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SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Contributor

SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

After a long chat with comcast's online chat help, I gave up and thought I would try here.  Got new xfinity box, HD channels work perfectly.  The few remaining SD channels that do not have an HD counterpart, meaning I can only watch in SD, are stretched, actually letterboxed like a movie.  They look bad.  The customer support agent's only suggestion was to turn off the box with the tv on and press and releae the xfinity/menu button.  This did nothing, I mean pressing the button did not bring up a menu screen of any kind.  

 

Am I stuck?  Can this box not distinguish the SD channel and set the output size separately from the HD channles?

Official Employee

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

What box do you have?
Contributor

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Arris MX011ANM

Official Employee

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Those boxes only have 2 settings to switch, you might have to adjust your TV format to fit it how you like.
Valued Contributor

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

If you hit the xfinity button to bring up the menu bar go over to the far right and select the gear.  Go under device settings then look under video display...if zoom is on turn it off and it should set SD back to 4:3 resolution.  Unfortunately a lot of networks are just rebroadcasting their HD signal so some channels will have the letterboxing regardless due to them reformatting it for a 4:3 set then it gets stretched to 16:9 on an HD tv.  

Contributor

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

I just had x1 installed and am finding that sd channels don't display properly when I set the display to 1080i (which is, of course correct for hd channels). If I change to 4:3 sd then the hd channels don't display correctly. I'm wondering if this may be caused by the fact that the x1 box is connected to the tv via component cables rathen than hdmi? Is this possible?

I didn't use hdmi because I have only one hdmi connection on my tv and it's already occupied. Oh, and zoom is off in the x1 settings. The tv display setting is also set to standard (no zoom).

 

Thanks for any help or insight.

Contributor

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Trying again to get help/ insight on my display issue as I see that I wasn't clear enough in my earlier post.

 

I have set the x1 box for 1080i which works perfectly will all x1 HD channels. My problem is that with this setting SD channels are displaying with wide black bands on the left and right and narrower black bands top and bottom (exactly like SD commercials display on HD channels).

 

Shouldn't there be an override for the 1080I setting when the x1 recognizes an SD channel? Did the installer miss a setting that would have prevented this?

 

My legacy Comcast cable box that was replaced by my new x1 had no such problem; all channels displayed properly full screen.

 

Thanks for any help.

Valued Contributor

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

The X1 DVRs have two Video Display settings:

Zoom: Full or Off. if you wish to stretch the image to fill the screen while watching SD programming, select Full. Otherwise leave it set to Off.

Screen Resolution: Select the highest resolution that works with for your TV and leave it there. The SD choices are for SD TV sets and should never be used with a HD TV set.
Contributor

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Are you saying that zoom will only affect SD channels and will not distort HD channels? I can find no documentation on this other than the warning when you set zoom to full on the x1 box that it may cut of the edges of the picture.

 

I will experiment, but would like confirmation from a Comcast expert that this setting does not affect HD display in any way.

 

Thanks for your help.

Silver Problem Solver

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Yes the zoom settings on the X1 box only impacts SD channels. HD channels are shown in whatever resolution you have it set to just under the zoom setting. Lots of TVs have overscan though, which is the TV itself cutting off a small portion of the picture, usually a few millimeters. You may be able to turn it off by finding the zoom or stretch setting on the tv itself and adjusting it.
Valued Contributor

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Yes, that's what I am saying. The images transmitted by HD channels that are broadcasting 4:3 programming are 1920 x 1080i. The space on either side of the 4:3 images is usually black, but may be filled in with something else. Your TV doesn't know that it is receiving 4:3 programming.
Contributor

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Thanks so much. I appreciate the information and prompt responses.

New Poster

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

The feature you want to turn ON is called "Pillarbox".  It puts black "pillars" next to the 3:2 picture to make it display correctly on a widescreen screen.  On older boxes, it is called "SD fallback mode" or something like that.

New Poster

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

I just got my new box yesterday, and it took a while but I figured it out for my box (Arris MX011ANM), with HDMI hookup...

 

Go to the sprocket / Device Settings / Video Display, and set:

 

Zoom: Full

Video Output Resolution: 4:3, 480p SD

 

These settings are apparently for the SD stations only.  The HD stations will always automatically go to the best HD resolution.

 

At least that's the way it works on my TV.  All of the SD stations look good now, and the HD ones do as well.

New Poster

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

...Nope I take that back.  There's absolutely no good setting that is best for all channels.  You're either going to have crummy SD channels or crummy HD channels with this box.

 

Pathetic, that they can't make this smart enough to show all channels correctly.

 

My FIOS service didn't have these problems.

Silver Problem Solver

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box


detractus wrote:

...Nope I take that back.  There's absolutely no good setting that is best for all channels.  You're either going to have crummy SD channels or crummy HD channels with this box.

 

Pathetic, that they can't make this smart enough to show all channels correctly.

 

My FIOS service didn't have these problems.


Hmm.  I have a 32" 720p Dynex TV connected by HDMI to a companion. (RNG150).  The RNG is set for 720.

 

The picture is very acceptible to me on all 500(?) channels, but I have zoom set to on, which stretches the SD channels, which is OK with me.


I am not a Comcast employee; I am just a customer, volunteering my time to help other customers here in the Forums.
Gold Problem Solver

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

What is SD?????


detractus wrote:

...Nope I take that back.  There's absolutely no good setting that is best for all channels.  You're either going to have crummy SD channels or crummy HD channels with this box.

 

Pathetic, that they can't make this smart enough to show all channels correctly.

 

My FIOS service didn't have these problems.





Gold Problem Solver

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Actually,

If the new firmware 2.0 were offer a "native" mode this issue would be easily fixable. Also, anyone that has a programmable remote would be to add a conveniently placed TV aspect button to their remotes (which is what I did).


detractus wrote:

...Nope I take that back.  There's absolutely no good setting that is best for all channels.  You're either going to have crummy SD channels or crummy HD channels with this box.

 

Pathetic, that they can't make this smart enough to show all channels correctly.

 

My FIOS service didn't have these problems.







New Poster

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

The problem is, IMHO, Comcast has changed the way they send SD signals to you. (at least in my area)

 

I have not changed my box in years, yet recently my previously fine 4 x 3 SD channels are stretched L to R with black bars on the top and bottom. I assume this is because the "great unwashed" complained that they didn't like watching a 4x3 SD signal with black bars on the left and right. I suspect that they feel they are "missing" something on their 16 x 9 HDTV. (we know better)

Correction: *some* SD channels are stretched L & R *and* top and bottom (still has distortion, but not as much as an only L to R stretch) while most are full left to right with black bars (of various size) top and bottom.

 

I really think this is how Comcast is sending the signal down the cable, not a setting on our boxes.

 

Before all this happened we got a new channel (Movies!), in SD, but it filled the 16 x 9 screen without distortion (it is a sub channel of a local broadcast TV channel)  I was happy to see this and wondered how they did it.

Silver Problem Solver

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

I have one 720P HDTV that shows SD channels with bars on the bottom and top.  I have tried using the X1 Settings for video to try to remove the bars.  I have tried my TV's video settings on full, wide, stretch and none of them work.

 

I have other 1080P TV's that don't have the black bars on SD channels.

 

I think it is the difference in the TV's.


I am not a Comcast employee; I am just a customer, volunteering my time to help other customers here in the Forums.
Expert

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box


n1jdu wrote:

The problem is, IMHO, Comcast has changed the way they send SD signals to you. (at least in my area)

 

I have not changed my box in years, yet recently my previously fine 4 x 3 SD channels are stretched L to R with black bars on the top and bottom. I assume this is because the "great unwashed" complained that they didn't like watching a 4x3 SD signal with black bars on the left and right. I suspect that they feel they are "missing" something on their 16 x 9 HDTV. (we know better)

Correction: *some* SD channels are stretched L & R *and* top and bottom (still has distortion, but not as much as an only L to R stretch) while most are full left to right with black bars (of various size) top and bottom.

 

I really think this is how Comcast is sending the signal down the cable, not a setting on our boxes.

 

Before all this happened we got a new channel (Movies!), in SD, but it filled the 16 x 9 screen without distortion (it is a sub channel of a local broadcast TV channel)  I was happy to see this and wondered how they did it.


while viewing live TV, press Xfinity>gear>device settings>video Display>zoom and change zoom to "none". press exit.


I am not a Comcast employee; I am just a customer, volunteering my time to help other customers here in the Forums.

If you'd like information about the Expert program, you can find it here.
Silver Problem Solver

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Rusty, if I use "None" on my 720P HDTV, I get a 4:3 picture with black bands on all four sides.  If I use "Full", I get black bands on the top and bottom.

 

I don't have an SDTV to test with.


I am not a Comcast employee; I am just a customer, volunteering my time to help other customers here in the Forums.
Expert

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box


RobertWy wrote:

Rusty, if I use "None" on my 720P HDTV, I get a 4:3 picture with black bands on all four sides.  If I use "Full", I get black bands on the top and bottom.

 

I don't have an SDTV to test with.


TV setting for aspect maybe? on my Vizio it is set to 'normal' (for SD handling). On the coax connector no bar either (top and bottom).


I am not a Comcast employee; I am just a customer, volunteering my time to help other customers here in the Forums.

If you'd like information about the Expert program, you can find it here.
Silver Problem Solver

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

My 720P is an older Dynex HDTV.  No aspect setting.

 

I still say it all depends on what TV you have whether you can get rid of the black bands.  On some, you just can't.


I am not a Comcast employee; I am just a customer, volunteering my time to help other customers here in the Forums.
New Poster

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Same here. Just started last night on both SD and HD channels (not all of them). Just got the the new X1 system two weeks ago and now this happens. Every channel was full screen until last night. I have a 46" HDTV and I'm watching a 32" picture. Tried everything I know and I refuse to call the support line as they will just ask me to do everthing I've already done. Any help?

Gold Problem Solver

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Using your X1 remote, press EXIT EXIT EXIT 480. That should change the picture. Then press EXIT EXIT EXIT 1080. That should get things back to normal.

You may also need to make sure your TV itself is set to the right picture size.


mdeebs1 wrote:

Same here. Just started last night on both SD and HD channels (not all of them). Just got the the new X1 system two weeks ago and now this happens. Every channel was full screen until last night. I have a 46" HDTV and I'm watching a 32" picture. Tried everything I know and I refuse to call the support line as they will just ask me to do everthing I've already done. Any help?


 

New Poster

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Just found your post searching the issue on Google.   I just started having the exact same problem. I don't have x1, just a Motorola HD bone room and a Panasonic in another. The Motorolar is connected to a Samsung TV; the other to a Sony.  Sithout changing any settings on the TVs or the boxes, the SD movie channels such as Encore are suddenly stretched out and distorted, whereas they previously came in properly framed in 4:3 with black bands on each sides.    Comcast tech guy was of no help whatsoever. It's obviously a broadcast problem. Feh.

New Poster

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

I found the solution to this probelm on another thread- here's the link: http://forums.xfinity.com. We have older boxes and remotes on nice HD tvs but still enjoy watching some shows on SD channels not available in HD. The pictures on all SD channels suddenly appeared stretched as of a few months ago. I hate dealing with Comcast Service, so I was relieved to find the answer, and it worked like a charm! PS- had no idea you could access settings with the box turned off- genius!!

New Poster

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

I bet you inadvertantly hit the HD Zoom  button on your comcast remote.  Hit it again and you should be fine with wide aspect ratio.

New Poster

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box

Thats fine if you like your image stretched but that doesn't solve any issue for people that want to watch TV without everyone looking short and fat and for circles to be ovals.

 

This is an issue that only Comcast has....

Silver Problem Solver

Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box


Gropoppoli wrote:

Thats fine if you like your image stretched but that doesn't solve any issue for people that want to watch TV without everyone looking short and fat and for circles to be ovals.

 

This is an issue that only Comcast has....


FYI, I've noticed on a FEW of my Premium SD channels that they are "full-screen".


I am not a Comcast employee; I am just a customer, volunteering my time to help other customers here in the Forums.
Gold Problem Solver
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Re: SD Channels Stretched with Xfinity cable box