HDTV formatting question

Discussion in 'Displays' started by David Sorenson, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. David Sorenson

    David Sorenson Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm a n00b to HDTV as I've owned a HDTV capable set for a year now but have never fed it anything more than a standard 480i signal. Today Comcast is coming over to install their HDTV converter which will give me the standard network channels in HD. I have a 4:3 TV and know that true HD should be in 16:9. What will I see when I get this converter hooked up? Will I see signal originally filmed at 4:3 sent at 16:9, causing my to have black bars on all 4 sides?
     
  2. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Stunt Coordinator

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    I am not familiar with that specific converter box, but for most of the HD boxes that are available, you will be able to tell the box whether your TV is 4:3 or 16:9. When the box receives a 4:3 signal, you are usually able to "zoom" it so that it will fill the whole TV. Again, I don't know if your converter box will specifically be able to do this. My DTC-100 can.

    SMK
     
  3. David Sorenson

    David Sorenson Stunt Coordinator

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    The box is a motorolla box.. I believe it's the 5100. It does have the ability to set the type of TV but the 3 settings have no effect on the settings. The unit appears to not have the ability to zoom. Since the input signal into my Sony 32HS600 automatically puts the TV in enhanced 16:9 mode on all settings there appears to be no way to view the picture without all 4 black bars.
     
  4. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    I'm not sure where you live, but the settings under the menu for the DCT5100 will vary depending on your area. In Philly, Comcast has different versions of software and firmware on the box than people in other parts of the country. Some versions will have "TV type" "YPbPr Output" and "4:3" override. On my 5100 the options are Format ["letterbox" "pan and scan" and "cropped"] and output [480i,480p,720p,1080i].

    If you have the first menu, TV Type should be set to "4:3 letterbox" or "4:3 Pan and Scan". 4:3 letterbox will put a 16:9 picture with black bars at the top and bottom (assuming it is a 16:9 broadcast). 4:3 Pan and scan will chop the left and right sides of the 16:9 picture and fill your 4:3 screen with the rest.

    On my 5100 with my 16:9 TV I get the second display choices. Letterbox outputs 16:9 (assuming that is the program format), so on a 4:3 TV I can only guess you'll probably get bars at the top and bottom. Pan and scan chops the left and right sides off of the widescreen image. I assume that is the setting you would use to fill your 4:3 screen. I have no idea what "cropped" does.

    The output type will depend on your TV. Mine handles 480i or 480p and 1080i. I typically leave it at 1080i and let my TV upconvert anything else.

    EDIT: The settings should definitely affect the display. Are you sure you are adjusting them properly? If your TV locks on FULL mode with component input, you may want to use S-video for your non HD viewing.

    What choices do you see in the sevice menu??
     
  5. Owen W

    Owen W Auditioning

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    As sort of a followup question, I have a tv that can do 16x9 anamorphic for 480i material (dvds, etc), and I want to be able to view hdtv material downconverted to 480i in anamorphic mode. I've gone in to the user settings screen on my DCT5100 and set my tv type to 16:9, but all of the hdtv channels are still letterboxed. If I set tv type to pan n scan, that works, and letterboxed is still letterboxed. But I can't get the box to do proper 16:9. Any ideas? Might this be a firmware thing? I'm in Boston with Comcast.
     

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