Question

Why are there black bars at the top and bottom of the picture or the picture appears stretched?

Answer

DVD was designed to make movies look as good as possible on TV. Since most movies are wider than standard TVs, letterboxing preserves the format of the theatrical presentation. DVD is ready for widescreen TV’s. For these and other reasons, many movies on DVD are only available in widescreen format. 

The black bars are part of the letterbox process, and in many cases you can't get rid of them, even if you have a widescreen TV. If you set the display option in your player to 4:3 pan & scan instead of letterbox, it won't do you much good since almost no DVD movies have been released with this feature enabled. If you set the player to 16:9 widescreen output it will make the bars smaller, but this is intended for use with widescreen TVs only — you will get a tall, stretched picture on a standard TV. 

In some cases, there may be both a fullscreen and a letterbox version of the movie on the same disc, check the other side of the disc (if it's two-sided) 

Ensure the aspect ratio on the DVD Player matched your TV type:

  1. In disc mode, press SETUP MENU.
  2. Press repeatedly to select Video Setup Page. 
  3. Use  keys to highlight TV Display, then press . Use keys to highlight one of the options below:
    • 4:3 Pan Scan - Pan Scan displays the central portion of a 16:9 picture on your standard 4:3 ratio screen TV, cutting off the extreme left and right sides of the picture. Select Pan Scan if you have a standard television and don't want black bars at the top and bottom of your screen. 
    • 4:3 Letter Box - Letter Box displays a full 16:9 ratio (wide screen) picture on a standard TV's 4:3 ratio screen. When you select Letter Box, black bars appear at the top and bottom of the screen. 
    • 16:9 Wide Screen - Wide Screen displays the full 16:9 picture. Select Wide Screen if you have a wide screen TV.
  4. Select a setting and press OK.

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