With comcast analog, I've been watching shows with letterboxing for years. ER, Heroes, and many others look sharp and cinematic with letterboxing. Now that I've switched to Verizon, the SD picture isn't letterboxed anymore, so I'm losing a good chunk of the picture. And even worse, it appears softer that before.
I work at the local NBC station, so I know what I'm talking about. It seems that the standard def signal is smaller than a full frame (640x480 instead of 720x486 perhaps) and appears like this slightly smaller frame is enlarged to full frame, making it appear soft.
This is frustrating. I wish that Verizon would downconvert the signal by letterboxing it, instead of center cropping the picture. The tv show I work for has been 16x9 HD for 4 1/2 years, and we've always letterboxed the show on the standard def signal. It looks great, very cinematic. With Verizon FIOS when I watch the show, the sides are cut off, removing significant picture content.
I imagine that as someone watching standard def tv, I'm in the minority. But can Verizon be convinced to change the way they downconvert the signal?
Someday perhaps, instead of using the bandwidth to carry both HD and SD signals of most channels, they will just have the one HD signal, and have the box downconvert the show the way I want it.
I can actually do this on my Home Media DVR, but I don't want to waste my precious hard drive space by recording hd shows.
This is just one of the frustrations I'm experiencing with my recent switch to Verizon.
The only fix for this may be to purchase an HD set. I can't afford that right now. Especially with all the cash I'm spending on internet/phone/tv and mobile.