4:3 HDTV Set Question [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-09-2006, 03:31 PM
My brother in law got a few years ago a 4:3 HDTV set. I haven't seen anything on it but what exactly happens to the picture during a regular widescreen HDTV broadcast like a football game? Does the picture get stretch or distorted because he claims he doesn't notice any problems with the picture at all.

01-09-2006, 04:29 PM
If the picture is letterbox widescreen, the DVD player or TV adjusts the vertical dimension so that the material will fit the width of the screen, leaving black bars at the top and bottom. In this case, the image loses resolution to the blacked out area. If the TV is small, the loss of detail will not necessarily be evident, but the size of the picture will be less than awe-inspiring. Ben Hur or Lawrence of Arabia in widescreen on a 27" 4:3 isn't much of a spectacle. If the TV is large, the indistinctness of the picture willl become more evident the closer the viewing distance.

If the picture is anamorphic widescreen, and the TV has raster compensation that allows the image to unfold with the proper number of scan lines, the only drawback is the small size of the image and the black bars. The tradeoff for such an adjustment is usually sharpness at the cost of picture noise or less noise at the cost of softness. Some TVs do a better job than others at this task, whichever route the manufacturer chooses to take.