Wide Screen Projection TV's

Jack Evers

Member
Joined
May 24, 2001
Liz and I decided we'd buy a wide screen TV as our Christmas present to each other. I went to Best Buy today and bought a Sony 57" HDTV. It will be delivered on Friday. On the way home I'm talking with my son and he says these wide screens are great for movies but on normal broadcast TV shows the picture is stretched out over the wider format and distorted. That would not be good. I thought I'd ask you that have this type of setup. What's the deal?
 
You should have an option for normal sized viewing screen, but with bars on the side. When it's in stretch mode, it actually doesn't look bad, IMO. This is going by my in-laws TV, which isn't that large, but still, the aspect is what's important.
Do you have high def in your area yet? You can get it on some channels on Direct TV (just got that, but not HD, I love it). Those channels will utilize the full screen.

You did the right thing, that TV will be around long after the 4:3 aspect ratio is outdated. I would've bought one but I was short a few thousand dollars. ;) Nice setup, you won't regret it!
 
Jack:

I'm not sure about the Sony stretch/zoom modes, but my Mitsubishi's stretch sucks. Well, let me rephrase that, *I* dont like it. The Hitachi or Toshiba sets have a nice stretch, where only the sides of the screen get stretched. The middle "area" is untouched. I'm not sure about the Sony.

Word of advise though, do NOT use "normal" mode for extended periods. The bars, even if you set the background to black, WILL burn into the CRT's. Ask me how I know :( My wife cant see it, but I can.

Fortunately my cable box's stretch is better than my TV's and I can stand watching regular TV with it.

I am assuming your set is HD capable? If so, provided you can get a HD input source, you will not know how you watched TV/Movies without it! The best regular TV will pale in comparison! Are you on Satellite or cable? Both offer "digital" service and both usually will have at least some HD content. My Cable co uses the Scientific Atlantic HD4200 HiDef box, which is excellent. I know Direct TV offers HD/Digital content, and I'm sure Dish does as well.

Or, if your set has on onboard HD tuner, you can get HD content, provided its available in your area (www.antennaweb.org can tell you) over the airwaves via a normal UHF antenna.

Make sure your DVD player does 480p (Progressive scan) , and set it to widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio) and enjoy. BTW: Samsung just came out with a DVD player that does 720p and 1080i... if you're waiting to buy a new player, this one deserves a look. It uses the awesome farouja <sp> interlace/deinterlace CPU which is supposed to be the best on the market.

Jeez, I dont know how into this stuff you are, I could talk for hours about it, but dont want to bore you/everyone. I love my home theater!

Good luck with the set!
 
Originally posted by TurboJim
Jack:

Or, if your set has on onboard HD tuner, you can get HD content, provided its available in your area (www.antennaweb.org can tell you) over the airwaves via a normal UHF antenna.

Make sure your DVD player does 480p (Progressive scan) , and set it to widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio) and enjoy. BTW: Samsung just came out with a DVD player that does 720p and 1080i... if you're waiting to buy a new player, this one deserves a look. It uses the awesome farouja <sp> interlace/deinterlace CPU which is supposed to be the best on the market.

Jeez, I dont know how into this stuff you are, I could talk for hours about it, but dont want to bore you/everyone. I love my home theater!

Good luck with the set!

I've got Cox Digital service. Not sure about my DVD and the HDTV set I bought doesn't have an internal tuner. Will prolly have to gear up with other stuff once I get to know the set and learn a hell of a lot more than I know now about this stuff. Thanks for your help, Jim. I no doubt will be pumping your head in the near future.
 
great minds think alike Jack!

I just bought a 43" DLP HDTV and am wrestling with all the crap that goes with it.........

"most" HD TV's with the HD aspect ratio murder an analog picture.....the more you pay (generally) the better they can compensate for the analog ratio

you need to get ahold of Cox and get a HD converter box ($10 more than a regular digital box) it'll work better with your big screen if it is "HDTV" ready even in analog mode......

this stuff is still too new to be much good but I figured I might be dead before I tried it if I kept waiting for the improvements (and 100% HDTV.........)

we'll talk..I'm sure! (like Sat at the track....)
 
Jack I bought that very same TV last year. With the filters that they use now days, it only takes a few days to get used to the new size. To me, on my TV the picture doesn't look stretched. I even play my playstation on it and that doesn't look streched.

Enjoy that TV, if you don't mind me asking......what did you pay.....wanna compare to last years price??
 
I bought a 42" Panasonic plasma. The picture is stunning, and you can see right through chick's clothes!!! And, best of all, it'll only take me 18 months to pay it off - LOL!!!

:D
 
Hey, I've got a 57" Hitachi that we've owned for over a year and right now while I'm typing this i'm watching a T.V. show on it and it looks normal to me. I don't remember the picture being stretched when I first got it but maybe I'm just used to it. Either way I wouldn't trade it for the world! I have regular cable and the pic on the big T.V. is better than the one on my 32" I have in the kids room. Either way I hope you enjoy it!
 
I went with a Hitachi plasma, and as Jim says the stretch really is decent on it. It has a few different modes expanded,zoom1/2.

I usually always leave it on expanded mode. The progressive scan DVD is awesome.

I really havent figured out the screen format/aspect ratios on DVD's yet. A few DVD's have some black bars across the top of the screen:confused:
 
Jim Testa,

My Mitsu has a mode called stretched where it cheats on the sides but leaves the middle just about normal, yours probably does too?

Jack,
Set the TV in 4:3 mode, sometimes called "narrow" or something similar. If it has grey bars on the side that is supposed to prevent the dreaded "burn in". Black bars are much less desireable.

I highly recommend www.hometheaterspot.com for any HDTV or high end audio/video discussions.

Personally, I don't like watching a stretched picture. We've been using our TV with the greay bars for over a year now and haven't noticed any problems. We also have Cox HD, boy is the picture sweet. Can't wait until all shows are like that!
 
We got a 65" Mistu for xmas last year---Jim, the "stretch" on this one works like Ben explains, maybe your's is goofed up??

And in "standard" mode, the picture is equally stretched across the screen...yuk!

---and why do all these mfr's (<-take that as you want) put gray bars on the sides of the "normal" pic? So you PURPOSELY burn up the screen? Why not just empty old BLACK??
:rolleyes:

One thing I like to do is use the "expand" when some channels broadcast in wide-screen...
 
Grey is good. It's actually using the screen. When it's black, those areas of the screen are inactive, as in nothing is being projected. The light guns get uneven wear this way because the center is always on while the sides are unused. After a while, when you watch a full screen image the center will appear more faded because the outsides have been used less.
 
Originally posted by azgn
great minds think alike Jack!

I just bought a 43" DLP HDTV and am wrestling with all the crap that goes with it.........

"most" HD TV's with the HD aspect ratio murder an analog picture.....the more you pay (generally) the better they can compensate for the analog ratio

you need to get ahold of Cox and get a HD converter box ($10 more than a regular digital box) it'll work better with your big screen if it is "HDTV" ready even in analog mode......

this stuff is still too new to be much good but I figured I might be dead before I tried it if I kept waiting for the improvements (and 100% HDTV.........)

we'll talk..I'm sure! (like Sat at the track....)


The new samsung???????????

if so thats a kick ass TV, great reviews also.
 
I have a 51" Sony that I bought this year. It doesn't have an internal tuner either. A lot of the cable companies now have HDTV tuners in the cable boxes. I know Comcast has over 20 million HD boxes out there, so hopefully most all cable boxes will be HD in the near future. There are 4 different view modes on my tv. 4:3 zoom (just zooms in on the picture: good for wide screen movies), FULL: which really streatches the screen and WIDE which just streatches the sides. This last mode is the one I watch all the time. You get used to it. I love the TV!
 
well at least you dont have to worry about it going bonkers in a few years like plazmas do :)

Best tv out there to date, the DLP samsung with the TI chip

def on my list!!!!
 
I got a 57" Sony a few months ago. So far it's awesome.
"Normal" 4:3 TV can be viewed as:

- "normal" with the gray bars
- "Zoom" which zooms the screen in to make use of the full 16:9 and thus cuts off the top and bottom
- "Full" which stretchs it to fit the 16:9 screen
- "Wide Zoom" which stretches the middle but leaves the top and bottom in view

I set "wide zoom" as the default viewing for 16:9. When I watch a "regular" TV now everyone looks skinny ('cause everything looks fat when strecthed).

I have digital cable and the picture sucks on most broadcast channels. When you blow a marginal signal up to 57" the imperfections really show. The HDTV channels are awesome though - almost 3D. It's unbelievable.

PlayStation2 is cool, too. Like with broadcast TV, any games with marginal graphics (like PS1) will look pretty bad when blown up that size.

So far we love the Sony. I only wish it had more component video inputs but it seems 2 is the norm on both TVs and A/V receivers.

Good luck with it!

Jim
 
yeah, what turbo jimmy said.

My 51" sony came with about a million inputs though. I think I have 5 component inputs, 3 regular inputs, and 3 cable inputs. With a vcr, 2 cable boxes, playstation etc it looks like a freaking spiderweb behind my tv, and only I know how it is all hooked up, so nobody else can run everything other than regular cable! I think I only paid $1499 for mine, list price was around $2300.
 
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