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· Hall Of Fame
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rappel said:
I watch in standard def and have noticed that the local channels are shown in 4:3. Is there someone we can contact about getting the local channels put in letterbox?
In short, no, it's the choice the TV station made with DIRECTV in the carriage agreement.

Longer answer -- except for the BYU channel (ch. 374), all MPEG-2 SD channel images from DIRECTV, locals or otherwise, like the ones you receive are sent inside a 4:3 frame.

Now whether they are to be shown as cropped or letter-box'ed within that frame is up to the choice of the broadcaster.
 

· Genius.
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What model of receiver do you have? You might be able to set the receiver to 16x9
 

· AllStar
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rappel said:
I watch in standard def and have noticed that the local channels are shown in 4:3. Is there someone we can contact about getting the local channels put in letterbox?
I HATE this too. Three of my locals are SV and are SD. One station's local news is unwatchable - their graphics are 16:9 but Directv chops the edges of. This used to happen with Fox channels too, you couldn't see the scores on sports on some SD versions of Fox channels. I think this issue is pretty much gone now, but it was a problem for a while.

Locals or Directv (each blame the other) "create" these terrible SD 4:3 locals when they should not. The signal that is broadcast OTA is 16:9 but somehow it's 4:3 on pay providers. There should be no SD now, everything should be HD. SD customers are holding the rest of us, and themselves, back.
 

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On locals, as you say there is only one signal and it's 16:9 (sometimes it has a 4:3 from embedded in it, but that just overcomplicates the issue.). Then as hotat2 says, it's basically a broadcasters choice. Either send the 16:9 inside a 4:3 frame, or crop the 16:9 frame so it fills a 4:3 screen. Some stations choose one way, other stations choose the other. Either way you get complaints from SD customers. One choice gives you "my picture does not fill the screen", the other gives you "the sides of my picture are cut off". There are still millions of SD customers, so the problem won't go away soon.
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
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ejbvt said:
I HATE this too. Three of my locals are SV and are SD. One station's local news is unwatchable - their graphics are 16:9 but Directv chops the edges of. This used to happen with Fox channels too, you couldn't see the scores on sports on some SD versions of Fox channels. I think this issue is pretty much gone now, but it was a problem for a while.
I doubt this is what was intended. Make absolutely certain that the DIRECTV receiver (or in very, very rare cases, the SDTV itself) isn't "zooming" the content.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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Of course the best of both worlds is the use of "Active Format Descriptor" (AFD) codes from the TV stations embedded in the ancillary data of their HD feeds and DIRECTV to have AFD enabled down-converters supplying their SD feeds so as to letter-box or center-cut the image as appropriate depending on the native aspect ratio of the material being broadcast.

But I don't think the TV stations and DIRECTV or other MVPD providers use that cooperative system very much if at all.
 

· AllStar
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We have at least two channels in our market that put their feeds in "anamorphically-squished" permanant format, which makes nothing that can be done for a 4:3 screen. You have to put up with vertically "stretched" images on these channels. No setting on the DVR/receiver helps. (In the very early days of DVDs they used to tell people to adjust the vertical height setting on their TVs to letterbox the image.)

I realize this is a slightly different problem than the TS describes, but I think we would prefer cropped for those channels, except then we'd be hosed again for the 16:9 screens. What to do other than replace the old sets altogether... (I do find that the "stretch" setting works through HDMI to restore the proper format to a modern TV on these channels without using the TV's controls. AFD would probably do this automatically - my older HD set responds to AFD).

It seems less and less programers are willing to pay someone to keep switching the formatting back and forth.
 

· AllStar
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My receiver is fine. Here is a photo of a weather graphic:
harsh said:
I doubt this is what was intended. Make absolutely certain that the DIRECTV receiver (or in very, very rare cases, the SDTV itself) isn't "zooming" the content.
My receiver is set up properly. I hate how everything on this site is questioned like I am lying. The station says Directv is doing it. Directv says that the station sends it that way. Here is a photo:
 

· AllStar
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Laxguy said:
Have you tried Native for both aspect and pixels?
No idea. It is only a few local SD channels that do this, in SD, and not national channels. It is not my receiver or TV. It does this for everyone, not just me. I am sure that the OP can attest to it. Both parties (D* and the station) blame the other. The station is fine OTA. During most NBC programming, the picture is letterbox 16:9 in a 4:3 frame but everything else is chopped. I have another NBC that is in HD. I have a third OTA. It's not my set-up. It's Directv.
 

· Legend
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I wish there was a way I could lock the aspect setting on my customers TVs and satellite equipment. I get calls every week:

I don't know what channel I'm on

I can't read the news crawl

Everybody is too fat

Everybody is too skinny.



Same answer every time, Remember that ONE BUTTON I told you to NEVER EVER press, well you did. Now we have to press it to fix it, and I hope I don't have to stop by for this!
 

· AllStar
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Delroy E Walleye said:
We have at least two channels in our market that put their feeds in "anamorphically-squished" permanant format, which makes nothing that can be done for a 4:3 screen. You have to put up with vertically "stretched" images on these channels. No setting on the DVR/receiver helps. (In the very early days of DVDs they used to tell people to adjust the vertical height setting on their TVs to letterbox the image.)

I realize this is a slightly different problem than the TS describes, but I think we would prefer cropped for those channels, except then we'd be hosed again for the 16:9 screens. What to do other than replace the old sets altogether... (I do find that the "stretch" setting works through HDMI to restore the proper format to a modern TV on these channels without using the TV's controls. AFD would probably do this automatically - my older HD set responds to AFD).

It seems less and less programers are willing to pay someone to keep switching the formatting back and forth.
I have my HD TV set to "Set by program" which will display the program however it is flagged by the broadcaster. 16:9 SD will show 16:9. 4:3 will display 4:3, even if it's supposed to be 16:9 (anamorphic). Many broadcasters broadcast this way and should be banned, as should all distorted broadcasts. There are many SD channels on D* that show up as you described on my HDTV. I have often wondered how people with older sets deal with that. Don't people care about quality?
 

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I don't think the broadcasters see people with older SDTVs as being a very important market, certainly not important enough to spend any money. Many of them started off delivering their 16:9 picture in a 4:3 frame, and got so many complaints that why they went to cropping the picture into 4:3.

Is anyone delivering 16:9 SD? Fox used to do this before they went to HD, but I haven't personally seen any 16:9 SD recently.
 

· AllStar
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texasbrit said:
I don't think the broadcasters see people with older SDTVs as being a very important market, certainly not important enough to spend any money. Many of them started off delivering their 16:9 picture in a 4:3 frame, and got so many complaints that why they went to cropping the picture into 4:3.

Is anyone delivering 16:9 SD? Fox used to do this before they went to HD, but I haven't personally seen any 16:9 SD recently.
DirecTV has a few true SD 16:9 channels (293, 365, 366, 374). There are others that are broadcast 4:3 anamorphic, which is stupid. I have 2 16:9 SD subchannel locals, too.
 

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Those DirecTV channels like 293 are in a different category of 16:9 SD channels, because they are broadcast from one of the HD satellites as if they were in HD. Not sure about your locals because of course I can't see them.

The channels that you say are anamorphic, what receiver do you have? I know the D12 has a 16:9 aspect ratio setting which is designed to expand anamorphic to 16:9, have you tried that?
 

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I checked the DirecTV "16:9 SD" channels. They are delivered just the same as the HD channels but with the resolution set to 480i.

Are you trying to watch SD channels (locals) on a widescreen TV? If so there's little or no chance anything will change. The DirecTV SD locals are designed to be watched on a 4:3 TV which is what most SD customers have. That means they are (usually) cropped to fill the screen, because that's what the majority of the customers seem to want. HDTVs are designed to be used with HD, and if you decide to use them with an SD receiver any issues are yours not the responsibility of the channels.
Squeezed (anamorphic) channels are however a screwup, unless the anamorphic expansion works OK.
 
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