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Widescreen's at WalMart....? (1 Viewer)

Scott Bourden

Second Unit
Aug 29, 2001
Today after work I was dropping into the local mall to meet a friend, and went past WalMart. Apparently they carry a very slim assortment of Wide screen's now (first one's I have ever seen them carry over a 32" television before)....
None the less, on to the point of the story. They had a Samsung 16:9 high-def compatible projection tv, retailing for about 3 grand I believe (CAD).... And hooked up to this $3000 television.... Was a $119.99 (CAD as well) Apex player...
It was running through "The Mummy".... And what did I notice after looking at it for a couple minutes? THey were running the Mummy in 4:3 with a stretch, on a 16:9 television.... This is supposed to be their big "fancy" demo, and they are stretching the 4:3 material, instead of just using a 16:9, which they did have in stock and carry?!
And when I met my friend and told him, he said that for the three days prior, including the entire night while closed, they had the main menu screen of episode 1 playing... Just sitting there, for over three days, on that single menu screen, and not once did he see a DVD screen saver or the like come on.... Talk about potential burn in!
None the less, this just bothered me, and I wanted to tell somebody who would actually care (maybe...) :)


Senior HTF Member
Nov 13, 2000
the walmart here has carried RCA projection TVs for awhile now, I've never bothered to stop and look to see what they were doing with them. The thought of buying a tv from walmart makes me shudder


Nov 30, 2001
I was at K-Mart a couple weeks ago, and they had the menu of TPM going non-stop, though it wasn't on a widescreen TV. I was looking at the DVDs, and the sound from the menu on the disc got annoying while I was looking. Felt like shutting it off, but couldn't.

Bill Catherall

Aug 1, 1997
This is supposed to be their big "fancy" demo...
This is the most annoying thing. I've never seen a widescreen TV setup properly in any store. Even Circuit City and Best Buy. (Well...high-end shops usually have them right. ;) But most people don't visit those stores.)
This is why the #1 complaint I hear about widescreen TVs is "the picture is all stretched out."
I was in Costco a few weeks ago and saw a widescreen TV showing a widescreen movie (Atlantis) but the DVD player was setup in 4:3 Letterbox mode. So the movie was really "wide"screen. I told the sales guy there that his DVD player was set up wrong...the picture was all stretched out (he approached me so I brought it up). He didn't have a clue what I was talking about so I tried to explain it to him. When he continued to act stupified I just asked for the DVD player remote and told him I'd fix it for him. Well, he couldn't produce a remote so I just went away. When I went back a few days later things were still wrong, but this time there was a remote sitting on top of the DVD player. So I just grabbed the remote, made the proper changes, and walked away feeling much better. :D

David Susilo

May 8, 1999
HD roll out is taking so long is not only because of the above mentioned problems, but mostly due to the pricey TV sets and the lack of smaller screen HDTV people can easily put in their bedrooms.

How many more buyers you can get if 24" and 28" HDTV sets are available? the answer will be much-much more. I, for one, will buy three more sets (one for each bedroom) if 24" 16:9 TVs are available in Canada. 32" 16:9 direct view is taking much too much space in all three bedrooms in my house. Same goes to my parent's house. They are still waiting for 28" 16:9 TVs to emerge in Canada for two of their rooms.

There you go. Five more HDTVs just from 2 families. Don't get me started on every single one working in my studio who are waiting for 28" 16:9 TV to emerge.


Senior HTF Member
May 7, 1999
Yep I remember the Sansung TV. The Newmarket Store had one playing back Harry Potter ... WIDESCREEN .. but with the crappy RCA cables and the lowest DVD player they had.
What's wrong, no Progressive scan TVs! Oh wait .. J6P:)
I only bought tennis balls.

Steve Deacon

Stunt Coordinator
Sep 15, 2000
Although widescreen TVs are common here in the UK, the stores still seem to be just as guilty of displaying them incorrectly as in the US. Most of them will be displaying a broadcast 4:3 feed, but with the TV set to stretch, resulting in people with horrible potato-shaped heads.

I've often wanted to ask them why they do it, but I realised there'd be no point.

It doesn't seem to put people off of buying them though, which makes me wonder how many use them like that when they get them home. If it's 4:3, leave it 4:3 I say.


Supporting Actor
Oct 25, 2000
but with the crappy RCA cables and the lowest DVD player they had.
I saw this recently at Sam's Club. They have on display the new $3,200 40" Sony WEGA connected to a $98 Daewoo DVD player with cheapo RCA cables.

They also had a plasma set for about $7,000 (I forget the brand). They had Shrek playing on DVD but the Contrast, Color, Brightness, you name it, were so far off it made the display look like crap.

Andrew Pratt

Senior HTF Member
Dec 8, 1998
I have fixed a number of widescreen sets in future shop stores etc..bugs me to no end that they're not set up right. The last one I changed the sale drone was standing near by and he came over asking what I was doing so I explained that the their TV was displaying a stretched 4:3 image...his answer was that he's spent a hour that morning messing with the TV trying to get it right...he never thought to set the DVD player's setup menu to indicate that it was connected to a widescreen TV...never mind trying a progressive scan DVD player...

Todd H

Go Dawgs!
Senior HTF Member
May 27, 1999
Real Name
I thought I was the only one that corrected widescreen sets in stores that are displaying material incorrectly? If I ever go to a big chain store like Best Buy or Circuit City, the sets there are always set up wrong. And it's usually a 4x3 image stretched. I just ask one of the drones if I can fool with the set a bit, maybe try a different DVD. Most of the time they let me.


Second Unit
Feb 12, 2002
Real Name
Jeanette Howard
This is the most annoying thing. I've never seen a widescreen TV setup properly in any store. Even Circuit City and Best Buy.
No, Todd, you're not alone. I'm ALWAYS fixing the widescreen displays, too, especially in Circuit City. In fact, they have a Hitachi widescreen that - no matter how many times I correct the thing - always is on the stretch mode each time I walk in. Makes me wonder if an "anti-widescreen" fanatic is going around "corrupting" the decent sets or is this a case of untrained salespeople.
"Annoying" is right. :angry:

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