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HD TV Question

Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
edited 4:16PM in Off Topic
Up until today we have had regular TV's, some larger than others but still "regular" by today's highly promoted digital standards.

I've held off wanting to buy any HD TV now that the standard screen shape is 'envelope' instead of the old shape because HD TV looked smaller, even with larger size corner-to-corner numbers. Apparently, I was right in my assessment.

But that's not all. It seems that the envelope screen makes everyone and everything appear shorter and fatter.

The Geek Squad guy who installed my very expensive Sony 60" TV today offered a half-hearted apology in behalf of the industry, saying that's all there is and we can't do anything about it.

I watched a little of Dancing With The Stars tonight and couldn't believe how short and chunky everyone looked.

Am I missing something here? Are we viewers supposed to accept this 'new technology' and not complain?

Or is it possible for me to adjust my TV to a realistic image?

Spring "Improved Technology Is Not Always A Good Thing" Chicken
Spring Texas USA


  • "Sparky""Sparky" Posts: 6,024
    You should be able to change the format on the TV to fill the screen.My satelite(Dish Network) has a format button on the remote to change it.Good luck Leroy :)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,873
    dont know what the setting is called but mine clips the sides so that my 65 inch wide looks like my old 50 inch box screen. there were settings to get it to fit the wide screen but it clipped the top and bottom cutting the top of peoples heads off or made them squatty like your seeing. mines settup to watch the hd channels formatted in wide view and clips the sides to look like my old box if it was formatted for the box. my 65 is just about the same size as my old 50 box top to bottom, i needed that height to see the hockey pucks ;)
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    your settings shouldn't squash the picture (an old format show, for ex.) and force-stretch it so that it meets the tops and sides... you want to maintain the same aspect ratio, which means old format shows will fill the HEIGHT of the new screen, with black fill left and right. programming in the same ratio as your screen should fill it without distortion.

    if the image is actually being distorted, i would imagine it is a settings issue that you can adjust (turn off/on).

    if the people are not actually distorted, but you 'feel' like it is odd, it is probably a result of not being used to it yet.

    hard to tell without seeing it
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,873
    that odd setting button that stretched it to fit the wide screen, or made everything huge to fit chopping off commentators foreheads was on the sets clicker, that clicker got put away after it was set up and i just use the cable clicker now. the one that clips foreheads takes the writing off the bottom of the screen so you lose the ability to read translations, that scifi logo etc, you need to turn all that off. what pisses me off most with this wide screen and hd is that its all related to what they send you on the line coming in, hidef watching nfl or nhl now is good but its much better during playoffs and that just shows they are holding back with their signals
  • As broadcast formats started switching from the old standard TV aspect ratio to the wide-screen ratio, we occasionally had problems on our old TV with everything getting squashed, so everyone looked too thin (it was always certain channels). But since we switched to a new TV, and an HD signal, I haven't noticed the opposite happening, like you have.

    It sounds to me like the Geek Squad guy didn't set up your TV properly. He'll probably blame it on your cable company. I'd call Best Buy and complain. Either there's something wrong with your TV (which the Geek Squak guy should have identified), or there's something screwwed up in the settings (which he should have corrected), or there's some mis-communication between your TV and your cable box (which if that's the case, would be a commonly occuring problem with your cable company, and any local Geek Squad should be very familiar with, and know how to fix). Don't settle for a half-done job. You could also call your cable company for their input, but you'll probably have to make 3 or 4 different calls to technical support before you get someone who knows what they're talking about, and let's be honest, that's what you paid the Geek Squad for, isn't it?

    I've got a co-worker who had a similar problem when he upgraded to HD. If he switched from an HD channel to an SD channel, the sound cut off, and he would have to turn off the TV, and then turn it back on for the sound to come back. The TV manufacturer blamed it on the cable company. The cable company blamed it on the TV. Finally, after several calls, he got a tech support guy from the cable company who knew what he was doing. Turned out there was a known problem between that specific cable provider, and that specific model of TV. Both the TV and the cable box settings needed to be adjusted to compensate, but once that was done, it worked fine.

    You paid a ton of money for that TV, and for that "expert at-home installation". What you're experiencing is not normal or acceptable. When you call the Geek Squad, I'd ask for the manager, and let him know the run-around the technician tried to give you about it being an industry problem, and nothing they can do about it. You paid Best Buy for a working TV, and the Geek Squad guy left your house without giving you an acceptable solution.

    Have you upgraded your cable (or dish, or whatever) service to HD?

    Good luck to you, Leroy. Don't let THE MAN, or the pimply-faced teenager, whichever the case may be, pull the wool over your eyes. :silly:
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Boilermaker Ben wrote:

    Have you upgraded your cable (or dish, or whatever) service to HD?

    I think this is the head of the nail being struck -- are you certain the input is in HD and not standard analog signal?
  • I would think that if you are watching a true HD channel on a true HD TV with a true HD cable box, the picture should like fine (actually, it should look more than fine - it should look outstanding)!!

    Most channels nowadays have a standard version of the channel, as well as an HD equivalent.

    Depending on your cable provider, the value of the channel #s from standard to HD may be nowhere near one another.

    For example, our provider has the 3 networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) as very low numbers for their standard channels (I think it's like 2, 3, 4, for instance). However, the HD equivalent of those same channels is something like 1122, 1123, 1124 on the cable guide).

    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,318
    Hi Leroy:

    If the local geek squad guy is apologizing for the quality (or lack thereof) of HD - it's time to get someone else to come over to your house and identify / fix the problem. HD can be amazing!

    The problem you're referring to sounds like a 4:3 signal that's being stretched to fit your 16:9 screen. This could be a setting on your TV, a setting on your your cable box, a setting on your remote controls, etc. If this truly is the cause of your problem, the geek squad should be able to identify it and correct it within minutes.

    You haven't said whether you have cable or satellite... I'm going to assume cable.

    Here's a couple of other things to think about:
    1) Did you have your local service provider upgrade your service to HD?
    BTW - you will still get SD channels and some HD channels.
    - not every signal you get will be HD.
    2) Did your service provider change any of the coaxial cable, splitters, and/or
    connectors? A lot of older cable / connectors / splitters will carry HD
    signals but you will notice an improvement if they're upgraded. I complained
    long enough that my cable company sent someone over (at no charge) just to
    shut me up.
    3) Did you get an HD cable box? You'll need one of these for HD.
    4) I assume that the video cable from your HD cable box goes directly to your TV.
    - is it RGB, HDMI, DVI? (I use HDMI)
    - If it's coax - replace it.
    5) I assume that your audio goes to your receiver. Make sure that you use a
    digital audio cable to make it sound great with your new B&W speakers!
    6) If you got a blue ray DVD player - make sure you have a high quality cable
    from your DVD player to your TV. Again, HDMI is a good choice.

    If you've had the settings on your TV, cable box, remotes adjusted and have addressed the above items, your SD and HD signals should look amazing.

    You should note that not every signal is meant to fill your 16:9 screen. Some are 4:3 appearing with black bars on each side, other signals appear with black bars on the top and bottom, others appear in a window on your screen with black on top/bottom/and sides and then others full the screen completely. Unfortunately, THIS is the nature of the beast. Or at least the nature of the signals that are being sent to you from the networks/your local service provider.

    You can make any image fit your screen but you could experience distorted images. (ie: short and fat, tall and thin, part of an image cut off, etc.) This appears to be what you're experiencing and it should be an easy fix.

    If not, shoot me an e-mail and I'll try and point you in the right direction.

  • Thanks guys. I'm slowly learning how to use this thing and I think it will be fine in the end.

    I played an old NASA music/video DVD in the Blu-ray today and it was perfect. I'll probably buy a Blu-ray music video soon to see how it works.

    Meanwhile, I played some serious music through the sound system and it was shaking the walls with pure music.

    I even logged into my home computer network and looked at some photos and playsed some music. That's pretty cool.

    By the way, the extra investment in programmable remote controls for both of us and having the tech program them to all devices was an unexpected expense but well worth it. I can do everything with one button.

    Spring "Press Here" Chicken
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