Turning off the DVR box and leaving the TV on pressing the menu button on the box and use the scroll buttons on the box to change the setting of the TV screen. On mine I selected "stretch." It seems that there were only three options. Mine was set on NATIVE. It did fill the screen, YAHOO. THANK YOU rog286712
I'm afraid it went out the window when the latest Comcast "upgrade" took effect. You know,... the "by popular demand" COMCAST upgrade.
. Along with it went.. .PIP (pic. in pic) and the old, extensive "search by theme" feature and the automatic record interface for VCR recording (it won't start the actual recording anymore, it just automatically changes the channel on the box at the start time for the recording) , and who knows what else?
What does help is knowing that folks lke you make the effort to help out with our Comcast problems. Too bad Comcast doesn't know the answers !
I ordered a DVR box when I switched to Comcast and SURE ENOUGH, the Comcast tech. came with a NON-DVR box and didn't have one like I ordered on his truck... .. SHEEESH. I did get the model no. of my current box but don't have it offhand right now. I let him install it (prob. the cheapest box they got) and tried it out and it worked good enough (i still have the ole trusty VCR connected). The Zoom/Stretch thingy WORKED on my conventional/non HDTV set. Like I wrote, those features stopped working immediately after their "upgrade".
There is no way to access the 4:3 (3:4 ?) "switch" on that box so I couldn't employ the other reply concerning trying that solution out. I checked everywhere. Looks like I'll have to accept some pictures that don't fill the screen, MOST are fine anyways.
Thanks to all the repliers. My 36" Toshiba console regular TV is over 15 yrs. old and the picture is still absolutely beautiful. And it gets used a-PLENTY too. TO ME, the HDTVs DO have a clearer pic. due to the higher resolution, but to tell ya my thoughts... I feel like I'm watching cartoons when I watch them. Somehow the pictures look a little artificial to me. MUST BE that I've watched that tv for TOO LONG, maybe? Still, when my current set goes kaput, I'm sure I'll get used to the HDTV and prob. order the DVR box and my problems should be solved. Pretty sure that's the only solution for me.
BTW, when I called Comcast about them bringing me the wrong box, they told me that I won't be charged for the service call part when their technician brings me the DVR box I ordered. Ain't that just great of them?
I told them thanks, BUT, no thanks I got used to using the VCR for the few programs I record for now and I'm well stocked with new tapes anyway.
Jay0266, I came across something that helped me out with your same problem. Not sure if it'll be the same on your cable box, but with my Scientific Atlanta 8300 DVR, if you press the # button on the remote, it cycles through the Normal, Zoom & Strech picture settings. My remote is older, like my cable box/dvr...it's a Synergy V.
Sorry it didn't help. As for the picture being different at different times of day or with different content on, I even see that with a HD TV. The older shows and programs that were never filmed in HD or widescreen formats will be one size, and the newer ones filmed for those formats, or movies from theaters filmed in widescreen, will be another size. It doesn't make much sense to broadcast something filmed in SD in an HD format when you can't get HD out of it.
Thank you for your well written reply, hbillings. I did try it every which way before but didn't try holding the HD Zoom button (I tried it using the Menu and also with the Settings buttons). Still no Zoom, Zoom trying the HD Zoom button. Thought that would be the case since you have an HDTV and probably a different box. I'm beginning to think that the Comcast's Tech's "guess" was right... ain't gonna work with a SD tv and I don't even know about needing Comcast's HD service or whether I already have it. The big thing is that it DID work with my cable box and tv BEFORE THEIR "DOWNgrade" (you know, their new and "improved" channel guide). I do appreciate your help though.
One funny thing... . . This part has nothing to do with my problem but -> I put on AMC yesterday, daytime, and the screen is small. I put it on after 1 a.m. twice (two seperate nights) and the movie fills the screen. Go figure. Also, I notice that on some channels - the commercials will fill the screen and then when they go back to their regular program, after the commercial, the screen is small. That gives some credence to what the technician said (still, I ain't sure about this?) that is - "it costs the networks/stations more to broadcast in HD than SD so they cut costs whenever they can (overnight, commercials and maybe also old movies)". Actually, majority of channels do fill the screen, but never ESPN, ESPN2
I'm about as confused as a cow on astroturf. (Anybody watch Repo Man; I got that from them).
I guess I'll have to live with small screens on some channels. Maybe it's me, but I prefer the SD over HDTV. Feel like I'm watching cartoons on HDTV and my SD set has a beautiful, REALISTIC picture.
I don't have a standard def TV attached to the box, but had to do some major trouble shooting with support to finally figure this one out. The new box configuration seems to "talk" to the TV differently than the old configuration for some reason. So, you might need to twiddle around with settings on both the TV AND the DVR box.
The thing they seem to leave out of the instructions when you're setting up the DVR box is that you need to have the TV on and the box off before starting (yeah, not too obvious). With the box OFF, there are a few different ways to get to the same options. The easiest is on your remote to press HDZoom (because then you'll have all the other buttons you're going to need on your remote). When you do that, you should get a menu turn on that you navigate using the A and B buttons on your remote. That lets you tell the box what type of TV you have.
Once you do that, then turn on the box, get a channel, and you'll have to figure out how to get to your TV settings based on your TV manual. Then it's a matter of playing with all of the options, change the TV screen size formatting, play with HD zoom and see if it looks right. If not, try another format, toggle around the zoom again, etc.
I think I was on the phone a good half hour or more with the service rep literally reading the documentation as we worked on it, trying to figure out how to do it himself, because the system is so new, the reps don't even know all the bugs yet (at least he'll be one ready to help the next person with this question).
I hope that helps...now off to see if someone can figure out my problems.
Thank you so much, Rog. Forums like this work with people like you.
I'm not jumping from joy yet though. Thanks to your link, I've identified the box I got. IT's not the one I ordered OF COURSE but it worked fine without DVR which I'm really not that much interested in anyways. Yeah, I think it's the cheapest box my friends at Comcast have; it's the Cisco RNG100. It's hooked up correctly and WORKED CORRECTLY (zoom/stretch) before Comcast's "DOWNgrade".
I tried all the things... turn the box off, press Setup OR Menu.. nothing. There is no way it will ASK what kind of TV I got. There is a "Box Setup" thing you can access via the Main Menu. Tried Box Setup ->CONFIGURATION button and you get a screen that has all the specs. listed. Nothing about "tv type" and even if there was.. you cannot change anything on that list - you can ONLY read the list. One thing you could change on the Box Setup screen was RF output which was on 3. Didn't think changing that to 4 and puting the TV on channel 4 would work. I was right, tried that... still no Zoom/Stretch on any channel. Put everything back on channel 3.
If ANYBODY got their Zoom/Stretch to work on a STANDARD Definition (not HDTV) television since the Comcast Guide DOWNgrade... .. that would answer this post. Only glimmer of hope is that it will still work with a different box. I'm thinking the answer is NO... thems just disabled that feature and we all know why they did that. Thanks again for your efforts, Rog.
Yes comcast did disable the PIP on the new guide roll out. Yes if you have a 4:3 tv you cant stretch it, thats only for hd 16:9 tv's what you can do is set the tv type to 4:3 where it asks you your tv type. click this link identify your cable box and follow the instrucitons there.
THANK YOU.MycroftHolmes4.. that is EXACTLY the situation. Here's an update....
I called Comcast and the person I spoke to thought it's the settings on my TV. That's absurd, but I agreed to have a tech visit me without charge. I figured he would have an explanation and probably (I thought) no solution. Sure enough, he told me that HD channels will do that if (1) I have a NON HD tv (I do) and (2) I didn't upgrade to HD "service" from Comcast (of course). BTW, for folks who have PIP (pic. in pic) TVs and are experiencing problems NOW... he told me that's not working for them since the Comcast "upgrade". My answer to him concerning my problem was, "HOW COME, before Comcast did this "update" thing, with MY box AND my remote control - I pressed Zoom/Stretch button and IT DID WORK.? It did distort the pic, but it kinda proportionately distorted it and I could live with that better than losing at least 30% of my screen size. He just shook his shoulders. Sure looks to me like Comcast disabled it; It's all about the money and not the customers.
So with the cable box off and the tv on, you press menu on the remote and do you get a menu that pops up that asks you what signal type you have? You selected 1080i (if you have have a 1080 screen)? did you select stretch ( if you want to stretch non hd programming? If you did all that, your saying that none of those changes changed anything on your tv?
I have a 16:9 television with a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HDC box. Again, this is not a problem that had always existed since I got the box; it only started happening 2 weeks ago. There are letterbox lines on both sides of the TV when viewing all of the HD channels. I know there is more picture because much of the text on teh far left and far right of the screen is covered up (i.e. I can only see part of the words). I've tried turning the TV off and going into User Settings, but as far as I can tell, those do nothing when I chance the settings.
Again... .. I have the box (NON HD) that the "service" tech. brought with my installation about 2-3 months ago. He did say that everything coming through it would be in HD. Whatever the case, the picture is great with my SD TV. BTW, he did NOT bring the box I ordered (DVR box). I let him install the box he brought anyway and WITH THAT BOX - the "ZOOM/STRETCH" button worked fine and allowed me to get a full screen on the channels that showed a small picture.
NOW, since their "improved" guide. improved FOR COMCAST that is, is in effect... I cannot get a full screen (Zoom/Stretch button no longer does a dang thang).. They removed the features that were useful and put in paths (On Demand) that would lead to places that featured BUYING cheap movies and subscriptions to useless stuff from them. Oh yeah, they did replace the excellent SEARCH features of the old guide with very limited search capabilities. Try searching based on a THEME now, like say.. "reality". They're hellbent on agravating their current uses by continually advertising/promoting high tech features at additional costs to their customers, MANY, MANY of who cannot be bothered or just don't understand how to program a VCR. I'm thinking their ploy this time is to make users who have the box they brought me needing to "upgrade" their cable box. At additional costs OF COURSE. You know, like no longer allowing my cable box to AUTOmatically set the VCR to record a program.... .. . DVR box for ONLY 10 bucks more a month, anyone?
.My condolences to the members of their Customer Support Dept. who must be pulling their hair out.
What cable box do you have? Do you have a 16:9 television? Yes stretching the show will distort the picture, the stretch only works for Non HD channels. I can only speak for the motorola dct box that I have.
Will stretching it distort the picture? I've tried that several times and nothing happens. This is just on the HD channels (I've always had the letterbox lines on the regular channels), and only started happening last week. What is strange is that on some of the HD channels, like TBS, that now have letterbox lines on the left and the right, the lines are covering up some of the channel's logos (you can only see part of the TBS logo). So its obvious that there is more of the picture there, but the letterbox is covering it.
what box do you have? Normal signal shows will show black bars on the side and not fill the screen. If you have an hd box press the menu button with the box powered off, that will bring up the menu to allow you to stretch your picture to fill a 16:9 TV when the broadcast signal is not widescreen.
I have the same problem. On HD channels the picture does not fill up the screen, like it used to. Before xfinity, there was a "display" setting I could go to, but now there doesn't seem to be any way to alter the display.
Several movie channels like AMC f'rinstance do not fill my TV screen anymore. Strangely, when those channels go to commercials, the screen fills. I was able to adjust this with "Zoom" or "Stretch" before your "improved" (yeah, right) changes to the Guide. You changed much more than the guide.
The box I have is the simplest one you offer (no HD button on remote). Any way to get my screen to fill the viewing area like I used to?