It is really quite simple. Depending on the signal that is being broadcast or for that matter whatever source you provide that is less than widescreen 1080p, you will have several options for displaying the content.
One, when it comes to the resolution you can always change the settings on your display to reflect the source. Also available are upconverts. However, in order to get a quality picture you will need to purchase a high quaulity converter.
Two, you can watch the source in it's native aspect ratio which will create black bars on the top, bottom and sides of the screen. This is the most ideal way to watch these sources rather than the next option.
Three, use your displays settings to stretch the source video to the full screen of your display which result in distortions.
So, how will a signal of less than 1080p widescreen look? Depends on what you are most interested in. I personally would watch these video sources in their native resolutions and aspect ratios.
Hope this helps and if you have any other questions, feel free to let me know.
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