Aspect Ratio


Hi-I am under the impression that after the changeover, all tv will be broadcast in the 16:9 format, whether it is HD or not. This would mean that older (non 16:9 format) shaped televisions will actually have grey/black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. Can anyone confirm this? Thanks
That's not entirely true. while it is true that some broadcasts will be HD (16:9 widescreen format) any converter box worth its salt can 'zoom' such broadcasts just as your DVD player does and crop the bars off. i do it all the time. however, on some 4:3 broadcasts, on larger screens, you get bars and those broadcasts won't allow zoom. there will be a Zoom button on any CECB remote control that overcomes black bars on widescreen mode broadcasts.
your converter box downgrades the picture quality to 480i which is standard definition and not HD.

HD is 720p/1080i/1080p etc.

Standard definition channels will stick with 4:3
Some boxes will display 'HDTV' or '16:9' and be zoomable to avoid the black bars. but most SD broadcasts available sadly only limit zoomability and you're stuck with bars at times. one example is our SD PBS station (WNIN SD channel 9-2) that is stuck with a smaller picture that is centered in the screen and on 19" and above CRTs it appears to only show dead-center, where the rest of it is bordered in black. 13" and below it's fine. but you have to tune to 9-1 here to have it fill the screen, even if it is still technically SD. i don't know how to explain it, as most 4:3 shows should fill the entire screen any way.