Note: This page is part of the Xbox 360 FAQ . Please visit the index for other helpful Xbox 360 tips.
View Emulated Xbox Games in HDTV on Xbox 360
It's great being able to play some of the great games from the Xbox console on the Xbox 360, but if you have HDTV like I do, you may notice that the emulation software seems to add black bars to the screen, essentially forcing you to view the game in a 4:3 ratio.
By playing around with the settings on my HDTV, I realized that when viewing in 1080i or 720p resolutions I had black bars, but when switching to 480p output from the Xbox 360, the image was stretched to cover almost the entire screen. I later found the answer as to why, here it is:
Some games were made to display only in a 4:3 ratio, so when outputting 720p/1080i, the emulator adds black bars on both sides of a 4:3 image. Because 720p and 1080i are inherently 16:9 widescreen video modes, most TVs will not allow the user to change between "stretched/full" mode and "normal/black bars" mode while displaying HD video.
Xbox 360 preserves the aspect ratio of the original game when upscaling games to 720p and 1080i. If you prefer to "stretch" the 4:3 image on your TV, you can work around this by changing your console's video output to 480p (which TVs do not assume to be 16:9 widescreen).
Credit: Some of the above information was obtained from this page at Xbox.com. The rest was trial and error.