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what aspect ratio

2284 Views 13 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  shwru980r
What aspect ratio seems to work best for most people. I have the TivoHD set to 1080 fixed and my TV can handle any format. Right now it appears that ZOOM seems to be the best for me.
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You mean for SD content? For standard 4:3 stuff I just leave it Normal (black pillars on the sides). If it's something that's letterboxed for some reason, then I'll switch over to Zoom.
If your TV does a better job of upconverting video then you can just use Native. You'll have to experiment. I have mine set at 1080i to allow the TiVo do the conversion. This assumes your TV is capable of 1080p display.
ZOOM will magnify the screen.
Panel is the one you need, it will not stretch to fit your TV.
FULL SCREEN will stretch SD to fit the TV.

HD content will not stretch or zoom to fit.
I leave mine set to 1080 as i rarely ever watch anything thats not HD.
Seems like some channels go to the side borders for SD but do not fill in top to bottom. I don't think that is technically "letterbox" style but it's irritating to have such a small SD picture. That's when I use the zoom1 setting on my TV to fill the screen without distorting the picture. Lops off just a little top to bottom but not much.
Ive sometimes noticed that when set to panel the SD will have borders along all four sides and sometimes they will fit top to bottom but have panels on the side.
The reason for all this is my receiver that use to be a switcher for everything use to upconvert everything and my TV screen was always full top to bottom and right to left. However the receiver no longer sees 720 or 1080 formats and I have bought an HDMI switch until I get the receiver fixed. Now I am not getting the full screen like I use to get and trying to figure how to get it back.

Onkyo SR706 receiver
Hitachi 42HDS52A Plasma TV
I leave it on panel 99.999999999% of the time (very slight over-exaggeration).

Most of the stuff I watch is 4:3. That's often the full height of the screen.
The rest is letterboxed, but usually letterboxed WITHIN 4:3.

I've tried the various zoom methods on both my TV and the TiVo, but MOST of the time there ends up being cut off content. Even if it's only an inch or so, I want to see the original picture. Once in a while it's _close enough_ that I will put something on a zoom mode, but then I'll miss an open caption since it was in the black bar area.

If one of the zoom methods filled the screen without losing any of the actual picture, I'd use them more often. (I guess I wish I had a variable zoom.)
I keep my video output format set to 1080i fixed.

The trouble is that you can get 4:3 content on both SD channels and HD channels.

I've found that if I have the TV aspect ratio set to 16:9 on the Tivo, then the aspect correction settings will only strech the SD channels and if I have the TV aspect ratio set to 4:3 on the Tivo, then the aspect correction settings will only stretch the HD channels.

I set the TV type to 4:3 most of the time, even though I have a 16:9 TV. Then for normal HD programming I set the aspect correction mode to full and for 4:3 HD programming I set the aspect correction to zoom. This method eliminates pillar bars from 4:3 HD programs and letter boxing from 16:9 HD programs. 4:3 SD programming always fills the screen this way. It's extremely rare for me to get 16:9 SD programming.
If you use one of the aspect ration modes that "zooms" in, here's something to be careful of:

If you then start a streaming video source like Netflix, you will be stuck in Zoom mode. You can't change the aspect ratio once you've started watching Netflix. Remember to switch back to panel before starting it.
Now we are getting spam in here?
Um, we get spam in everywhere, all the time. Maybe you've been lucky enough not to notice it here before? Kind of remarkable... anyway, don't comment on it, just report it (use the icon of a triangle with an exclamation point at the bottom left of the message, next to the TiVo guy). It will be deleted soon enough. Edit: Indeed, it's gone now.

On topic: The reason the aspect ratio has a convenient one-button selector is that it's not something you're meant to just choose and leave alone. You can change it depending on what you're watching. Note, also, that it only applies to SD sources (unless you've set up your TiVo to output SD (only), in which case, it only applies to HD sources... I'm simplifying here).

4:3 program -- choose Panel
Letterboxed program (black bars top and bottom) -- choose Zoom
16:9 program (if incorrectly flagged 4:3, or not flagged) -- choose Full

This assumes that you want to a) view things in their correct aspect ratio (i.e. no squashing or stretching), and b) use as much of the screen as possible while doing that, but c) not cut anything off (at least not more than is lost to overscan). Some people have different priorities, such as "fill the screen no matter what", or at the other end of the spectrum, "don't zoom because SD is too fuzzy already, I'd rather watch in postage stamp format". I think these people are very silly. But, it's subjective, I guess.
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Now we are getting spam in here?
Only a few times a day.:)

Usually someone spots it and reports it right away so it gets deleted before most of us see it.
it only applies to SD sources (unless you've set up your TiVo to output SD (only), in which case, it only applies to HD sources... I'm simplifying here).
From what I've seen on a Tivo HD, it applies to SD sources if you have the TV aspect ratio set to 16:9 and HD sources if you have the TV aspect ratio set to 4:3. I keep my output format set to 1080i fixed and I can change the aspect correction mode on both HD and SD sources by changing the TV aspect ratio. My TV shows a 1080i input at all times for the Tivo.
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