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With Contour2 does anyone notice and dislike the TV display when viewing classic shows---for example, the Turner Movie Channel or Twilight Zone? In days long ago, most non-HD shows played poorly on an HDTV. Then it got a whole lot better. For me with my previous Cox cable boxes most older movies or classic shows filled the screen because you often had the choice of accessing some by their HD or non-HD channel - or even if they didn't fill the screen, you could press a button on the remote and make it "zoom" or "stretch" or "normal." Zoom did not give you a "bigger image vertically" or distort the view. It just filled the screen in landscape mode and with no distortion. I have many of those channels now where the display is like a huge square from top to bottom, and blackout columns on either side--in other words you can't make it go landscape. As such, you lose quite a bit of the screen shot horizontally and often the picture is distorted or blurry. Even when the picture is clear, it is chopped off. I've tried changing resolutions on my TV and Contour remotes, but no luck. Just asking if you had this problem and figured out a cure. I'm such a lover of old shows, this is close to a show-stopper for me and the opposite of an "upgrade." Seeing a bigger square version of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland on the screen with one of his arms chopped off by the big square "view" is annoying!!!
I tuned to TCM to test your scenario. The image looks crisp and clean for classic movie standards. Mine too is not full screen. Perhaps TCM crops off specific cinema aspect-ratios to fit the screen top-to-bottom. I'm not familiar with this film to notice what would be cropped or missing from the sides of the set.
Your blurry video is what concerns me. If you only swapped out the cable box (Rovi to Contour), I'd suggest swapping the box again, but you've been since adjusting the TV settings. Review the setting on your TV again and disable any video processing, such as TruMotion or Real Cinema. Sometimes those "compensations" only blur or worsen the picture.
If you'd like, you could reset the TV to factory defaults. There are also lots of professional reviews of TV sets with recommended calibrated settings. Just search calibration settings with the make and model of your TV. Finding professional calibration recommendations is the first thing I do when researching TV sets.
Hi Kevin - Thanks for your response. When I got my letter from Cox stating that it was time to upgrade to Contour by June 4 or else I could lose channels, I upgraded. Do I have any options to consider besides Contour? Or, is Cox only supporting Contours now and not keeping a stock of Rovi type boxes? Do Cox techs still support Rovi-type boxes? If not, I get it. What would be the point of having a Scientiic Atlanta and if it dies, never having any more in stock to replace it. I welcome change and love Contour's features, but in this case change has caused me to not watch many of the shows I loved before. But I'm still paying for them. If there are any alternatives, let me know and I'll happily call Cox. If not, I'll look for my own options. I've tried every setting change on my TV and Contour remotes and even the great tech who came yesterday did the same for me. He checked things outside and my signals are great. I showed hm some current shows, and ones I had recorded so he could see how they looked on my HDTV screen(s). He understood what I was seeing, but he said with Contour there's nothing that can be done. I'm sure you are thinking I'm being too picky. I'm not. I don't expect SD to look like HD, but on my Scientific Atlantas those shows were clear and proportioned. Your explanation makes sense of why this happened--Cox changed all settings to HD. I guess that didn't effect "Rovi boxes." But on Contour, SD didn't transfer well to HD. That's why I can turn on TMC and watch the host in full HD, but when the SD TMC movies comes on, they are square with bars on either side. And it is not limited to TMC. With Contour even a few SD shows in full screen are blurry. I was watching a CNN documentary on John McCain hosted by Wolf Blitzer. He was amazingly clear in HD, but when they played old videos of McCain over the years, those old videos played "full screen" but were very blurry. They are old videos, I know. But they are more distorted and blurry with Contour than when I had my Scientific Atlanta. I've had Cox for decades and I've appreciated the evolution of technology. Contour has great features, but when I was paying for two Scientific Atlanta DVR's- the reception was amazing. I'd love to go back two weeks ago and never had made that upgrade appointment! Any options? If not, I promise to shut up about this.
Kevin - one more thing to show I'm not crazy....this morning two friends of mine were at my home for breakfast, and they still have their Cox Scientific Atlantas. They did not receive that letter requesting them to switch to Contour. But I showed them in depth the great features of Contour, but also what my SD shows now look like, and they did not like what they saw. My friend Frank couldn't believe it and he tried to readjust the settings for me, but it didn't work. As for them, they are in shock by the change and relieved they didn't upgrade to Contour. They have great viewing reception, they love HD, but watch lots of SD shows, especially MTV videos, etc. and won't give up the full screens and clarity. Anyway, I'm willing to say I'm exaggerating, and I have friends that would tell me so! But I'm not and it's not good.
Providers have quite the racket: mandatory rental fees for utter junk.