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Bars on some HD channels . . . why??


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#1 OFFLINE   jmcginn825

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 06:45 PM

Okay, I know this has probably been answered like 10 times before (I did a search and didn't find anything), but why do some HD channels have the black bars on the right and left?!!!!!!

You can clearly see at the top of the black bar to the left and right that the program is shot in 16:9! Why would they choose to broadcast the show with the bars instead of showing the whole picture? I don't know too many people that have 4:3 HD tvs!

Anyway, that drives me crazy, is it going to go away anytime soon?

:mad:

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#2 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 06:54 PM

Not everything on every HD channels is in HD. When they air SD programming black bars are added to the sides.

I'm not sure what you are seeing at the top of the bars. Perhaps some overscan at the source?
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#3 OFFLINE   jmcginn825

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 07:28 PM

Not everything on every HD channels is in HD. When they air SD programming black bars are added to the sides.

I'm not sure what you are seeing at the top of the bars. Perhaps some overscan at the source?


No, you can actually see that it is continuation of the picture(I thought that's what it was at first too). For example, tonight on Fox "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader" you can see more of the studio audience to the left and right at the top of the bars. There are several other show on HD channels with the black bars like this. It happens all the time on commercials. I noticed it on a Subway commercial tonight. It's like they decide to broadcast it the same on the HD and non-HD channel instead of broadcasting the correct format on the repective channels.

#4 OFFLINE   TulsaOK

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 09:17 PM

Not everything on every HD channels is in HD. When they air SD programming black bars are added to the sides.


Don't some of the HD channels broadcast in 4:3? It's HD, just not 16:9.

#5 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 10:32 PM

The HD you will see on satellite and local stations is 16:9. The whole screen may not be filled, but the black areas are part of the image. Generally speaking, if you see 4:3 letterboxed it is upconverted from SD.
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#6 OFFLINE   wje

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 05:06 AM

He may be referring to a new artifact I first noticed when 401 rolled out. I only see it when PIP windowing. Under some circumstances, an SD program that's boxed on an HD channel shows a few full-width scan lines at the top.

I assume the extra is not real video but something replicated from the primary 4:3 image, but there are also some cases where I'm almost convinced what shows in the overscan is real video. I doubt this is really the case, because I don't know how that could happen, other than by a screwup at the transmitting end. But, it's a possibility.

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#7 OFFLINE   Hall

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 06:24 AM

For example, tonight on Fox "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader" you can see more of the studio audience to the left and right at the top of the bars.

That show, while it may be shot in 16:9 frame, is not broadcast or displayed in 16:9. Did FOX simply matte it to 4:3 ?? Maybe they did.... There's nothing wrong with your TV or receiver though, IMO.

#8 OFFLINE   jmcginn825

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 07:10 AM

That show, while it may be shot in 16:9 frame, is not broadcast or displayed in 16:9. Did FOX simply matte it to 4:3 ?? Maybe they did.... There's nothing wrong with your TV or receiver though, IMO.


Yeah, I wasn't implying that there was something wrong with my tv or receiver. I have a Sharp Aquos 46", so maybe it has something to do with the brand of tv and the way it receives the DISH signal, who knows? I might add that this is on "dot by dot" mode. If I change it to strech, etc, it is not there.

I can assure you though, that these shows are not shot in 4:3. They are indeed being shot in 16:9 and being "matte" to 4:3 (that was the perfect word for it btw, thanks!). It's like they shoot it in 16:9 and the "matte" it to fit 4:3. They broadcast it this way on the non-HD channels and HD channels instead of brodcasting the true 16:9 picture on the HD channel and 4:3 image on the non-HD channels. It's almost like they are shooting them in 16:9 so that when the switch is made to more HD they will be ready.

I need to get a picture to show you guys what I am talking about. I, too, thought that it was an artifact or cc transmission or something at first. When you look at it, you can clearly see that it is more studio audience, more of the scene, etc.

:)

#9 OFFLINE   Hall

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 07:55 AM

Well, you posted this in the 622's forum.... :D One might think it was related to the receiver in that case.

If my speculation is right about shooting it in 16:9 and then adding the matte, it could be nothing more than they didn't make the matte tall enough.

#10 OFFLINE   jmcginn825

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 08:10 AM

Well, you posted this in the 622's forum.... :D One might think it was related to the receiver in that case.

If my speculation is right about shooting it in 16:9 and then adding the matte, it could be nothing more than they didn't make the matte tall enough.


Ha-ha, yeah I thought it might be smarter to post this in the HD discussion thread, but figured it would make a good impression to post it in the wrong forum. :lol:

I think you're exactly right about the matte not being big enough though. What a bunch of teases!

#11 OFFLINE   jcrobso

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 11:12 AM

Okay, I know this has probably been answered like 10 times before (I did a search and didn't find anything), but why do some HD channels have the black bars on the right and left?!!!!!!

You can clearly see at the top of the black bar to the left and right that the program is shot in 16:9! Why would they choose to broadcast the show with the bars instead of showing the whole picture? I don't know too many people that have 4:3 HD tvs!

Anyway, that drives me crazy, is it going to go away anytime soon?

:mad:

Not all HD is really HD, but upscaled SD or ED video most of it is in3x4 format, thus the black bars on the sides. Video cameras can be set to 16x9 mode and will give a "wide screen" image, sometimes when this is upscaled black boarders are added all around, the picture will have black frame.
It cost some very BIG $$$$$ to replace all of the video cameras and processing gear. It will be many years before this conversion is completed! John

#12 OFFLINE   cutrock

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 10:51 AM

I've noticed the same exact issue when watching Survivor in HD. It's definitely an HD signal, because I have compared simultaneous viewings of the SD Survivor to the HD version. I figured it was just the network being cheap and sending a compressed version of HD. So, I have a suitable workaround, try this: on the lower left side corner of your dish remote, there's a star button (*). If you click it twice, it stretches the picture then slightly zooms it for the properly proportioned effect. It fills up the entire screen nicely, and is still a better picture quality than SD.

#13 OFFLINE   Slordak

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 10:08 AM

Survivor is neither shot in HD nor broadcast in HD. If one watches it from an HD-capable source signal, one will, however, experience a higher quality signal, since Dish compression on SD locals is quite high (resulting in a large number of compression artifacts) compared to receiving the digital version of the channel over the air.

#14 OFFLINE   Wildman63

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 03:59 PM

On some our locals, where news is broadcast in HD, the scene will switch between 4X3 and 16X9 depending upon which camera is being used. The news anchors are always full screen, but other parts of the news sometimes shrink down to 4X3. Even the 4X3 pictures are HD quality, however. One of our locals was among the first to broadcast the news in HD (KIRO in Seattle).

I've read (somewhere, sorry I can't remember where) that it doesn't have to be 16X9 to qualify as HD.

#15 OFFLINE   Hall

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 06:57 PM

I've read (somewhere, sorry I can't remember where) that it doesn't have to be 16X9 to qualify as HD.

Depends who you ask.... some people can be real anal about it. The aspect ratio alone doesn't make or break it being "HD". What is a 720p or 1080i picture in 4x3 ratio ?? The 720p or 1080i make it "HD" in my opinion.

#16 OFFLINE   whatchel1

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 10:54 PM

It is shot in and presented in 720p 16 X 9 ( that's according to FOX). What may be happen in your location could be the station that you are getting from is the source of the problem. They may not be switching it correctly when going from commercials back to show or the may have an encoder problem.

#17 OFFLINE   TNGTony

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 11:38 PM

5th grader is NOT 16x9. It is 4x3. The Fox logo (not the local bug) is on one of the pillar bars! That is the way they show it! My guess is that is the way the shoot it too. 16x9 digital cameras are EXPENSIVE. It will take some time to filter them down so everyone has them.

Imagine it's 1964 and replase the word "color" for HD and "Black & White" for SD.

Just like in '64, most prime time programs were HD. But some were still in black & white for a whole variety or reasons. Mostly it was because it was too expensive to upgrade to HD. Many local stations remained SD until the 70's! SD sets were sold in stores until the mid '80s!

Get it? :D

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#18 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 11:38 PM

Well lets see a picture. I read this and I don't have a clear understanding of what the OP is describing. Also is this across all HD channels or are you just seeing this with a specific HD channel. You mention FOX. is this OTA or Dish HD?

I think a picture would answer a lot of questions here. Going to move it to the HD general area for now.
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#19 OFFLINE   grooves12

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 01:17 AM

Depends who you ask.... some people can be real anal about it. The aspect ratio alone doesn't make or break it being "HD". What is a 720p or 1080i picture in 4x3 ratio ?? The 720p or 1080i make it "HD" in my opinion.


a 720p or 1080i in 4x3 is STILL 720p or 1080i. Which is exactly why they use that terminology to determine resolution. The 720 or 1080 measures vertical lines of resolution, and if it is an HD stream but 4x3 it will still have the same amount of vertical lines.

#20 OFFLINE   Hall

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 06:38 AM

It is shot in and presented in 720p 16 X 9 ( that's according to FOX). What may be happen in your location could be the station that you are getting from is the source of the problem. They may not be switching it correctly when going from commercials back to show or the may have an encoder problem.

Where does FOX say this ?? Do you watch the show ?? I've seen just about every episode and I assure you, it's 4x3, not 16x9. My local FOX has never had issues with forgetting to flip the switch and in fact, it's my understanding that many FOX stations are set up so that they merely pass the signal through (can't remember the terminology ... a "splicer" ??) so that if FOX is sending 4x3, it gets to us in 4x3. If it's sent in 16x9, it gets to us in 16x9.

#21 OFFLINE   Hall

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 06:39 AM

a 720p or 1080i in 4x3 is STILL 720p or 1080i.

I don't disagree but some people say if it's not 16x9, it's not HD.

#22 OFFLINE   Slordak

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:23 AM

Fox sometimes broadcasts in 480p, so it's possible that the confusion is mistaking 480p content (which certainly looks better than 480i content) for true high definition. Additionally, note that the digital OTA broadcast will be a 16x9 signal, but the contents of the signal can include black bars on the sides, indicating that the source material is really only available in 4x3.

#23 OFFLINE   jmcginn825

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 10:51 AM

Okay, original poster here :)

I am going to try and get some pictures in the next couple of days so that I can get you guys to believe me, lol.

Trust me, these shows are being shot in 16 x 9 and being "matte" for the lowest common denominator tv - 4:3.

I realize the difference and that some shows are shot in HD, some are not, blah, blah, blah. The bottom line is that it's almost like they are getting ready for that day when there is the big reveal and then TA DAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! the bars will be removed. ;)

#24 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 11:02 AM

jmcginn825. Can you indicate what channels you are seeing this on... Is it one or are there others.

As for 4x3 HD. Based on everything I have read there is no 4x3 formation HD setting and that is what causes some grief for TVs like my 4x3 HD Sony I have. That does not mean 4x3 content is not sent down an HD channel it is and it is basically 4x3 send in a 16x9 format from my understanding. That is why Survivor on Dish HD locals a heck of a lot better than the SD version and the OTA version even looks better. The show is a SD shot show but it is upscaled to 1080i at the source in 16x9 format with the borders. Good example of this is the Local News shows specially when they add the funky borders on the side. ESPN does this too from time to time.
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#25 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 11:26 AM

I don't disagree but some people say if it's not 16x9, it's not HD.


So they are happy with the 16:9 Letterboxed content on SD channels? it is 16:9 it just doesn't fill the screen top and bottom or right and left sides. :D
And what do they consider 2.35 to 1 Widescreen? Do they complain because it doesn't fill the screen?

How many people think that the switch to digital means a switch to HD? Not true. 4:3 will be with us for years and years, It is just that now it will be digital 4:3 SD with all the possibilites for digital artifacting and overcompression by the station to squeeze in a another channel. My local NJN ch58 has four channel 58s digital channels. All look like SD and are 4:3.

Northern Exposure on UniHD is 4:3 but broadcast in true 1080. The UniHD logo overlays part of the show and part of the black pillarboxes. It is true HD just 4:3 content.




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