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Digital Converter Box = Fail

December 7, 2008

Nowadays it seems like certain things aught to be standard practice in technology. Being able to save a game, for instance. Or, in similar fashion, saving your aspect ratio settings on your brand new Digital Converter Box. The fact that I not only have to go to the menu to fix the aspect ratio to Cropped for every single channel is one thing, but then to have to do it again for channels I have already set is another. Does this thing have ZERO internal memory? What if I do not want to watch my TV shows in a tiny letterbox?

This is a horrible design decision on the part of Zenith. What has essentially happened is that they have removed all semblance of user choice in exchange for permanent, default settings. They give us the illusion of choice by letting us change the TV Aspect Ratio whenever we want, but then reset it whenever we change the channel.

This is the kind of thing you almost never see in games, and when you do, developers get called out for it. For example, say you set a game to run at 1600×1200, but every time you start the game up it resets to 640×480. That means you need to change your graphics settings every time you run the game, instead of just once and having it save your settings. That’s basically what is happening here. I am yet to see a TV, VCR, DVD Player, or set top box thingymajig that did not save all user preferences. Why Zenith went with this on their DTT901 confuses me, especially considering not every station broadcasts at the same ratio. Some do widescreen, some do fullscreen letterbox, some do fullscreen cropped. If we prefer the picture just fill up our TV, no matter the size, we aught to be able to do that.

At least hi-rez – if not hi-def – picture is nice.

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One Comment
  1. My TV is a real pain. Every time I turn it on and go to AV1 for my Wii I need to change the channel aspect settings because it not only resets to Auto. But Auto cant make up it’s mind whether its normal screen or wide screen and flicks between the two every 10 or so seconds.

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