I love my new Series 3 TiVo, but I use it with a 4:3 tube TV. This is a nice TV, mind you, with 16:9 enhanced mode, but I have an issue when it comes to the TiVo. Any time the TV gets an HD signal, it switches to enhanced mode and letterboxes it. This is great for widescreen content, but lots of HD shows are pillar boxed because they’re shot in 4:3. So my TV dutifully displays them with a complete “windowbox” on all four sides, which looks rather silly.
So one might think that the TiVo’s Aspect button would help. It’s supposed to allow you to zoom in on the image, after all. But it turns out that this only functions for fixed-ratio TVs. In other words, your widescreen set can use it, as can your old 4:3 SDTV. But it has no function when you’re displaying on a 4:3 HDTV!
This gets really silly when you’re watching a program that was shot in widescreen but is pillar boxed to 4:3, as is the case with lots of movie trailers and some ads. Then you get this really tiny widescreen image surrounded by blackness!