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Can I watch 16:9 programming on an old 4:3 TV that has only coax input

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Can I watch 16:9 programming on an old 4:3 TV that has only coax input

I have an old "square" TV (4:3 aspect ratio) that I would like to use to watch DIRECTV programming.   It has only a coax cable input.  Obviously I will need 16:9 signals to be letterboxed, not simply "squeezed" into a 4:3.

Is this possible?

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Re: Can I watch 16:9 programming on an old 4:3 TV that has only coax input

I am aware that a modulator might be required to make the actual connection to the TV.  What concerns me, is making sure what I see on the screen isn't going to be either "chopped" horizontally on the left and right, nor "squeezed" i.e. I need it to appear letterboxed.  (I have an old VCR/DVD player combo that I could place "between" the receiver and the TV, but I have no reason to believe it will "create" the letterboxing effect by itself.)

I'm thinking the only way it will work is if the receiver is smart enough to know, or can be configured to output a letterboxed signal.

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ACE - Expert
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Accepted by OldSchooler
‎01-21-2018 7:36 AM

Re: Can I watch 16:9 programming on an old 4:3 TV that has only coax input

HD receivers do have SD 4:3 resolution setting under the display TV ratio and then change the resolutions to 480.

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Re: Can I watch 16:9 programming on an old 4:3 TV that has only coax input

Thanks Shannon02!  I found the setting on one of my existing DVRs.

I must be the only person in the USA still using non-widescreen TVs :-) because I spent literally 3 hours on the phone with 2nd and 3rd line technical support reps and was told repeatedly that no such setting existed.  I guess because no one before me had ever asked the question and their response to me was based entirely on assumptions.  I never bothered to try to search out the setting myself because I assumed a 2nd or 3rd line support rep would know of the setting and be able to walk me through it, but of course that turned out not to be the case.

In hindsight the proper response by the reps IMO would have been "let us have someone who is an expert in receiver settings get back to you during normal business hours on Monday" which would have saved myself and the multiple reps I spoke with, a lot of angst ;-)

But I am now happy and confident that the new receiver I was sent can be configured for my "legacy" TVs.  Thanks again!

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ACE - Expert

Re: Can I watch 16:9 programming on an old 4:3 TV that has only coax input

You are welcome, DTV probably doesn't have a script for SD channels/settings trouble shooting anymore as they have said that the SD channels may disappear in 2019  

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*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.
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