Black bars on Sky One HD

Pat_C

Novice Member
Just had an HD box installed yesterday, connected to a Sony 32S2010 via HDMI. Played around with auto and 1080i, and decided on 1080i output as that seemed to work best.

However, I noticed tonight that the Simpsons on Sky One HD had black bars down each side of the screen. The TV was detecting 1080i, even when I changed the output to auto. The same program on Sky One was fine, no black bars, either on 1080i or auto (576p). No other channels do this - even UK Gold works fine on both settings. And the SD program after the Simpsons was fine too.

Does this seem normal?
 
It's because The Simpson isn't made in widescreen (16.9) format. Next time something like Star Trek:Next Generation is on, check that - it'll be the same. Because all HD channels upscale programmes that aren't made in HD to 1080i or720p, this effects the ability to "stretch" the screen using your TV's modes ie cinema, panaromic etc.
 

Pat_C

Novice Member
But as I have the HD box output set to 1080i surely the same would apply to all the programs on UK Gold (which doesn't have the bars, but must be all 4:3)?
 
Q

Quickbeam

Guest
4:3 SD content on Sky's HD channels is cropped to 14:9 by Sky prior to transmission, hence the black sidebars.

When the SkyHD box is set to 720p or 1080i, the box automatically stretches 4:3 SD content to 16:9, so there are no black sidebars (but the aspect ratio is wrong).

When the SkyHD box is set to AUTO, SD channels are not stretched and you should be able to make manual picture adjustments on your TV (wide, zoom, 4:3 etc) to suit your needs.
 

Russellgti

Active Member
Quickbeam said:
4:3 SD content on Sky's HD channels is cropped to 14:9 by Sky prior to transmission, hence the black sidebars.

When the SkyHD box is set to 720p or 1080i, the box automatically stretches 4:3 SD content to 16:9, so there are no black sidebars (but the aspect ratio is wrong).
I have just tried setting it from auto to both the above resolution and the black bars remain.
 

Ultra2man

Well-known Member
Russellgti said:
I have just tried setting it from auto to both the above resolution and the black bars remain.
Unfortunately you missed the bottom line out in your qoute of Quickbeam's post which says that you have to adjust it manually.
 

Pat_C

Novice Member
Quickbeam said:
When the SkyHD box is set to 720p or 1080i, the box automatically stretches 4:3 SD content to 16:9, so there are no black sidebars (but the aspect ratio is wrong).
But that is exactly what isn't happening, at least for the Simpsons on my TV.
When the SkyHD box is set to AUTO, SD channels are not stretched and you should be able to make manual picture adjustments on your TV (wide, zoom, 4:3 etc) to suit your needs.
With a 1080i signal all of my TV picture controls (zoom, smart etc.) are disabled.
 

Ultra2man

Well-known Member
Just to clarify what is happening here.
When you set the Sky box to output 1080i or 720p most displays loose the ability to adjust the picture size(ie zoom, wide etc.)
When you have the box set to this if you are watching an HD channel any material that was not made in widescreen will have black bars down the side.
If you are watching an SD channel on this setting then any non widescreen material will be streched to fill the screen hence no black bars down the side.

When you set the Sky box to the Auto setting, when viewing HD channels what I have said above will still apply.When watching SD channels the display will now switch to 576p and should allow you to maually adjust the picture size.
I have seen a few posts where people say that the auto aspect ratio function works when you have the box set to Auto ( as when using the old scart connection) but this seems to be the minority of displays that do that.
 

Pat_C

Novice Member
Thank you for clarifying. Now the only thing I don't understand is why they can't stretch 4:3 material when they broadcast it on the HD channels, as they do with the SD channels.
 

richardr

Active Member
Pat_C said:
Thank you for clarifying. Now the only thing I don't understand is why they can't stretch 4:3 material when they broadcast it on the HD channels, as they do with the SD channels.
The Sky One HD channel is broadcast as 16:9 only. Thus any black bars on 4:3 material are broadcast as part of the picture. Hence, it can't be stretched, unlike an SD 4:3 channel.
 

Ultra2man

Well-known Member
Pat_C said:
Thank you for clarifying. Now the only thing I don't understand is why they can't stretch 4:3 material when they broadcast it on the HD channels, as they do with the SD channels.
I'm just repeating what Quickbeam said again, 4:3 material on the HD channels is actaully presented in 14:9. What you are actaully seeing is a 4:3 image with a bit missing from the top and bottom of it. what this does is reduce the size of the black bars that you are seeing at the sides.
I can only assume that the broadcaster does not want to distort the picture by streching it . Zooming the 4:3 picture to completely fill the screen any more that it is already would mean a lot more of the picture would be lost.
Half of the time you would only be seeing half on an actors face if they did that.
In fact when you watch a 4:3 image on your display in SD it is not the broadcaster that is stretching it. It is your display that is doing the stretching depending on what mode you have it set to.
 

sprattgraham

Novice Member
I've got a Sagem HD-D50 G4 T and when ever I switch to a channel that using 4:3 the TV will switch to 4:3 Mode when I go back to a 16:9 channel the TV switch to 16:9 Mode

The Sky HD box is set to 720p I've tried all the modes and it make no difference

This will only happen if the Sky Box has been in standby so when it switches to 4:3. If I tell the TV to use 16:9 it will always use 16:9, I can even turn the TV off unplug it and 4:3 will still be 16:9.

If I put the Sky HD box in standby bring it out and go to 4:3 channel it starts all over again and the TV switch to 4:3.
 

mmace

Novice Member
Pat_C said:
The same program on Sky One was fine, no black bars
how the hell can people say that this is fine?????

A 4:3 programme should be shown in 4:3, not 14:9 and not streched to 16:9
 

Kevo

Well-known Member
With the Sky HD box set to 'Auto' I assume it will switch to 1080i on all HD channels?

Also, interesting to see if the new Simpsons movie will be made in WS.
 
Kevo said:
With the Sky HD box set to 'Auto' I assume it will switch to 1080i on all HD channels?

Also, interesting to see if the new Simpsons movie will be made in WS.
It should be - it's being released in cinema's.
 

Pat_C

Novice Member
mmace said:
how the hell can people say that this is fine?????

A 4:3 programme should be shown in 4:3, not 14:9 and not streched to 16:9
Yes, I meant fine in that the black bars are not present. But obviously it is stretched. I'd got used to that though - in 4:3 Homer Simpson looks almost anorexic to me now.
 

Pat_C

Novice Member
Kevo said:
With the Sky HD box set to 'Auto' I assume it will switch to 1080i on all HD channels?
Yes, and 576p on SD channels. I understand what is happening now, I just wanted to check that it was normal.
 

derek500

Well-known Member
I'm just repeating what Quickbeam said again, 4:3 material on the HD channels is actaully presented in 14:9. What you are actaully seeing is a 4:3 image with a bit missing from the top and bottom of it. what this does is reduce the size of the black bars that you are seeing at the sides.
I can only assume that the broadcaster does not want to distort the picture by streching it.
Not entirely right. Sky Arts HD and C4 HD transmit 4:3 programmes in 4:3. As we know The Simpsons has been zoomed to 14:9 on Sky One HD.

Unfortunately, on Sky Sports HD presentations they just stretch the 4:3 to 16:9. Golf Night is an example of this and I think they even put a W on the banner!!
 

bobcar

Novice Member
Unfortunately, on Sky Sports HD presentations they just stretch the 4:3 to 16:9. Golf Night is an example of this and I think they even put a W on the banner!!
I'm considering getting Sky HD but I won't if I have to watch fattyvision sometimes. I assume though that this is just SD programmes so I can switch to the SD channel and watch it properly in 4:3 via scart?
 

derek500

Well-known Member
I'm considering getting Sky HD but I won't if I have to watch fattyvision sometimes. I assume though that this is just SD programmes so I can switch to the SD channel and watch it properly in 4:3 via scart?
Yes, or if your TV allows, my Samsung does, you can change the aspect ratio manually.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member

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