HDMI TV connection and the aspect picture ratio.

  Daibus 19:35 11 Jul 2009

I am on the point of buying my first LCD TV and am contemplating buying a Philips 37PFL8404H but I still have a general question on the way the aspect ratio option functions on this and other LCD TV's?

If the TV is connected via an HDMI cable to a digibox be it Sky or Freesat, is it possible to enlarge the picture, preferably automatically, to get rid of those black bars top and bottom when a film is being transmitted in the 16:9 format?

I am in Spain and examining the TV's in the stores the aspect picture ratio changes correctly and automatically when a normal SD connection is being used but when the signal is HD via an HDMI cable, be it a Blu-ray DVD or an HD satellite channel the automatic option on the TV menu's are greyed out, and the picture can really only be stretched vertically which spoils the ratio of the picture.

The salesmen here are not very forthcoming and I was wondering if a Sky HD box or Blu-ray player have to be set up correctly to allow the picture to fill the screen correctly if a narrow aspect film is being transmitted and you wish the picture to fill the screen correctly when an HDMI source is being used?

Cheers for your help.

  User-312386 22:57 11 Jul 2009

Most LCS TV's have a zoom function that slighly enlarges if it is being transmitted with the black bars. Also you can make the LCD view always in 16:9

With regards to sky + and sky + HD, there are settings in the set top box for 16:9 ratio, which are very easy to do. I have a HDMI connection from my sky box and my upscale dvd player and can change the aspect ratio.

If you click here then you can view the manual for the tv you want to buy and can see that you can change the aspect ratio

  Arnie 00:10 12 Jul 2009

I would have a good browse at the Philips' programme guide in real time. The manual madboy33©® kindly linked seems to have skipped a pictorial of the guide.

One of my sets is a 19" Philps LCD.
The programme guide is the worst tv software I have seen.
Other than that the manual of the set you are thinking of buying is very comprehensive and well written.


  Daibus 10:10 12 Jul 2009

Thank you guys for your helpful replies.

A question though madboy33©®.

You say that on the Sky + HD box there is the 16:9 ratio setting. If this is employed, and using the HDMI connection, does the image fill the whole screen without those black bars, from all the output from Sky Movies or does it depend on the actual movie being shown?

Cheers again.

  BRYNIT 11:05 12 Jul 2009

The TV will always show the picture as it is sent from the TV channel/DVD/blueray player and will show the black bars.

Most TV will have a button to change the screen size. 4:3, Auto wide, 16:9, Wide Zoom. Zoom etc.

If you set the TV to Wide Zoom this should remove the bar at the top/bottom as it stretches the picture to the screen size.

Problems with this setting is that it could either distorts or cuts off the side of the picture.

If the TV has a dark surround you will after a while forget about the dark bar at the top/bottom of the picture.

  Arnie 14:32 12 Jul 2009

"If the TV has a dark surround you will after a while forget about the dark bar at the top/bottom of the picture."

The problem here is that in the manuals of the three LCD sets I own, the manufacturer specifically states that their sets should not be run in this mode. It will invalidate the set's screen guarantee.

Eventually a demarcation line will be produced on the screen. This will be prevalent with longish periods of brightly lit areas compared with the dark border edge.

My main Panasonic set normally auto switches to cover these screen ratio changes.
I select 1x zoom when it doesn't.

As you have suggested, some distortion or unwanted expansion often takes place within the viewed picture.
It's a pity Panasonic didn't provide a 0.5x zoom setting within the software choice.
Why anyone would want a 3x zoom is beyond me?


  Daibus 11:15 15 Jul 2009

Thank you again for your opinions.

Looking again at some flat panel TV's the black bars displayed can be got rid of by the picture aspect ratio adjustment but in some cases the picture is stretched only vertically thereby giving quite a distorted image whereby on other sets, Panasonic for example, the image can be stretched vertically and horizontally therefore keeping the picture ratio, although of course detail will be lost at the sides of the screen.

  Stuartli 11:21 15 Jul 2009

This probably explains your predicament:

click here

  Daibus 10:52 16 Jul 2009

Yes the Philips 21:9 TV certainly displays movies in an ideal setting and it will be interesting to see other manufacturers releasing similar TVs.

  Stuartli 12:22 16 Jul 2009

If you have a one size fits all (i.e. a 16:9 widescreen TV) then compromises have to be made.

These might prove an interesting read on the subject:

click here

click here

click here

  Daibus 13:14 16 Jul 2009

Many thanks for the links - very interesting and concise reading.

I don't really like black bars on my TV picture when watching a movie and as I've discovered manufacturers do have different options as far as the adjustment of the aspect ratio goes, so I reckon it's down to going for the most favourable option in this respect or going for the best TV generally, much more important really.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review

See mcbess's iconic style animated for Mercedes-Benz

iPhone X news: Release date, price, new features & specs

Black Friday 2017 : date, sites participants & bonnes affaires