DTV display area on 4:3 Sony?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by carlton h, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. carlton h

    carlton h Auditioning

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    I matched a Hughes Platinum DirecTV receiver with my 42" Sony Wega and an antenna (fed through the Hughes). The antenna gives me good local, digital reception on several channels. The PQ is great The problem is that much of the local TV signal is digital but not HD or widescreen. The Sony shows this 4:3 digital signal in the widescreen format resulting in letter boxing on the sides as well as the top and bottom. It's a 4:3 picture but does not use all of the 4:3 display area. True HD and widescreen looks like you would expect - letter box areas at the top and bottom only. Is this normal? Is this a problem with the Hughes Receiver?
     
  2. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    It sounds like the signal is being sent this way--not a receibver "problem." I don't have DirecTV, but maybe someone else can confirm this.
     
  3. carlton h

    carlton h Auditioning

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    It's only a problem for the local digital broadcasts. I receive these signals with the antenna and they go through the Hughes receiver and on to the digital inputs (component) on the TV.
     
  4. carlton h

    carlton h Auditioning

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    OK, since I talk to myself anyway, I might as well do it online. It turns out the display "problem" is normal. The Hughes HDTV receiver, and all HDTV recievers according to Hughes, see a 1080i signal as 16:9. So, this 1080i signal is shown on the 4:3 TV as letterboxed with black bands above and below the picture. The "problem" is that much of network HDTV, especially on the Atlanta CBS affiliate, is 4:3 not 16:9. When the Hughes shows this 4:3 1080i signal in 16:9 format, there are black bands on all 4 sides of the picture.

    There are a couple of solutions. I can stretch the picture to fill the 16:9 frame. This is not very satisfactory to me. The other solution is to use a 480i signal. The Hughes takes the digital signal and allows a 480i output on a 4:3 format. This gives a digital, but not High Defintion picture. It fills the entire display area of the 42" Sony. I don't know if it's the Sony or the nature of the signal, but it is really hard to tell the difference between the two digital signals. They are so close that I much prefer the 480i on the full 4:3 screen rather than a reduced 4:3 at 1080i (although the 16:9 1080i still looks the best and sounds the best bc of Dolby Digital).
    My only question is, does anybody know of an HD receiver that will show a 1080i 4:3 image on the full screen of a 4:3 television?
     
  5. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    carlton h,

    You might have better luck posting your question on the Audio/Video Sources board, since it doesn't seem to be a display issue so much as a source issue.

    Jan
     
  6. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    HDTV is 16:9. If you have a 4:3 picture, then it isn't HDTV.
     
  7. carlton h

    carlton h Auditioning

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    Thanks Chris, you must be right. I just get confused because the digital picture (480i I presume) sometimes looks so good. Yesterday, for example, I watched the Georgia-Auburn game (go dawgs!) in HD widescreen. Whenever CBS cut to studio shots for updates, though, the screen went 4:3 with no apparent loss of PQ. On the other hand, because it was raining here in Atlanta, sometimes my signal would weaken and the game would become 4:3 with a noticeable loss in picture and sound quality even though the signal was still digital. I am new to HD and still trying to figure it out. One thing I do know now, watching football on a big TV in HD is an other worldy expeience.
     

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