Question on HDTV and TV aspect ratios

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Patrick_D, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. Patrick_D

    Patrick_D Auditioning

    Jan 25, 2004
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    I currently have an HD-ready set (Toshiba 50H81) with digital cable, and now that HD is in my area (Charter Cable in Minneapolis) I'm thinking about upgrading. But I can't think of how the aspect ratios on my set are going to work.

    Right now I watch TV in the Theater Wide 1 mode for regular 4:3 programming and in the Full mode for 16:9 DVD's, but what happens when I get HDTV? Would I have to keep switching the ratios on my set when I move between HD programming or standard programming?
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Apr 15, 1999
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    You won't have to do anything. When your set is receiving an HD signal, either 1080i or 720p it will lock into full mode, the correct one for HD broadcasts which are by definition 16/9.

    Keep in mind that an HD channel does not necessarily broadcast HD material 24/7. A few like HDNet, INHD, Discovery HD do, but most don't.

    When an HD channel is not showing HD originated material it upconverts the signal to 1080i or 720p and displays the 4/3 image in the center placing black bars on the sides. This is seen by the tv as an HD signal, so it will still lock into full mode.

    Depending on the box your cable system uses, it may upconvert non-hd signals to 1080i and deliver that to the set, in which case the aspect ratio control is done by the box since the set's is locked out. Some boxes can be configured to pass non HD channels at their native scanrate allowing you to use the aspect ratio controls on your set. All of this varies depending on which box the cable system is using.
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Aug 19, 2002
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    This is true for most channels, but it is really up to the broadcaster. ESPN-HD upconverts and stretches, causing the picture to look like a 4:3 displayed as "Full". Some channels use grey bars instead of black. NESN broadcasts the same as ESPN, stretched.
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Dec 16, 1998
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    In addition to the above, when you switch your TV back to another input mode from viewing an HDTV signal, it should also return to whichever viewing mode you were using, such as TheaterWide 1. At least, my Toshiba 56H80 works this way.

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