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Xfinity Stream aspect ration issues

We just got Roku to try and drop our cable boxes to save $20 a month. We haven't returned our boxes yet and now she's not sure she wants to because we're having an issue she considers major. Basically, some of the content on te xfinity streaming app live tv is displaying in 4:3 aspect ratio and we can't find any options to fix it. When it goes to commercials it'll go to the full screen but when it comes back to the show it cuts back to 4:3 with black bars on the edges of the screen. Watching the same channels on the cable box those channels and shows full the whole screen just fine. 


So, does anyone know how to fix this? I've already tried the option button on the remote while in the Xfinity app and on a channel with affected content but it doesn't pull up any display options. She's already upset that she can't use Roku to navigate by channel number on the xfinity app. This issue is just adding insult to injury for her. 

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Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Re: Xfinity Stream aspect ration issues

Hi @Val_53,

Welcome to the Roku Community!

We understand that you're having a display issue with your Roku. We're happy to help. Please check out this support article on how to change the display type on your Roku streaming player.

If the issue persists, please keep us posted on what you find out.

All the best,


Roku Community Moderator
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Roku Guru

Re: Xfinity Stream aspect ration issues

My parents have Xfinity (but no Roku/streaming) and Xfinity cable is complicated because for many of the broadcast channels, they have both an SD feed (which is naturally 4:3) and an HD feed (which is naturally 16:9).  Add to that, many of these channels are already showing misformatted/adjusted stuff before Xfinity picks them up so you have all manner of variations including 4:3 material stretched wide, and stuff shown simultaneously pillarboxed and letterboxed.  (And then to that you have the user preferences such as: I have always wanted to see material undistorted, whereas my father has always wanted his screen to be filled up regardless of what that did to the image.)

So, it’s all hard to say from what you’ve posted.  Many of the shows still floating around cable TV are old and were indeed filmed in 4:3.  So on those shows, it will be “natural” (for those of us who prefer undistorted TV) for the show to be pillarboxed, but many or all commercials to be fullscreen.  (Because the commercials are usually new.)

On the other hand, there are also the Xfinity or source station misconfigurations (or maybe adaptations if you like those adjustments).

So, first make sure you’re watching the exactly same channel.  For example, on my parents Xfinity system, if you select a local station like 6, you get it in SD.  But if you select something like 506 or 5206, then you get the same station, but in HD.  (Or something like those numbers.)

If you’ve ruled that out, you may want to call Xfinity – remember this is their app, talking to their system. It’s possible that they make it annoying because they like that $20 rental fee on boxes that were probably fully paid off in the first year of use.

Banned but back. Because why not?
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