According to Gary over at HD Guru, the newest DVR receivers from DirecTV, the H20 and HR20 models, border nearly every standard def 4:3 channel with vertical black bars. The black may be a nice touch visually, but if you leave one of those channels on your plasma TV too long, those bars will glow strangely bright when the whole screen is in use. LCD TV owners, of course, need not fret.
Most DVRs offer gray bars and gray letterboxing as a way around this dilemma, because gray is the color of average, even screen wear. It is odd that DirecTV would allow for a breach this major so deep into the game. That said, I am sitting here wondering if this is less an indictment of DirecTV's homespun DVR box, and more an indictment of plasma technology. I've owned a plasma for some years, and have always been careful not to do anything that might introduce uneven screen burn, but now that LCDs are looking so tasty, I'm wondering if what was once a minor sacrifice is now a fatal flaw. [HD Guru]