"Windowboxing" - are the bars on the sides ALWAYS gray?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Rock, Aug 19, 2001.

  1. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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    I took my wife to Sound Advice (one of the few HT stores in our area) and I showed her a selection of HD-capable direct-view sets.
    Her attention was immediately drawn to the Sony 34" 16:9 XBR set - it was running the HDTV demo - and she said she really likes it (but of course, it costs too much).
    I told her that on standard cable programming, the 4:3 image would be "windowboxed", and we'd see bars on the sides. One of the 16:9 sets there had an example of this, but she hated it, because the bars were gray. Truthfully, I didn't like it either.
    Do those windowbox bars always have to be gray? Do any sets allow you to set that to black? I think I remember seeing a Loewe 30" widescreen set there running a 4:3 demo, and THOSE bars were black, but that set was also VERY pricey. Did I remember this correctly? [​IMG]
    If we can't get black bars on the sides (rather than gray), she won't even consider a 16:9 set, since most of the TV we watch (I'm not referring to DVD's) is 4:3 material. We'd probably go for the 36" 4:3 XBR set by Sony or another similar.
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    "You advance yourself only by my good graces."
     
  2. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    I changed the gray side bars to black on my Pioneer Elite 610 RPTV. You have to enter service mode to do it though. There are settings for the side panel contrast and brightness which I set to result in all black.
    Even without this adjustment some DVD players like my Panasonic RP91 will supply their own black side bars for 4:3 material.
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  3. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    I have the Sony 57" 16:9 RPTV, and I don't know if you can change the colors to black, but I don't care since I watch everything on cable in either full or zoomed. Once you get used to it the slight distortion isn't really noticeable.
    Brian
     
  4. Howard_A

    Howard_A Stunt Coordinator

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    The bars are grey on my Toshiba. I assumed it was the best choice to avoid burn-in. Otherwise, I have no idea why they wouldn't choose black.
     
  5. Dave Gogebic

    Dave Gogebic Extra

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    My understanding is that they use Gray to exercise the pixels so you don't end up with CRT Burn in. I don't like the Gray bars either but it is probably better than having a burn in problem.
     

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