I'm a new subscriber to fios tv and i've noticed that some hd programs are not getting displayed in full screen format. Like the other day me and my daughter were watching sponge bob on nickjr hd and the show was cropped all the way around, then i switched to another hd channel and it was in full screen mode. I don't get it, i thought that all HD channels and programs after channel 500 were being shown in full screen format? I can click on the # button to strech it but it just doesn't look good and i have to do that for every show i watch. what's going on?
No, every program on the HD channels are not in widescreen. Some channels are like HDNet, but channels that show older programs from before the HD revolution are still made only for 4:3 screens. However the resolution is shaper than the SD channel.
For any program that wasn't recorded/created in HD (~older than 3-4 years), they will most likely display in regular 4:3 (their native format) on HD channels. On your end, the option is to stretch the 4:3 picture to 16:9, which you said you don't like. The stations can also upconvert their 4:3 video to 16:9, but most don't.
You said that the show was "cropped all the way around." Did you mean that it was also being displayed in letterbox format (i.e. black bars above and below the picture)? Even 4:3 programs (standard definition) should only display sidebars, not in letterbox (top and bottom bars).
I must say that i'm not impressed with this HD experience that every one is talking about. I had the dish network non hd and all the channels where in full screen mode. I switched to fios hd extreme and even the sd channels are cropped on the sides. I have a one year contract and i'm defenetly changing to the dish network,. I just thought that when you are watching an hd channel, everything beings sent to my tv was going to be this crystal clear hd, full screen viewing experience, instead i get this black bars on the sides that i never had before and it's so distracting that i can't even concentrate on the show. If verizon is going to gives us hd how about showing everything in that channel in full hd including comercials? but on the other hand my internet is super fast and the phone service sound qualitiy is very clear. Please don't kill me, i'm just expressing my frustration.
My Samsung showed full screen when connected via HDMI to the STB but when connected with a coax cable showed the border all the way around.
I went into the set up menu on the TV and was able to select a zoom feature that eliminated the border when the coax is used.
Re: hd channels are not in full screen mode[ Edited ]
12-28-2009 06:54 AM - edited 12-28-2009 06:54 AM
MDFiOS - coax cable will not carry an HD signal. You need to use either a component or HDMI connection to view HD channels in HD on a HDTV. If you view HD channels with coax cable on an HDTV, they will display in letterbox 4:3 format (i.e. black bars on sides and top/bottom); however, like you said, most HDTVs will allow you to zoom/stretch the 4:3 picture so it looks like it's 16:9. If you view HD channels with a coax cable on an SDTV, they will also display in letterbox 4:3 format, but since SDTV are naturally 4:3, they will only have top/bottom bars.
Re: hd channels are not in full screen mode[ Edited ]
12-28-2009 07:11 AM - edited 12-28-2009 07:27 AM
Renan - if you want your non-HD ("SD" for standard definition; 001-300s on FiOS) channels to be in "full screen" (fill the screen on a 16:9 widescreen TV), then all you have to do is go into your FiOS set-top box menu, scroll to settings, scroll to video settings, select "SD override," and then select "Stretch" as the SD video option.
That way, your 4:3 SD (non-HD) programs on non-HD channels will be stretched to 16:9 so that they fill your entire screen on a 16:9 widescreeen HDTV.
However, on HD channels (500-700s on FiOS), programs that are not natively in 16:9 HD (i.e. older shows or shows that the station does not produce in HD) will be broadcast, 99% of the time, by the station in 4:3, so that there are black bars on either side (most stations will personalize these black/colored bars, adding an ESPN logo, or CBS logo, etc.). Your only option then is to use the "aspect ratio" button in the lower-right hand corner of your FiOS remote to stretch the middle portion of the picture (the 4:3 part) so that it fills your entire TV screen, cutting off the sidebars or the widescreen part of native HD programs.
This is nothing that is done by Verizon. You said " verizon is going to gives us hd how about showing everything in that channel in full hd including comercials?" However, this isn't really the case. If a commercial or a program isn't recorded in HD, and that pretty much includes everything before ~2004, then it can't magically become HD programming. The station can "upconvert" the 4:3 video to 16:9 and make it "seem" like HD, but most don't, and there's nothing Verizon can do about that. Most stations choose to broadcast their SD programming in it's native format, 4:3, so that it doesn't appear distorted if they were to stretch it.
As I said above, you have the option on your end to "stretch" that 4:3 video using the "aspect ratio" button on your remote or a similar setting on your TV remote, and for SD channels (001-300s), you can use the "SD override" feature in your STB to "stretch" the 4:3 video to 16:9.
The bottom line is, all programs created nowadays still are not in HD. Even channels like ESPN, which produce mainly HD content, still have a few programs that are recorded in SD (The Sports Reporters, all sports games before ~2004), and therefore they add black bars on either side to keep the 4:3 video in its native 4:3 format, not stretching and distorting it to 16:9. Similarly, your local network station may or may not produce its newscasts in HD; I live near Boston, and our first HD newscast was in 2007 (ABC/WCVB). In 2008, NBC/WHDH started producing HD newscasts, and in 2009 both CBS/WBZ and FOX/WFXT started doing theirs in HD as well.
Still, on every channel you watch on Verizon, there's likely to be a mix of "national" and "local" commercials. National commercials are big-time productions, and so if it's for Toyota, or Sony, or a movie, then it's good bet that commercial will be produced in HD and brought to your home by FiOS in "crystal clear HD." However, if Joe's coffee shop down the road makes a commercial, chances are it's going to be recorded in 4:3 SD, because they don't have the money to produce it in HD. Therefore, there's nothing Verizon can do on their end to magically make Joe's grainy 4:3 SD into 16:9 HD like what you see when watching House on FOX or NFL Football on CBS. That's impossible.
You mentioned Spongebob in your first post. I'm guessing that NICK doesn't produce that cartoon in HD. I'm guessing that NICK also doesn't unconvert that SD cartoon to 16:9 when they send the broadcast signal to Verizon, and Verizon, just like any other provider, sends the signal as-is to your home. Therefore, when you are watching NICK HD, and Spongebob in non-HD comes on, it will be shown in 4:3 in black bars because that is how NICK produced it and broadcasted it. If you want it to "look" like HD content, you can use the #/aspect button to "stretch" the video. However, just like upconversion, that's not native HD and like you said, it doesn't look good. It all goes back to the fact that NICK doesn't create Spongebob in HD, or at least didn't at the time that particular episode was created (I think that cartoon is almost 10 years old).