Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
If it's not filling the width, then it's not widescreen, and the programming is not true HD (though the signal may be). Many of the channels here broadcast two digital stations, one HD, and another subchannel that is SD. If you are tuned to the SD channel, the stretch modes of the receiver should kick in (if you have them turned on), but if it's the HD feed, I believe you are stuck with the format as it is. It's actually very confusing, because SOME of the channels are on "virtual" channel numbers (like 5 is 5-1), but some of them show up on their digital channel (46 is on digital 19). To make matters worse, once you hook the dish up, DirecTV downloads information that changes SOME of them, but not all (IIRC, ch. 2 digital comes across on ch. 43, but after you hook up the dish, the directv data remaps it to 2-1). But they don't remap ALL of them. I have the receiver set to show gray panels on SD material, that makes it easy to know when you are on the SD channel. If it's a 4x3 picture inside a 16x9 feed, you will have black bars, and are watching the HD feed. If there are gray panels, they were added by the receiver, and you are tuned to the SD feed.
Right now, I'm so embarrassed to live in Georgia, all I know to do is laugh about it:
"I don't know how many of you have ever run over a skunk with your car. I have many times, and I can tell you, the stink stays around for a long time. You can take the car through the wash, and it's still there. So the scent of this Super Bowl halftime show will long linger in the nostrils of America." - Senator Zell Miller - Republocrat - Georgia
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