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Not a standard aspect ratio...beware
on December 1, 2009
At first glance, this should be a great versatile unit. As a TV, it should play back full 1080p (16:9 aspect ratio). However, the widescreen display is less than optimal for use as a monitor, so the ability to display 1920 x 1200 (16:10 aspect ratio) should have made this perfect for double duty.
However, there's a major issue in the design. A 16:9 signal on a 16:10 set should have black bars at top and bottom, but this set doesn't automatically do that. It fills the screen unless there's a key in the signal to force 16:9. Since the widescreen standard aspect ratio is 16:9, this means that an image will be vertically streched to 16:10 unless there's a key in the signal to force 16:9. I quickly discovered that many 16:9 signals don't have the key to control the display, and that I was forced to watch vertically distorted images, including those from the TV's built-in tuner. The simple solution would have been for Hannspree to have included a 16:9 aspect ratio that would force the display to normal 16:9 widescreen, and all would have been well. Unfortunately, in what has to be one of the silliest design decisions I've heard of, they didn't do it. After wrestling with this TV, and confirming with Hannspree customer service that there is no way for the TV to avoid vertically stretched displays unless it's forced to do so by the incoming signal, this one is going back.
It seems like common sense that a TV that uses an non-standard aspect ratio would be able to display the current standard widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9 for any signal, but common sense doesn't apply. This set will force many 16:9 images into 16:10, causing vertical distortion of the picture. That's just wrong.