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Comcast HD channel displays

cb2367
11-26-2007, 03:45 PM
Hello, I am new to the forums and new to HD. I just recently got a Samsung LNT4166F. I've got the comcast 6412 HD box. Being new to HD, I don't know if my expectations may be too high, but there are few things that I am trying to figure out with the display. In my area, the HD channels start in the 400's. In particular, when I go to channel 433, I am seeing a 4:3 picture and have white borders on the left and right. Previously in place of these borders were blue borders that were labeled HD. I don't know what I changed on the TV to make it go from the blue border with writing to just a plain white border. This particular TV has several picture options which are: 4:3, 16:9, stretch, and just scan. 4:3 is obviously not what I want to see on a widescreen TV. I have the cable box set for 16:9 and the TV is on the same setting. If I make the image stretch, it does fill the screen, but then some of the image is cutoff. It is the equivalent of taking a widescreen movie for example, and using the zoom option to make the image fit the 4:3 screen. If I change the picture setting to just scan, there are several rows of visible pixels -- some color and some black and white. I don't know how to quite describe what this looks like. Isn't HD programming supposed to be in widescreen and not in the old 4:3 format? Also, why is it that some HD channels look very grainy and others are clear?

deadhead68
11-26-2007, 05:37 PM
Hello, I am new to the forums and new to HD. I just recently got a Samsung LNT4166F. I've got the comcast 6412 HD box. Being new to HD, I don't know if my expectations may be too high, but there are few things that I am trying to figure out with the display. In my area, the HD channels start in the 400's. In particular, when I go to channel 433, I am seeing a 4:3 picture and have white borders on the left and right. Previously in place of these borders were blue borders that were labeled HD. I don't know what I changed on the TV to make it go from the blue border with writing to just a plain white border. This particular TV has several picture options which are: 4:3, 16:9, stretch, and just scan. 4:3 is obviously not what I want to see on a widescreen TV. I have the cable box set for 16:9 and the TV is on the same setting. If I make the image stretch, it does fill the screen, but then some of the image is cutoff. It is the equivalent of taking a widescreen movie for example, and using the zoom option to make the image fit the 4:3 screen. If I change the picture setting to just scan, there are several rows of visible pixels -- some color and some black and white. I don't know how to quite describe what this looks like. Isn't HD programming supposed to be in widescreen and not in the old 4:3 format? Also, why is it that some HD channels look very grainy and others are clear?

Not all channels broadcast in HD all the time. What station were you watching that had the bars on the side? I have found that some HD stations do have better PQ than others. A little more detail would help. It sounds like you have your STB set up correctly.

DeadHead68

ComcastGuy
11-26-2007, 05:39 PM
Follow up question: what connection are you using from the box to the TV?

cb2367
11-26-2007, 07:42 PM
The first channel in which I noticed the borders on the side was NBC. Like I mentioned, I don't know what I did to change it from the blue border to the white, but then I also noticed that ESPN-HD was in the same format. It had a 4:3 appearance and there were ESPN-HD logos on both sides of the picture. After having watched various channels for a while, I have found that just about all of the non-digital channels fill up the whole screen. It's only when I tune to an HD channel that the picture just doesn't look right. All the times that I have gone into an electronics store and they have a football game on TV, the game is always filling the whole screen and I would imagine that on the HD TVs they have on display that there would be some kind of an HD signal coming in. The cable from the box to the TV is an HDMI. I don't know if it makes any difference, but it's a monster HDMI 1080P with a 60HZ refresh (same as TV). I had a hard time finding the right size cable -- it was either too short (4ft) or too long (8-12ft). The one I have is 6ft. Additionally, I noticed that some HD channels have very poor picture quality, such as A&E. The A&E HD seems very grainy where as the regular version of the channel is better to look at.

deadhead68
11-26-2007, 10:17 PM
The first channel in which I noticed the borders on the side was NBC. Like I mentioned, I don't know what I did to change it from the blue border to the white, but then I also noticed that ESPN-HD was in the same format. It had a 4:3 appearance and there were ESPN-HD logos on both sides of the picture. After having watched various channels for a while, I have found that just about all of the non-digital channels fill up the whole screen. It's only when I tune to an HD channel that the picture just doesn't look right. All the times that I have gone into an electronics store and they have a football game on TV, the game is always filling the whole screen and I would imagine that on the HD TVs they have on display that there would be some kind of an HD signal coming in. The cable from the box to the TV is an HDMI. I don't know if it makes any difference, but it's a monster HDMI 1080P with a 60HZ refresh (same as TV). I had a hard time finding the right size cable -- it was either too short (4ft) or too long (8-12ft). The one I have is 6ft. Additionally, I noticed that some HD channels have very poor picture quality, such as A&E. The A&E HD seems very grainy where as the regular version of the channel is better to look at.

Okay, if you're watching ESPN-HD and you see the ESPN-HD logos on the side, that means that they are not airing a game/show in HD at that time. What were you watching on NBC when you saw the bars? A&E HD has a very limited amount of real HD content. They seem to stretch their SD to fill the screen. Which to me makes it look not as sharp and distorted. What model cable box do you have? When you watch Leno or a prime time show, do you have the bars?

DeadHead68

cb2367
11-26-2007, 11:31 PM
Well, the ESPN-HD channel seems to almost always have the logos on the side, but now I'm noticing though that in some instances, this will show for the first commercial after a program and then the remainder commercials won't have it. As far as NBC, I just realized that I mentioned that in error. I meant to say CBS, and at the time the TV was installed and turned on, the usual early afternoon programming was on. I was just flipping through the channels checking out the display. In the evening hours such as at 11 when the news is on, the ABC HD channel still has the borders on the side. Since it seems that they aren't going to go away, is there a way to change it back to the logos? Oddly, I actually liked the way it looked rather than just plain white borders. I will have to see what Leno looks like on HD.

It seems odd that regular programming fits the screen as well as most of the digital programming, but as far as the HD content, it doesn't always do that.

I wonder though if anything as far as picture quality and HD programming will improve once the change over takes place in Feb. 2009.

cb2367
11-28-2007, 05:39 PM
Just an update to my previous message, when watching a program such as Leno, the screen size appears in a box format that looks slightly bigger than the standard 4:3 size, and that is on NBC. The thing is though, the program right after Leno (Conan), fills the whole screen without any black bars on the side or any network logos on the side.

I have further learned that some of the HD channels on the Comcast cable system are not really HD at all, at least according to a tech that I spoke with. Apparently, some of the analog channels are pushed out as digital or HD channels, which I guess could explain why a HD channel has very poor reception whereas the same program on an analog channel looks better.

I guess that this is something I will get used to eventually.

deadhead68
11-28-2007, 06:50 PM
Just an update to my previous message, when watching a program such as Leno, the screen size appears in a box format that looks slightly bigger than the standard 4:3 size, and that is on NBC. The thing is though, the program right after Leno (Conan), fills the whole screen without any black bars on the side or any network logos on the side.

I have further learned that some of the HD channels on the Comcast cable system are not really HD at all, at least according to a tech that I spoke with. Apparently, some of the analog channels are pushed out as digital or HD channels, which I guess could explain why a HD channel has very poor reception whereas the same program on an analog channel looks better.

I guess that this is something I will get used to eventually.


No, there is something wrong with your setup. There is no way an analog channel will look better than an HD channel on an HDTV. Leno looks stunning on my TV with Comcast and it fills the entire screen. You need to check the settings in your cable box.

DeadHead68

cb2367
11-28-2007, 07:58 PM
Well, I have no idea what to check as far as the box. Prior to getting the TV I contacted Comcast to find out how to set the box for HD. I believe right now the box is set on 1080i.

The installers from circuity city didn't say anything about how the banner logos were being displayed on the side of the TV other than that indicated the station wasn't broadcasting in HD.

I even had a Comcast technician come out and I showed him several HD channels including ones where the display was in a box format. They played around with the box settings and then indicated that I could just simply stretch the image to make it fit the screen.

The image quality of Leno is fine except for the fact that it looks like its in 4:3 or slightly bigger. The TV image setting is on 16:9 but I can set it to stretch so it fills the screen, but some of the image will get cutoff. What else is there to check?

ryknoll3
11-28-2007, 10:49 PM
I'm watching Leno right now and it's in 4:3. That's because the writers are on strike and they are showing old re-runs that were probably not broadcast HD. The current stuff is widescreen. A lot of HD channels have shows that aren't in HD, so you get bars on the sides. Check for shows in the guide that say HD in the description. Take a look at those shows, and I'm sure you'll find that they are in widescreen format. I just went through my HD channels, and at least half of them are showing content in 4:3. Unfortunately, until everything is filmed in HD video and broadcast in widescreen format, you will run into the 4:3 format. Hope this is helpful.

kirkhayes
12-19-2007, 09:58 AM
So my girlfriend bought an LNT2642 Samsung. It's is a 720P 26 inch LCD TV.

So we hooked it up to the cable and everything looked great on the few free local hd channels, so she got excited and upgraded her comcast to HD. They gave us a box and we went home hooked it up and now the "hd channels" look like crap. Everything looked better without the comcast box and didn't cost any money!

Furthermore, the signal through the box will only display HD on the TV at a setting of 420I not the 720p setting. I also didn't even see an hdmi port on the comcast receiver.

The comcast receiver was originally setup at 1080i which of course wouldn't work with a 720P TV.

Any thoughts?

cb2367
12-19-2007, 10:52 AM
I'm guessing that when you went to Comcast and asked to upgrade to get the rest of the HD channels, that they gave you an HD box. If not, then ask Comcast to give you one. An HD box should have HDMI on it. The HD box I have is the 6412, but I'm not sure what Comcast uses in other areas for an HD box. The next thing you will want to do is change the settings on the box for how the image should be displayed. Turn the TV on but leave the box off and press the menu button on the front of the box. From there you can select 720P as the format. Hopefully that should work for you.

deadhead68
12-19-2007, 10:57 AM
So my girlfriend bought an LNT2642 Samsung. It's is a 720P 26 inch LCD TV.

So we hooked it up to the cable and everything looked great on the few free local hd channels, so she got excited and upgraded her comcast to HD. They gave us a box and we went home hooked it up and now the "hd channels" look like crap. Everything looked better without the comcast box and didn't cost any money!

Furthermore, the signal through the box will only display HD on the TV at a setting of 420I not the 720p setting. I also didn't even see an hdmi port on the comcast receiver.

The comcast receiver was originally setup at 1080i which of course wouldn't work with a 720P TV.

Any thoughts?

I have not checked the specs on your TV, but my 720p will accept a 1080i signal and deinterlace it to 720p. Which box from Comcast do you have?

DeadHead68

kirkhayes
12-19-2007, 02:06 PM
I'm guessing that when you went to Comcast and asked to upgrade to get the rest of the HD channels, that they gave you an HD box. If not, then ask Comcast to give you one. An HD box should have HDMI on it. The HD box I have is the 6412, but I'm not sure what Comcast uses in other areas for an HD box. The next thing you will want to do is change the settings on the box for how the image should be displayed. Turn the TV on but leave the box off and press the menu button on the front of the box. From there you can select 720P as the format. Hopefully that should work for you.

So I will check the model when I get home, but I did already use the menu feature on the comcast box to set it up. That is what I meant earlier when I said "...it only will work when set to 420I". I was referring to the comcast receiver output.

The TV is 720p and set to 16:9. When I tried the box at 720p it didn't work. The only time I was able to get the on-screen menu was on the 480 setting of the comcast receiver.