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Jon17615

HDTV Screen Size vs. Picture Size

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I have a 50-inch Plasma HDTV and am connected to Comcast Cable with both Standard Definition and High Definition channels. I have tried all the possible combinations of SD/HD, TV/HDMI, 16x9, Screen Fit, Wide Fit, 4x3, Zoom 1 and Zoom 2, and, cannot find a combination that will fill up the screen, show the full picture and not be distorted in some fashion. I have tried about everything I am aware of, but if someone has some suggestions it would be much appreciated. Or, is this just the way it is?

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There's nothing wrong with your TV. The issue is that there are multiple aspect ratios that movies are filmed in. Your plasma is most likely 16x9 or 1.77:1 aspect ratio. Older TVs displayed 4x3 or 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The non HD programs on Comcast will be in this ratio, resulting in black bars to the left and right of the picture. If you try to stretch the image to fill up the screen then you'll distort the image.

 

Though many current HD programs/movies are in that 16x9 (or 1.77:1) aspect ratio, a lot of new movies are in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This results in black bars on the top and bottom of the image. You can zoom in to make the movie fill the screen but you will be cutting of a good bit of the left and right side of the picture.

 

There's nothing you can do to make some shows fill the screen. You just have to accept this. There ARE newer TVs that display a native 2.35:1 aspect ratio. They are much wider than they are tall. If you bought one of them, then newer shows would fill the screen. However, with older shows, you'd have even wider black bars left and right of the picture.

 

Here's an article about aspect ratios:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspect_ratio_%28image%29

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Thank you for the explanation. I was aware of the problem between 16x9 and 4x3 but I never knew there were so many others, so I guess I will just have to live with it....or maybe get a TV with an "adjustable screen size"???

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