cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

4:3 program over a 16:9 transmission

myusername100
I plan to stick around

Greetings,

I got roped into this and now I’m reaching out to you.  We all have a modern day widescreen 16:9 TV.  We are viewing an older program filmed in 4:3 standard screen.  I don’t know exactly what is going on.  I believe the station – and not necessarily Rogers – is transmitting in 16:9 but is trying to send a 4:3 image over 16:9.  Example attached.  The end result is black bars on all 4 sides and we have a smaller picture sitting in the middle of the screen.   Is there anything that can be done to fix this?   On the TV I tried auto display and auto wide set to ‘on’ with no affect.   I manually set the wide setting to ‘zoom’ which works better, the picture fills up the vertical axis which is what we want, but when that same station plays another program or even a commercial  I in essence get a cropped picture.  In other words the setting to ‘zoom’ is a global setting for all programs on all stations which doesn’t help us.   To make things more complicated I have a different TV from the person I’m trying to help but we both have the Explorer 4290 hd box.   Can anything be done on the box itself?   I know some of you will look at my example screen and say “chch”?  They have a hd channel, why don’t you view the hd channel version?  Yes, that is the solution to the specific example I used, but my friend’s problem is on one of the multiculture channels that does not have an HD version.

Any options to try?  Ideally the station should be transmitting this program in 4:3 but that is not going to  happen.  They are not going to do anything simply because one customer calls to complain.  Is there a setting on the set-top box that will fix this?   As I mentioned earlier, on my TV, auto-wide and auto display had no effect.  Hypothetically, do newer televisions have a feature that could fix this?  Eg. An auto-wide that actually works, or an auto-zoom?

Cheers

 

*Added Labels*

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Re: 4:3 program over a 16:9 transmission

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

There is really nothing to be done "automatically" in this instance. The 4290 only has one HD output setting (like 1080i for example), so there's nothing to be done there.

 

Here's an FAQ on Black Bars and a link to Widescreen stretch modes at the bottom of the FAQ.

 

https://www.digitalhome.ca/threads/faq-black-bars-why-do-i-still-have-these.76089/

 

The "auto" settings on some TVs only worked if the STB (set top box) sent out "passthrough" signals for 480i and 1080i incoming signals, which the 4290 doesn't do.

 

A long time ago there were some (rare) TVs that actually detected the black bars (on the sides of 4:3 images), but since these black bars are mostly gone in this time of mostly HD programming, such TVs are no longer made and they didn't work that well anyway. I encountered these TVs during my Home Theatre Optimization travels years ago and the TV may detect the black bars but then fail to switch back to normal when HD programmes are shown.

 

Also, stretching or zooming causes distortion or poor picture quality, so just watch it the way it comes to you is my recommendation.

 

PS. My FAQs were written years ago and people don't bother trying to stretch or zoom any more, so the FAQs reflect discussions on the topic years ago.

 

PPS. Obviously, you can stretch or zoom the picture manually if you want, either via the TV or perhaps the 4290 (although the latest firmware on the 4290 did not do a good job IIRC.)  As you mentioned, you then have to remember to "un-stretch" when you go back to proper HD programming.

View solution in original post

6 REPLIES 6

Re: 4:3 program over a 16:9 transmission

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

There is really nothing to be done "automatically" in this instance. The 4290 only has one HD output setting (like 1080i for example), so there's nothing to be done there.

 

Here's an FAQ on Black Bars and a link to Widescreen stretch modes at the bottom of the FAQ.

 

https://www.digitalhome.ca/threads/faq-black-bars-why-do-i-still-have-these.76089/

 

The "auto" settings on some TVs only worked if the STB (set top box) sent out "passthrough" signals for 480i and 1080i incoming signals, which the 4290 doesn't do.

 

A long time ago there were some (rare) TVs that actually detected the black bars (on the sides of 4:3 images), but since these black bars are mostly gone in this time of mostly HD programming, such TVs are no longer made and they didn't work that well anyway. I encountered these TVs during my Home Theatre Optimization travels years ago and the TV may detect the black bars but then fail to switch back to normal when HD programmes are shown.

 

Also, stretching or zooming causes distortion or poor picture quality, so just watch it the way it comes to you is my recommendation.

 

PS. My FAQs were written years ago and people don't bother trying to stretch or zoom any more, so the FAQs reflect discussions on the topic years ago.

 

PPS. Obviously, you can stretch or zoom the picture manually if you want, either via the TV or perhaps the 4290 (although the latest firmware on the 4290 did not do a good job IIRC.)  As you mentioned, you then have to remember to "un-stretch" when you go back to proper HD programming.

Re: 4:3 program over a 16:9 transmission

myusername100
I plan to stick around

Thanks 57.  I'm going to take one line in isolation for a follow-up question.  You say the 4290 only has one output and does not do passthrough.    Do other  set-top boxes have an ability that could help with this situation?   

Cheers

Re: 4:3 program over a 16:9 transmission

The only boxes that had passthrough as an option were the ones that ran SARA firmware, like the very old SA8300HD, which have an SD guide.  All the recent boxes running Navigatr have only one output option because the guide is HD.

 

This will all soon be  moot since everyone will be migrated to IgniteTV.  IgniteTV does have an option on how to display the few channels that are still SD.  You can watch them as 4:3, or you can enable "Full", which stretches the 4:3 channels sideways to fill the screen.

Re: 4:3 program over a 16:9 transmission

myusername100
I plan to stick around

I'm guessing the 4290 is older than the 8300.    This could be one possible solution.  Find an 8300 on ebay/kijiji for cheap.   Or buy a bigger TV to compensate 😃.   

Thanks again.  

Not looking forward to ignite TV.  Not interested in laying new cable.   My wish list for Rogers is for them to buy an ignite TV STB that has a built in router for downward compatibility.   I would like to replace the digital box with an ignite box seamlessly,  meaning I want to take my existing coax cable plug it in, and way I go.  But that is a completely different topic.  No need to discuss that further.  

Thanks again.

 

Re: 4:3 program over a 16:9 transmission


@myusername100 wrote:

1. I'm guessing the 4290 is older than the 8300.   

2. Not looking forward to ignite TV.  Not interested in laying new cable.   


1. No, I believe Rogers brought out the 4290 around 2012, while  Rogers brought out the SA8300HD in 2004.  

2. Check out the various posts in the IgniteTV threads where many different installation options are discussed.  You may not need any new cable since it can operate over WiFi or Ethernet...  IgniteTV will come to everyone on Rogers eventually and it does have many advantages over Legacy Digital Cable (along with some disadvantages or complications depending on the installation).

 

Re: 4:3 program over a 16:9 transmission

Pauly
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Hello myusername100,

 

Believe me, I totally understand the issue you are experience and sympathise with you.  It is quite hard to believe we are in 2022 and some TV networks are still broadcasting in 4x3 Standard definition.  This really puts a huge dent in TV Viewing experience. I get it that some networks may not have the finances to upgrade their systems to be HD.   When ever I had this problem I was very discouraged from tuning into SD channels and instead tuned into the HD equivalent, and when there was a SD channel with NO HD Equivalent, I simply gave up and tried to find my favourite show or movie on another network.

 

I get it that some shows on multicultural channels may not be available on other networks and your limited to that.  This is no longer a Rogers problem, it is a problem with how the TV channel or Network handles their video output and you are more than welcome to write to them to explain your frustration. 

Topic Stats
  • 6 replies
  • 993 views
  • 1 Like
  • 3 in conversation