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Xfinity Stream SD channel programming aspect ratio on computer

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Xfinity Stream SD channel programming aspect ratio on computer

When streaming older SD shows on my computer (and my phone too) the actual program is sqeezed horizontally and a vertical black bar apears on each side of what would normally be the SD program display area - please note theese are vertical bars on each side and not horizontal bars at the top and bottom. Also note that this is streaming in a chrome window and behaves the same when it is and isn't full screen. When a commercial plays, the two black vertical bars disapear and the aspect ratio of the programming are as expected in SD. Please see the two screenshots as an example.

Squeezed programming:

squeezed (Custom).jpg

Not Sqeezed during SD commercial - please note the commercial is SD and not HD. This is as expected on an SD channel and is the proper aspect ratio and not distorted like the program shown above.

 

not squeezed (Custom).jpg

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Re: Xfinity Stream SD channel programming aspect ratio on computer


@dksd105 wrote:

When streaming older SD shows on my computer (and my phone too) the actual program is sqeezed horizontally and a vertical black bar apears on each side of what would normally be the SD program display area - please note theese are vertical bars on each side and not horizontal bars at the top and bottom. Also note that this is streaming in a chrome window and behaves the same when it is and isn't full screen. When a commercial plays, the two black vertical bars disapear and the aspect ratio of the programming are as expected in SD. Please see the two screenshots as an example.

Squeezed programming:

 

Not Sqeezed during SD commercial - please note the commercial is SD and not HD. This is as expected on an SD channel and is the proper aspect ratio and not distorted like the program shown above.


the broadcaster/network has chosen to put that 4:3 ratio image on a curtained display rather than either pan and scan or distorting by stretching. the commercials are in 16:9 so they appear normal. note the 4:3 image is being 'made' 16:9 by adding the curtains.  Old TV set top box screens were in the 4:3 format.



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Re: Xfinity Stream SD channel programming aspect ratio on computer

@Rustyben,  Thank you for your reply.  My screenshots aren't displaying for me, so maybe they aren't visible to you either. Please note that the original 4:3 programming is being distorted (squeezed). The commercials are (probably pan/scan down to) 4:3 . There are larger bars on each side that are displayed on both the program and the commercials, which you properly note prevents distortion by stretching. Trying to post program screenshot again (using dropbox link). There are narrower black bars out to 4:3 and dark grey bars out to 16:9. The program is obviously squeezed to less than 4:3 between the 2 narrower bars.

Try looking at : https://www.dropbox.com/s/v9j7ecne8v2w994/squeezed%20%28Custom%29.jpg?dl=0

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Re: Xfinity Stream SD channel programming aspect ratio on computer


@dksd105 wrote:

@Rustyben,  Thank you for your reply.  My screenshots aren't displaying for me, so maybe they aren't visible to you either. Please note that the original 4:3 programming is being distorted (squeezed). The commercials are (probably pan/scan down to) 4:3 . There are larger bars on each side that are displayed on both the program and the commercials, which you properly note prevents distortion by stretching. Trying to post program screenshot again (using dropbox link). There are narrower black bars out to 4:3 and dark grey bars out to 16:9. The program is obviously squeezed to less than 4:3 between the 2 narrower bars.

Try looking at : https://www.dropbox.com/s/v9j7ecne8v2w994/squeezed%20%28Custom%29.jpg?dl=0


checked the link, it is approx 1.545 whereas true 4:3 is 1.333. they overscanned the sync to and bottom off the image. it is normal 4:3 curtained as DVD players convert. if you ever see one that is squashed to 1:1 that is AFD format that is being ignored by the display device. you'll know it when you see it if you ever happen to run into that issue. on some channels like TV land if 'full' is off you can end up with the postage stamp 16:9 with black curtains on all sides. 



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Re: Xfinity Stream SD channel programming aspect ratio on computer

@Rustyben , thanks again for the reply. I'm still a little confused as to whether the overscanning is done on purpose or in error. I appreciate your input and completely understand if you're not inclined to continue, but... Smiley Happy

Is there a standard that isn't adhered to somewhere along the line? I tried at least 5 different shows on different channels and they all have the same distortion problem.  Semi-rhetorical question, is this considered within acceptable limits in the broadcast/cable industry? As a comparison,  SD shows on other popular streaming services I've tried don't have the same distortion. As a sanity check, the program is distorted, correct? The actor playing Rob Petrie  was skinny, but not that skinny (not allowed to say the actor's name here - first name is OK but last name is flagged as a "bad word" - HA!) .

(Just to be clear in case someone else is following this thread, I realize that 4:3 programming is not going to fill an HD 16:9 screen. Side curtains are unavoidable and used to prevent stretching distortion.  This issue is that the programming is "squeezed" beyond 4:3 and that is what's causing this distortion. The program itself, as displayed, is not actually 4:3. Smaller, additional side curtains are present on each side, making up the difference between the actual program width and the proper width, relative to height, of a 4:3 aspect ratio program.)

 

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Re: Xfinity Stream SD channel programming aspect ratio on computer


@dksd105 wrote:

@Rustyben , thanks again for the reply. I'm still a little confused as to whether the overscanning is done on purpose or in error. I appreciate your input and completely understand if you're not inclined to continue, but... Smiley Happy

Is there a standard that isn't adhered to somewhere along the line? I tried at least 5 different shows on different channels and they all have the same distortion problem.  Semi-rhetorical question, is this considered within acceptable limits in the broadcast/cable industry? As a comparison,  SD shows on other popular streaming services I've tried don't have the same distortion. As a sanity check, the program is distorted, correct? The actor playing Rob Petrie  was skinny, but not that skinny (not allowed to say the actor's name here - first name is OK but last name is flagged as a "bad word" - HA!) .

(Just to be clear in case someone else is following this thread, I realize that 4:3 programming is not going to fill an HD 16:9 screen. Side curtains are unavoidable and used to prevent stretching distortion.  This issue is that the programming is "squeezed" beyond 4:3 and that is what's causing this distortion. The program itself, as displayed, is not actually 4:3. Smaller, additional side curtains are present on each side, making up the difference between the actual program width and the proper width, relative to height, of a 4:3 aspect ratio program.)


when images are near 1:1 that should be 4:3 that is usually caused by a scan that is intended to be SD presented as full screen 14:9 (small curtains left and right). they do this by pan and scan zooming in on the picture and generally keep the action within the zoomed in frame. if the AFD is ignored/discarded you end up with a nearly 1:1 with very large curtains left and right and the squashed look. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Format_Description  gives some detail on this. the stations 'using' AFD are normally local broadcast channels. 



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Re: Xfinity Stream SD channel programming aspect ratio on computer

I don't really follow the ultra-technical answers from Rustyben, which is a shame as I"m recently experiencing the very same problem on my Xfinity stream when played on my PC (by logging into my Xfinity account in Firefox). The weird thing is that the picture USED to look FINE. i.e. it was not squashed with the annoying extra set of black bars on the sides. The even weirder thing is that when I log into the SAME account via my iPhone's "Xfinity Stream" app, guess what doesn't  get squashed? The very same channel that DOES get squashed on my PC!

 

Again, 1) the problem did not exist previously.

2) the problem is device-sensitive....it occurs in Firefox at www.xfinity.com/stream but doesn't occur on an iPhone logged into the same acccount and watching the exact same programming at the same time!

 

I should note I also don't see the problem when watching on my HD tv either. 

 

I was hoping there was perhaps some Xfinity setting within their website, or even perhaps my PC, that could set a different aspect ratio, but it's sounding like "not"....it's sounding like this is jus the way they're sending the signal now, for whatever reason.

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Re: Xfinity Stream SD channel programming aspect ratio on computer

Yep, it drives me nuts. My Samsung S9+, in full screen, displays it unsqueezed but cropped top and bottom!... If I remember correctly. It's been a while and I gave up trying.

Rustyben's comments lead me to believe that they (not Comcast, but the channels) are purposly sending incorrect aspect ratios under the assumption that the display device is going to stretch it back out to the correct ratio (like it's 1999).

Regardless, Comcast support should just log in on one of their computers, see what the problem is, find who is resposible, and fix it.

In all fairness though, I've never tried to actually call support about this because I can't imagine ever being able to comunicate the issue without having a stroke.

So I can't watch reruns of Home Improvement, Night Court or Hogan's Heros without wanting to put my head throught the TV. Not because it's that important, but because it's presented as if it's not broken, when somebody involved knows darn well it is broken, that person or (more likely) his boss made a decision, and we're just supposed to pretend that it just fine.

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Re: Xfinity Stream SD channel programming aspect ratio on computer

BTW, you probably can temporarily set the resolution of your computer display (Windows, Display Settings) to a "Non-Optimum" resolution that would normally makes everything else looked stretched. It might not be exact, but with some tweaking it might get close.

When done watching, just set it back to the recomended resolution.