We are new to the more recent HD TV wide screen 16:9 sets. We just bought (from BB) a Toshiba 50L5200U mostly because it would physically fit in a framed in place for the TV in the wall. Our TV video source is mostly from Dish Network satellite. We have a near new VIP 722K DVR from Dish Network. We were surprised (dismayed) to find that there wasn't any setting of the Toshiba remote "Pic Size" that would fill the screen vertically for a 4:3 aspect ratio. The 4:3 setting gives a small, but perfectly formatted, display in the center of the screen with black bands all around. The picture measures 30" diagonally. Pic Size settings that will fill the screen vertically, stretched the display horizontally and gave a distorted stretched picture. Really fat people. Some channels have a "HD" option and on those channels the Dish Network remote "Format" button has a setting that seems to stretch the picture vertically to look more normal. However, even that cuts off some of the video on top and bottom and the sides. The Format button has no effect on the Dish Network channels not designated as HD. Very few of the available channels have the HD designation. My central question is whether this constant fiddling with the Pic Size setting common to all HD TVs? Are some HD TVs more able to produce a maximum screen size when viewing 4:3 format than others? I understand it isn't possible to fill all the wide screen when showing a 4:3 format picture, but it would be nice to at least fill the screen vertically. We were also looking at the Panasonic TC-P50UT50, or TC-P55UT50. I'm wondering of these, or other, models would handle the different video formats better than the Toshiba.
You need ensure the Dish receiver is setup for a 16:9 aspect ratio to match the TV's ratio. In the receivers menu you should have 2 options 16:9 and 4:3 set it to 16:9 and the receiver should adjust the picture to match the format of your tv.
If you are having to stretch or zoom a HD image to fill the screen that tells me your settings are wrong to begin with.