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I have my Slingbox connected to an SD cable box via coaxial, so all video is 4:3.
At a second location, I have a 16:9 720p TV with an Apple TV connected via HDMI.
When using AirPlay on Apple TV, it works fine from the iPad SlingPlayer and shows the 4:3 video in the correct pillarboxed format.
But when I use AirPlay from the iPhone, it will start out in the correct pillarbox format, but after about 2 minutes the video will switch to be letterboxed. So the 4:3 video is stretched to the left and right edges, and black bars appear at the top and bottom. Changing the aspect ratio in the SlingPlayer app from Auto to Standard only changes the box on the iPhone screen (which just says "Playing on AppleTV") but has no effect on the AirPlayed video.
The only way to avoid this using the iPhone player is to turn on AirPlay mirroring, but then I can't shut the iPhone screen off while video streams.