Echostar AD-3600 with 16:9 to 4:3 Conversion Problem


Non-Activated User
Jun 3, 2003
Reaction score
Visit site
My Location
My Echostar AD-3600 is displaying certain German 16:9 programmes incorrectly on my 4:3 Sony TV set: the black horizontal bars that normally appear with widescreen transmissions at the top and bottom of the screen are missing and the right and left picture sides are significantly cropped. I am experiencing the problem with certain 16:9 German public programmes such as ARD Das Erste, Bayerisches Fernsehen, ZDF, ZDFtheater, 3sat etc. and only on digital Astra (19.2°E) transmissions. I have connected the receiver to the TV set with a fully featured SCART cable and set the receiver's aspect ratio to 4:3 (no ratio options available on the TV set). The problem does not arise with analogue transmissions or with the digital programmes transmitted by ARD Das Erste and by ZDF on the Hotbird satellite (13°E). I assume that ARD Das Erste and ZDF continue to broadcast their 16:9 transmissions in the letterboxed format on Hotbird and as anamorphic signals on 19.2°E. If my assumptions are correct, this would mean that my Echostar AD-3600 receiver is unable to correctly display anamorphic transmissions on 4:3 TV sets.

I have reported the issue to Echostar. They have responded that resolving the problem would require a major software upgrade disproportionate to the number of user complaints received (they are in fact claiming that my complaint was the first one that they received on this issue). They have also indicated that they would put the problem on their customer most wanted list. Except for the reported issue, I am otherwise very satisfied with the performance of my Echostar receiver.

I would be curious to hear if any of you have encountered similar problems with 16:9 programmes, either on the Echostar AD-3600 or on other receivers. If yes, might I suggest that, as an Echostar customer, you should post an inquiry on (click on 'Contact', then 'E-mail Form' on the top right hand side) in order to expedite the software upgrade?