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Old 03-20-2013, 07:37 PM   #1
QBiN
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Can't get 4:3 Aspect Ratio to Auto Letterbox

So... I received my mini today. Setup went smoothly on this old 4:3 RCA Proscan SDTV (480i) via the Tivo composite breakout cable.

Then I noticed the HD menus were squished and so was ALL HD content I was viewing (though downconverted). I was disappointed to find no Aspect Ratio options in the Video settings menu.

I made sure the only resolution I picked was 480i, to no avail.

My older Series3 I used to use on this TV had the benefit of being able to view any HD content from my other Tivo's and would properly letterbox any 16:9 content on the 4:3 display. This mini? Not so much.

I can find no documentation that says they don't support 4:3 TV's. Not to mention, they advertise and sell the composite breakout cable for 480i.

Anyone have a similar experience or know anything about this?
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:01 PM   #2
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Did you hit the ZOOM button while watching content to cycle between zoom, full, and panel? At least you could with the Premieres.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:24 PM   #3
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I did try the zoom button. It works great in "FULL" mode for SD content, but then HD content looks squished regardless of the zoom setting.

It seems as if the Mini is "hard" set to a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Anyone else try a Mini on a 4:3 SDTV?
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:31 AM   #4
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I was going through some settings the other day, and I noticed in the VIDEO settings, there was no 4:3, which I thought was strange. Yes, I know there are still alot of 4:3's out there, but still.

What I found most interesting was the resolution settings. During setup, it autodetected the maximum resolution of the TV. Case in point, I set it up temporarily to test it when I got in my bedroom, on a 720p Sammy plasma. It defaulted to 720p as I went through the setup. When I get my mounting parts from Mono* and set it up in my kitchen on a small 1080i Vizio LED, will it automatically detect and change the max resolution?
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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It seems to be able to auto-detect over HDMI.

However, there doesn't seem to be any auto-detection on the composite port. The Composite out circuitry appears to downconvert ALL resolutions to 480i over the A/V composite jack, and you will see some sort of picture on the composite port regardless of resolution setting.

Just haven't found a way to tell it I have a 4:3 display.

Anyone from Tivo reading this?!
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:42 PM   #6
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On a regular TiVo there is an option for that in the Remote & Devices section of the Settings. Does that option exist on the Mini?
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
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On my Series3 (which was on my old 4:3 SDTV doing exactly what I wanted to do with this Mini) and my Elite, the Aspect Ratio setting is under Settings->Video.

But to answer your question: No. The option is missing in the Video menu or the Remote & Devices menu.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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Anyone from Tivo reading this?!
No, this is not their website.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:06 PM   #9
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No, this is not their website.
Thanks. I get that. But well known Tivo reps have been known to cruise the forums and even respond from time to time.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:45 AM   #10
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Thanks. I get that. But well known Tivo reps have been known to cruise the forums and even respond from time to time.
Well, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.
If you haven't already, post your question on the forum that TiVo actually monitors.

http://forums.tivo.com/pe/index.jsp
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:21 AM   #11
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Well, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.
If you haven't already, post your question on the forum that TiVo actually monitors.
Yep. Did that too.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:49 PM   #12
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Well... Tivo's official support forum is turning out to be a fruitless exercise in trying to get a straight answer out of Level-1 support techs.

http://forums.tivo.com/pe/action/for...ageId=10432560

I think I'm going to call back in and try to get a real support case escalated to engineering/development. It's apparent that support isn't really has no first hand knowledge of the issues and is merely regurgitating the advice that shows up as the closest match in their script.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:30 PM   #13
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Update: Looks like support has recreated the issue and no longer thinks I'm a yahoo anymore. Well, they might, but that's besides the point.

They confirmed the lack of a 4:3 aspect ratio option and have confirmed that it is in the roadmap to be fixed in a future update.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by QBiN View Post
Update: Looks like support has recreated the issue and no longer thinks I'm a yahoo anymore. Well, they might, but that's besides the point.

They confirmed the lack of a 4:3 aspect ratio option and have confirmed that it is in the roadmap to be fixed in a future update.
The funny thing is...I HAD IT on a 4:3 aspect ratio before with the HD menus but then I restarted the box and that must have installed an update and it broke it. And no...I'm not going crazy. I even posted a thread about it the day the mini came out. And of course it then stopped working.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:49 AM   #15
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Has there been any news regarding this issue? I just got my Mini and have it attached to a 4:3 TV and it's very annoying to look at. I'd really like to be able to adjust the aspect ratio so it knows I have a 4:3 TV.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:20 PM   #16
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Good news: Just yesterday, I noticed the Aspect Ratio option is now available in the Settings -> Video menu.

Bad news: Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to work.

After selecting 4:3, the mini informed me that 4:3 ratio is incompatible with HD menus and it would give me the option to select SD menus. After choosing SD menus, the Tivo Mini returned to the main menu with no apparent change. Going back to the Settings -> Video menu shows that I'm still in 16:9 and still set for HD menus. So it looks like the new settings are non-functional at this time.

I've asked for update on the Tivo support site. We'll see what happens.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:08 AM   #17
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What video resolutions do you have checked? Try checking the 720p option if it's not and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:20 PM   #18
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Forgive me, but how would checking 720p for my 480i SD TV help any? At the moment, I only have 480i checked because that's all this CRT supports.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:33 AM   #19
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The analog port is always 480i so that doesn't matter. But I think checking the 720p option might trick the software into allowing you to select 4:3
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:37 PM   #20
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So I tried that. No luck. Every time I go through the routine of picking 4:3, then picking the SD menus in the following prompts, it just plops me back at the main menu with no change having taken effect. Yay.

Maybe the Dev team is just toying with me. "We'll put the feature in the UI, but it won't actually do anything." Grrr...
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:24 AM   #21
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You can't pick the SD menus on the Mini. If that option exists it shouldn't. However if you pick 4:3 it should letterbox the UI so it's not squished on your 4:3 TV. It should also effect the Zoom function so that Panel mode will letterbox 16:9 content and Zoom does a pan & scan.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:59 PM   #22
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I'm having the same problem on my mini. No matter what option I choose it squishes the picture.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:32 PM   #23
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Clear & Delete Everything, Then Re-Run Guided Setup

I too ran into this issue, with my Mini hooked up to an old standard def television via the A/V Composite cables. I also had seen it work properly beforehand, but I couldn't help myself trying to tweak the video settings, after which point everything became, and stayed, squished.

What worked for me (FIX):
  1. I went through Help to Clear & Delete Everything.
  2. I re-ran Guided Setup (which you basically have to do once it's been wiped).
  3. I was very careful to only select 480i output resolution, with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
After that, I'm once again able to view 16:9 HD shows/recordings and use the Zoom button to cycle through Panel (letterbox), Zoom (chops off left and right sides), and Full (Squished). Note that it still displays the HD menus squished, without letterboxing, but it's functional, and I'm far more concerned with actually watching content in the proper ratio.

I was not able to restore this any other way by just going through Settings > Video. As a matter of fact, I'm now afraid to even go back in there, lest I recreate the issue all over again. But, my Roamio can now freely record all the HD widescreen it likes for the main TV, and we can still watch those recordings on the older television in another room, in letterbox.

I hope this helps.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:07 AM   #24
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I did the same thing during setup...I chose 480i and 4:3
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkyonline View Post
I too ran into this issue, with my Mini hooked up to an old standard def television via the A/V Composite cables. I also had seen it work properly beforehand, but I couldn't help myself trying to tweak the video settings, after which point everything became, and stayed, squished.

What worked for me (FIX):
  1. I went through Help to Clear & Delete Everything.
  2. I re-ran Guided Setup (which you basically have to do once it's been wiped).
  3. I was very careful to only select 480i output resolution, with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
After that, I'm once again able to view 16:9 HD shows/recordings and use the Zoom button to cycle through Panel (letterbox), Zoom (chops off left and right sides), and Full (Squished). Note that it still displays the HD menus squished, without letterboxing, but it's functional, and I'm far more concerned with actually watching content in the proper ratio.

I was not able to restore this any other way by just going through Settings > Video. As a matter of fact, I'm now afraid to even go back in there, lest I recreate the issue all over again. But, my Roamio can now freely record all the HD widescreen it likes for the main TV, and we can still watch those recordings on the older television in another room, in letterbox.

I hope this helps.
This worked for me as well. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:59 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkyonline View Post
I too ran into this issue, with my Mini hooked up to an old standard def television via the A/V Composite cables. I also had seen it work properly beforehand, but I couldn't help myself trying to tweak the video settings, after which point everything became, and stayed, squished.

What worked for me (FIX):
  1. I went through Help to Clear & Delete Everything.
  2. I re-ran Guided Setup (which you basically have to do once it's been wiped).
  3. I was very careful to only select 480i output resolution, with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
After that, I'm once again able to view 16:9 HD shows/recordings and use the Zoom button to cycle through Panel (letterbox), Zoom (chops off left and right sides), and Full (Squished). Note that it still displays the HD menus squished, without letterboxing, but it's functional, and I'm far more concerned with actually watching content in the proper ratio.

I was not able to restore this any other way by just going through Settings > Video. As a matter of fact, I'm now afraid to even go back in there, lest I recreate the issue all over again. But, my Roamio can now freely record all the HD widescreen it likes for the main TV, and we can still watch those recordings on the older television in another room, in letterbox.

I hope this helps.
THAT WORKED! Thank you.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:15 AM   #27
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I haven't really kept up on this issue... Now that the fall software is out, have they repaired the Mini's 4:3 aspect ratio issues? Do menus/videos letterbox correctly, or is the previous trick still needed?
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:12 PM   #28
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I haven't really kept up on this issue... Now that the fall software is out, have they repaired the Mini's 4:3 aspect ratio issues? Do menus/videos letterbox correctly, or is the previous trick still needed?
Bump.
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