Stupid people and HDTVs

Eye of the Beholder. I’ve gotten used to the stretch, so I barely notice it, and I don’t have to keep flipping back and forth between ratios when I change channels.

If the TV would switch back and forth on its own I’d probably let it, but it doesn’t, and I don’t mind the stretch enough to worry about it.

Yes, and sometimes I do. Especially when a 16:9 ratio program is on a non-HD channel. You know, where there’s a smaller rectangle inside the larger black rectangle? A slight bit of the picture will zoom out of bounds, but not enough to make any difference. Every show dicks up the edges with graphics and logos now anyway.

Chillax buddy. I’m an HDTV owner, and I know the technical ins and outs of resolution and aspect ratio. Depending on the zoom/stretch method used by a given television, 4:3 content can still look pretty natural. Sometimes I set my TV to 4:3 mode to watch non-widescreen content, sometimes I don’t bother. It’s not the end of the world. Try not to sound so much like Comic Book Guy when you’re telling people how ignorant they are.

Perhaps these people are actually “smart” if they have older plasma TVs. It’s not recommended to watch a lot of programming with sidebars-- that can cause burn-in on those sets. The real problem is not the stretching, which is pretty easy to get used to and which some TV sets do intelligently, but the fact that SD just doesn’t display all that well on most HDTVs. But, as an HD aficionado, it’s a small price to pay. Very little that is broadcast in SD is even worth watching these days.

The probelm is most folks don’t realize that you have to be watching an HD signal through an HD Receiver on an HDTV to get the effect. Watching old Andy Griffith Shows on regualr network isn’t going to amount to a bit of difference save the distortion probelm. In my area, every network has its news and all new programming in HD. On the HD channel received through an HD Receiver and viewed on an HD TV you get a great picture. I’ve had my HDTV for three years and in the beginning there was not much on in HDTV (mainly sports and new shows like Las Vegas), but now almost everything new is in HDTV (e.g. The Office, Heroes, and 30 Rock are all sent to my HD Channnel which I pick up through my HD Receiver (actually I have an HD recevier in the cable box I rent from the cable company*) and watch on my HDTV). An HD DVD player is nice too.

I lot of HD TVs, like mine, are HD ready, but require a receiver (which, in my case, is in the cable box, to pick up the HD signal)

Wow Wow just wow. This isn’t a petty problem it is gross distortion of the image. I stand by what I said you don’t really care about the image if you think the distortion is OK.

It’s not our problem that your brain can’t process a slightly distorted image without overheating.

OK, but who would win in a battle between the Green Lantern and DareDevil? Of course that is the pre-1965 DC Green Lantern drawn by Bill Obscuro.

Without actually seeing what Autumn Almanac is seeing, how can you possibly make a judgment whether he’s seeing gross distortion? And, on preview, what Cheesesteak said.

Nearly 100% of new broadcast shows are in HD, but there’s much more out there than broadcast. Almost none of the popular cable channels are in HD. Just TNT, Discovery, and the premium ones (oh yeah, and sports).

I do just fine watching 4:3 TV stretched. It doesn’t bother me. At all. I’ll ususally watch 4:3 movies with pillarboxes if that’s how they were shot, but for That 70’s Show it really doesn’t matter.
Anything I can get in HD, I’ll watch in HD, especially sports, so aspect ration isn’t an issue there.

Simple knowledge of television standards and math. If the source is 4:3, it can’t be displayed in 16:9 without distortion. Some sets have clever settings that try to minimize the obviousness of the distortion - mine has something called JUST that keeps the center of the image in tact and reserves the distortion for the outer edges of the picture. But there still must be some type of warping (or cutting off of some of the image - ZOOM setting).

And I’m surprised that I hit a nerve from the beginning - I would have thought everyone here would have their TVs set up to display the correct aspect ratios.

Fortunately for me, almost all our channels are digital, and I don’t see the terrible drop in picture quality from standard def that some people do. It’s nowhere near HD, certainly. But it isn’t snowy pastel ghost images either. It’s pretty sharp, even compared to the same broadcast seen on an SDTV. Maybe it’s just my set, I don’t know. I’m no expert, just a user.

My question, which wasn’t addressed to you, concerned gazpacho’s willingness to declare someone else’s picture a gross rather than petty problem, sight unseen, and over what is a matter of taste. Part of the reason you sense that you have hit a nerve is your willingness to assume that you know things that you don’t, like what is available in HD to everyone in this thread, or what people have or have not done to their TV settings. I watch what I watch in the appropriate aspect ratio. I’ve got four broadcast networks, PBS, National Geographic, MTV, Food TV, HGTV, some outdoor channel with hunting and fishing, a couple of ESPN channels, and TNT. The only premium channel available on my cable system is Starz, whatever that is.

Well sure, I’m not claiming that it is technically perfect or ideal to watch 4:3 content processed to fit a 16:9 screen. Just that depending on the circumstance and the eye of the beholder, it might not be worth getting all worked up about.

At home I like listening to SACDs through a quality pair of speakers in a quiet room. But in my car I listen to compressed AAC files on my iPod, played through a cassette tape adapter. Am I an idiot for enjoying it anyway?

Stupid kids and their stupid rants.

Most of my friends and I have HDTV. The youngest of my friends is 31. We have all managed to figure out how to get the best picture out for any channel. Apparently, you just hang out with idiots. Maybe you should try for a better class of family and friends.

All of us have digital HD cable and thus we have no problems. Not even my most ancient friend of all of 60 years. I watched both Playoff games at his house in fact in perfect HD. He did not even need a young neighborhood kid to help him or anything.

Jim (a venerable 40 year old Computer geek)

It’s like saying it’s a matter of taste that you’d rather listen to FM radio with static than a CD.

A standard def picture (4:3) stretched to HD proportions (16:9) looks ridiculous. It makes Bert’s head look like Ernie’s.

Bert & Ernie

The only justification for viewing it has to be that it causes “burn-in”. Two things on that. . .

  1. I think the burn-in problem is way overrated. Has ANYONE actually ever seen burn-in on someone else’s HDTV?

  2. I’d rather experience the minor distortion that burn-in will give me years from now as opposed to the guaranteed major distortion that the stretch yields.

The only other rational explanation is that people are stupid, the point of the OP.

Maybe if you played it at twice the speed because you wanted the songs to fit into your car ride. Not an idiot, but…something.

Is that what I was assuming? My understating the amount of HDTV cable channels there are wasn’t part of any point I was making. So there are a few more. What does that have to do with people watching the rest of their programming distorted? How am I assuming anyone has done anything?

No, you’re not imagining it. Digital SD looks much better on an HDTV than analog does. I still get a lot of analog channels and when you skip thru them one by one you can tell immediately when they switch from analog to digital.

That’s true, but the brain does an amazing job of compensating for things like that. Yes, it’s annoying at first. And no, I don’t view programs that way myself. But sometimes the HD Turner channel will broadcast 4:3 programs in 16:9. There’s no adjustment that will fix it. But if you watch the picture for a few minutes, pretty soon the brain starts stretching everything back right. Only if you look away, do you feel a twinge of disorientation. (The normal world looks weird for a second.)