PDA

View Full Version : HDTV: Stretched or Pillarboxed?


DaFace
12-25-2007, 10:41 AM
Comcast has been slowly, but surely adding new HD channels out here. Some of the more recent additions were The History Channnel, TBS, and A&E. After flipping through these channels a few times though, I started to notice that very little programming on these channels is truly in HD - they're just stretching out 4:3 content so that it fits the full screen.

After a quick Google search (http://www.google.com/search?q=a%26e+history+tbs+stretched&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B2GGGL_enUS176), it seems that I wasn't imagining things. A number of these new HD channels are choosing to present non-HD content stretched out rather than pillarboxed (with the black bars on the sides).

Personally, this drives me nuts. I'd much rather have black bars on the sides than see the picture warped like that. However, some of the articles I've read about the issue suggest that people actually like watching shows stretched out so that you're not wasting any of your screen.

So here's the question: Do you prefer watching 4:3 content stretched out so that it fills the whole screen, or pillarboxed so that it is presented in the correct aspect ratio?

BCD
12-25-2007, 10:47 AM
Yeah, TBS is bad about that. I HATE the picture streched out.

DaFace
12-25-2007, 10:48 AM
Heh...after looking around, this is a common enough complaint that people have coined a term for the practice - "stretch-o-vision".

ragedogg69
12-25-2007, 11:14 AM
I used to stretch all programs to fit my screen. then about a year ago I started to use pillarboxes. suddenly women looked hotter and sports started to look normal. the geometry of the path of the ball looked especially normal.


I read in my Home THeater mag a couple months back on a letter to the editor some guy complained on all the black bars on this screen and how he prefered movies (even 2.35:1) to be cropped and stretched to fit his TV. The editors response: Oh so your the one.


Classic.

DaFace
12-25-2007, 11:16 AM
I guess the thing that bugs me is that basically all HDTV's can stretch the picture if you want to, but only a select few can take a stretched picture and put it bask where it should be. It irritates me that I don't have the choice.

The only pseudo-legitimate reason I've found for stretching it out is that older screens that are subject to burn in can be damaged pretty quickly by black bars in the same place all the time. Other than that, people are stupid.

SLAG
12-25-2007, 11:21 AM
I prefer The 4:3 ratio on 4:3 programs but on my Rear projection TV i noticed a slight burn in so I have stopped, So im kinda undecided

I like the correct ratio but I dont like burn in

DaFace
12-25-2007, 11:24 AM
I prefer The 4:3 ratio on 4:3 programs but on my Rear projection TV i noticed a slight burn in so I have stopped, So im kinda undecided

I like the correct ratio but I dont like burn in

It's too bad more channels don't put goofy graphics on the sides like ESPN does. I'd think that would solve your problem.

Douche Baggins
12-25-2007, 12:21 PM
My TV has a feature that takes the 4:3 image and crops it so it fills the screen at the proper aspect ratio.

Guru
12-25-2007, 12:48 PM
I don't understand why anyone would LIKE to view it in stretch mode. Just looks so warped. you would think the burn in problem would be fixed by now.

DaFace
12-25-2007, 05:29 PM
My TV has a feature that takes the 4:3 image and crops it so it fills the screen at the proper aspect ratio.

Unfortunately, mine does not. It can take 4:3 and stretch it to 16:9, but not the other direction.

DaFace
12-25-2007, 05:33 PM
I don't understand why anyone would LIKE to view it in stretch mode. Just looks so warped. you would think the burn in problem would be fixed by now.

Nor do I, which is why I was perplexed by this. I guess I'm not surprised by the results of this poll, but the reason given by the stations I mentioned is that more people prefer using the whole screen than seeing it stretched.

Here's a reply from TBS that I found on another forum:

In an effort to present a consistent broadcast, we have decided to maintain the same aspect ratio for all HD programming. An unfortunately consequence of this is that the standard TV ratio of 4:3 is presented as 16:9. This is what “stretches” the image.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Best,

TBS Web Staff

BCD
12-25-2007, 05:45 PM
I have noticed that movies on TNT are a true 16:9 aspect ratio. Weather they are actually 720p/1080i, is up for debate. I just haven't noticed any 'stretch-o-vision' as shown on TBS. Doesn't make sense to me, aren't they both Turner networks?

Mr. Laz
12-25-2007, 06:27 PM
my t.v. does a great job of stretching a non-HD channel but i hate when they do it.

BigRedChief
12-26-2007, 11:11 AM
Stretching is for wimps.

Lzen
12-26-2007, 11:20 AM
This if funny. I was just having this conversation with my FIL and BIL. They both prefer to have it stretched. My BIL said something about having 42" of TV and he's going to be sure to use it all. I said the same as you guys. I said I don't like it stretched because it just doesn't look right. BTW, the only channel that I have noticed that they stretch is History HD.

Demonpenz
12-26-2007, 01:17 PM
i hate watching shit in letter box. I always used to send my dvd's back because it would have the black boxes. Now this piller think is doign the same thing and it sucks. Why buy a nice tv and only use some of it

HC_Chief
12-26-2007, 01:35 PM
My TV does "intelligent stretch" which appers to only stretch the outside portion of the image; results in very little/no discernible distortion of the picture.

No need to stretch football games as the NFL broadcast is in glorious HD widescreen :D

AZORChiefFan
12-26-2007, 04:48 PM
My TV does "intelligent stretch" which appers to only stretch the outside portion of the image; results in very little/no discernible distortion of the picture.

No need to stretch football games as the NFL broadcast is in glorious HD widescreen :D
Not the last 2 chiefs games on DirecTV here in Phoenix. Only broadcast in inglorious Standard Def.

Mark M
01-03-2008, 12:08 PM
Oh ... so it's supposed to have those black bars on the side?

We got a 22" HDTV for our bedroom yesterday (and for the my new 360) and I noticed the broadcast HD channels (we don't have cable) seemed squished.

I thought they were squeezing the pic, but you're telling me that it's the regular TV that's stretched?

Interesting ...

MM
~~:hmmm:

ChiefsFan4Life
01-03-2008, 12:13 PM
My TV has a setting called "Justification" where it stretches it, but it somehow doesn't look distorted (keeping the same aspect ratio I guess) so I like that instead of the black bars

Stryker
01-03-2008, 12:17 PM
Pillarboxed. I watch mostly HD channels anyway so not a big issue here.