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Newbie question on HD

uc113
11-14-2009, 10:16 PM
I just got HD with Direct TV. My question is why do most of my HD channels fill my TV, 16:9, but Bravo HD has the black bars on either side of my screen? Goodfellas was on tonight and besides a very good picture it seemed set up for a TV that was 4:3. Almost every other HD channel, if not all fill up my TV screen. I thought HD was in 16:9 aspect ratio. I am new to all of this so any help will be appreciated and I thank you in advance.

texasbrit
11-14-2009, 11:01 PM
I just got HD with Direct TV. My question is why do most of my HD channels fill my TV, 16:9, but Bravo HD has the black bars on either side of my screen? Goodfellas was on tonight and besides a very good picture it seemed set up for a TV that was 4:3. Almost every other HD channel, if not all fill up my TV screen. I thought HD was in 16:9 aspect ratio. I am new to all of this so any help will be appreciated and I thank you in advance.
Even though an HD channel is 16:9 that does not mean it is broadcasting 16:9 material. Many programs are still being produced in SD 4:3, and all the old programming is in 4:3 also. You can't magically make all this programming 16:9. So the HD channel when it is broadcasting 4:3 SD material adds sidebars and then upconverts it to HD resolution. It isn't real HD but it is very good quality SD. If most HD channels only showed HD programming they would be dark a lot of the time.

uc113
11-15-2009, 08:30 AM
Thank you for the information. I am new to all the HD stuff and am learning as I go along.

MaxxPower
11-20-2009, 05:31 PM
You can't magically make all this programming 16:9.

Several channels do. They will "stretch" SD 4:3 material to the 16:9 ratio and ruin the show (i.e. - TNT, A&E, etc.). You can also stretch SD channels to the 16:9 ratio, again, ruining the show. When I got my first HD DVR installed the installer set it to stretch all the channels, I asked him if he was insane!

texasbrit
11-20-2009, 10:29 PM
Several channels do. They will "stretch" SD 4:3 material to the 16:9 ratio and ruin the show (i.e. - TNT, A&E, etc.). You can also stretch SD channels to the 16:9 ratio, again, ruining the show. When I got my first HD DVR installed the installer set it to stretch all the channels, I asked him if he was insane!

Yes, some channels stretch the picture to fill the screen (known as "stretch-o-vision!) which as you say is just a mess. What I meant was that if the material was produced in 4:3, the channel can't magically come up with a real 16:9 version.

CASteel
12-15-2009, 03:13 PM
You should be able to set the HD receiver's screen setting to Native mode. This will send the data to your screen as in the resolution it is broadcast in. This way if it is sent 16:9 you will get 16:9, if it is sent 4:3 then you will get 4:3. The results will be that that image won't be distorted at all but you will get pillar bars for the 4:3 image as it is more of a square format than the 16:9.

This is assuming that you TV is also set to actual screen size. If your TV is set to 16:9 then it may stretch the 4:3 signal. Same for if your TV is set to 4:3 then it may squish a 16:9 signal.

You have to have the TV and the HD box both set accordingly to get the best picture or the picture you like.

Hope this helps.