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>>> Help with OTA bars on Digital Channels? <<<

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litzdog911 is offline Old Post 05-22-2004 06:21 AM
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litzdog911
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Re: Tivp not handling OTA well????

quote:
Originally posted by ddarche
Bump


You bumped this, but it's not clear what question(s) you asked that needed to be answered.

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dsspotato is offline Old Post 05-22-2004 07:46 AM
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Not an OTA Problem..

Ok, I'm going to give it another go.

This is NOT an OTA problem only!!!!

When the HDTivo tunes in a station, it will be one of the following types:

1. DirecTV SD
a. 4:3 SDTV - ex. TVLand / Movie Stations / Locals etc..
b. 4:3 letterboxed SDTV - ex. Sometimes Bravo / IFC / Movies etc..

2. DirecTV HD
a. 16:9 HDTV - ex. HDNet / HDMovies / HBOHD / etc..
b. 4:3 DTV (Broadcaster stretches to fill 16:9) - ex. Sometimes ESPNHD and others will do this.
c. 4:3 DTV (Broadcaster adds bars to left and right. -ex. CBS HD East or West from DirecTV

3. OTA - Over the Air
a. 16:9 HDTV - ex. Network Movies / Network Sitcoms etc..
b. 4:3 DTV (Broadcaster stretches to fill 16:9) ex. Some stations do this, I have seen in SF Area, Channel 26 and others do this.
c. 4:3 DTV (Broadcaster adds bars to left and right. ex. ABC / CBS / NBC etc...

All of these can be streched, zoomed, full etc.. except for 2.c. and 3.c.
So, The problem is with 2.c. and 3.c. As you can see, sometimes the broadcaster will stretch the image to 16:9, but most of the major networks will not.

If you are lucky enought to have a TV that will stretch both 2.c. and 3.c (Which are the same thing) then you are all set.

Most of us cannot stretch 2.c. and 3.c and will rely upon either HDTivo or our TV or the Broadcaster to fix it. The stations in 3.b do the right thing and stretch it for us. This is how all channels should do it.

Also, for the 2.c. and 3.c scenario, if they send a letterbox image, then you get bars all around...

John

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midas is offline Old Post 05-22-2004 08:26 AM
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Re: Not an OTA Problem..

quote:
Originally posted by dsspotato
Most of us cannot stretch 2.c. and 3.c and will rely upon either HDTivo or our TV or the Broadcaster to fix it. The stations in 3.b do the right thing and stretch it for us. This is how all channels should do it.



I strongly disagree with this. If you want to stretch what you watch, that's fine. But you shouldn't force stretched material on people that don't want it. If your equipment can't stretch 4:3 material then buy new equipment. It's out there and available. But there is no equipment out there that a consumer can buy that will restore a stretched picture back to something that's acceptable to watch.

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dsspotato is offline Old Post 05-22-2004 08:35 AM
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Midas, this should not really be a problem for you.

With 3.b. you can still watch it at 4:3 with the "Normal" setting on your TV. If you do this now, with 2.c. and 3.c. you will get two sets of bars on the left and right. This is wrong. So, it is stll best if the broadcaster sends it in 16:9. and you will have the choice to see it in 16:9 or 4:3 perfectly. The broadcaster is not forcing anything, just a better picture. This is how many stations are doing it and it looks great.

John

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Gizmo Joe is offline Old Post 05-22-2004 08:44 PM
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What "Normal" setting on my TV? My local digital ABC (channel 7.1 in Chicago) stretches all 4:3 material (thankfully I can still watch the news non stretched on 7.2) and there does not seem to be anything I can do about it. My TV (Pioneer non-elite 65") does not have a setting to tell it to think it is not a 16:9 ratio and I wouldn't expect it to either. Changing the aspect ratio on the TiVo to 4:3 doesn't help either. I am with Midas and would hate it if all the broadcasters stretched 4:3 by default. I actually prefer the black bars to a stretched image, even with the superior stretch modes offered on my Pioneer.

Joe

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midas is offline Old Post 05-22-2004 10:40 PM
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midas
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quote:
Originally posted by dsspotato
Midas, this should not really be a problem for you.

With 3.b. you can still watch it at 4:3 with the "Normal" setting on your TV. If you do this now, with 2.c. and 3.c. you will get two sets of bars on the left and right. This is wrong. So, it is stll best if the broadcaster sends it in 16:9. and you will have the choice to see it in 16:9 or 4:3 perfectly. The broadcaster is not forcing anything, just a better picture. This is how many stations are doing it and it looks great.

John



Nope, my set won't do anything with an already stretched pictured. And even if it could, all it would do is add a second level of distortion to what's already being distorted by the station.

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ddarche is offline Old Post 05-22-2004 11:06 PM
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Tivo needs one more ratio offering

quote:
Originally posted by Gizmo Joe
What "Normal" setting on my TV? My local digital ABC (channel 7.1 in Chicago) stretches all 4:3 material (thankfully I can still watch the news non stretched on 7.2) and there does not seem to be anything I can do about it. My TV (Pioneer non-elite 65") does not have a setting to tell it to think it is not a 16:9 ratio and I wouldn't expect it to either. Changing the aspect ratio on the TiVo to 4:3 doesn't help either. I am with Midas and would hate it if all the broadcasters stretched 4:3 by default. I actually prefer the black bars to a stretched image, even with the superior stretch modes offered on my Pioneer.

Joe



I bumped this yesterday because I think this needs some additional visibility. Here is the net-net of this entire thread (IMHO):

Almost every DirecTV HD Receiver out there allows more flexibility to get rid of bars, except this one. It sure seems to be it a D* issue not a Tivo issue. D* HD receivers like Hughes, Sony, Zenith and others have more flexibility to handle this problem.

Two years ago, I believe the major manufacturers built-in this functionality, as they could not rely (at that time) on the Tv manufacturers to have the functionality built into the set. So they all seemed to build the flexibility into the receiver. Use it if you need to, in your own, unique situation. Problem solved! Except on this D* receiver.

They either blew it off thinking it was not needed, overlooked or couldn't fit it in or figured if necessary they could add this functionality in future software upgrades.

Dave D

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dsspotato is offline Old Post 05-22-2004 11:22 PM
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I am not sure that you are seeing what I am seeing..

How is this different than what DirecTV is sending for SD channels now.. They are sending the 4:3 image as a Full Screen image with the HD Tivo. Most people will be able to stretch this if they want. (See first 4 pics)

"Most" people want to be able to stretch "ALL' signals to 16:9. With an HD Broadcast where the Broadcaster sends bars on the left and right for 4:3 material, most people cannot stretch this.. (See last 4 pics, Burger King)

You "can" stretch SD stations from DirecTV. DirecTV does not send bars on the left and right for SD on the HD Tivo since this is a native 4:3 station.
So if you have a HD Station - I believe it is best to have the broadcaster not send the bars on 4:3, so most people can watch it full 16:9. If you want to see it in 4:3 then put it in "in my case" normal mode and watch it at 4:3. (See middle 4 pics)

Many broadcaster are now stretching the 4:3, ex. ESPN, some of my locals. It might be a trend..

Here is my proof. If you have different results than let me know. I have ommite one mode "Zoom" since it does not apply here nor does it fix the problem.

Standard Def Station - Normal mode



Standard Def Station - Full mode



Standard Def Station - Just mode



High Def Station - Normal Mode



High Def Station - Full Mode



High Def Station - Just Mode



High Def Station 4:3 Material - Normal Mode



High Def Station 4:3 Material - Full Mode



High Def Station 4:3 Material - Just Mode

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litzdog911 is offline Old Post 05-22-2004 11:29 PM
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litzdog911
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Thank you! Pictures!

I think it's those last two pictures that confuse people the most .... a HiDef station that's broadcasting 16:9 format, then has to figure out what to do with content that's 4:3. Most often you see the black bars on both sides of the 4:3 picture. Some, like ESPN-HD, actually strech the 4:3 content to fill the 16:9 frame.

What's confusing is seeing those black bars on both sides of a 4:3 video and wanting to stretch it to fill the frame, which most TVs/receivers can't do because those black bars are actually part of the broadcast.

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dsspotato is offline Old Post 05-22-2004 11:34 PM
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So is it the TV, the receiver or the Broadcaster that should address this.

If its the receiver, aAs I posted earlier in this thread, I feel that the HD Tivo should add another mode to the "Ratio" button, one for stretching 4:3 to 16:9 for HD - 4:3 stations.

Are there receivers that have this option now? If so then we need a software upgrade if that is possible.

** I don't want Plasma burnin !!!!! ***

John

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midas is offline Old Post 05-23-2004 12:04 AM
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midas
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quote:
Originally posted by dsspotato
So is it the TV, the receiver or the Broadcaster that should address this.

If its the receiver, aAs I posted earlier in this thread, I feel that the HD Tivo should add another mode to the "Ratio" button, one for stretching 4:3 to 16:9 for HD - 4:3 stations.

Are there receivers that have this option now? If so then we need a software upgrade if that is possible.

** I don't want Plasma burnin !!!!! ***

John



I understand you don't want plasma burnin. But it should really be the responsibility of the TV to give you enough options to prevent that. I bought a 4:3 set specifically because I don't like distorted images. If you want to distort what you watch, for whatever reason, that's fine and that's your choice. But when stations stretch 4:3 material I no longer have a choice.

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dsspotato is offline Old Post 05-23-2004 12:09 AM
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My world is all 16:9...

Midas, now I understand you point, with a 4:3 set, then it "would" be a problem for you if the broadcaster stretches the image. Well, better tell that to ESPN and others that are going that way.

Also, I really agree with you, since I would rather have the feature on the HDTivo and not the TV. The TV would need a super-sideways-zoom, and that is not right. If the Tivo can stretch from 4:3 to 16:9, that would solve "all" our problems.


Thanks,
John

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midas is offline Old Post 05-23-2004 12:24 AM
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midas
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quote:
Originally posted by dsspotato
My world is all 16:9...

Midas, now I understand you point, with a 4:3 set, then it "would" be a problem for you if the broadcaster stretches the image. Well, better tell that to ESPN and others that are going that way.



Actually I have told ESPN by refusing to purchase the HD package.

In my opinion, the best solution is the way CBS handles their sports. Watch todays golf broadcast. They will have lots of SD cameras, but they are 16:9 SD. While the resolution isn't there to justify a 16:9 signal, it's still better than stretching. But the real point is to watch when they are forced to use 4:3 material. They will put up moving graphics in the sidebars. This leaves the 4:3 source undistorted and it solved the burn-in problem.

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ddarche is offline Old Post 05-23-2004 12:24 AM
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ddarche
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Tivo needs another ratio offering!!!

quote:
Originally posted by dsspotato
So is it the TV, the receiver or the Broadcaster that should address this.

If its the receiver, aAs I posted earlier in this thread, I feel that the HD Tivo should add another mode to the "Ratio" button, one for stretching 4:3 to 16:9 for HD - 4:3 stations.

Are there receivers that have this option now? If so then we need a software upgrade if that is possible.

** I don't want Plasma burnin !!!!! ***

John



John - good pics! I am a little confused (of course, I do confuse easily...lol)

1. Are you using OTA as well? Or all of these are SAT pictures?

2. The burger king pics (last 3). When you say a High Def station, it is showing bars in every one of your tv formats. I assume this is NOT a high def broadcast, just a 4:3 broadcast, right?

3. The UPN pics (4-6) from the top. I assume this is a 16x9 broadcast? I also assume this is your preferred result?

All of my Sat channels fill the screen, with the exception of CBSW, which has pillars and I can't get rid of those. Even the SAT locals fill the screen. I don't have to do anything. The tivo full/panel setting works here. I leave it on full.

My OTA locals (2-1, 4-2, 5-1, etc) all look like CBSW (pillars) and can't do anything to these. They look like Burger King #8 pic. So, to avoid burn-in, I am forced to watch (2, 4, 5, etc) in SD from the Sat which is poor compared to the OTA. Tivo Full/panel does NOTHING with the OTA (2-1 for example) and my set will not allow any format changes when in 1080i.

I used to watch everything with bars when I first got the set and I did develop burn. Than someone enlightened me that I could change it with the setting menu on my prev HD receiver. It cropped off the bars and zoomed it just a little bit and it was very watchable. So - As I have said before, Hughes apparently dropped this functionality in Tivo HD, which really needs to be fixed, in my opinion.

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ddarche is offline Old Post 05-23-2004 12:35 AM
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Angry Except I will see bars on OTA Now

quote:
Originally posted by midas
Actually I have told ESPN by refusing to purchase the HD package.

In my opinion, the best solution is the way CBS handles their sports. Watch todays golf broadcast. They will have lots of SD cameras, but they are 16:9 SD. While the resolution isn't there to justify a 16:9 signal, it's still better than stretching. But the real point is to watch when they are forced to use 4:3 material. They will put up moving graphics in the sidebars. This leaves the 4:3 source undistorted and it solved the burn-in problem.



Midas,

Now you are hitting my problem area. I do watch a lot of golf and I used to watch it on CBS for example, on 5-1 via OTA, not the Sat. It used to be full screen and much better than SAt. Now with (apparently) DirecTV's current implementation in HD Tivo, I will be forced to watch it with bars, which is just not aceptable. However, it is better than watching it in Sat. I just like how it was before.

Now, of course when it is in HD, like it was a week or two ago, I get full screen and it is great.

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dsspotato is offline Old Post 05-23-2004 12:36 AM
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Re: Tivo needs another ratio offering!!!

quote:
Originally posted by ddarche
John - good pics! I am a little confused (of course, I do confuse easily...lol)

1. Are you using OTA as well? Or all of these are SAT pictures?

2. The burger king pics (last 3). When you say a High Def station, it is showing bars in every one of your tv formats. I assume this is NOT a high def broadcast, just a 4:3 broadcast, right?

3. The UPN pics (4-6) from the top. I assume this is a 16x9 broadcast? I also assume this is your preferred result?




1. Yes, the first is HBO SD, the second is UPN is local OTA, and the third set is commercials during that broadcast on UPN OTA. But CBS HD on DirecTV will do this too. This is not an OTA vs. DirecTV issue.

2. This is a High Def Broadcast but really it is DTV not HDTV. But DTV is really HDTV with broadcast bars on the left and right. (I think..) I say this since the commercials are in 4:3 and I don't think the broadcaster would switch modes so many times in one half hour.

3. Yes, this is High Def 16:9 native. It looks best in the "Full" mode.
The HBO is best in "Just" mode , and the third set is our issue. It should be "for me" in Just mode, but with the Tivo stretching it.

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ddarche is offline Old Post 05-23-2004 12:40 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by dsspotato
My world is all 16:9...Also, I really agree with you, since I would rather have the feature on the HDTivo and not the TV. The TV would need a super-sideways-zoom, and that is not right. If the Tivo can stretch from 4:3 to 16:9, that would solve "all" our problems.

Thanks,
John



Hey John,

That again is my point. DirecTV (or Hughes) left out this option on their current implementation with Tivo, which just plain sucks. The problem goes away for everyone, if they put back the previous option to either zoom or crop or both. I really hope they can fix this via software but no telling how long it will take (if they ever fix it). I would like to keep this box but I am right on the fence with this problem.

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midas is offline Old Post 05-23-2004 12:47 AM
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Re: Except I will see bars on OTA Now

quote:
Originally posted by ddarche
Midas,

Now you are hitting my problem area. I do watch a lot of golf and I used to watch it on CBS for example, on 5-1 via OTA, not the Sat. It used to be full screen and much better than SAt. Now with (apparently) DirecTV's current implementation in HD Tivo, I will be forced to watch it with bars, which is just not aceptable. However, it is better than watching it in Sat. I just like how it was before.

Now, of course when it is in HD, like it was a week or two ago, I get full screen and it is great.



Well the good news is that all golf on CBS this year is HD. But like I said, pay attention to the 4:3 material they show today. You'll see some in the opening credits for sure. It has bars, but they aren't black or gray, they are moving pictures. No burn-in for you and no distortion. This IMO is the way it should be done.

The point is, using either your TV or your STB, you SHOULD have the option of stretching the picture if you want. I say SHOULD because we know the Tivo strech modes are sorely lacking. But I still say, when you pay as much for a plasma set as you did, and plasma is so prone to burn-in, it really should be the onus of the set manufacturer to insure you can do something with any type of signal it gets.

On the other hand, when a station, like ESPN, chooses to already do the stretching before it gets to me, I have no options at all to see the picture in a non-distorted fashion. Even if I could squeeze it or strech it to a 4:3 frame, the damage to the picture has already been done by them stretching it. There will always be a lack of quality imparted on the picture when it's stretched.

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dsspotato is offline Old Post 05-23-2004 12:50 AM
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D'oh!!!!

Isn't this what I said on Page 1 of this thread yesterday??


quote:
Originally posted by dsspotato

Conclusion:
We need one more mode on the "Ratio" button. But it seems that the "Ratio" button does NOT work with HD, only SD. So not sure how they will accomplish this.

Currently we have:
(FULL) - Display full picture.
(PANEL) - Adds panels to the side to make 4:3 source not stretch when viewed on a 16:9 TV. "Burn in warning!!"

Add to the chain:
(ZOOM) - This will exclusively stretch 4:3 HD signal to get rid of the broadcast bars on the left and right.

Or, my TV needs a new stretching mode to super stretch the sides.

ok. any questions???

-John



Oh yeah, it was..

Thanks for the discussion on this, and I will call/send a letter to DirecTV/Tivo/Hughes or whoever can change this in the Tivo. Might do nothing, but its worth a shot.

John

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mb2k is offline Old Post 05-23-2004 12:56 AM
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Re: Tivo needs one more ratio offering

My 2 cents...

quote:
Originally posted by ddarche

Almost every DirecTV HD Receiver out there allows more flexibility to get rid of bars, except this one. It sure seems to be it a D* issue not a Tivo issue. D* HD receivers like Hughes, Sony, Zenith and others have more flexibility to handle this problem.
.....................
They either blew it off thinking it was not needed, overlooked or couldn't fit it in or figured if necessary they could add this functionality in future software upgrades.

Dave D



I have to agree w/ Dave, whether it's acceptable to some to prefer the bars or not, they have removed a feature that has been accustomed to in the past. It's fair to say that everyone who has this unit was used to, and liked, previous Tivo models, so I can't understand why they would omit it. (or the caller ID for that matter, but that's a little OT)

FWIW, I sometimes prefer the bars for purity of the picture, but sometimes I just don't wanna seem them. Hughes/DTV should add this feature and let the user (who shelled out over $800) decide whether they are seen.

Tony

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