Displays and Projectors : Auto adjust for aspect ratio working then not working

Auto adjust for aspect ratio working then not working

I'm in the UK and I have a one year old LCD widescreen/flatscreen, receiving Freeview via a cable straight from the wall socket, as the TV has built-in Freeview reception. No Sky or Virgin boxes involved.

My TV is capable of automatically adjusting from widescreen to 4:3 and back again when I switch from a channel broadcasting in widescreen to a channel showing an old movie or TV show that is going out in it's original 4:3. It has settings listing options of Auto, Full, 4:3, Panoramic, 14:9 zoom, Cinema and 16:9.

In the setup menu I have the default aspect ratio set to "Auto" as I want it to adjust by itself.

For a long time, if I changed between a channel broadcasting in widescreen and one airing a 4:3 aspect ratio, even though I had my TV set to Auto, it didn't switch aspect ratio by itself. I had to manually change it with my remote control. I was disgruntled but lived with it because I tried everything in the menu but couldn't fix the problem.

Recently, in an unrelated issue, I lost audio on my HDMI connection from my DVD player. I googled around and found that unplugging both the player and the TV for a while, replugging, then setting everything up again in the menus fixes that. It did -- it worked for that audio problem and my DVD player had sound again. This all seemed completely unrelated to my little problem with my TV aspect ratio not adjusting itself, naturally.

But....as a by-product, after that fix, I also found that my TV now suddenly did its own fully automated switching of aspect ratio! I could flick channels between a recent widescreen TV show, and an older show being broadcast in 4:3, and my TV went to the correct aspect ratio so that the 4:3 picture was not stretched (I hate that and would rather have the black bars jump into place via auto adjustment).

I was delighted, and relieved to know Auto setting now truly was auto and I didn't have to reach for my remote constantly anymore, to switch the aspect ratio myself.

Tonight I played a DVD in which I had to play around with the aspect ratio -- but only on the DVD player. I didn't even touch the settings for the TV itself, as I was already determined not to change anything on THAT now that I have fully automated aspect ratio changing.

When I stopped viewing my DVD, turned off the player, and returned to a different input to view normal Freeview broadcasting again, I discovered that my TV was once more no longer automatically adjusting its aspect ratio for a TV show that was 4:3 ("Friends", also a CSI on another channel). Friends was painfully stretched once again until I manually selected 4:3.

I swear I did not change a thing on my TV while viewing the DVD I was looking at tonight.

So why has it now once again lost it's ability to adjust without my help via the remote control once more?

If anyone has any insight I'd be thrilled, as I was enjoying the proper functioning while it lasted.

I googled on it and found people saying its an issue with the signal from Freeview, but I don't think that sounds right. I find it too much of a coincidence that both my changes -- not working then working, then back again -- seemed to coincide with my fiddling around on a seemingly unrelated issue concerning my DVD player -- which, by the way, is not hooked up to Freeview itself, it's just alone and hooked up to my TV via HDMI.

My TV gets a Freeview signal directly from the wall socket, passing through no other equipment (no Sky box, nothing) and completely independent of other components such as the DVD player. But I find it mysterious that messing with the DVD player settings for DVD viewing, seems to have messed with my TV aspect ratio handling on NON-DVD, regular TV broadcast viewing of ordinary Freeview programming, twice now.

Also important to note, I didn't touch any cables or connections tonight when messing with the unrelated DVD issue; just menu settings on the DVD player.
No cables were jiggled or connections pulled out.

I don't really want to unplug everything and set up all the menus again, even though doing this for a different unrelated issue seemed to fix the auto adjustment issue too -- but I will try that again only as a last resort, if nobody can tell me anything else about what's happening.

Any help in restoring the Auto AS truly auto again when viewing ordinary Freeview broadcasting would be great. (Thanks for reading this long problem!)

When I think up a decent sig...I'll let you know.

We have a similar situation-

We have two widescreen HDTV's. On mine, which is set to 16:9, when I watch a non- high-definition channel, black bars automatically appear at the sides just as they're supposed to. When I watch a film on a hi-def channel at an aspect ratio of 1.66:1, or 1.85:1, there are no black bars and the picture fills the entire screen, and when I watch a Cinemascope, Super Panavision, Ultra Panavision, or Todd-AO film, black bars appear at the top and bottom of the screen, and the aspect ratio of the film determines how big they are.

Just as it should be.

On the other hand, on the HD widescreen TV in our family room, which is supposedly also set to 16:9, a movie or program with a 4:3 aspect ratio fills the whole screen and looks perfectly normal (not stretched from side to side), and every other aspect ratio makes it look as if the actors had been stretched from top to bottom. The height of the screen on this TV is much bigger than on mine; mine really does look like a widescreen, while the screen on the one in our family room looks almost square. Not quite, but almost.

What can we do about this?