Thanks touma. I've actually already used the "automatic" feature on my television.
That is not what I was saying. It seems to me that you are making this a lot harder than it should be.
All that you need to do is:
Set your DVD player to send a 16:9 signal.
Set you TV to receive a 16:9 signal.
That's it. That is a typical standard setup. Basically 16:9-->16:9.
If that does not work then either one of the settings is wrong or you have an equipment problem.
The only thing that makes it even a little bit tricky is that the equipment manufacturers do not use common terminology, so you might need to experiment a bit. For instance your TV has settings for both "16:9" and "widescreen." I have no idea what the difference is, or why there are two settings that seem the same to me.
If you have one DVD that you know is 4:3 and another that you know is 16:9 you can use those to check your settings.
You might want to change the setting on your TV if you play a letterboxed DVD. It works fine with the standard settings but you have all of that blank screen around the picture. My TV has a "cinema" setting that will zoom the image to fit the screen. But that is the only time that I have to change from the "widescreen" setting. Fortunately letterboxed DVDs are getting very rare.
Here's another question: If you had to say what year would be indicative of the fall of standard definition, what would it be. You know what I mean? Sort of a marker year to know whether or not you have to bother changing the screen ratio back to 4:3.
I think that the change was too gradual to choose a year. And, as I said, you should not have to change it.