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Is there a way to make the grey bars black on my sony hdtv?

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Is there a way to make the grey bars black on my sony hdtv?

Old 09-28-06, 10:52 PM
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Is there a way to make the grey bars black on my sony hdtv?

I don't know the exact model but its a regular rear projection Sony 57 inch hdtv. I was wondering, for standard programing/non hd shows, is there a way to make the grey bars to be black bars, as black bars are more pleasing to my eye. For the most part I watch regular tv in the wide zoom mode, which cuts off the top and bottom 1inch or so of the screen. It briefly stretches the image, but it really doesn't look bad, but I am actually an oar nut, so i don't really want to do it, but those grey bars are so bright they become distracting after awhile.
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Old 09-28-06, 11:31 PM
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Is your RPTV CRT or digital? Digitals will be dark grey no matter what and will require masking since they use a lamp to projector dark grey as black.

Now, if you are using a CRT RPTV the brighter grey bars are used as a safety measure to prevent (or slow down) uneven wear of the CRTs that will be permanent. If you watched a lot of 4:3 material displayed inside of a 16:9 image area with black bars eventually the 4:3 area will wear that portion of the tube more than the left and right side of the image creating a gradient on the image when watching 16:9 material. It would take time to become noticeable, but eventually it will and it would only get worse.

Even if you could watch with black bars I'd recommend against it with a CRT. Perhaps you could try some kind of DIY masking system using fabric or something thin and black cut to the shape of the grey bars so that you could slide them inside of the screen frame on the left and right sides during 4:3 material.

Last edited by Slayer2005; 09-28-06 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 09-28-06, 11:38 PM
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I am not sure if its crt or not, but its more of an old school style projection tv.
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Old 09-29-06, 12:20 AM
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Do you have direct tv, cable or antena? I bet there is an option on the menu of whatever service you use for tv.
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Old 09-29-06, 04:06 PM
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I have comcast digital cable.
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Old 09-29-06, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Rypro 525
I am not sure if its crt or not, but its more of an old school style projection tv.
It's most likely a CRT. They're they really big ones. The grey bars are for protection. I'd set up a masking system to get rid of them.
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Old 09-30-06, 01:38 AM
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There should be a video section on the menu of your cable box that will let you change this.
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Old 09-30-06, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by XavierMike
There should be a video section on the menu of your cable box that will let you change this.
If he has the Comcast HD box there isn't a setting in the menu but all HD and SD through the component or HDMI imputs have black bars on the side for 4x3 shows. Unless he doesn't have a cable box and has the digital coaxial plugged directly into the TV. In which case only the HD signals get the black bars on the sides for 4x3 material.

Last edited by mrhan; 09-30-06 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 09-30-06, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Slayer2005
Is your RPTV CRT or digital? Digitals will be dark grey no matter what and will require masking since they use a lamp to projector dark grey as black.

Now, if you are using a CRT RPTV the brighter grey bars are used as a safety measure to prevent (or slow down) uneven wear of the CRTs that will be permanent. If you watched a lot of 4:3 material displayed inside of a 16:9 image area with black bars eventually the 4:3 area will wear that portion of the tube more than the left and right side of the image creating a gradient on the image when watching 16:9 material. It would take time to become noticeable, but eventually it will and it would only get worse.

Even if you could watch with black bars I'd recommend against it with a CRT. Perhaps you could try some kind of DIY masking system using fabric or something thin and black cut to the shape of the grey bars so that you could slide them inside of the screen frame on the left and right sides during 4:3 material.
What about direct view sets with a tube. I have a Sony 34" 16x9 HD tv with a picture tube. The side bars when watching 4x3 programs are black with no option to change the color. Any damage occuring here?
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Old 10-02-06, 12:51 PM
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I'm a little confused myself. I was under the impression that gray side bars were bad for any widescreen tv. I have a 50 inch Sony LCD projection TV that my wife and I bought last November. I always use the widezoom mode on standard def. programs and normal mode on all high def channels even if the show is a standard def with black side bars. I figured the bright gray bars would produce burn-in and black bars would not.
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Old 10-02-06, 01:13 PM
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You can change the gray bars to black. This requires you entering the service menu and changing the appropriate value. Search the Sony forum at Home Theater Spot for the value -- but be sure you know what you are doing before entering the service menu. You can cause permanent damage being ignorant.

The bars are gray for a reason. This is so the CRTs wear evenly and balanced. The black bars are actually void of any light from the CRTs for that particular area of the screen.

Masking may be safer for you.

Last edited by DavidH; 10-02-06 at 01:15 PM.
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