SKY HD Showing Black Borders

ChampManFan

Novice Member
I've already phoned Sky twice without success, so maybe someone has an idea with this problem as I'm totally stuck & don't know whats going on with these programs or if its a problem with my Sky HD box...


When I watch a HD program, mostly on Sky1 HD (trying to watch Lion Man), I get black bars on the left and right despite the program saying its in WD. Normally with programs in the past such as Stargate it would fill up the full screen as mine is widescreen. When the adverts come on inbetween it would revert to widescreen, then back to 4:3 with the black bars on the program resuming. Its fine on the films channels (apart from some old films like Columbo), sports and documentaries.

I've got the settings on my Sky HD box as 16:9, RGB, 1080i. I have the HDMI lead going into my AV receiver then the HDMI output lead going from the AV into my TV. I've tried setting the picture on Sky options as 4:3 to match the picture so it fills the screen but it stays the same.

I hope thats enough info. The only simple 'solution' is to watch/record the troublesome programs in SD instead of HD so it fills the screen, but I'm already paying the full whack so I don't want to go back. Does anyone else get these black bars in HD ?

Thanks :)
 

kenedin

Well-known Member
Sky HD shows programmes in their normal format. If made in 16:9 that's how they come onscreen. If made in 4:3, they will not be stretched across the screen in order to fill it. SD channels are stretched ( with consequent loss of definition ).

Don't worry, it's all perfectly normal.
 

hig

Standard Member
Perfectly normal, but looks sh*t...
I also hate this happening and would much prefer to watch a 'stretched' picture or at least have the option to stretch it myself (which we cant do cos the bars are hard coded onto the output) rather than watch half a screen...
 

mattyboy_72

Novice Member
Gotta say I think a stretched picture looks (using your vernacular) 'sh*t', but as the op said, watch it in SD. Then at least the 'sh*t' picture will be canceled out by the lack of 'sh*t' bars...;)
 

curveball

Novice Member
I am sure you know this but just for info:

Some programmes on "HD" channels are not HD. To check just press your info button whilst you are watching and if it doesn't say HD then it aint HD!

Many complain about the lack of HD channels but the issue goes deeper than that (as explained above).

Me? How do I justify HD? Well to watch the footy in HD is worth the subscription.............just.
 

Giblets2

Novice Member
You will find that most people here disagree with your definition of sh*t and actually think that what you want is, let's just say, not the best picture option. When you display 4:3 broadcasts in 16:9 you get what I call 'stretchy-vision', people standing up look very fat and if they lie down they look very long and thin. The program was made to be displayed on a 4:3 screen and when you watch it on a 16:9 display Sky helpfully add the black bars - thank god!

If you really don't want the black bars do as those above have said or buy a 4:3 TV! :thumbsup:
 

kevandalice

Active Member
If you don't like the black bars then just switch to the SD version of the channel and watch in stretchy-vision as programs broadcast with vertical bars aren't HD anyway
 

mark1080p

Well-known Member
Im pretty Ive read somewhere (think on this forum) that all HDTV filming/recording is on 16:9 ratio. I dont think theres 4:3 HD cameras available? even my HD Camcorder only records in 16:9 format

So if thats the case just watch the sd version
 

Starburst

Novice Member
Im pretty Ive read somewhere (think on this forum) that all HDTV filming/recording is on 16:9 ratio. I dont think theres 4:3 HD cameras available? even my HD Camcorder only records in 16:9 format

So if thats the case just watch the sd version



Yep, HD is a widescreen format however there is still content out there filmed in a 4:3 ratio which can be remastered in HD and thus the pillarboxes are there for a technical reason rather than to fill out the 16:9 frame when showing 4:3 upscales.
 

Ragnarok

Active Member
Well Done Sky!!!!

I can finaly watch 4:3 shows on the higher quality channel without any stretching, cropping or other deformations of the original 4:3 picture. This is how 4:3 programs should be shown on HD channels!!! Well done Sky again.

All thats Left is for Sky sports and particularly the Champions league coverage to follow suit and stop broadcasting a deformed mess from 4:3 host broadcasts!!
At least most of the time on Sky sports HD you can flick the aspect ratio manually to 4:3 apart from the champions league coverage.
 
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Ragnarok

Active Member
I hope thats enough info. The only simple 'solution' is to watch/record the troublesome programs in SD instead of HD so it fills the screen, but I'm already paying the full whack so I don't want to go back. Does anyone else get these black bars in HD ?

Thanks :)
The broadcast is perfect, it puts the picture on your screen in the correct shape, no distortions, people are not made to look shorter and fatter on the screen. It's is how any professional will show a 4:3 program on a 16:9 screen!!!

If it bothers you set the aspect ratio to 4:3 in the picture settings and watch via scart. It cuts the borders off through the scart and doesn't affect the HDMI/Componant outputs .
 
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mercury2

Active Member
for people who want the 4:3 picture to be stretched...doesn't pretty much every 'HD ready' TV have an option to zoom/stretch etc ?
 
Why anyone would prefer stretchy vision, gawd only knows... I find it appalling and the blight of many channels when watching via HDMI and set to 1080i.
 

Broadz

Well-known Member
for people who want the 4:3 picture to be stretched...doesn't pretty much every 'HD ready' TV have an option to zoom/stretch etc ?
Don't quite think you're understanding the fattyvision fan's problem.

If you watch via HDMI with your Sky HD box set to 1080i or 720p rather than Auto, or on a HD channel that is actually showing upscaled SD, your TV will automatically stretch the picture. To combat this and prevent people being forced to watch fattyvision, Sky have manually introduced black bars into the upscaled picture, so that when the TV stretches the picture out, the artificial black bars will appear to the left and right of the picture, making the picture still appear to be 4:3 as it should. So, Sky have done the right thing.

But of course, there are always certain people who think that a widescreen TV should never show black bars, and all 4:3 pictures should be stretched into fattyvision mode. So, the good thing that Sky have done is now being condemned by certain forum members because it means that they can't get rid of the black bars, and can't watch supposed 4:3 high definition pictures stetched abnormally. As other forum members have then reminded them, the 4:3 pictures aren't true high definition anyway (only upscaled) and them manually stretching a 4:3 picture to fill the screen only distorts it even more, so they might as well watch these programmes on the SD channel if they intend to mess the picture up. Cos the 4:3 SD picture will allow them to stretch it however they like.
 

mercury2

Active Member
i usually use one of the zoom modes on my TV if there are black bars, for things like the simpsons on sky HD and films with bars at the top and bottom
think people don't like the bars because all the screen isnt being used, not because it makes the picture looked stretched....so why not just use a zoom mode to fill the screen
 

Jonstone

Well-known Member
Why does everyone on these forums always get so 'snobby' when people ask questions regarding stretching a 4:3 signal to fill a widescreen television.

It may well not be to your taste but it doesn't make the personal preference of someone else wrong or stupid.
 

Jonstone

Well-known Member
i usually use one of the zoom modes on my TV if there are black bars, for things like the simpsons on sky HD and films with bars at the top and bottom
think people don't like the bars because all the screen isnt being used, not because it makes the picture looked stretched....so why not just use a zoom mode to fill the screen
Not all televisions will let you zoom an hd feed
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
Can a mod make a sticky along the lines of.


"Don't post a thread about black borders on HD channels"


We must be getting atleast one a month.
 

jackobite

Novice Member
I've already phoned Sky twice without success, so maybe someone has an idea with this problem as I'm totally stuck & don't know whats going on with these programs or if its a problem with my Sky HD box...


When I watch a HD program, mostly on Sky1 HD (trying to watch Lion Man), I get black bars on the left and right despite the program saying its in WD. Normally with programs in the past such as Stargate it would fill up the full screen as mine is widescreen. When the adverts come on inbetween it would revert to widescreen, then back to 4:3 with the black bars on the program resuming. Its fine on the films channels (apart from some old films like Columbo), sports and documentaries.

I've got the settings on my Sky HD box as 16:9, RGB, 1080i. I have the HDMI lead going into my AV receiver then the HDMI output lead going from the AV into my TV. I've tried setting the picture on Sky options as 4:3 to match the picture so it fills the screen but it stays the same.

I hope thats enough info. The only simple 'solution' is to watch/record the troublesome programs in SD instead of HD so it fills the screen, but I'm already paying the full whack so I don't want to go back. Does anyone else get these black bars in HD ?

Thanks :)
i get this as well....it,s not the sky box..watching a old film on channel four sd..film filled screen....switching to channel fours 140 hd channel it was 4.3...why? the film was i sd!!!..also ive noticed the si-fi channel they seem to be in a world of there own...known wide screen programmes dont fill screen..2/3ins from top...yet the same programme..AND episode on the bbc fill the screen...?!? why..there doest seem to be any ryme or reason for this...even when watching fox news the break in between....does not fill screen why??it,s a puzzle..because there,s no need to do this.....and itv,s you,ve been framed has gone mad ...away from the sides or top im expecting to see it as a triangle on screen....it,s a sort of mix and match!!!....if your running in a plasm tv...it,s worring ...i just dont watch it any more.....why cant these channels come up with a situation for this....im not going to mention the add,s....ach i will...they are all over the shop wide.narrow, but im sure you see this for yourselves..bloody annoying... jackobite
 
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mattclarkie

Novice Member
i get this as well....it,s not the sky box..watching a old film on channel four sd..film filled screen....switching to channel fours 140 hd channel it was 4.3...why? the film was i sd!!!..also ive noticed the si-fi channel they seem to be in a world of there own...know wide screen programmes dont fill screen..2/3ins from top...yet the same programme..AND episode on the bbc fill the screen...?!? why..there doest seem to be any ryme or reason for this...even when watching fox news the break in between....does not fill screen why??it,s a puzzle..because there,s no need to do this.....and itv,s you,ve been framed has gone mad ...away from the sides or top im expecting to see it as a triangle on screen....it,s a sort of mix and match!!!....if your running in a plasm tv...it,s worring ...i just dont watch it any more.....why cant these channels come up with a situation for this....im not going to mention the add,s....ach i will...they are all over the shop wide.narrow, but im sure you see this for yourselves..bloody annoying... jackobite
Sci-Fi is 14:9 and not 16:9 AFAIK.


There is no fixed resolution that broadcasters have to use, so when mixed with the overscan of traditional SD TVs and cameras the screens are cropped for various reasons. I don't understand channels not using native 16:9 or 4:3 resolutions, but complaining about black bars that have a purpose is barmy.
 
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jackobite

Novice Member
Must be just me then.... :suicide:
no it,s not you heaps of my friends watch thier big screen tv,s with a full picture filling screen....and enjoy it even old films from the tcm channel are great...i don,t get streched ...picture they look good to me....what difference would it make to the simpsons??? on sd it fills screen...on hd a square 4.3 picture this is crap...very little difference..in quality of the programme...on either...so programme makers...FILL THE BLOODY SCREEN!!! jackobite.
 

Starburst

Novice Member
Why does everyone on these forums always get so 'snobby' when people ask questions regarding stretching a 4:3 signal to fill a widescreen television.

It may well not be to your taste but it doesn't make the personal preference of someone else wrong or stupid.


I wouldn't say everyone:)
Most can explain the situation in regards to a lot of people having watched through ignorance a 4:3 programme stretched to fill the 16:9 frame without taking personal offence even when it's the thousandth time it's been covered:) Once the OP knows what's what then they can choose to view the programme as they wish and no more need be said but they have to first understand that the odds are many people have been watching stretchyvision and accepting that as the norm for modern digital SD broadcasting even HD when it isn't.

I think the simple issue is that the AVF is geared towards more regular and maybe more technically savvy posters and hence they may see it as that anyone with HD to even consider distorting the ratio or cropping a source as being unacceptable in any way shape or form. Afterall the main reason to get HD is to have a picture closer to what the director/producers created although many would say a "better" picture but that has led to many a thread discussing grain and other factors with flat panels:)
 

dennett316

Well-known Member
I think that everything should be shown in it's proper aspect ratio...yet I watch the Simpsons in SD stretchy-vision.

Why?

Because the sky1HD upscale is terrible quality in comparison with CH4HD's upscale. The sky1HD version just looks awful, solid black lines suddenly have a cross-hatch pattern on them making them fuzzy. The SD broadcast doesn't suffer from this, but it sure is stretchy.
 

ChampManFan

Novice Member
Thanks all for the feedback. But remember not to be overly sarcastic (no digs at anyone in particular) as no one person can know it all - otherwise there wouldn't be AVF to seek valuable help. :smashin:

...The program was made to be displayed on a 4:3 screen and when you watch it on a 16:9 display Sky helpfully add the black bars - thank god! If you really don't want the black bars do as those above have said or buy a 4:3 TV! :thumbsup:
Well Giblets, if it was made to be displayed in 4:3, then why does it says W in the descriptions bar when you press 'I'. Could this be an error on Sky's behalf putting that there?

And I agree that we don't want normal people being stretched twice the size like when widescreen first came out, but todays technology deals much better with this. I guess Sky are just catering for the folk with 4:3 TVs who suffer the black bars at the top & bottom to even it out for all ;)


I am sure you know this but just for info:

Some programmes on "HD" channels are not HD. To check just press your info button whilst you are watching and if it doesn't say HD then it aint HD!
I know this but it nearly caught me out ;) I do make a note anyway of checking to make sure its in HD - it still looks alot better than watching it on a SD channel where theres too much compression going on.

Shouldn't there be an option if you watch the picture 'stretched' (because the black bars are so big) in the Picture options? When you watch a non-Widescreen program/film in HD, you feel less immersed with whats going on. This problem will only get worse as tvs get wider to show off films better in 2:35:1 ratios, etc. I've always been in favour of wider screens, but since this issue, I'm not too keen on it now.

...If it bothers you set the aspect ratio to 4:3 in the picture settings and watch via scart. It cuts the borders off through the scart and doesn't affect the HDMI/Componant outputs .
Theres a good idea, not tried that yet :thumbsup:

for people who want the 4:3 picture to be stretched...doesn't pretty much every 'HD ready' TV have an option to zoom/stretch etc ?
My LG plasma doesn't stretch the picture, the Apspect ratio is either, 16:9, 4:3 or zoom, thats it. And even changing from 16:9 to 4:3 then zoom makes no difference.

Can a mod make a sticky along the lines of.

"Don't post a thread about black borders on HD channels"

We must be getting atleast one a month.
I did do a search for 20mins in these forums without finding another post for a good solution. And anyway, Sky 1 HD 'used' to fill the screen and I was also thinking if it was a problem with my Sky box. If you found other posts with black bars left and right, then please post the links in here to keep them together.
 

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