SD image stretched in HD

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Randy Brist, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. Randy Brist

    Randy Brist Agent

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    This has probably been answered before, but I couldn't find a reference to my specific problem when I searched.

    I have a Sony KV34XBR910 and have a HD cable box hooked to it. On the ABC and CBS channels when the local affiliates are feeding standard def programming (local news, etc.), the images are automatically stretched to 16 X 9. I cannot control the image size using the zoom features of the TV-just like I can't when I am getting a true HD signal. When I get the network programming, SD programming is automatically set to a 4X3 aspect ratio with the side bars.

    Are the affiliates stretching their SD stuff to fill the screen? Anyone else experience this? I live north of Indianapolis and have Insight Communications cable.

    RandyB
     
  2. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Your cable box might have an adjustment to view it in its proper aspect ratio. I have the scientific atlanta 4200hd and it has that specific feature. Which box do you have ?
     
  3. Randy Brist

    Randy Brist Agent

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    It's the Motorola DCT5100. The setup menu is limited to only a couple of options. The box is currently only passing the cable company's HD channels- I use another box for all the other channels.

    In setup, here are my current settings: (and other options avail.)

    TV TYPE 16X9 (4X3, 4X3 Letterbox)
    YPbPr Output 1080i (480i, 480p, 720p)
    4X3 Override 480i (off, 480p)

    I couldn't check if any of the settings made a difference because there's network programming currently being shown and it is always either HD (full screen 16X9) or 4X3 SD with side bars.

    RandyB
     
  4. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    If you use the 1080i option you should be able to stretch everything that comes through. On my set I've noticed that If I'm using 720p I'm unable to stretch anything.
     
  5. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    I think your locals may be stretching the feed just like ESPN does with SD material on its HD channel. I also get Comcast SportsNet's HD channel and they stretch all their SD too. My network HD channels (I only get ABC and NBC) both broadcast SD material in 4:3 with black bars on the left and right regardless of whether it is a local broadcast or national network feed. Obviously HD material is 16:9.

    Note: I advise against watching any 4:3 feeds with the black bars included in the signal. These bars can cause burn-in on a 16:9 set. I don't care what anyone says about proper calibration...it can and does happen...My TV is proof. If you want to watch the digital channel's 4:3 feed please set the cable box to one of the 4:3 modes (not sure which). You want the mode that will "chop off" the black bars and allow your TV to replace them with Gray bars that are safer to watch.
     
  6. Randy Brist

    Randy Brist Agent

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    I switch back to the non-HD cable box to watch the 4X3 feeds. I may try emailing someone at the local affiliates to ask about the HD signal. It bugs me that they stretch their SD images because they look out of whack compared to the stretching my set can do with an SD image on the non-HD channels. Anthony said I should be able to stretch anything that comes through using the 1080i option, but that's not the case. At least I haven't figured out the combo. Everything else (network HD feeds and SD feeds) behave like they are supposed to. Maybe the local affiliates don't like the idea of using up just a portion of the screen so they stretch their SD feeds to "match" the prime time stuff from the networks. Of course it doesn't match- too stretched out.

    RandyB
     
  7. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    actually, anthony has it backwards. Most RPTV's "lock" into full mode when they detect a 1080i signal being fed to them. That means you can not alter the display mode to zoom, natural or any of the other modes. According to the manual for your TV (Check page 53)...in the little gray box at the top...

    "When viewing Hi-definition programs in 720p/1080i, it is not possible to change between wide screen modes."
     
  8. Randy Brist

    Randy Brist Agent

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    Thanks for the clarification Tim. I thought that was the case but the manual does indeed state that. While I hadn't seen that page yet- I remember reading here in the forum that was the case. Now, if I can find out why the local affiliates are stretching their SD video feed.

    RandyB
     
  9. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Tim and Randy..this is funny, My TV does the opposite, when in 720p it locks into full mode, when I use the 1080i I have different options called HD Panarama,Cinema Zoom and Full. I have a JVC 48wp74. (The 720p is the only signal I can not alter...I can do 480i/p with no problem also).
     
  10. Randy Brist

    Randy Brist Agent

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    Anthony,

    Your experience mirrors what I read in the DCT5100 manual. It mentions that SOME TV's can manipulate an HD image and others cannot. Obviously mine cannot. I did not consider this when I bought it. When a stretched SD program is on, I switch back to regular "digital" cable and watch it with Sony's Wide Zoom stretch mode. There is less distortion than in the HD stretched image- even though the SD image on the HD channel is much sharper than it is through regular cable...I currently am using 2 cable boxes- one for the HD channels and another for everything else. Insight Communications here has not moved everything to one box yet.

    RandyB
     
  11. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Randy, my brother was in the same situation you're in, what he did was use one box and when viewing non-hd he would switch to his s-video input on his TV and component for HD.
     

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