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using a Widescreen TV on Digital cable

01-24-2005, 12:46 AM
i got charter digital cable and hdtv is not yet avaliable so i was thinking of just getting an HDTV monitor. but what i was wondering is if i get a widescreen will my digital cable transmit widescreen or will it leave letterboxes on the sides or will it distort the image.

i notice on some channels like sci-fi and some otherones that alot of movies and shows on my regular tv have the black boxes on top and bottom not as big as a dvd would have but they are still there and then some channels the movies and shows fill up whole screen.

i am just want to know if digital cable will see i have a widescreen and use the origial widescreen images or will it distort it and if it does distort it will it look bad.

01-24-2005, 08:09 PM
The way you view/display the SD 4:3 programming, regardless of whether it is digital or analogue, will be determined by your picture menu selection. I have a Toshiba 34hf84 and although I have Comcast HD, also watch a lot of SD programming. The choices I have are 'Native' = picture shown in original aspect ratio with bars at the sides (grey bars on Toshibas presumably to minimize screen burn in). 'Theatre Wide 1' = trims the top and bottom very slightly, leaves the centre 80% almost unstretched, and stretches the edges to fill the screen - this is how I normally watch 4:3. 'Theatre Wide 2' which is designed for watching letterboxed 4:3 programming - it zooms in so that the picture pretty well fills the 16:9 screen and works well as there is no distortion. 'Theatre Wide 3' is similar to 2 but allows display of subtitles that are in the bottom black bars. 'Full' which evenly stretches a 4:3 programme to fill the screen so that everything looks short and fat - this setting is for anamorphic (enhanced for widescreen) DVDs for which you also have to have the DVD player set to 16:9.
Hope this helps.

01-24-2005, 11:46 PM
I'll assume you have a digital cable set-top box. Check the OSD settings menu for that box and see if it has an aspect ratio toggle for 4:3 and 16:9 TVs. If it does then you'll benefit from getting a widescreen TV and watching SD programs that are being broadcast in LB (letterbox) format. You should be able to see the LB designation for certain programs listed on your guide. Now if your HDTV has image modes similar to the previous poster's descriptions, then you have the choice of modifying the screen when you're watching 4:3 SD programs. Finally, be aware that some HDTV monitors don't display SD images very well no matter what image mode you choose. Make sure your very happy with the quality of SD images if you're looking at a showroom demo unit. Even though you're buying in anticipation of Charter adding HD programming, you should make sure you're going to enjoy the SD programs too.

01-27-2005, 08:02 PM
i have a scientific atlanta 8000 dvr and i cant find anything on there for the picture formats or any of that where do i find it is there a special way to get into the settings or menus.

01-28-2005, 01:03 AM
If provided, it's usually located in the OSD menus which shouldn't be that difficult to locate. If you have the manual, you can quickly confirm if this DVR unit has the features.

01-28-2005, 04:34 PM
I have a Scientific Atlanta 8300 but I think the protacol is the same. Want to find out? Press "settings" button on remote twice. This will bring you into service menu. Scroll down to "Set picture format" If you set it for fixed you will be able to go to "settings" and choose between formats (480i, 1080I, etc.). If you set it for pass through one or two it seems to drop 4.3 setting. At any rate, you will not be able to choose format. I ser mine to fixed and choose accordingly