TCM HD aspect ratio problem

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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 40

TCM HD aspect ratio problem

Has anyone else in Atlantic Canada noticed that TCM HD (562) is messed up?  Somewhere in the chain the source signal is getting pillar boxed as if it were 4:3.  The net result is that 16:9 material is erroniously pillar boxed, and 4:3 material is actually "double" pillar boxed.

 

I tried emailing TCM but didnt get a peep out of them.  I tried to let Rogers know about it but I got bogged down with the rep wanting to treat it as if it were a problem with my account. <sigh>

 

I hope someone at Rogers is trolling here and picks up on this.  Its been like this for a few weeks now and nothing is watchable when horizontally squeezed like that.  I'm missing a lot of good movies...

 

 

***Edited labels***

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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 8

Re: TCM HD aspect ratio problem

I'm in Ontario, and while I haven't noticed issues with the aspect ratio on TCM HD, I have recently noticed a lot of distracting static/other noise in the background during HD films. I don't know what's causing this, but it's very annoying. Has anyone else experienced this?

I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 3,480

Re: TCM HD aspect ratio problem

Looks fine to me on my 8300HD. I'll check sometime to see when an older 4:3 movie is showing.


SA8300HD, SA8300SD, DTA50, LG-E410B PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario
I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 40

Re: TCM HD aspect ratio problem

I suspect its more of a regional issue (ie: Atlantic Canada).

I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 3,480

Re: TCM HD aspect ratio problem

So I take it BFlow is in Atlantic Canada, where they use Motorola boxes? In Ontario with a SA box I only see stuff like that on BBC Canada (Top Gear) where I have to zoom the picture to fill the screen. Also on some time shift channels where Rogers only gives me SD.


SA8300HD, SA8300SD, DTA50, LG-E410B PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario
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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 10

Re: TCM HD aspect ratio problem

Yes Bflow, I do indeed have the same problem and it has been going on since last Fall. As suggested by someone, it is also likely an Atlantic Canada specific problem, which doesn't bode well for anyone making any big effort to rectify things.

 

As well, my Sony TV indicates, that not only does the aspect ratio mess up, but when I go to TCM from one of my HD channels, it switches from 1080i to 480i . As with you, the service reps just argue, that the problem is with my TV or with TCM.

 

I even went to the Rogers store and showed them the aspect ratio problem on their own Sony TV, but again the guy just argued that the problem was with TCM. He didn't have the Sony remote, so I was unable to prove that it wasn't even in HD. My sister in Ontario says TCM is fine on her TV and the HD works fine.

 

I don't know, if Rogers people bother to check these comments, but if they do, I'd really appreciate someone looking into this problem. Especially now, as TCM was just starting to show more and more films in true HD. I see where RogersNatasha edited your comments, but that was in March and it's still unresolved.

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 40

Re: TCM HD aspect ratio problem

Still an ongoing issue for Atlantic Canada.  Its so sad because the fix is going to end up being the click of a mouse at the Rogers back-end.

 

The issue is that the channel is incorrectly flagged as being 4:3 aspect.  I'm NOT talking about the content here, but rather the channel as a whole.   Our PVRs and HD boxes think the channel is 4:3 and so, by default, treat it as such and add black bars to the sides.  The net result is that movies which are 16:9 (as well as most inbetween material) is erroneously pillar boxed, and actual 4:3 movies are double pillar boxed (because TCM, at the source, formats all content for a 16:9 delivery to rogers).

 

There is a workaround: If you go into the AV settings, and select output as 1080i wide -> 4:3 stretch, then TCM will display correctly.   This is not an acceptable solution for several reasons.

1) If you perform the above workaround, all genuine 4:3 content (mostly SD) will be stretched to the 16:9 raster (ie distorted), and output as 1080i.  This is a problem since TVs wont zoom/crop a 1080i signal like they will a 480i.  You can change the setting to 1080i->4:3 sidebar and get a pillar box presentation OR change it to 480i/p-> preserve 4:3 (and have your TV zoom/crop)...but either way we are being forced to change the setting every time our viewing takes us between TCM and an SD channel and back again.

2) This workaround precludes the use of the Naitive Output setting, which I much prefer as my TV does a better job scalling 480/720 to 1080 as compared to the Motorola.

3) This last point I cannot stress enough:  this was not an issue until last winter.  There is no technical reason or obligation for it to be this way.  There is simply one small, tiny setting at the Rogers end which could likely be fixed with the click of a mouse... if only someone would take note....

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 40

Re: TCM HD aspect ratio problem

One year now, let me say that again, ONE YEAR this has been a problem and still not fixed.

 

<sigh>

I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 3,480

Re: TCM HD aspect ratio problem

Could it be your Motorola DCX3400-M box? I wish someone else in the Atlantic Canada region would pipe up on this.

As I said before, I get BBC Canada in 4:3  SD here in Ontario and I have to use the # button on my remote to fill the screen. Oddly, now I get it in letterbox, stretched to the width of the screen, so I still have to use the the # button to correct the aspect ratio. I find a distorted aspect ratio offensive to my eyes. But this is a channel my package only gives me in SD. Unless there is an expert here from Atlantic Canada, , your only option is to call Rogers again.


SA8300HD, SA8300SD, DTA50, LG-E410B PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario
I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 40

Re: TCM HD aspect ratio problem


@OLDYELLR wrote:

Could it be your Motorola DCX3400-M box?


 

No.  Had it replaced recently (hardware failure) and the situation is no different on the DCX3510 (and no I dont think its endemic to the DCX series in that, a year ago, this was not an issue).