode.

Stretch mode doesn't bother mean with 4:3 materials. I'm so use to it that I don't see the difference.

Watching 4:3 with black bars bothers me.
 

ChrisWiggles

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Gray bars are a crude attempt to wear what would otherwise be an unused/unworn portion of the screen. Wear is the aging of phosphor. If you have black bars anywhere on the screen, that is not being worn at all, it is instead the PICTURE area which is aging. Gray bars attempt to age what would remain unworn and "virgin" phosphor, so that you don't have transition between well-worn picture area, and other areas like black bars that are still fresh. So while you can characterize it as "minimizing burn-in," in reality, the gray bars are intentionally burning or wearing that portion of the screen to match the wear of the active picture area.
 

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