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Tutor

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7 Messages

Tue, Dec 9, 2014 4:19 AM

AT&T U-Verse TV, and the chopped off SD channels

Why does AT&T crop or cut off the edges of the picture?  Why do they shrink the picture down so that it is smaller then the TV screen?

I just got to SoCal and started watching TV on a U-Verse system, and I am completely baffled at how AT&T is treating their customers.  They are degrading the "SD" channels in an attempt to get more "HD" subscribers.

The term "Standard definition" does not mean smaller nor does it mean you have bars on  your screen.

Please don't point me to the "zoom" or "stretch", because this is not the solution.  AT&T knows how to fix it.

I am asking this here in the AT&T forums in hopes we can get it settled, so please someone explain why AT&T is cutting a 16:9 picture down to a 4:3 size and calling it "SD".

Thank you,

Ben

Responses

Tutor

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7 Messages

5 years ago

These are with the format set to normal on both the TV and the U-Verse box.  This is on both of the boxes/TVs that I have.

 

Now that you see what I see, please tell me it is fixable and a complete missunderstanding.

 

20141210_105835.jpg20141210_110140.jpg

aviewer

Expert

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10.1K Messages

5 years ago

Press ENTER (lower right) - Zoom - OK - select zoom setting to fill screen

That Don Guy

Guru

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620 Messages

5 years ago


@BenP4680 wrote:

These are with the format set to normal on both the TV and the U-Verse box.  This is on both of the boxes/TVs that I have.

 

Now that you see what I see, please tell me it is fixable and a complete missunderstanding.

 


One of my TVs does the same thing (I'm not sure about the others).  However, I don't think there is anything AT&T can do about it.

 

AT&T can't make the assumption that every TV is 16 x 9; this isn't true.  In fact, until this Thanksgiving, my mother's main TV was 4 x 3.  If AT&T tried to fill all SD signals to 16 x 9, then it would result in the people with 4 x 3 TVs to have the top and bottom of the picture chopped off.  Because of this, all SD signals are being set in a 4 x 3 ratio, even if it means taking the widescreen picture and adding black bars to the top and bottom.  Because of this, when this SD signal is then shown on a widescreen TV, the TV thinks it's 4 x 3 and adds its own black bars to the left and right.

 

The problem is, your TV's "Zoom" feature will also chop off the top and bottom of the "true" 4 x 3 signals; it doesn't know which SD pictures are widescreen, with the black border on all 4 sides, and which ones are 4x3, with the black borders only on the left and right.

 

I think the only possible "fix" would be for the FCC to mandate that all SD signals be in 16x9 format - but in that case, why not go one step fuirther and get rid of SD broadcasts altogether?

 

ACE - Expert

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14.1K Messages

5 years ago

So you are wanting the screen to be filled when watching SD? Because that's not going to happen unless you adjust the aspect ratio on the TV.

**** I don't know what you want me to tell you. ****

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Tutor

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7 Messages

5 years ago

No "Zoom" is not the answer.

 

As I have said this U-Verse is the first place I have encountered this.  I have used Time Warner, Cox, and Charter, and none of them have this happen on the "SD" channels.

 

As to the issue of viewing a broadcast on any older TV, I to just changed my mother from a CRT 4:3 to a new flat panel so that she can see the sides of the picture now.

 

It is very clear that this AT&T is deliberately shrinking the picture, and I am sorry I think it is wrong.  A customer should not have to pay for the cable service, and then pay again for "HD", when they don't really care about the extra lines of resolution.

aviewer

Expert

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10.1K Messages

5 years ago

Are you saying Zoom does not fill the screen on that picture? That can only be true if your TV is not connected HD.

 

So, your complaint must be that the screen filling is not automatic. I guess the would be possible, but requires analysis of the incoming signal, which is not generally done.

 

Just as att cannot fill out the picture automatically, they cannot shrink the picture. THat is why the provided the Zoom feature - So that we can adjust the picture if it is too small.

Tutor

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7 Messages

5 years ago

Ok, let me see if I can explain this.  

 

"Normal" is the selection that should be usedable for those with a curren/modern TV watching a new program.

 

"Zoom" was created when people started seeing the bars on thier fancy new TV while watching an old program (1990s).

 

I should be able to watch TV without using the zoom.

aviewer

Expert

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10.1K Messages

5 years ago

OK, I understand that. I have been criticised for spouting how things should be.

 

The "should be" list is a long one. You can have the slot right after  record the show, not the timeslot.

 

We have to keep asking for these things. We haven't  gotten any yet. At least any 100%. There have been some moves in the right direction. Some in the wrong direction. Nothing that it was clear that usability was considered up front.

 

In the mean time, you can press the zoom button if you want to fill the screen.

Scholar

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222 Messages

5 years ago

This is like saying old TV shows that were originally shown in black-and-white should all be colorized now to get with the times.  Or like saying the black-and-white videos of Walter Cronkite announcing the death of JFK should be colorized as well.  Like for instance I just watched the "I Love Lucy" Christmas special on CBS and I was dismayed that they colorzied that episode.

 

Recently, the British multi-part WWII TV documentary "The World at War," broadcast in the 1970s, was released on Blu-ray with the aspect ratio butchered so that it would come out in 16 X 9.  I thought that was terrible, especially that wide screen viewing during the WWII era was mostly non-existant then!

 

Standard def was always 4 X 3.  If you don't like that ratio, then watch the HD channels.

dhascall

ACE - Master

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9.8K Messages

5 years ago


@BenP4680 wrote:

These are with the format set to normal on both the TV and the U-Verse box.  This is on both of the boxes/TVs that I have.

 

Now that you see what I see, please tell me it is fixable and a complete missunderstanding.

 

20141210_105835.jpg20141210_110140.jpg


Aha, gotcha!  When you said that the picture is cut off, I was thinking of the far right and left of the picture falling outside of the screen, basically cut off.  I saw your scenario once and only once.  The day that U-Verse was installed, in 2008.  The technician showed me WRTV, our local ABC in HD on 1006.  I asked him to go to the SD counterpart on 6.  It had letterboxes and barndoors, just like yours.  We only had one HD stream at that time, so SD was very important.  So I said that looks funny and he did the zoom thing and all as been good!  What is weird is that STB (the DVR box) has long since been replaced and I never remember adjusting the zoom on the new DVR.  The TV is new, too but the box was replaced first.

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

ACE - Professor

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3.3K Messages

5 years ago


@ethanedwards wrote:

@dhascall wrote:

@BenP4680 a solved solution soes not mean that it's solved to your satisfaction, it means that it is a reasonable or the best answer to a given issue.  Truthfully I have never seen SD pictures cut off on National cable channels only on local's where they are plastering the HD picture on an SD screen.

 

Can you post sone photos of BBC, MTV etc cut off?  I ain't seeing it, on mine, lol.


Actually, there is an abomination on TNT: the reruns of Married With Children shown in the early morning.  If I remember correctly, the HD channel  has the 4:3 show in stretch-o-vision to 16:9, and the SD channel crops the 16:9 stretch to 4:3!


 

 

The absolute WORST was (is??) ESPN Deportes in SD. They put the HD image in the middle of the screen so you get the black bars on all four sides. When the show isn't in HD, they put the "ESPN Deportes" black bars on the sides of the HD image.

 

So, it's black bars on all four sides with the additional pillarboxes on the sides of the image. Ugh.

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The Rocker

Mentor

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47 Messages

5 years ago

Ok,,, 
I came here because I saw a difference in the last few days,,, Bars all around on SD channels, which wasn't the case prior. 
I changed nothing... 

Remembering that we have the capability to ZOOM with both, the unverse receiver and our newer TV's, I considered that the issue could be with either device. 

I seemed to have fixed mine to a comfortable compromise for now. 
But,,, I do not remember the menu on the Uverse receiver being as it is now... although I  may have done the adjustment using the TV zoom a couple years ago when first getting Uverse.

I have two curiosities,,, 
1) Has the Menu on Uverse changed ? 
2) Has Uverse changed the dimension's or has channels changed... 

I'm not going to tech the answer out and spend one minute more on it... 

SD or HD only offers more pixels per inch,,, period... 

Whether the signal is sent from the channel provider or Uverse, as long as Uverse is not converting, then there should be no blame or issue with Uverse... my opinion...

It is possible that during a power issue it reset my TV to default, but if the zoom function and viewing menu changed from Uverse, I would think they would need to at least send notice to all customers from the receiver... 



JefferMC

ACE - Expert

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17.2K Messages

5 years ago


@The Rocker wrote:

Ok,,, 
I came here because I saw a difference in the last few days,,, Bars all around on SD channels, which wasn't the case prior. 
I changed nothing... 

Remembering that we have the capability to ZOOM with both, the unverse receiver and our newer TV's, I considered that the issue could be with either device. 

I seemed to have fixed mine to a comfortable compromise for now. 
But,,, I do not remember the menu on the Uverse receiver being as it is now... although I  may have done the adjustment using the TV zoom a couple years ago when first getting Uverse.

I have two curiosities,,, 
1) Has the Menu on Uverse changed ? 
2) Has Uverse changed the dimension's or has channels changed... 

I'm not going to tech the answer out and spend one minute more on it... 

SD or HD only offers more pixels per inch,,, period... 

Whether the signal is sent from the channel provider or Uverse, as long as Uverse is not converting, then there should be no blame or issue with Uverse... my opinion...

It is possible that during a power issue it reset my TV to default, but if the zoom function and viewing menu changed from Uverse, I would think they would need to at least send notice to all customers from the receiver... 




Certain actions on the STB (such as firmware upgrades and factory resets) cause the box to lose stored settings such as aspect ratio and zoom.  While firmware upgrades may happen without your initiating them, factory resets should not.  A change to either of these settings could cause the behavior you see.

 

Most stations provide separate SD and HD feeds to AT&T and AT&T just delivers what the station provides as those feeds.  I do believe that some stations now provide only an HD feed, in which case AT&T downscales it to NTSC/480i in an attempt to mimic what that feed would be if the station delivered it.

 

AT&T did slightly change the menu in the last firmware upgrade.  The selected item on the menus now has a white outline around it, partially viewed recorded titles now display in italic in the list.  Some other very minor changes.  If you were set for an aspect ratio of 1080i before the upgrade, and were changed to SD with the reset, then the menu would be different (much narrower with space on each side).  Once you restored the aspect ratio of 1080i (or 720p), then it would return to full screen.

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
dhascall

ACE - Master

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9.8K Messages

5 years ago

I spoke too soon.  I saw an infomercial on local WRTV 6 (SD) at 3 AM, with bars on all four sides.  No other channels had that - again garbage out (from a station), garbage in(to U-Verse).

 

My biggest SD complaint is screens that scroll off of the sides, no button will fix that, lol.  Unless I add 1000 and go to the HD counterpart. Smiley Very Happy

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Contributor

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2 Messages

5 years ago

I signed up for Uverse TV and canceled it few days later. Uverse does not carry The Blaze, The Hallmark Channel and broadcast in SD do not fill the screen. Went back to the Dish. at least i get the 2 Chanels I watch and SD programing fills the screen without being chopped off. Do you know waht it like to wacth a hockey game in SD on screen that is chopped. I had to watch in SD becasuse something was being tape in HD.