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Russcolli

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#27998 13-Nov-2008 20:14
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Hi, my DSE HD DVB-T G7503 has been working just fine  since I got it a month back but the aspect ratios have suddenly started jumping around in the last two days.  I usually leave it set to Letter Box but now when I turn Freeview on the default setting of Letter Box appears for maybe 10 seconds then the screen leaps into  a vertically stretched sort of crop (i.e. the whole screen is filled  but there is a clear vertical stretch to the images).  It doesn't matter which channel i am on or which aspect ration I change to, it holds for a few seconds then drops into the stretched crop.
I quizzed Dick Smiths support people on this and they say that:  'Recently, it appears that the Freeview broadcasters have reconfigured an aspect ratio flag in the Freeview|HD transmissions.   This appears to have overridden the aspect ratio setting selected in the Freeview receiver. Different versions of firmware also react the same way, from version 1.0.6 through to the latest version 1.0.9.   It also appears to affect other Freeview|HD receivers, as we have had comments that TVs with a Freeview|HD receiver built into them are also behaving similarly. 
We have confirmed that this happens with all the Freeview|HD receivers we have at hand to check.   As this is something that we don't have any control over, we are unable to suggest a remedy other than to suggest people should enquire with the TV broadcasters to see if they would consider reverting the change that was made.'
Am not sure whether to believe this answer - has anyone else noticed this issue (it literally only started a couple of days ago).  Seems a heck of a coincidence that all the broadcasters made the same change at the same time.
Would welcome any suggestions or even confirmation of the issue.

Cheers

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sbiddle
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  #177861 13-Nov-2008 20:26
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Other may be aware of issues but just a few comments..

I am assuming you have a 4:3 TV and not a widescreen TV, hence the reason to use letterbox mode?

I would also find it strange that any IDTV's would be affected, simply because they are all 16:9 so there is no need for a letterbox mode.

Russcolli

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  #177862 13-Nov-2008 20:33
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Yes, I'm using a 4:3 TV.

cheers

 
 
 
 


tristanb
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  #177890 13-Nov-2008 22:22
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Thanks for researching this Russcoli. We've also got a 4:3 TV and noticed that the aspect ratio would change a few seconds after a menu closed.

Surely if they've changed the flag on all the channels, a receiver firmware update to the new flag would fix it. Did they say why they changed? It just seems to be annoying.

Russcolli

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  #177911 14-Nov-2008 06:24
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I have emailed Freeview asking them to confirm (or deny) the change, and to provide a remedy so we'll se what happens.  Yes, i would have thought that a firmware update might be the way to go - suggest that Zinwell and DSE might also need pressuring to organise this.   One quirky interim workaround I've found on my decoder is that if you turn subtitles on (even if there are none for that channel/programme) then it tricks the decoder into displaying in the aspect ratio you had set - of course this is also annoying if there are subtitles available and you do not want to see them...


ascott
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  #177915 14-Nov-2008 08:21
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Hi there,

Yep, I'm having the same issue - thanks for the tip about the subtitles.  I got the same email from DSE, and I've tried emailing Kordia to see if they have any suggestions.  (Tried ringing Freeview but they referred me back to DSE)

Looks like a firmware update will be required as you say.

sbiddle
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  #177918 14-Nov-2008 08:58
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Does centre cut work OK?

Most people I know with 4:3 TV's prefer centre cut over letterbox. This means you'll see exactly the same picture as existing analogue viewers rather than having the letterbox borders at the top and bottom.

It sounds like a very strage bug but with more than 1 person replicating it you are obviously not just imagining it! All Freeview broadcasts are fulltime 16:9 so there shouldn't be any issues.


ascott
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  #177921 14-Nov-2008 09:41
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sbiddle: Does centre cut work OK?


No...what happens is that when you select centre cut the aspect ratio changes to centre cut, but then after a few seconds it reverts back to the 16:9 widescreen broadcast format.

I actually have a widescreen tv, so most programs are fine, but previously I switched to the centre cut aspect ratio when watching shows in 4:3 format, such as the older shows on C4 and TVNZ6&7.  If I try to do this now it reverts to widescreen after a few seconds, so the picture has black borders on either side of the picture.

 
 
 
 


sbiddle
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  #177934 14-Nov-2008 11:49
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ascott: I actually have a widescreen tv, so most programs are fine, but previously I switched to the centre cut aspect ratio when watching shows in 4:3 format, such as the older shows on C4 and TVNZ6&7.  If I try to do this now it reverts to widescreen after a few seconds, so the picture has black borders on either side of the picture.



Freeview is all broadcast as fulltime 16:9 frames regardless of the content. If you centre cut a 16:9 feed displaying 4:3 content you will not get a perfect 4:3 fullscreen image, it will still potentially have slight borders on the side. The box should however should now not be sending the WSS flag to the TV and the TV should treat this as 4:3 content.

If your TV is set to 4:3 mode it will now display this content as 4:3 with large black borders on the left and right. If you set your TV to 16:9 mode or expand mode it will now expand this sideways (aka fatovision) and will give you borders on both sides since it's not a clean centre cut. The idea of transmitting fulltime 16:9 frames was to avoid the issues of TV aspect ratios continually changing and so all content is shown in it's true aspect ratio. Unfortunately as a result of this there is no real way to turn 4:3 content into 16:9 "fatovision" easily like you want to do.

It's not really an issue with the box, it's just that you're trying to do something that they're trying to actually prevent!

ascott
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  #177962 14-Nov-2008 12:33
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sbiddle - thanks for the reply.  I think we're not quite on the same page though.

I understand that Freeview is broadcast solely as 16:9, and as such I quite often use the centre cut aspect ratio to expand the picture - however now when I select this (or any other aspect ratio) the box does stop sending the WSS flag to the TV as you say, but now after 5-10 seconds the box reverts back to the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio of the broadcast signal.  Whereas previously it was quite happy to stay on centre cut.

I think it is something to do with the signal due to the fact I haven't changed how my TV and Freeview box are set up, and also that other people (including other forums and DSE) are having similar issues with the aspect ratio.

sbiddle
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  #177968 14-Nov-2008 12:51
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Are you using HDMI to connect to your TV? If so what box are you using?

HDMI can interrogate devices to find out the aspect ratio. If you are using HDMI and your TV is set to 16:9 then I wonder if the TV is forcing the STB back to 16:9 from letterbox?

At the end of the day you are trying to watch TV in a different aspect ratio to which it is broadcast. Engineers go to great lengths to ensure people don't have a fatovision experience - you want to but it won't let you! :-)

cyril7
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  #177970 14-Nov-2008 13:05
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There does appear to be something not right, and it seems to be affecting a few other boxs than the Zinwell/DSE. Hopefully something is sorted soon, seems to all have happened at the sametime (tuesday) they made some changes with the EPG which has been done presumably for the PVR.

Cyril

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  #177973 14-Nov-2008 13:14
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Using Zinwell I can only fault TVNZ and CTV8. CTV8 stays on 16:9 while info bar on screen then reverts to 4:3 centre cut, TVNZ channels behave in opposite manner reverting to 16:9. Obviously very confusing for people.




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old3eyes
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  #178006 14-Nov-2008 16:24
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have a look at this post.

 

http://www.dtvforum.co.nz/forum/showthread.php?p=3422#post3422

 





Regards,

Old3eyes


Russcolli

59 posts

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  #178068 14-Nov-2008 21:27
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Well that post you referred to certainly sounded hopeful - but its now 9.30pm and there's no change yet on my decoder so looks like Freeview either haven't made the changes or they didn't work.  I suggest people email Freeview complaining about this and Dick Smith (or wherever you got your decoder from) to pressure them to lobby Freeview to fix the problem.
cheers

sbiddle
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  #178074 14-Nov-2008 21:35
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I found out a little more about this this afternoon but unfortunately nothing that I can post on here. A fix is a priority however along with the green screen issue that is affecting some non certified DVB-T boxes.

While I'm sure the issue is annoying the reality is it would only affect a very small number of customers. I doubt there would be many people at all who have Freeview|HD boxes and are feeding them into a 4:3 TV. All IDTV's are 16:9 and I'd estimate that probably 99% Freeview|HD boxes that are sold are to people who have a Plasma or LCD and want a true 16:9 TV.


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