Question about 4:3 "digital" network broadcasts "black bars"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tim K, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

    Jul 7, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I have a Pioneer SD-533HD5 16:9 RPTV operating off of Comcast digital cable with a motorola HD decoder. If I put on one of the networks' digital station with 4:3 programming there are black bars "letterboxing" the sides of the picture. Conversely, when watching analog network 4:3 broadcasts, there are no black bars on the sides, thus in 4:3 mode my TV places gray bars on the sides.

    My question is, are the networks actually broadcasting the black bars with their 4:3 material? Is the cable company adding them? Is the cable box adding them?

    The reason I ask is b/c I have stopped watching any 4:3 digital broadcasts b/c it appears that the black bars are "burning" onto my screen (or as the case may be, they are NOT burning that portion of my screen).
  2. Michael St. Clair

    May 3, 1999
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    Sometimes the local station (or network) upconverts (and windowboxes) the 4:3 program.

    Sometimes the cable box does it.

    The real solution is:

    1) TV stations start broadcasting all 4:3 SDTV as 480p and stop upconverting to 1080i.

    2) Cable boxes that give us control over 480i/p to do with as we choose (pass through direct so our set can zoom/stretch if we wish, or upconvert if we wish).

    The latter is in the works. I don't know about the former.

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