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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched and searched for an answer, but I've come up empty and need to ask a question. First time poster, long time reader. For the life of me I cannot get the MPEG4 HD channels to show up in widescreen (without using the remote format button). Every other MPEG2 channel SD or HD shows up in Widescreen (All the HD channels you get in the HD package show up fine too). But the locals are a problem for me and I'm just stumped. I receive both MPEG2 SD Phoenix channels as well as the MPEG 4 HD Phoenix channels. Do I always need to press the button and force it to widescreen? If I get the MPEG4 channels forced to widescreen the guide is unreadable (as it zooms in too much). Right now MNF in ESPN HD looks perfect and it shows up in widescreen

I have the new 1080p Sony 60 inch SXRD A2000 connected directly to HR20 by HDMI cable. The settings that seem to work fine for everything BUT MPEG4 are:

I have spent hours playing with every possible setting with Native, Screen Format and TV Resolutions menu settings:

Native - On
Screen Format - Stretch
TV Resultions - 1080i (ONLY)

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi....you're my only hope
 

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Kenwood said:
I've searched and searched for an answer, but I've come up empty and need to ask a question. First time poster, long time reader. For the life of me I cannot get the MPEG4 HD channels to show up in widescreen (without using the remote format button). Every other MPEG2 channel SD or HD shows up in Widescreen (All the HD channels you get in the HD package show up fine too). But the locals are a problem for me and I'm just stumped. I receive both MPEG2 SD Phoenix channels as well as the MPEG 4 HD Phoenix channels. Do I always need to press the button and force it to widescreen? If I get the MPEG4 channels forced to widescreen the guide is unreadable (as it zooms in too much). Right now MNF in ESPN HD looks perfect and it shows up in widescreen

I have the new 1080p Sony 60 inch SXRD A2000 connected directly to HR20 by HDMI cable. The settings that seem to work fine for everything BUT MPEG4 are:

I have spent hours playing with every possible setting with Native, Screen Format and TV Resolutions menu settings:

Native - On
Screen Format - Stretch
TV Resultions - 1080i (ONLY)

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi....you're my only hope
Only actual programs broadcast in HD on MPEG4 will be in 720p or 1080i. You can set up the receiver to stretch or crop those SD broadcast on MPEG4 when not in HD. Read the manual for more details. Most networks are not required to go full HD until mid 2009. Until then, most programming in HD will be 10-50% of broadcasting depending on network.

It doesn't matter what you set the box to, whether it's stretch, crop, or pillar, when a HD program is broadcast your tv should display it in HD. If it's not then it's a problem with the receiver or tv.
 

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cybrsurfer said:
Most networks are not required to go full HD until mid 2009.
There is no such requirement; only that OTA stations need to transmit digitally, freeing the analog spectrum up for other uses. Digital doesn't necessarily mean HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's not an issue about the 720 or 1080...it's a problem only with the ALL of MPEG4 locals (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX).

Here's a scan through the Phoenix locals (HD always shows up in Pillar, while SD shows up in Widescreen):

5 KPHO (CBS) - Non-Widescreen (MPEG4)
5 PN5 (CBS) - Widescreen (MPEG2)
10 KSAZ (FOX) - Non-Widescreen (MPEG4)
10 PN10 (FOX) - Widescreen (MPEG2)
12 KPNX (NBC) - Non-Widescreen (MPEG4)
12 PN12 (NBC) - Widescreen (MPEG2)
15 KNXV (ABC) - Non-Widescreen (MPEG4)
15 PN15 (ABC) - Widescreen (MPEG2)

I cannot get ALL of them to show up as Widescreen. The HD channels always show up as Pillar (Non-Widescreen)
 

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This is the weird thing about what you're stating. When the HR20 is receiving a 720p or 1080i signal it won't let you change the format of the channel; at least that's the case with mine. Is your HR20 initially displaying the MPEG4 channels in a widescreen pillarbox (black bars on all sides)?

The resolution indicator shows 720p or 1080i when this happens?

Also, and I hate to ask since you seem to have troubleshooted this a good deal yourself, have you hit the red reset button?
 

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I too get the PHX MPEG4 locals. Unless the program they are broadcasting is in HD (mostly just prime time), you will see pillar boxed 4:3 content. You cannot stretch the content because the black bars are actually inserted by the station and the HR20 is receiving a 'full-screen' 10801 or 720p signal. It is exactly the same if you are receiving the channels OTA. If you watch the SD channels you can stretch them.
 

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Kenwood said:
If I get the MPEG4 channels forced to widescreen the guide is unreadable (as it zooms in too much).
Something is wrong with that statement. No matter what format the HR20 is displaying, the guide should still take up the same amount of space and not zoom in at all. It almost sounds like you're using the format function on your TV and not the HR20.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
PoitNarf said:
This is the weird thing about what you're stating. When the HR20 is receiving a 720p or 1080i signal it won't let you change the format of the channel; at least that's the case with mine. Is your HR20 initially displaying the MPEG4 channels in a widescreen pillarbox (black bars on all sides)?

The resolution indicator shows 720p or 1080i when this happens?

Also, and I hate to ask since you seem to have troubleshooted this a good deal yourself, have you hit the red reset button?
I don't remember seeing black bars above or below. Last Weeks Survivor (Recorded HD version in MPEG4) had black bars on the right and left only. I have Twice done the red button and even went through the setup, thinking the D*TV tech might have clicked a wrong box. One other strange thing to mention the light on the receiver for 1080i does not work. When I reset a couple times, I noticed it cycles through the resilution indicators on the receiver and I noticed the 1080i light didn't work - but in the menu list (the long scroll one) - it states 1080i.

induna said:
I too get the PHX MPEG4 locals. Unless the program they are broadcasting is in HD (mostly just prime time), you will see pillar boxed 4:3 content. You cannot stretch the content because the black bars are actually inserted by the station and the HR20 is receiving a 'full-screen' 1080i or 720p signal. It is exactly the same if you are receiving the channels OTA. If you watch the SD channels you can stretch them.
Okay....this could be the answer. I'm going to investigate this one some more - as it makes the most logical sense. But why did Survivor (Recorded HD version in MPEG4) record with the black bars on Right/Left??? (I'm still trusting my DirecTivo until I have complete faith in the HR20 - not to mention the time to input all my season passes).

PoitNarf said:
Something is wrong with that statement. No matter what format the HR20 is displaying, the guide should still take up the same amount of space and not zoom in at all. It almost sounds like you're using the format function on your TV and not the HR20.
Yes that happened when I forced those MPEG4 channels to widescreen using my TV settings (throught the menu instead of the button on the remote) during my 2 hour trial and error session last night. I finally just gave up at 1:30am and went to bed.
 

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Kenwood said:
I don't remember seeing black bars above or below. Last Weeks Survivor (Recorded HD version in MPEG4) had black bars on the right and left only.
Survivor is not in HD. When you watch your local MPEG4 CBS channel it is showing Survivor in a 4:3 window within the entire 16:9 frame. Black bars are added to the side by CBS. There is no way to format this with the HR20 since it is seen as a 1080i image. The format button will only work when the HR20 is displaying a 480i/p image.
 

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Kenwood said:
I don't remember seeing black bars above or below. Last Weeks Survivor (Recorded HD version in MPEG4) had black bars on the right and left only.
I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Survivor doesn't actually broadcast in HD. It may come in digital broadcast, but not HD and not widescreen.

It seems that you can't change the format with the receiver when viewing the "digital" networks (ie, in LA there's KNBC which is digital, and LA4 which is not).

Someone may be able to explain it better, but basically I've come to record any show that's not in HD on the SD version of the network.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Starting to sound more like.....User error.
(Learned something about the stations INSERTING the black bars).

As to Survivor - (Kenwood slaps forehead) - Didn't realize that - as the PQ looked way better than on old the T-60
 

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Kenwood said:
Starting to sound more like.....User error.
We call it the "ID-10-T" bug at work ;)

It can be confusing at first and I'm glad we have been able to help you sort it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
mrshermanoaks said:
Someone may be able to explain it better, but basically I've come to record any show that's not in HD on the SD version of the network.
That looks like it's going to be my plan...now. Now that I understand this a little better.

Thanks everyone. I tried so hard not to be a nOOb
 

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Some of the NFL football games are the same way on the local HD channels I have. The true HD games fit the screen and look great. The SD games have black bars on the sides. Why do they broadcast them on an HD channel I do not know.

But I can guess. When my local HD channels 80 to 89 first started (last year I believe) they were not always on the air. If the program was not available in HD the channel was blank. Now they seem to want to air the same content as the SD channel so you get SD content on an HD channel. Black bars included.
 

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HD Lite is when a 720 or 1080 image is presented in a 4 x3 format. Directv invented it to save bandwith. Is this not correct?
 

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No, that is NOT HD-lite. HD-lite is the name that is now used to describe any transmission where the provider (satellite provider, cable company, or even OTA station) deliberately reduces the resolution below "standard" HD to reduce the bandwidth they need to transmit the signal. It is a way of getting more "HD" stations into a given bandwidth, or for OTA to use subchannels to transmit other programs.

When you see a digital broadcast on a 16:9 TV with black/gray bars on the sides what you are seeing is 4:3 material (SD).
 
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