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Change Aspect Ratio on Motorola Cable Boxes

Last Updated: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 > Related Articles

Summary

Eliminate black bars and pinched or stretched images! Just follow these steps.

Solution

Symptoms of Aspect Ratio problems: 

  • Black bars on either side of the picture are caused when a TV show is broadcast in standard definition 4x3 format but displayed on a widescreen 16x9 HDTV. 
  • Black bars on the top and bottom of the picture are caused when the content provider, such as Showtime or HBO, transmits a 16x9 widescreen theater movie to a standard definition 4x3 TV so that the entire width of the picture is visible. 
  • In either case, you can stretch and zoom the picture to fill the entire screen. Note that stretching and zooming will cut off some of the picture or make actors suddenly look stretched sideways.
1

Verify the Video Output setting

Verify the Video Output setting matches your TV, which is either standard or high definition. 

  1. Press the SETTINGS button then the A button.
  2. Use the arrow buttons to highlight the Audio/Video preference.
  3. Press SELECT.
  4. Scroll to Video Output Format and press SELECT.
  5. Highlight and SELECT the standard or high-definition option that matches your TV resolution (refer to the TV manual):
    • 1080i Wide - for a 1080i HDTV monitor that has a widescreen (16x9) oblong shape
    • 720p Wide - for a 720p HDTV monitor that has a widescreen (16x9) oblong shape
    • 480p Wide - for a 480p TV monitor that has a widescreen (16x9) oblong shape
    • 480p Std - for a 480p standard TV monitor that has a standard (4x3) square shape
    • 480i Std - for a 480i standard TV monitor that has a standard (4x3) square shape
2

Select the Aspect Ratio

  1. After selecting the format in step e above, press the right arrow to display the following additional options:
    • Sidebar 4:3 Pic
    • Stretch 4:3 Pic
    • Preserve 4:3 Pic - 480p
    • Preserve 4:3 Pic - 480i
    • Zoom 16:9 Pic
    • Letterbox 16:9 Pic
  2. Highlight the option that describes how you want your TV to handle black bars. 
    • If you chose a Std 4x3 format in step e above, the options for displaying 16x9 programs are:
      • Preserve 4:3 Pic - 480i - no black bars; makes actors look slightly squeezed thin
      • Letterbox 16:9 Pic - leaves the black bars on top and bottom, and no cropping or squeezing the picture
      • Zoom 16:9 Pic - cuts off some picture on either side to make the picture fill the screen 
    • If you chose a  Wide 16x9 format in step e above, the options for displaying 4x3 programs are:
      • Stretch 4x3 Pic - no black bars; makes actors look slightly stretched sideways
      • Sidebar 4x3 Pic - preserves the black bars on either side; and no cropping or stretching the picture
      • Preserve 4x3 Pic - cuts off some picture from the top and bottom to make the picture fill the screen.
  3. Press the SELECT button. A Warning message displays.
  4. Press SELECT again to accept the changes.
  5. Result

    • If you selected a format supported by your TV, then another message displays that you must press the A button within 15 seconds.
    • If you do not see the message to press the A button within 15 seconds, then you selected a format unsupported by your TV; and videos and menus may not be visible. Go back and select another format.
  6. Press the A button, then the EXIT button.

 

Go back to Quick Fixes for TV Picture Problems.

 


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