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Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

kmason5727
Frequent Visitor

Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

Hello, 

I have notice many channels are not displaying the correct aspect ratio.

I am in the Miami, FL market and watching on an X1 box.  I understand not all channels are HD, but when tuning to, for example, 1810, the movie is squeezed horizontally with two black bars above and below it. My 16x9 screen should be filled with the whole screen. So, in essence the movie looks stretched. Now, when I view it on the website, it looks perfect.

It seems to be a setting in Comcast because some channels look good, while others do not. 

If someone wants to contact me, I'll be more than happy to go through to help fix the channels that need to be adjusted.

 

In the picture.... Left side is X1 Box. Right side is XFinity Stream.

Notice how Tom Hanks is stretched on the left side. Settings on the TV are correct20200617_155028.jpg

Hope this helps.

Thanks,

Ken

billmich88888
Regular Contributor

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

Sometimes movies are shot with such an extremely wide screen aspect ratio that there are STILL the top/bottom bars, even on widescreen tv's

kmason5727
Frequent Visitor

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

>>Sometimes movies are shot with such an extremely wide screen aspect ratio that there are STILL the top/bottom bars, even on widescreen tv's

 

Yes. I understand the cinematic aspect ratio. If you were able to see the pic, you would see what I mean.

I made the pic smaller... hopefully you can see it.

20200617_155028.jpg

Sample 

Thanks, ken

MNtundraRET
Expert

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

The best thing to do is use your TV remote and test each version of Aspect ratios available: Auto, Normal, Wide (somtimes more than one), Cinema. Alot depends on the signal the provider uploaded to Comcast system: 420p, 720p, or 1080i.

 

Movies produced for wide-screen, Omni, etc., theators will end up with black horizontal borders. The vast majority of 3D, or 4K, movies end up that way on my Samsung curved 3D UHD television. I can change aspect to fill screen, but that means loosing part of the picture on left or right seen at the theators. It is really best to watch movies (streaming) over high-speed broadband. The copy supplied is usually 1080p (Blue Ray quality).


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kmason5727
Frequent Visitor

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

So, you are asking me as an end-user to adjust my tv set for every channel that is displayed incorrectly.
I shouldn't, as an end user, have to adjust my settings for different channels.
All the HD channels are correct. When I tune to an SD channel (In this case, an HD channel that has been downconveted to SD), the downconversion is not set to the correct aspect ratio.
I understand what cinematic ratio is. I understand that some movies are displayed on a 16x9 tv set that are "letterbox" and will show black bars above and below.
But, that is not the problem. The visual shows that you are taking 16x9 footage and squeezing the top and bottom. This is a setting at Comcast.
Hope this makes sense.
I will try to provide more examples.
Ken
MNtundraRET
Expert

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

I am sorry to report that I can confirm what you are seeing. I cycled through all lower channels (1 to 200). Except for very few exceptions (about 5 channels), all SD channels appear like you showed. Some with smaller picture with 4 borders (black).

 

I also found a bigger problem: ON DEMAND (channel 1) no longer works and shows error CL14. It started a week ago with ON DEMAND. I never watch lower channels so reason I did not notice it. I did find out I could "full screen" those channels by using the "ZOOM" setting on my tv, but you loose part of original picture doing that.

 

It seems Comcast has done some update to their computer system for sending out the Video/Audio to our boxes. It happened here about a week ago. I am in the Bloomington MN service area.

 

This is a localized transmission problem. Not our problem. I will "Escalate" this post and hope they can fix the issue.


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ComcastTambrey
Official Employee

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

Hello, kmanson5727. 

I appreciate you reaching out to us here with your concerns about the SD aspect ratio experience you are having. 

 

I totally agree with you, the incorrect aspect ratio is pretty awful! We have this awesome guide here that gives you some more information about what it is, why it happens, and some tips, tricks, and guides to adjust it so you can experience the best channel view possible. https://comca.st/3i8w6Hc

 

For the most part, newer TV's can detect the quality of the video and automatically adjust it but this isn't always the case, so you will need to do it manually.

 

Please give that guide a try and let me know if you are able to find the right setting for that TV and channel. 🙂


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TomTownsend
New Poster

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

What do we do if we are using a computer? Will have to cancel my service soon if these errors can't be fixed. It's unwatchable for sports events.

ForrestS
Bronze Problem Solver

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

It’s not the signal, but the cable box that is the problem here, yes?

Several months ago we upgraded to an HD-capable cable box and plan. Consider the following:
1 - we have two outputs to the TV from the box: HDMI cable; coax cable (with DVD player between)
2 - we tune the box to an HD channel number
3 - when ‘TV input’ is set to HDMI, aspect ratio is proper
4 - when ‘TV input’ is set to coax, the aspect ratio is distorted a la the earlier poster’s pictures.

So doesn’t this mean the box is distorting the HD channel aspect ratio per whatever downsampling it does for the SD coax output?

If correct, I wasn’t able to change things for the better. Granted, the workaround is to always tune to HD channel where available.

mat77
New Poster

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

With all due respect, this has taken Comcast far too long. Tivo has this resolved many many years ago with even their early generation of HD boxes. It just detects SD programs automatically and send correct 16x9 resolution to the TV. None of these questions are to do with how to fiddle with the users TV, but how inadequate the X1 box is on this very basic configuration. For the money Comcast charges, one expects better than such smoke screen responses. 

kmason5727
Frequent Visitor

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

Hello,

The guide does not correct the problem.

I am using an HDTV through HDMI.

The problem is with Comcast, not my TV. I shouldn't have to adjust my tv settings everytime I go to a downconverted channel.

As someone has pointed out in the thread, you have a video setting called Zoom in the Video settings section. You have two options Zoom: None and Zoom: Full

None will show a postage stamp view of a downconverted channel.

Zoom will show a STRETCHED out picture horizontally of the downcoverted channel. In essence stretching out a 16x9 signal.

You need to make the ZOOM setting to stretch vertically as well.

To go one step further, the Zoom feture doesn't even work on true SD channels (such as OTA secondary channels like OTA 10.2 or 216 in Miami)

Lastly. Why do we even need this option? Aren't we all living in a 16x9 world now. Why is Comcast still downconverting channels? Especially Premium channels like HBO Family and Comedy. 

Ken

Mikeb333
New Poster

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

We just started noticing this problem as well. We recently got the XG1v4 box because we got a new 4K Samsung TV. About a week ago I noticed that the resolution of the box was set to 720p. When I changed it to the "best available" (16:9, 2160p60 4K UHD) then SD channels are tiny. What's the point of buying the TV size we wanted when half the channels are zoomed in? The "Full" setting isn't an option because it stretches the picture horizontally which looks terrible. This definitely needs to be fixed by comcast. I agree with the previous comment. The box needs a "Zoom" or "Fit to Screen" option. Just leads us one step closer to cord cutting.
my-screen-name
Frequent Visitor

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

I have non-X1 boxes and this problem has been going on for a while. I do plan to update the equipment but seeing that even "newer" equipment doesn't work either, I think I'll wait.

My HD channels look like they're zoomed; the vertical & horizontal edges are both off the screen so only the center of the picture displays.

I've gone through all of the settings on the TV and HD Cable box and nothing actually helps. I can get SD channel settings (which look like the picture in the OP's post) to zoom to full 16:9 but the picture gets so fuzzy it's hard to watch. Nothing I do to the HD channels brings the picture to its proper format.

Like others have mentioned, other sources display perfectly. Some channels and programs occationally do display correctly but it's not so regular that I can say which ones or when.

MNtundraRET
Expert

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels


@my-screen-name wrote:

I have non-X1 boxes and this problem has been going on for a while. I do plan to update the equipment but seeing that even "newer" equipment doesn't work either, I think I'll wait.

My HD channels look like they're zoomed; the vertical & horizontal edges are both off the screen so only the center of the picture displays.

I've gone through all of the settings on the TV and HD Cable box and nothing actually helps. I can get SD channel settings (which look like the picture in the OP's post) to zoom to full 16:9 but the picture gets so fuzzy it's hard to watch. Nothing I do to the HD channels brings the picture to its proper format.

Like others have mentioned, other sources display perfectly. Some channels and programs occationally do display correctly but it's not so regular that I can say which ones or when.


That would be expected. the SD channels are only 420p. To synthesize pixals to fill a 2160p screen, only about 5% pixals are real. The rest are signal averaged off those few real pixals.


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my-screen-name
Frequent Visitor

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels


@MNtundraRET wrote:


That would be expected. the SD channels are only 420p. To synthesize pixals to fill a 2160p screen, only about 5% pixals are real. The rest are signal averaged off those few real pixals.


I don't expect zoomed to be as clear as non-zoomed but I expect a 16:9 broadcast to fill a 16:9 screen. I'm not using a 4K TV or 4K service. Is 4K being sent out on regular HD channels now?

Nicc7
New Poster

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

I have the same Aspect problem. X1 boxes. 
Has anyone noticed that while activating rewind or ff, the aspect ratio is correct?

 

This should be top priority...once they get the constant loss of service under control. Wish there were other good options. 

mat77
New Poster

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

Unless I am mistaken, Xfinity X1 transmits HD channel in 720p, i.e. 1280x720, so we are all wasting our money on the UHD 4k TV's. Even worse, their non-HD channels are sent in 1280x720 but with two vertical black areas to fit a 4:3 screen then the actual program is transmited within that 4:3 box. So if the program is an old film in 4:3 format, then you will see the correct aspect ratio but with two black vertical bars. On the other hand, if the program is in 16:9 like many of them are, then you are out of luck, as now you will see additiional black bar above and below the program being shown, hence resulting in a much smaller picture on your TV. 

 

For those mathematically minded, your HD program on a 65-inch HD or UHD TV will measure approximately 56.6-in horizonal x 31.8-in vertical. but for non-HD channels, like some of the HBO or Showtime channels, old 4x3 shows will measure 42.4-in widex31.8in tall, but supposedly HD programs shown in Xfinity non-HD channels will only measure 42.4-in widex23.85-in tall. X1 box allows you to stretch the screen so that the picture will now measure 56.6-inch wide but it is still 23.85-inch tall (this explains why pictures are squeezed and peope are short and fat!). Now, this means that we spent all that money to buy a 65-inch TV, but we are only using a fraction of its screen when watching premium non-HD channels from Xfinity! ABSURD. 

 

It should be relatively easy to fix this problem as a small piece of software can be written for the X1 box to ajust the signal, but it has taken Comcast, now Xfinity, over 10 years to NOT having done it.  Tivo has. FRUSTRATING!

 

Besides, why are we paying such high premium for 720p transmissions? No wonder why Netflix and Hulu are so popular these days!

bruksy123
New Poster

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

Did your problem get solved?

flash333
Contributor

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

I just encountered this problem on channels in the 500's. As I was watching last night the video frooze for a about a minute and when the image came back it was in letterbox format. Prior to yesterday the image on the channel I watch (502) was always full screen. I also checked on a different TV and see the same letterbox format. Note that both TV's are HD with HDMI input from X1 slave box. I did a restart on the box and that did not correct the problem.

jcarufo
New Poster

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

We just moved over to Comcast X1 from CenturyLink Prism. Century Link killed Prism, so to get a couple of stations we had to have (Blazer Tv :-)), Xfinity was our only choice. We had Prism's best premium package and did the same with Xfinity. What an eye opening difference. With Prism, everything was in HD and full screen on our 65" curved Samsung UHD tv. It was wonderful watching everything. Now to the horrors of Comcast. Only a small lineup of channels in HD (720 to boot) and most HD ends up showing in letterbox with a huge box at top and bottom. Are you serious? We are paying for this? We had to buy a Firestick 4K so we can watch TVGO on Xfinity Stream just to get access to all the HD Premium Channels we pay for with Comcast that we had with Prism. A perfect example is Showtime; 2 Showtime HD channels with Xfinity X1 service, 9 with TVGO and our old Prism. Except that even on the Stream app, much of the HD is letterbox. Another aspect of the service that drives us crazy is that none of the 'families' of premium channels on X1 are bundled sequentially. A couple here, a couple there, some HD, some not. Other than rote memory, if someone could kinly provide how you remember where your preferred stations are, that would be really helpful. Why should I have to go through this mismash of a channel lineup and have to create my own 'preference list' to make some sence out of their insanity. Just doesn't make sense.  Hopefully, as streaming services 'evolve' our 'required' stations will be found on one of them so we can ditch this antiquated 'clunker'.  Even instalation was a nightmare. Three different techs over two days with over 10 hours on the phone with 'tech support', and me eventually spending $179.00 for an additional Netgear Wax610 just to make their internet work 'kind of'. And that's with their best provided 'rented' modem. Do I sound frustrated? 

By the way, the Firestick 4K  looks like it is going to be a nice addition. The remote is 'voice', it paired easily with and controls all the aspects of our 'system' with a one button push, downloaded the Xfinity Stream app with a voice request and we were up and running in about 10 minutes.  Will use that as our 'base' watching platform, just need to figure out how to add DVR capability.  Anyway, I would appreciate any words of wisdom you might want to pass along. 

Happy Holidays! Stay Safe! 

jc

MNtundraRET
Expert

Re: Incorrect Aspect Ratio on many channels

Jcarufo:

 

Thank you for your post. I was wondering why Centurylink was not listing Prism in their ads anymore.

We have DSL which is superior for Internet.

 

Comcast requires using their Internet for most of their services now. It seems traditional cable tv is going the way of the DoDo bird as far as they are concerned. We get are streaming tv over the Internet on our 2015 3D 4k Samsung tv. Comcast needs to allow customers use other Internet services if they wish to survive.


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