Freeview Picture Formats



:) So, some of the new Freeview channels have started broadcasting today, including the Sky News/Travel/Sports News, The Hits, TMF, and UK-History.

:mad: Unfortunately, none are currently widescreen, and even worse The Hits and UK-History seem to be a small version of 4:3 with black borders top and bottom as well as bigger black borders each side.

:confused: I can get my TV to zoom in (14:9 seems like the best option) but can anyone explain why these two channels are being transmitted in this reduced format? I guess the smaller picture demand less bandwidth; is this the reason?


TV - Sony IDTV KD-32100DX
DVD - Pioneer DV-444
Amp - Denon AVR-2802
Spkrs - Mission FS2-AV


Staff member
No difference in bandwidth. 16x9 TV pictures are the same technically as 4x3 ones - just the contents that differ.

My guess: UK History has a high proportion of historic footage which will have been shot 4x3 so it seems appropriate.

Music channels - music videos are notoriously (?) inconsistent in their formats. They have three options - show everything 4x3 (letterboxed if the video is widescreen) or - show everything 16x9 (windowboxed if the video is 4x3) or - switch ratios mid-programme to fit. The latter would get annoying to viewers, especially if their autoswitching isn't working. As to the others - well, I'd go for everything 16x9, but I'm unsure that other people would unanimously agree.

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