How to Eliminate the Black Bars on Wide Screen TVs


If you have recently purchased a new TV and sometimes notice black bars on the sides of the screen, there is a reason. High definition programming is broadcast in a 16:9 aspect ratio. If you are trying to watch movies and shows that are shown in the old 4:3 aspect ratio, black bars are placed on the sides to fill the empty space.

Things You'll Need

  • TV owners manual
  • TV remote control


  • Open your TV's owners manual and find the section that tells you where you can adjust the TV's screen size. The simplest way to remove to black bars is to "stretch" the screen size. Since there are so many different TVs, you will need to find the specific instructions for your TV.

  • Use your TV's remote control to bring up the proper settings. Most TVs have a "stretch" feature but some may refer to it differently. The owner's manual will give you the proper name.

  • When you find the "stretch" feature, or feature that allows you to adjust your TV's screen size, adjust these settings until you cannot see the black bars. Keep in mind that you will eliminate the black bars on the side, but the bottom of the screen will cut off a portion of the picture. You are stretching the entire picture, not just the sides.

  • Adjust the settings to what they were before you stretched the picture. If you don't re-adjust the settings, the picture will remain stretched no matter which channel you have your TV turned to.

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