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Odd "Format" Behavior--HR20-100

498 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  sheltrk
I have an HR20-100 connected to a plasma screen via HDMI. I have the latest national release software version. Normally, the "Format" button doesn't actually stretch, crop, or pillar box HD content. I can stretch, crop, or pillar box SD content, however. My TV is a cheap Viore, which really has next-to-nothing in the way of image processing capabilities (normal, "stretch", and "make-me-puke progressive stretch"), so I'm more or less at the mercy of the content provider when it comes to how I view HD content.

Well, my wife and daughter were looking to watch something on TV last, and were scanning through the channels. At first, they started recording "Planet of the Apes" on FXHD, which I assume was an HD signal, even though the movie was being broadcast in 4x3 with pillar boxes. Then they switched over to "Click & Clack's As The Wrench Turns" on PBS (SD, from DirecTV). I think my daughter hit the "Format" button until it was "cropping". After less than a minute, they decided to go to the List and play "Planet of the Apes" while it was still recording. Oddly, the "FX" logo on the bottom of the screen was cropped. I was very surprised, so I grabbed the remote and hit "Format" and it went to "Native" (4:3 with Pillar Box). I was able to stretch, crop, and pillar box the movie, even though it was in HD. Pillar-boxing the already pillar-boxed movie looked really weird, by the way...

I thought: "Cool! With this new software, now I can "crop" Dr. Who on SciFi HD!" (which is normally originally a ~16:9 show that is both letter-boxed and pillar boxed at the same time, which I've always found annoying...) However, when "Planet of the Apes" ended, I flipped over to ESPN HD to see if I could abuse my new-found stretch/crop/pillar-boxing powers. No dice. FXHD had started showing "Planet of the Apes" again, so I tuned it in again, and I could not crop, stretch, or pillar box it.

Any ideas on how to replicate this "glitch"? I'd love to "crop" Dr. Who!

Oh, and before anyone asks... I had opted to "Hide SD Duplicates" in the Guide, so I don't *think* there's any way my wife and daughter could have been watching the SD version of FX.

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That's odd. My TV has an "automatic" setting which clips off all black on all sides... at first I was thinking yours did too.
Most likely you stumbled into a software bug, and my guess is that it’s probably related to a section of code that was causing the super-crop bug. I used to encounter super-crop all the time and I did a bunch of testing to see if I could consistently duplicate it, but I never could I know it had something to do with being in crop mode and switching between HD and SD content. Maybe the fact that you were in a recording had something to do with it?

Like you, I’d appreciate the ability to re-format HD content because many HD channels still show 4:3 SD content and I don’t want to have to keep up with switching between the “hidden” SD channels when that happens. The fact that you stumbled across the bug means that it’s technically possible, it’s just that the software designers probably just didn’t see the usefulness of it.
Yeah, it's definitely some kind of glitch/bug. I was able to replicate again last night after playing around a few minutes. If anyone else would care to try it, here are some parameters (not all are necessarily required--who knows?).
1) I force my HR20-100 to output only 720p or 1080i, and I used HDMI to connect to my (Viore) TV.
2) Tune to FXHD, and start recording whatever is currently being broadcast.
I don't know if it is relevant, but both times I've tried this, FXHD has been broadcasting 4:3 programming with pillar boxes.
3) Tune to DirectTV-provided PBS (which is SD-only for me...)
4) Hit "Format" button until it is on 720p-crop.
5) Go to Play List, and Play the program currently recording on FXHD.
6) If you're lucky(?), you'll see the program on FXHD actually cropped by the HR20.
7) If not, hit "Previous" to go back to PBS, then hit "Previous" again to go back to the FXHD recording.
8) Repeat 6 & 7 until you see the FXHD program cropped. It took 3 or 4 tries for me last time.
9) Once you see the FXHD program cropped, you can hit the "Format" button to cycle through "stretch", "native", "pillar box", and "crop". "Stretch" doesn't work--it just displays the native image, but "pillar box" works (narrows the image and adds pillar boxes). "Crop" also does what it is supposed to do.
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