With your new, fancy HDTV, there are a zillion settings that can be adjusted to best enhance your viewing experience. If your TV doesn’t have the best quality picture, or if you’ve somehow changed your TV to the incorrect input, we can help!
Here’s a quick tutorial to help simplify your inputs and aspect ratios:
Flat and thin; keyed with notches to indicate which way is up. HDMI is the most common, highest quality, and easiest way to connect components to your TV. This digital connection ensures zero data loss or distortion and is widely supported across a wide range of consumer electronics. It also delivers audio along with the video, all via a single cable.
A set of five round ports—three for video, two for audio. Component connections offer the highest-quality analog connection available (and it’s the only way to get HD over an analog connector). Component is a good choice if HDMI is not available, but because component requires five cables, some devices don’t support it.
A set of three round ports—one for video, two for audio. Also called RCA connectors, composite is the lowest-quality analog connection (and it can only handle standard-definition video), but is ubiquitous on virtually every consumer electronics device. Use only if using a low-resolution source such as a VHS player.
A round, threaded socket. Used to connect your TV to a standard cable input or an antenna source.
Your TV is equipped with many different inputs to connect all of your devices. Whether it’s your DVD player, a gaming system, a Roku box, or your DCTV set-top box, each device has an input assigned to tell the TV which device you want to control. The cable you use to hook up your set-top box will determine which input you need to access your DCTV programming, ie. HDMI 1.
Clear as mud right?
Moving on to Aspect Ratio:
There are two common TV screen shapes that most folks will recognize — the squarish shape of conventional TVs, and the widescreen shape of today’s HDTVs. The term used to describe TV screen shape is “aspect ratio” — conventional TVs, and some small LCD HDTVs, have a 4:3 aspect ratio; widescreen HDTVs have a 16:9 ratio.
TV shows also typically have a 4:3 or 16:9 ratio. While most new HD programming is in 16:9, a significant amount of TV broadcasts are still sent in the conventional 4:3 ratio. And it’s the difference in shape between those two ratios that can result in a “pillar boxed” picture — one with black columns standing to the left and right of the image — when you watch a conventional 4:3 program on your widescreen TV.
What can I do about the “black bars”?
You may choose to keep the black bars on 4:3 sources, or decide to stretch or zoom that picture to fill the whole screen — it’s a matter of personal preference. Nearly all recent widescreen TVs include one or more viewing modes that fill out the screen’s width by stretching and zooming the image. While most people find this effect acceptable for non-critical “background” viewing like the local news, many aren’t thrilled when their favorite actors suddenly look noticeably stockier.
To stretch or zoom the screen press the * button on your remote. Simply press the star button again to go back to the original setting.
How do I change my aspect ratio and input settings?
Press MENU on your remote
Arrow down to SETTINGS
Arrow over to the right and highlight DISPLAY and press OK
Your Display Settings will appear on the screen
Use your arrow buttons to change the following display options
1. Turn Closed Captioning On or Off.
2. Set the Audio Language to English or Spanish.
3. Set the TV Type or Aspect Ratio to either 16:9 or 4:3.
4. Change your Connector settings to Coaxial, Composite, S-Video, Component or HDMI.
5. View the setting for Conversion Mode, Original Size or Fit to Screen (this may also be changed temporarily by pressing the * button on the remote control).
6. Select the Output Resolution for the television.
If you feel you have changed something by accident, select Exit and press the OK button or just press the EXIT button on the remote to retain the original settings.