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How to get HD to show SD

I'm a Reliable Contributor

Hey guys, I have a friend who is using an 8300HD box on a much older 32inch CRT tube tv.  Tv is so old, it doesn't have component, highest quality input is S-Video.  Now, although this is an old skool tv, it still shows great, and my friend doesn't want to give it up until it dies (they don't make'em like this any more - tv is more than 12 years old and still running strong).


Box is connected to TV via s-video cable and L & R audio cables.  Anyways, my question is, a lot of the channels - which are now HD - are showing up in letterbox format, with borders on sides, as well as top/bottom.  I've played around in the HD wizard selecting and de-selecting certain formats, all of which don't seem to change anything.


I want to know if there is a way to make the box display the same as a regular SD box, where all channels show full screen, at a lower resolution?  I know this is counter-intuitive... but its a single case situation!




***Edited labels***


Re: How to get HD to show SD

I'm a Regular

There should only be bars on the top and bottom. Try entering settings. Make sure everything except 480 is disabled.

Re: How to get HD to show SD

problem is they want it with NOT the bars..

I am trying to remember on the 8300, does it have a coax out?  That would likely do it.  Or try the composite (single rca) video rather than the S video.

Re: How to get HD to show SD

There is no way to guarantee there will be no black bars on the screen, due to the way the box works.

Re: How to get HD to show SD

I'm a Trusted Advisor
Hello Tmothy12

He is right. There is no guarantee there will be no black bars. I have noticed this my self as well.

Re: How to get HD to show SD

I'm a Reliable Contributor

Thats what I was beginning to think.... I've tried with just coax out as well, and selecting 480i standard only, as well as combinations of other settings... same deal though. Most channels get bars... I guess its just the way the box is decoding the signal - since its always recieving an HD signal, thats what it wants to display.


Thanks anyways guys.

Re: How to get HD to show SD

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
no way around it as far as i know, as the box AUTOMATICALLY DOWNCONVERTS the 16x9 signal to a 4x3 output, so this means the box is ADDING the black bars on the top and bottom of all the output from the downconverter, try watching a 4x3 channel, so any channel below 460 and see if they show up normal on your 4x3 SDTV, if it works, try not to tune into the HD channels

Re: How to get HD to show SD

I'm a Senior Advisor
The problem is with the broadcasting signal.

HD is filmed and sent in 16x9 aspect ratio. In order to see it on a 4x3 tv, you have to either

1. Letterbox it (black bars on top and bottom) so you can see the entire picture

2.Pan and Scan.....meaning compress the picture into the 4x3 causing picture distortion

3. Zoom in on the picture, losing significant portions of the picture off frame.

The box has no 'pan and scan' setting. Some 4x3 HD tvs have a pan and scan setting, so check your tv settings.

Otherwise, you can zoom in on the picture using the box's zoom setting, if you don't mind losing portions of the hd picture.

The best solution, of course, is to tell your friend to either a) buy a new tv or b)stop wasting his money on hd programming when he doesn't have the equipment to watch it on.

Re: How to get HD to show SD

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
As far as I know, you can still watch 4:3 standard definition channels with that box, and it "can" show up just fine, mind you, more and more 4:3 programming contains black bars on the top and bottom already because it was downconverted from an HD source ALREADY.

so like myself and lurker mentioned, this is normal what you are experiencing.

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