While 480i is a supported setting in the AppleTV, the minimum requirement for the TV set is "component input" and "enhanced SDTV". This type of TV set has the option of fooling the AppleTV into thinking the set is a wide-screen unit. (Well, that's not technically correct but, in essence, it's true.)
Without that setting option on your TV, having the component inputs still permits the AppleTV to display its content but it pillarboxes 4:3 and vertically stretches 16:9. (*grumble*)
I've posted the request at Apple's webpage devoted to receiving suggestions but, considering all of the other hacks floating around, it seems to me that a minor tweaking of some plist or config file would resolve this and permit the proportions to display properly. Obviously, this tweak would have to be removed once I bought a "real" HD (widescreen) set but, frankly, I'm (otherwise) very happy with my current TV.
Anyone heard of such a hack or want to create one for me? PM me if you wish or post here.
Thanks in advance!
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Just a nudge to keep this thread alive.
Any AppleTV folks looking for fame and fortune?