I'm disappointed with the picture quality of my new Samsung UN32EH5000 LED HDTV (1080p/60Hz) when viiewing SD channels at 480i (720x480/60i). My new HD set top is the Pace RNG110. The RNG110 User Settings/TV Display Capability show YES to all resolutions. My questions are:
Are all of Comcast's SD channels at 480i resolution?
Is it normal for 480i SD channels to look bad when viewed with a 1080p HDTV?
The picture looks great when viewing HD channels. But SD channels looked better to me with my 15 year old CRT SD TV, which died from a liightning strike a month ago.
Thanks for the quick reply. I am a little concerned about not stretching because of the warning in the Samsung LED TV User Manual that says
"the images displayed should primarily be in the wide screen 16:9 ratio format, or expanded to fill the screen if your model offers this feature and the images are constantly moving. Displaying stationary graphics and images on screen, such as the dark sidebars on non-expanded standard format television video and programming, should be limited to no more than 5% of the total television viewing per week. Displaying stationary images that exceed the above guidelines can cause uneven aging of LED displays that leave subtle, but permanent burned-in ghost images in the LED picture. To avoid this, vary the programming and images, and primarily display full screen moving images, not stationary patterns or dark bars."
I never watch stationary images, so it's only the dark sidebars that concerns me. The RNG110 has an "Auto Pillarbox" setting that I will try to see the effect.
Yes, all SD programming is 480I and it looks bad on a HDTV. It looks worse because the full Comcast boxes stretch SD programming to fill the screen than native 4x3. Some boxes you can adjust for the SD not to be stretched, but not all.
You can go into the user menu and play with the size, look over starting with page 10 on the RNG110 manual here
The comment about SD looking better on a CRT has been around ever since HDTV's came about. Everyone says that.