Community Forum

Help expanding shrunken picture

New Poster

Help expanding shrunken picture

After recently replacing an old tube with a new flatscreen I discovered the new TV wouldn't tune the signal produced by my old "DTA" box.  After considerable discussion with the staff at the Xfinity store they gave me a new box with an HDMI output that does work, but most  (but not all) channels display a picture only 2/3 of the size of my screen surrounded by a thick black border. It looks like a 16X9 source that has been "letterboxed" to fit on a 4X3 screen, then padded out with black sides for a 16X9 image, and I want instead just to get the original source!   I've tried manipulating all the picture settings on the cable box and the TV with no luck.  I can use "zoom" on the TV to blow up the picture I get, but the quality is clearly degraded and given not all channels are "shrunken",  I'd be constantly messing with that setting.

 

I did some looking at TVs in public places before buying and they all displayed full sized pictures from Comcast tuned to the same channels (non-HD) that show me the shrunken image.  I suspect that somehow Comcast still thinks I have a 4X3 TV and either I have the wrong box, or it's being configured somehow to deliver a 4X3 picture which the HDMI interface is padding out.  Can anyone tell me what I need to do to get a full sized picture?

Problem Solver

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

What make and model TV do you have?  Maybe someone out here has a similar TV and knows what has to be done.  

Joe V
(not a Comcast employee, just another paying customer)
New Poster

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

The TV is a Samsung 43 inch LED.  The paperwork says it's model UN43RU7100F, but I don't know if that's Samsung's number or the seller.  I doubt the specifics of the TV matter.  It displays streamed programming or programming from my blu ray player just fine.  It's only the Cable signal (delivered through an HDMI input) that's getting shrunken, and as I said not all channels are shrunken, just most. 

Problem Solver

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

Using your remote, what does Xfinity->Settings(gearbox icon)->Device Settings->Video Display show?  I've attached mine.

Joe V
(not a Comcast employee, just another paying customer)
Current Video Settings.jpg
New Poster

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

My box doesn't produce anything like that.  When I hit the "xfinity" key I get a list of settings:

guide setup

audio setup

locks setup

closed captioning

hdmi setup

tv alerts

remote control

diagnostics.

 

The only relevant stuff is under HDMI setup, which has sub menus for TV Aspect Ration and TV Output Resolution.  Both are set to Auto.  Aspect Ration can't be changed.  Output Resolution gives me a lislt of scan rates (1080p, 720p, etc.) and I can pick one, but that doesn't change anything and it goes right back to auto anyway.

 

Problem Solver

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

What model TV box do you have?  Mine is XG2v2-P.   I had an issue recently and exchanged my older box for this new one at a local Xfinity store (no charge for exchange).

Joe V
(not a Comcast employee, just another paying customer)
Diamond Problem Solver

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

Do you have access to HD channels instead of looking at the SD channels?

I am a Retired Official Comcast Employee
We ask that you post publicly so people with similar questions may benefit from the conversation.
Was your question answered? Mark a post as the Best Answer!
New Poster

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

I don't have HD service.  As I've said before though I've seen other Comcast customers in my area get full sized 16x9 pictures from the same non-HD channels that give me the shrunken picture.

Problem Solver

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

Are you sure those other Comcast customers that get the desired result do NOT have HD service?  Maybe it's time to upgrade your service to match your TV?

Here's troubleshooting tips for 

HD Troubleshooting for Your Non-X1 TV Box

found at https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/troubleshooting-your-hd

Joe V
(not a Comcast employee, just another paying customer)
Diamond Problem Solver

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

@wamontgomery
You said you already expanded the format but you didn’t like the picture but that’s to be expected when stretching a SD picture. It’s possible the people that you’re referring to have totally different equipment from you

I am a Retired Official Comcast Employee
We ask that you post publicly so people with similar questions may benefit from the conversation.
Was your question answered? Mark a post as the Best Answer!
New Poster

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture


@CCAndrew wrote:
@wamontgomery
You said you already expanded the format but you didn’t like the picture but that’s to be expected when stretching a SD picture. It’s possible the people that you’re referring to have totally different equipment from you

Yes, it's likely that the other sets I've seen are different makes/models, but why should I have to stretch the picture?  As I said, not all the channels are shrunken, so I'd be constantly fiddling with that in use.  That's not acceptable.  From what I can see, Comcast is not delivering me a full SD picture, it's delivering me an SD picture with only 2/3 of the resolution in the original signal.  (I am making an assumption here that the picture being sent to my set is in fact "SD" resolution, since I have found no way to verify that).  This just doesn't strike me as quality service.  Would it be okay with Comcast if I only paid 2/3 of the charge for this service?  I don't think so, so why is it okay to deliver only 2/3 of a picture to me?

Diamond Problem Solver

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

In your original post, what was keeping your old box from using the coax connection with the new tv? You realize the common denominator of your problem is your tv?You had no problem previously.

I am a Retired Official Comcast Employee
We ask that you post publicly so people with similar questions may benefit from the conversation.
Was your question answered? Mark a post as the Best Answer!
New Poster

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture


@CCAndrew wrote:
In your original post, what was keeping your old box from using the coax connection with the new tv? You realize the common denominator of your problem is your tv?You had no problem previously.

The old box produced an analog signal modulated to broadast channel 3.  My new TV won't tune that.  I don't think anything made in the last few years will.  

 

It might save some time and frustration to give a little background before asking a couple of questions.  I'm a communications engineer recently retired from a long career of designing communication products and services involving internet, phone, and TV, working on standards, and teaching, so I know a lot about the technology -- just not how Comcast is using.

 

Next a suggestion.  My frustration comes mainly from not knowing what to expect and therefore whether what I got is wrong.  It would really help and probably reduce your customer support if you provided a description of what kind of picture and other services (e.g. on demand) you get with each unique combination of service (HD vs non-HD) and equipment (DTA, full cable box, and distinguish which interface is used to the TV if possible).  I was really looking for something like that just to figure out what interfaces I needed on the TV, but I can find nothing of that sort on your website. It would be nice to include the price difference too.

 

As I said up front it looks like the picture I get has been shrunken to fit a letter box 4x3 format, then padded out with black to 16X9.  The key in understanding how to fix my issue is where the letterboxing is done.  If it's in the head end of the cable system or deeper in your network there's obviously nothing I'm going to be able to do to get a full size picture at my end.  That strikes me as unlikely because I've seen sets producing a full 16X9 picture on the same channels I get the shrunken one, and since in at least one case they are old,er, cheap sets it's unlikely that the picture is being manipulated in the set to do this, but I'll check their settings tomorrow when I have a chance.  If, as I suspect the letterboxing is taking place in that new box I got (An Arris DTA),  then changing for a full cable box or changing something in the way it's initialized by comcast might help.  

 

Sorry for all the detail, but this can't be a unique problem.

New Poster

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

Well, I believe I have the answer.  I rechecked where I thought someone was getting a full sized picture and in fact they weren't -- the TV had been set to expand it.  So, I now believe that for most standard definition channels  you are stuck with a shrunken picture and a black border.  I'm not happy about this.  It's not what I expected.  Why would I expect that?  When I stream from Comcast (or anywhere else for that matter) I get a full sized 16 by 9 picture.  The source material for all the channels I am looking at is 16X9, but somehow Comcast won't deliver that unless I ante up more ($10)/month.  That might sound trivial, but over the expected life of the TV it's going to cost several times what I spent on the TV.  If I were really cynical I'd suspect this is a ploy to force people to pay for HD, even if they just wanted a normal TV picture, but I suspect it's just an unintended side effect of trying to produce a better experiene for people with 4X3 sets.  

 

Anyway, Comcast could have saved me a lot of time and grief by just telling me what to expect.  As I said, I can't imagine why I should have expected that by upgrading my TV, I'd shrink my picture.

Contributor

Re: Help expanding shrunken picture

It's not just your TV. I had everything filling my screen and then a back end change was made while they updated the menus in January. Now, channels, commercials, onDemand, etc. display different sizes. Worse yet, this problem is now happening on the Xfinity Streaming App to the point that I can't even open an image so that it will go full-screen, even as their Comcast image with the cut off sides, on my phone. Today, I couldn't watch Lodge 49 full screen or flip it horizontal on my phone. It was stuck super tiny horizontal in the Xfinity app at the center of the phone with full black swaths above and below. At least earlier this year I could still expand to full screen. So, I had to load the AMC app to see the content properly. And I've been told repeatedly by Comcast that the networks are to blame, but that's obviously NOT the case. The content always displays correctly on network apps, including now AMC and Amazon Prime. So, WHY is Comcast cutting off the images? I too wonder how much of this is a push to get SD customers to switch to HD service. It's ridiculous.