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Eliminating Gray Bars via One-for-All Remote

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Jared who was able to make the sidebars black in all viewing modes by changing a Service Menu parameter and by using a universal remote.

Tip from JaredB:  "Maybe in the minority here, but I always thought that having gray bars on the sides when watching non-progressive 4:3 material was one of the Toshiba 40" RPTV's biggest drawbacks. I understand that they were probably put there to avoid burn in for people that left their sets factory bright (aka 'torch mode') and watched a lot of unstretched 4:3 material. As for me, a like to watch a good mix of stretched 4:3, full mode, and standard 4:3 and my set has been ISF'd - so I found those gray bars REALLY annoying.Well, no longer.

Here is the step by step method for turning your side bars from grey to black:

PLEASE NOTE: You may not need to do things exactly the way I did them, but this is the way I did it and it worked perfectly. I am not an expert at the ADDR mode, so I probably can't answer questions you have that aren't answered below. (please see the links to threads below from smarter people than me that made this possible) I'm not the first to do this on a Toshiba and my thanks go out to those that paved the way on other Tosh models. I'm just the first guy brave/dumb enough to try this on the TW40x81.

ANYTHING YOU DO TO YOUR SET IS YOUR FAULT AND I CANNOT HELP YOU. Ok, I would probably try to help, but I'd be useless. At any rate, as long as you don't mess around it's actually a very easy process and nothing to be scared of.

  1. First, you need a One For All remote. This is the only way I have found so far which allows access to the ADDR mode, which is even more 'powerful' than the design mode. You will find little about the design mode in the service manual and nothing about the ADDR mode.

    I used the OneForAll Cinema 7. ($24.99 at Best Buy) Per the remote's instruction manual, set it for Toshiba code 0156. Try turning the TV on and off with the remote now to see if you did it properly.
  2. Next, set the macro button on the remote (per the instructions) so that the macro sequence is: setup button, (labelled on some Oneforalls as the 'magic' button) then 0, 1, 4.
  3. Remove all inputs from the TV (don't know if this matters, but I did it just in case) I then put my TV in Video 1 input and put it in standard mode so I could see the gray bars.
  4. Pressing the macro button once should now put your TV in the ADDR mode. You will see the letters ADDR in the upper left corner and some letters and numbers.
  5. Now, pressing the VOLUME button will change parameters, so don't press it unless you feel like experimenting. Simply press the CHANNEL up and down and you will cycle through parameters without making any changes. Stop when you reach the following parameter:  (I had to scroll up for a WHILE)

    2B7H - this controls the brightness of the sidebars and will probably show you a value of 07.
  6. Now - simply press the volume down until that value reaches 00. (you will see the side bars turn black) TURN YOUR SET OFF TO EXIT ADDR MODE.

YOU'RE DONE. Hook your video inputs back up and turn your set on. You will now enjoy black sidebars on all material while in standard mode. 

If you want to play around and see what other changes you can make in ADDR mode, be my guest and please let us know what happens. But be sure to write down starting values before you make any changes. And be prepared for the possibility that you could REALLY screw up your set. (spoken as someone who got hit with the VPOS on my old Toshiba 36")

For more info from those that have gone before and know more, check out the following threads:

Oh, and by the way, it was a pain to have to go out and buy a OneForAll remote just for this adjustment, given that I already have a universal remote and didn't need another one. So if anyone would like to try this on their TV and doesn't have the OneForAll, I'd be happy to let you borrow mine. In fact since it's already programmed, you would simply have to push the macro button and you'd be set. Talk about a great 1 minute adjustment to your TV!"