Why does Cox shrink the picture on some of the TV channels?

So I noticed Cox seems to zoom out or shrink some of the TV stations that they rebroadcasts, like CHARGE! and LAFF Networks.   

If I watch them on my TV OTA with HD antenna, the TV shows have the black bars on the sides to emulate the old 4:3 ratio like it should be.

But if I switch the TV output to the Contour box and switch to channel 94 (LAFF) or 109 (CHARGE) it will have black bars all around the top, sides, and bottom and the picture zoomed out so it's harder to see.   Why does Cox do that?  Or do I need to make a change on the Contour settings somewhere so it looks like it's does on the OTA?


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  • OTA signal is from your local affiliate and the other from Cox distribution.  It's 2 different compression and formatting schemes.  Why does Cox do it?  Using a higher compression scheme saves bandwidth.

    I zoomed an SD channel and it filled the screen.  It looked awful but it's just the native aspect-ratio of older programs.

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