[mythtv-users] Screen Saver for Widescreen TVs

Drew Lenze ajlenze at clarkhome.org
Sun Mar 2 06:37:14 UTC 2003

A friend of mine has a problem with his new TV that I thought MythTV might be able to solve.  He has a widescreen TV with a 16:9 aspect ratio, but there are no HGTV channels in our area, and our cable system provides the standard 4:3 aspect ratio picture.  It's still a great TV for watching widescreen DVDs, but when watching regular TV he has to either watch a picture with gray bars on each side or use one of the TVs scaling features to fill up the whole screen.

For some shows, the scaling feature work great, but for many, the picture with the gray bars looks the best.  The problem is that the TV comes with VERY BIG WARNING LABELS saying to watch it in that mode only 20% of the time as it could cause the picture tube to wear unevenly.  We asked about this problem at a couple of stores, and one salesman said that he had indeed seen store sets which had been left in the "gray bar mode" 24/7 for a long time which had developed noticeable bars down the sides when displaying in full screen modes.

I did a little online research, and it seems like a lot of TVs have this problem.  Some of them have some screen saver features to attempt to combat the problem, but I haven't seen any that really seem satisfactory.  So I have some questions for the vast base of wisdom on this list:

1)  What experience has everyone had with this?
2)  What TV features are there to combat the problem?
3)  Could a feature be added to MythTV to combat the problem?

Here's my "perfect" solution:  when displaying a 4:3 aspect ratio picture, for each line of pixels, repeat the leftmost pixel out to the left and repeat the rightmost picture out to the right.  The normal changing of the TV picture would cause the repeated pixels to change, thus saving the screen from unequal aging.  The PERFECT TV would have sliding doors to cover the repeated sections of the screen - I know even MythTV can't do THAT, but my friend and I could probably kludge up something that would work - curtains or something.

Any ideas or information are welcome.

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