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Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

Frequent Visitor

Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

For some reason whenever I try to watch TV-shows from On Demand they only play as a smaller window that doesn't fill the entire screen. I have a black frame around the entire picture and the same occurs for every TV-show....even shows that are in full HD and full wide screen during normal scheduled broadcasting.

 

Why is this happening and what can I do to fix it?

 

Thanks!

 

 

Silver Problem Solver

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

Hi,

 I have notified the forums administrator. He can have this looked into for you.

The issue you see is called windowboxing. I had it happening on my local PBS stations and I kept emailing the local stations and let the forum admin know. In my case the problem cleared up on it's own, probably part of the digital migration in my area. But the admin can look into a bit better and see if it is something more.

 

Retired Administrator

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

Hi there - can you please share some of the channels and vod titles this is happening on?

Just 'Dete'
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Frequent Visitor

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

Thanks commanguy!

 

CC Dete, the shows that this occurs on are for example:

Top Gear - BBC America

American Pickers - History Channel

Pawn Stars - Hostory Channel

 

but the same happens for any tv-show I try to watch On-Demand. I have also noticed that the menu system (On Demand or DVR) is the same smaller size as the TV-shows show up in.

 

Thanks for any help on this!

Silver Problem Solver

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

This sounds like your TV may be set to the wrong picture format for SD programming.

Silver Problem Solver

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

Frequent Visitor

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

No, TV is not the problem. This issue only occurs when I use OnDemand to watch a tv-show. If I watch "live" TV the picture is fine. SD or HD does not affect the issue I have. I have tried both SD and HD channels on OnDemand and the all have the black frame around it.

 

 

Silver Problem Solver

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

Agreed that it is not the tv. I still get that on some programs on one PBS station and then the same program can be run later on the second PBS station; same transmitter; and the second run will be the proper screen size. That link I posted earlier has this same issue on other channels.

In fairness I saw the same 4 black border picture on the televisions at my local phone company on one of their channels. So it is something to do with the way the signal gets decoded or coded before it comes into our televisions.

I get it on televisions using a SD STB or 2 tvs with no boxes; Limited Basic package. So it is something in the signal.

 

Silver Problem Solver

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

In some cases, some SD letterboxed is passed as-is. That means you get 4:3 width, plus the letterbox, giving you a windowbox.

 

That should only affect the actual show. The box's menus and stuff should be at least 4:3. If you are getting windowboxing for that, then something is messed up somewhere.

Frequent Visitor

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

I have the HD package from Comcast and the channels that I try to watch OnDemand are mostly HD content. This is a fairly new problem as I didn't use to happen. If I watch a movie from OnDemand this problem doesn't occur so it only affect tv-shows OnDemand for some reason.

 

I guess I'll have to try to call Comcast Help Desk instead to get this sorted out. Wish me luck!!

 

Frequent Visitor

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

Ok, so I tried out the online chat help.....

 

So in summary (it took forever to get to this point even):

 

The firmware update that was released a few months ago (changed some of the menu setup etc) causes TV's with 720 as native resolution to have this problem.

 

I asked why this would then only affect TV-shows from OnDemand and not movies or live TV. That caused the whole "help chat" to go off the deep-end completely. The helpdesk guy started talking about 4:3 TV"s (which is told him repeatadly that I have a plasma wide screen TV) and that even though the show is in HD and it is labelled HD in the OnDemand menu....it still might not be HD format in OnDemand. Is this really true???

 

In the end, I got no help what so ever other than the recommendation to "stretch" the picture when I watch OnDemand tv-shows. Wooohoooo, I could have done that without their help.

 

Given what I pay for Comcast cable, internet and phone I'm very very very dissapointed. How do you get real help from Comcast??

Frequent Visitor

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

So no help to be had from the forum either?

Silver Problem Solver

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

Hard problem to figure out sometimes. Like andyross said sometimes the shows may get passed through in native 4:3 format and be told to be a HD 16:9 picture and you end up with the window box. Sometimes the Active Format Description coding appears to not get read correctly at times. I have seen a program start out in windowbox format and then it changed to full size on it's own. I know that when it was seen on FX a few of us contacted the channel to see if it was on their end; never heard anything back.

When  I saw it on the local PBS station they told me all they send for coding information is the opening and closing screen size according to the broadcast engineer.

So bottom line from what I can figure out is it happens. It has to be frustrating for other people at times with older televisions that can not change aspect ratio ( I have one of those yet so I speak from experience). And the SD boxes have no settings for aspect ratio either.

I know when I saw it on my LCD tv I tried playing with the picture size. Going to 4:3 when I had windowbox pictures it got even smaller. I have gone from the 16:9 screen to 4:3 when the picture is letterboxed and I have seen it go windowboxed also.

Bottom line....it's got meSmiley Happy

Frequent Visitor

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

Thanks commanguy for the response. The weird thing is that I do not think this happened before the update to the OnDemand menu. This was also reluctantly confirmed by the online support guy...I think. So it seems to be that the update to the cable DVR firmware caused to this problem? Who knows? I suspect I will never find out why
New Poster

Re: Screen not full size when watching ON Demand TV-shows

Try this. Turn cable box off. Press menu on cable remote. Make sure the tv type is 16:9, HD is 1080i, and SD is stretched. I had the same issue and this fixed the issue.