There are three ways to combat this.
1. In the television, there is a Screen Burn Protection menu under the Setup Menu. You might see if you can enable the sidebars to show a grey picture, which avoids the burn-in process. However, this will only work with a 4:3 signal coming in. Most cable boxes will display a 4x3 within a 16x9 picture, meaning that the television won't enable those bars because it sees a full picture broadcasted.
2. You might see if there's a way to grey the bars on the side via the cable box. This might require a call to the content provider to help you walk through it.
3. You could stretch the picture in the box (also may require a call) or zoom in with the television, but that will alter the incoming picture. The stretching will make everyone a little fatter, and the zoom will cut off sides of the picture. If you can, try to do ideas #1 or #2 first, and leave these as a last resort.
Keep me posted.
I own a HP-S5033 flat panel. It's hooked up to a Comcast dvr box. Is there a way to remove the black bars? I'm starting to get burn in. I don't think this tv has a wide mode where I can enlarge the picture to fill the whole screen. Is there a way to do this?