Squashed squawking heads

Getting snowed out of Springfield, Illinois last week gave me an extra 8 or 10 hours to sit around airports and find things to gripe about.

Is anyone else bothered by the tendency to use high-definition television monitors with a regular TV signal, and then spread the picture out to cover the screen, which makes the victims on the television look as if they’d been modified for a guest appearance on South Park?

Lou Dobbs on CNN, squashed
Has Lou Dobbs really gained that much weight?
(This image is for illustration of the phenomenon only.)

Am I the only person who prefers that people look like people, even if there is a blank area on the television screen? In the past year I’ve been in a couple dozen classrooms where the projectors were set to distort every image transmitted. For a presentation on, say, Emmitt Till, or the death of Rosa Parks, I thought the settings disrespectful at best.

How can they call it “high definition” if it distorts everyones’ faces?

I was relieved late Sunday to get back home to our old, analog televisions and normal human proportions on the screen.

6 Responses to Squashed squawking heads

  1. Lime Mousine says:

    I don’t know, it’s never really bothered me. If the news is on I’m usually not watching it, just listening. That’s why I’ve never cared about News in HD. Now sports in HD… completely different story.


  2. Bronze Dog says:

    I tend to do the stretch because my previous HDTV develop some vertical lines where the signal ends and the black begins. They took a long time to fade. Haven’t seen if they appear on my current one.

    I recommend TVs with “smart stretch” that leave the center normal and stretch the edges.


  3. eyeingtenure says:

    I hate this ever so much.


  4. Kerry Maxwell says:

    Yes, nature abhors a vacuum, and nitwits abhor blank spaces on TVs.


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Every set I have checked has a menu setting to allow the picture to appear normally. Most people set it to appear abnormally. They hate to have wasted pixels on a television.


  6. tuibguy says:

    I have wondered if it is the fault of the manufacturers or the broadcasters. I am sure that the broadcasters of the non-HD signal assume that non-HD viewers still have standard aspect TV’s and broadcast their non-HD signals accordingly. For those with 16 X 9 aspect ratio TV’s the manufacturers should provide an option to view with letterboxing that is rotated 90 degrees.
    That would allow things to appear normally.

    I am just surprised that TV’s in airport lounges don’t use the HD satellite signal instead of the standard digital or analog signal.


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