What's new

Confused and somewhat frustrated noob. (1 Viewer)


Sep 12, 2007
Real Name
I have been a very casual HT fan for a couple years now. My hardware wasnt ever really all the good. A $250 Harmon Kardon receiver(AVR-125) and $350 JBL 5.1 speaker set attached to an older Sony 32" tube TV. The wife grumbled about it but accepted it in the living room as we dont have any space for the dedicated HT room. My interests really are focused on other things like my PCs, gaming and motorcycles.

We bought a new place and i picked up a new HD LCD tv from Costco, a Vizio 47"(GV47L). I went and bought some new speakers to go with it. The new home is nice and is older but in good shape. The wife definitely didnt want me drilling holes and hanging speakers all over the living room. So, i figured i would go with something a bit more clean and discreet look but figured the quality was good. So, i bought a Bose Cinemate system. I think it sounds great given my limitations with the room and lack of serious focus for a high end HT set up. Little did i realize the scorn that was heaped upon Bose in a forum like this. Ah well, now i know better for the future.

So, i went to Circuit City and bought the Toshiba HD-A2 for $198 even though my other dvd player is less than a year old. lol, the wife didnt care for that.

The problem i am having though is i cannot figure out why i am still seeing a letterbox format. My HD TV is a 16x9 aspect and is set to wide mode. But after hooking up the A2 last night and popping in the HD version of The 300 i am still seeing the black bars at top and bottom.

Can anyone tell me why this is? I figured that at this point with the hardware i have my dvds would fill the whole screen. Any help appreciated.



Bounded In a Nutshell
Senior HTF Member
Jun 20, 2000
A Mile High
Real Name
16:9 TVs have roughly a 1.78:1 image ratio. Widescreen movies typically are either 1.85:1 or 2.35:1. There are MANY other ratios, but those are thw two most common, and to make things simple, I'll just point out those two. When you play a 1.85:1 movie, there are actually very small black bars, but the overscan of your tv will usually cover them up. 2.35:1 movies are considerably wider than your tv and therefore still have black bars, though they are much smaller than on a 4:3 TV.

You also want to make sure your DVD player is set up for a 16:9 display.

BTW, your TV should probably be set to "Normal" not "Wide". There is no established terminology for those settings, but you want to set whichever one does NOT alter the image.

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
May 22, 1999
The DVD player has a setting for 4:3 or 16:9. Make sure you set that.

I know about the Spousal Acceptance Factor (SAF). I will say - of all my HT toys, a DVR is the one thing she loves. I have to give up the remote, but it's worth it.

One thing that might help: Get a new HD movie and invite friends over for a movie night. Make it casual, pot-luck or pizza. The equipment will be a lot more accepted if it can be used to socialize.

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Latest member
Recent bookmarks