Why are there black or gray bars on each side of the picture whilst watching a television program?

Last Update date : 2011.01.16

When the wide screen TV displays a standard 4:3 broadcast, this will typically be an undistorted 4:3 image. This image will have either black or gray bars located on either side to fill in the portions of the 16:9 screen, which are not covered by the image (see screen-shots below).




The picture can be adjusted to fill the screen. However, in most cases this will case the image to be cropped or distorted.

Instuctions on how to adjust the image on screen will depend on how the tv program is received (i.e. via HD set-top box, standard set-top box or cable), - please refer to the relevant FAQ here 

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