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Change Aspect Ratio on Cisco-Scientific Atlanta HD 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 Output Format setting

  1. Press the SETTINGS button then the A button.
  2. Use the arrow buttons to highlight the Output Formats preference.
  3. Press the right arrow and highlight the standard or high-definition option that matches your TV resolution (refer to the TV manual):
    • 1080i
    • 720p
    • 480p
    • 480i

Note: If the television supports all of the formats, you can select all of the options to ensure  programs will be formatted according to their broadcast format.

2

Select the Aspect Ratio

  1. Press the SETTINGS button then the A button.
  2. Scroll to the Aspect Ratio preference and press SELECT.
  3. Highlight either Standard or Widescreen to match the type of TV connected to the cable box.
  4. Press SELECT.
  5. Highlight the way you want your TV to handle black bars. 
    • If you chose Standard 4x3 TV in step 3, the options for displaying 16x9 programs are:
      • Squeeze - no black bars; makes actors look slightly squeezed thin
      • Letterbox  - leaves the black bars on top and bottom, and no cropping or squeezing the picture
      • Zoom - cuts off some picture on either side to make the picture fill the screen 
    • If you chose  Widescreen 16x9 TV in step 3, the options for displaying 4x3 programs are:
      • Stretch - no black bars; makes actors look slightly stretched sideways
      • Sidebar - preserves the black bars on either side; and no cropping or stretching the picture
      • Zoom - cuts off some picture from the top and bottom to make the picture fill the screen.
  6. Press the A button.
  7. Press EXIT.

 

Go back to Quick Fixes for TV Picture Problems.

 


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