First off, I would like to thank you for using our Answers Forum. Now, in order to fully answer your question, we would need a little bit more information. Are you trying to view the Slingbox via Newwatch.Slingbox.com, or the SlingPlayer Desktop Program? Also, what kind of laptop are you using (PC or Mac)?
If you are trying to watch the Slingbox via Newwatch.Slingbox.com, the SlingPlayer Desktop Program, or SlingPlayer for Connected Devices; here is an article that provides quite a bit of useful information on the aspect ratio:
Also, if your viewing quality experience is not satisfactory, check out these helpful links:
Hope this helps!
Sling Media Forum Moderation Team
If you're using the web Slingplayer on a Windows computer, at the bottom left corner of the screen, you'll see a little wheel icon. Put your mouse on that, and it will pop up the word "Settings". Click on the icon and four choices will appear at the bottom of the screen for settings. Choose "Aspect Ratio". Click on that until the screen changes to 16:9, or whatever you want.
If you have the Slingplayer for Windows program installed on your Windows computer, at the top left, you'll see the word "View". Click on that and you'll see a box drop down that says "Video Zoom". Scroll over that and another box pops out to the side with the different aspect ratios. Click on the one you want.
The quality of the picture depends on your stream rate. You've got to be streaming above about 3000kbps to get HD quality. The farther away from your Slingbox you are located, the less likely you'll be able to get a high stream rate, no matter how fast your internet connection is. I live over 10,000 miles from my Slingbox, and my maximum stream rate is 1830kbps with a fiber-optic connection. That's not HD quality, but is very good SD quality, and given where I live, I'm very happy with it. On the other hand, if I connect to my Slingbox within 100 miles or so, I can stream at 5000kbps. But if I'm that close, I'll just watch on a regular HDTV. :-)
(If you're using the web Slingplayer and want to see your stream rate, scroll your mouse over the little "signal strength" bars at the top of the screen, and the stream rate will pop out.)