16:9 appearing as 4:3 signal from DVD player

Alright, so I just bought a new TV and was having some trouble getting it setup.

The TV is an LG 42LH30 (that's 42" fore those who care about such things). It's a nice TV but I bumped into a bit of trouble when watching a widescreen DVD.

I've tried a couple of DVD players (yes I have a couple laying around) and noticed that when setting a DVD player to send a 16:9 signal, the television invariably detects it as a 4:3 signal with black bars top and bottom. The difference between setting the DVD player to 16:9 instead of 4:3 is just that the emply black bars get slightly smaller.

I have been hooking the DVD players up using RCA cables.

My questions are thus:

1) Is there any way to elliminate these black bars entirely? (Idealy have the TV detect the 16:9 signal as actually being 16:9)?

2) Would using Component Video cables make any difference? (Either to picture quality or to my current issue widescreen issue... and yes I know it's still only 480i picture on a 1080p TV).
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  1. This is a common misconception for folks purchasing their first widescreen tv.

    DVD video playback from DVD players in a 16:9 format will still end up in many cases showing the black bars on the top and bottom. It really depends on the format the movie was filmed in. Your not doing anything wrong with your setup between the tv ad the DVD player and you're not getting cheated, it really is diplaying everything it should be. If they reall bug you , to elimnate them you can probably use the Zoom/display option on you TV which will end up magnifying the picture a little bit so the bars go away, but when you do this you lose imagery on the left and right of course...
  2. Its the aspect ratio of the DVD. Your "16:9" HDTV is 1.78.1. If you get a DVD that's filmed in 1.85.1 it will fill the screen since its close enough to your TV's ratio. Many movies are film in 2.39.1, which on a 1.78.1 set will mean black bars on the top and bottom to maintain the original aspect ratio of the film unless you zoom in, which will degrade the picture quality and chop off a portion of the sides to make it fit.

    Basically the black bars on a film are a good thing - its maintaining the image quality the director of the film intended.
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