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HDTV Aspect Ratio question

alivatnaalivatna Registered User regular
Okay, so I think I'm doing it wrong.

I bought a Samsung LN32A450 the other day and it's pretty beautiful when I'm playing on my 360. But I have some questions regarding my TV watching.

I (currently) don't have an HD reciever. I'm still using the old Dishnetwork reciever that my older television had. When I started up the TV for the first time it was defaulted to the 16:9 ratio. Is this fine? Or should I use 4:3 and have black bars on either side of the screen? I assumed that since my TV is 16:9 that using 16:9 is what I'm supposed to do but I've heard people say to use 4:3 and just tough out the bars on the sides...

I've also heard some people switching between aspect ratios depending on channel. I don't think I'm ready for this type of commitment!

Any help? I just bought this gorgeous new TV and just want to view things awesomely. That's all!

alivatna on


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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Sometimes the channel you are watching is being broadcast in 4:3. This is the "square" you are used to. You can pillar box it, keeping the size and aspect ratio original, zoom in and fill your screen but lose image from the sides, or stretch and fill your screen but ruin the image. I suggest you zoom or pillar box, my preference is pillar box. Some people prefer zoom to use as much of the screen as possible.
    Some channels are broadcast in 16:9.

    I suggest you leave it on the "do nothing" mode. 4:3 will appear as such, 16:9 will appear as such.

    You might run into a movie that your TV shows letterboxed (bars on the top and bottom). This is most films aspect ratio, called cinemascope, at 2.35:1.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Um, Improvolone, "do nothing" would always be 4:3 in his has. He said it's not a HD reciever.

    Alivatna: Unfortunately the best advice for viewing things awesomely is to upgrade your dish receiver and get an HD package. As far as stretching or having the black bars, it makes little difference, decide which one annoys you less. I personally do 4:3 for SD content, and zoom for SD letterbox content.

    Transparent on
    PAXtrain '10, let's do this!
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