Self Help & Support

Understanding Black Bars Displaying
on TV Screen

Top and Bottom Known as "letterboxing", black bars that appear on the top and bottom of your screen are the result of the broadcaster's decision to display their content in a particular format. This is typically done to increase the viewing range of the televised event. To fill your TV screen, use your TV's Zoom feature.

    Note: this may result in the picture being displayed larger than your screen.

Left and Right, Known as "pillarboxing", black bars that appear on the left and right of your screen are the result of the broadcaster's decision to display their content in a particular format. This is typically done to increase the viewing range of the televised event.

If you are seeing black bars on the sides (left and right) of your screen, please review the following steps to resolve the issue:

  • Check to be sure you are watching an HD channel.
  • Check the User Settings Menu on the set-top box
    • Press CABLE then POWER on your remote to turn the set-top box OFF
    • Press the MENU or SETTINGS button on your remote to access the User Settings Menu
    • Make sure the TV TYPE is set to 16:9, the OUTPUT to the correct HD TV format (720 or 1080) and 4:3 OVERRIDE to 480i or 480p
    • Press CABLE then POWERon your remote to turn the set-top box ON

The issue should now be resolved. If not, contact us. We're here to help!


Related Materials:
Set-Top User Guide | Problems with Your Picture | Invalid Format