How to Adjust a TV to View Wide Screen With Non HD Channels

By Christopher Kennedy

Enjoying high-definition television is one of the benefits that comes with a new HDTV, but all channels don't broadcast in HD, leaving the wide-screen real estate on your television to be occupied by those unsightly black bars. This guide will show you how to adjust your television's aspect ratio so that non-HD channels utilize the entire screen.

Things You'll Need

  • High-definition television
  • Television remote control
  • Cable, satellite or antenna service

Adjusting the Picture on YourTtelevision

Step 1

Power on your television and tune in to a non-HD channel. If you have cable or satellite service, these channels are usually listed separately and easily identifiable from their HD counterparts.

Step 2

Locate the "P.Size," "Picture Zoom," "HD Zoom" or similar button on your television's remote control.

Step 3

Press the button and note the television's display as it cycles through the different options for your television. The television usually cycles through 4:3, 16:9, Zoom 1 and Zoom 2 and is different depending on the make and model of your television. This is essentially changing the aspect ratio for your non-HD channels.

Step 4

Leave the television on the setting for 16:9. This will convert all images received by your television into the wide-screen format if the channel does not broadcast in HD.

Tips & Warnings

  • The 4:3 ratio was the standard before wide-screen televisions were being produced, thus the black bars on the edges to simulate the traditional televisions. Setting your TV for the 16:9 ratio allows the TV to convert the video to the wide-screen format that has become popular with HD programming.
  • If you are watching a non-HD program on an HD channel, most TVs will broadcast the program in the 4:3 format regardless of your television's setting. To view the program in full wide-screen, tune to the non-HD version of that channel.
  • Consult your user manual to determine what is the correct button to cycle through these options. In some instances, this option may be under the "Video Settings" menu.