Converter Boxes that can zoom SD channels.

#1
I watch 50% of my daily TV viewing on Public Access. that means the only channels i can watch without the annoying play-by-play DVS service are the Non-HD versions. but although my TVs are all older SD-only TVs, the SD channels (shows up as 4:3 on the On Screen Display of the Box) show up with a full-portrait border around the entire picture on any TV with a screen size of 19" or larger. that means that my 25" Console in my living room has a 13" square of a picture dead-center of the screen. that's annoying.

The worst part is my box, a LG-Owned Zenith brand, DTT 901-b, won't zoom such channels. it says 'Aspect Ratio Cannot Be Changed on this Channel.' which means i must live with the horrible small square on SD channels. the HD ones, they down-convert to SD but you can still make them zoom full-screen. (they show up on the OSD as 16:9)

That's where my question is. is there ANY box that can zoom the aspect ratio in regardless of the channels' mode of reception, SD or HD? and why is it that i cannot change the boxes' aspect ratio any way? what harm would it do? i tried to use the menu but it is locked in (greyed out) as 'Set by Program'.
 
Last edited:
#5
Thanks Jay, i know the Zenith brand i have does zoom, but it has limits. does the Insignia zoom in anyways regardless? or does it complain about certain channels not being able to zoom? sorry i just want to know that it can zoom anything before i plunk down another $50 on a box that cannot zoom a 4:3 channel.

My experience with the RCA DTA800 that Wal-Mart sells is that it's a pathetic box lucky to pull in any thing, and doesn't last long. never got enough from it to even find out its zooming capability.

I pretty much assume that all boxes come with the feature, only in some boxes it's limited and i want to know for sure before buying another, that it can zoom in the picture to full-scale anyways. i don't know why the Zenith refuses to do any zooming on 4:3 channels while it works fine on 16:9 channels but i refuse to live with a postage stamp picture. i bought a 25" TV to use all 25" of it.

EDIT: Jay, that Insignia box is the exact same thing as my Zenith but with a different branding on it. it's a fine box, but it won't zoom some channels and has the error "Aspect Ratio cananot be changed on this channel" and only happens on 4:3 channels. i'm looking for a box that can zoom any kinda picture to full-screen. not half my lineup only.
 
Last edited:
#6
UPDATE: figured out a hack for the Zenith to force it to zoom anyways. if you go into Menu--->Options there's two different options related to aspect ratio, one that is limited on some channels and is greyed-out as 'Set By Program' and the other one above it for TV type. even if you only have a SD-type TV you can select 'Widescreen 16:9' and then zoom works regardless of the channel tuned. that means that even if the program tries to force a mode where the bars show and locks out the zoom on 4:3 broadcasts, you can force it to zoom anyways by faking the box into believing you have a widescreen, then the zoom feature works no matter what. now i can enjoy my KET in full-screen now!
 
#8
I'll add in some more, while it can get annoying, if you're viewing a 16:9 signal and it is 'letterboxed' as in bars on top/bottom only it will only zoom if you go back into menu and put the TV type back to 4:3. it may be repetitive but at least i can use all my 25"
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#9
I'll add in some more, while it can get annoying, if you're viewing a 16:9 signal and it is 'letterboxed' as in bars on top/bottom only it will only zoom if you go back into menu and put the TV type back to 4:3. it may be repetitive but at least i can use all my 25"
I'll never understand the whole aspect ratio thing and why we can't have a full picture even with a widescreen 16:9. :confused:
 
#11
the problem i had was the signal was a 4:3 type and i do have a 4:3 TV, unfortunately the picture on 25" TVs only shows up as a postage stamp in the dead-center as if the broadcaster doesn't expand the picture to fit all TVs, which makes sense because there'd be a great many angry 13" TV users who's pictures are cut off by many inches. so obviously they format it the best they can, and the bars are only on larger standard TVs. but since it's at their end the box sees any attempt at zooming impossible until you fake the widescreen mode and try again, or vice versa if you have a widescreen tv viewing a widescreen picture that's sandwiched with the black bands.

The biggest problem was on PBS-SD and KET's networks. they all were postage-stamped. and only in 4:3 mode viewing on a 4:3 TV it doesn't let you zoom and crop. other channels were in 16:9 so on a 4:3 TV you have all options with zoom. however, not all 4:3 pictures are sent out that small, some others like FOX work fine on 25" TVs, even though the zoom is still locked out.
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top