Odd Dish HDTV issue

Hello. HDTV newb here. Got me my Samsung 46" HDTV + Dish DVR. And am encountering an odd problem.

For some reason, there seems to be an inconsistency with the picture display when the TV and Dish are both set to receive 16:9 signals. On some HD channels, the picture is stretched to the point where the station logos are not visible. I’ve quadruple checked: I do NOT have any setting enabled that is manually stretching the picture.

When I went into the Dish settings, and switched it to something called 4:3(2), THEN those HD channels appeared normally, in full 16:9. So, I thought the problem was solved. However, now I’m seeing some HD channels, while in this setting, squished down to 4:3. So in those cases, I have to switch the Dish’s signal back to 16:9.

I know I may not be explaining this well, but even given my poor English fundamentals, can anyone grasp what the problem is here? My assumption was that with an HDTV, and HD signal, I could just safely set everything up to 16:9 and have no problems. But now I’m seeing some HD channels somehow not fitting on the screen in what I would just assume would be the default setup. Somehow, something is overriding this.

Anyone? I seek sage advice! Thankyouverymuch.

You’ve got the HD/SD set to “normal” – with the pageup/pagedown while watching a show?

How do you have the receiver connected to the TV?

Yes, everything is set to “normal”. And the connection is via an HDMI cable.

XPav, you nudged me in the right direction. I actually just thought I had it in normal. Was not aware of that button on the Dish remote. It was, in fact, in an HD Zoom mode. Doh.

Move on, nothing to see here. Pardon me for cluttering up Qt3.


I’ve hit those buttons before and then stared at the screen trying to figure out why it’s odd. I don’t even get the need for some of those settings. Gray Bar? That just replaces the sides of the screen with gray bars? Huh? Why would I ever want to do that?

There are those other stations (TLC, for one) that stretch their picture for HD – take the outer third of the screen and then expand those to 16:9 – with the result that everyone not in the center of the screen looks like a complete fatty. I’m surprised that the hosts and actors on show don’t threaten to quit unless they stop doing that.

That is in fact how we noticed the problem in the first place… My wife started saying, “Why does everyone look fat on this TV?” Then I noticed that the station logos were being cut off, which made me realize there was in fact something wrong.

The gray bars are for old plasma TV sets. By having the bars on the sides be gray instead of black you minimize the contrast between the edge of the video image and the black pixels which minimizes the amount of visible burn-in. If your plasma is newer or you have an LCD, ignore that option it isn’t for you.

No, it’s not a choice of “black” or “gray” bars, it’s a “do you want to to arbitrarily make some gray bars that cover up some of the picture”.

I strongly suspect the grey bars are there for plasma screens and 4:3 content as I described.

If the box also displays them over content that is already a 16:9 input source then that sounds like a bug in the box’s software or a really bad decision by a programmer who figured honoring the user’s request to turn on the grey bars was more important than doing what really makes sense in that situation.