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What Is The Purpose Of Widescreen?  
User currently offline747srule From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 427 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5746 times:

The topic says it all.I don't watch what's going on at the outer edges of my my 42" widescreen HDTV;I watch what's happening in the center of it. I absolutely hate those black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.Can someone 'splain it to me? Please.....


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19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJetsGo From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3068 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5653 times:

Most, if not all, widescreen TV's have the option to "fill" the screen. This means the picture will be stretched out from a standard 4:3 format to a widescreen 16:9 format so it will fill the entire screen. I prefer this to the standard black bard on the side. However, just watch some actual HD content and it will fill the screen just fine, assuming it was filmed in HD or at least formatted to it. I've noticed when watching non HD content on an HD channel, there is no way around the black bars.


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User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5643 times:

I find it interesting that you bought such a screen without even knowing what it does for you, but anyways...

Normal 4:3 ratio screens cut a lot of the picture out. Remember the phrase before many movies saying "this movie is formatted to fit your tv"? that's because they have to either shrink down the image, or cut some of the edges out, or both, to fit it in a 4:3 ratio size screen. Movie film cameras are made to project on wide theater screens, not squared TVs. But with the advent of wide screen format TVs you get the whole picture.

Here's a good explanation:

http://www.firsttvdrama.com/show2/letterb.php3

[Edited 2009-05-12 18:39:53]

User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4124 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5593 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 2):

Nice link, but I have to ask, how old is this article? I found this quote amusing:

Quote:
This is why many of the "High-Def" programs that air on PBS air in Letterbox (Black Bars). They were intended to be best viewed on the High-Definition Television Sets that very few people in this country actually own.




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User currently offlineJetsGo From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3068 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5562 times:



Quoting Mdsh00 (Reply 3):
how old is this article?

I'm pretty sure most people still do not own a high definition TV. What's worse though are the ones who own them but do not subscribe to any HD content.



Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
User currently offlineFlyKev From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 1376 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5429 times:
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Quoting JetsGo (Reply 4):
I'm pretty sure most people still do not own a high definition TV. What's worse though are the ones who own them but do not subscribe to any HD content

I own one but don;t subscribe to any HD content.
I do have an xbox360 plugged into it, and I know that in the future, I can get HD content.
If I was to buy a TV now, I wouldn't consider anything but a HD ready model, purely because it gives you the options in the future.

Its not wasteful, its progressive.

Then again, trying to find a new TV now that isnt HD would be a mission.

Kev.

[Edited 2009-05-13 05:54:31]


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User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 10998 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5377 times:



Quoting FlyKev (Reply 5):
Then again, trying to find a new TV now that isnt HD would be a mission.

Because analog TV is going bye-bye in a month.



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User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3335 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5259 times:



Quoting JetsGo (Reply 4):
I'm pretty sure most people still do not own a high definition TV. What's worse though are the ones who own them but do not subscribe to any HD content.

I will let that slide if you are like this guy.

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 5):

I own one but don;t subscribe to any HD content.
I do have an xbox360 plugged into it, and I know that in the future, I can get HD content.
If I was to buy a TV now, I wouldn't consider anything but a HD ready model, purely because it gives you the options in the future.

Also I believe that you can get HD off Rabbit Ears if you have the proper DTV setup that Americans will need in a month.

Can you still get non HD ready TV's? They seem to be dying breed like VCR's.



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User currently offlineL1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1651 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5255 times:
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As a retired movie theatre projectionist, I think I can shed some light on your question. Most movies were originally made to be shown in theatres. Up until 1953, movies were shot and projected in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which is the same shape as standard TV screens. In 1953, theatres introduced wide screen movies to give audiences something they couldn't get on television. They called it CinemaScope, and it was shown on a slightly curved screen in a ratio of 2.55:1, later changing to 2.35:1. Movies that were not in CinemaScope were also widened by cropping the image in the projector to 1.66:1, 1.75:1, or 1.85:1. When shown on a CinemaScope screen, they didn't take up the full width of the screen. Most theatres used black masking curtains, which closed in to the sides of the picture, covering up the part of the screen not being used. This is similar to a 4x3 picture on a widescreen TV, except the TV doesn't have masking curtains to cover up the unused part of the screen.

When I watch a movie on my widescreen TV, I don't object to the black bars at all, knowing that I am getting nearly the whole picture, as shown in movie theatres. I would never stretch a 4x3 picture to fill the full width of the screen, as it creates a distorted picture. I don't want to see everyone looking short and fat.

What you can do to eliminate black bars on the top and bottom is this:
If the movie was made after 1953 and is not in CinemaScope, you can blow it up to the full screen with your zoom feature. You will crop the top and bottom, but that is exactly what theatres do. Most theatrical prints are in 1.33:1 so they will fill a standard TV screen, but are cropped to 1.85:1 with an aperture plate in the projector. This is the preferred aspect ratio. So if you zoom it, you are losing nothing important.

Hope this information helps.

Bob Bradley
IATSE Local 370
Richmond, VA



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User currently offlineZentraedi From Japan, joined Jun 2007, 659 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5249 times:



Quoting JetsGo (Reply 4):

I'm pretty sure most people still do not own a high definition TV. What's worse though are the ones who own them but do not subscribe to any HD content.

What's worse is my parents. They have HDTVs, pay for the HD channels, but still continue to tune to the SD versions.

I've heard several excuses: The channel supposedly tunes slightly faster. The SD versions are adjacent to the other channels they watch. They're "used to" tuning to that particular channel number....

If company comes over, they'll use the HD channels though.


User currently offlineFRAspotter From United States of America, joined May 2004, 2336 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5161 times:



Quoting FlyKev (Reply 5):
Quoting JetsGo (Reply 4):
I'm pretty sure most people still do not own a high definition TV. What's worse though are the ones who own them but do not subscribe to any HD content

I own one but don;t subscribe to any HD content.
I do have an xbox360 plugged into it, and I know that in the future, I can get HD content.
If I was to buy a TV now, I wouldn't consider anything but a HD ready model, purely because it gives you the options in the future.

Same here... but I also have a BluRay player... I watch a bit of the TV channels I own, but just don't feel like I need to watch the "sweat bead off of LeBron James' forehead" or care how many blades of grass I can make out on the field of an Arsenal-Chelsea match...



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User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5255 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5134 times:

Essentially "widescreen" is just a process of standardization across the movie and television formats. As others have noted widescreen did not exist until:

Quoting L1011 (Reply 8):
Up until 1953, movies were shot and projected in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which is the same shape as standard TV screens. In 1953, theatres introduced wide screen movies to give audiences something they couldn't get on television. They called it CinemaScope, and it was shown on a slightly curved screen in a ratio of 2.55:1, later changing to 2.35:1.

Once this occurred that was a low level battle running about what is the best way to present these wider format movies on TV.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 2):
Movie film cameras are made to project on wide theater screens, not squared TVs. But with the advent of wide screen format TVs you get the whole picture.

It evolved to become a whole new money maker as movies that were routinely cropped were re-published in letterbox widescreen format and T. As TV's grew in size and a new standard was being developed for television, DTV and HD, everyone jumped on the moneymaking bandwagon. All the suppliers in the system win: Movies get to be reissued in full, HD, widesrceen format, (more money for the studios), TV's have to be upgraded to take advantage of the new formats (electronics companies make more money - though LCD and plasma makers have taken it in the shorts recently), broadcasters and cable companies get to show the "new" movies and also better product, (more eyes, more money).

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 5):
its progressive.

It is, it industry standardization.

Quoting L1011 (Reply 8):
I would never stretch a 4x3 picture to fill the full width of the screen, as it creates a distorted picture. I don't want to see everyone looking short and fat.

I do not understand why people do this. I mean who enjoys watching a squashed Kobe Bryant charging down the lane and then making a squashed jump? And every runway model looks normal and everyone else is fat. It just looks weird. And then you have the setting where just the outer quarter to third of the screen is stretched and everything goes from normal to stretching really fast and then off the screen. Just box the stuff will ya?

Tugg



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User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 5968 posts, RR: 27
Reply 12, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5085 times:
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Quoting JetsGo (Reply 4):
What's worse though are the ones who own them but do not subscribe to any HD content.

I don't pay for TV. My HDTV gets a great picture with my antenna on my roof. We get enough free TV in Detroit to suit me.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 7):
Also I believe that you can get HD off Rabbit Ears if you have the proper DTV setup that Americans will need in a month.

Correct. I have a HDTV antenna on my roof connected to my flat screen Sony 32 inch. I have two rabbit ears set ups on my old (1984 and 1973) TVs with a converter box. They look great too.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 11):
I do not understand why people do this. I mean who enjoys watching a squashed Kobe Bryant charging down the lane and then making a squashed jump?

I hate that too. I see that a lot at bars where they have a non HD program on and the picture sucks because they have the format off. I don't get how the black bars bother people. I guess they didn't like watching a full screen movie on a regular TV either. Some of the better HDTVs have a lot of features that make older and non HD programs look great! An Upconverting DVD/VCR helps too.

I watch old TV shows from the 60s and 70s everyday and they would look stupid if they were stretched out over the entire screen. I just click my TV to the 4:3 format and the shows look like they should.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineLuke From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5070 times:

I always thought that the purpose of widescreen was to allow for the fact that a person's field of vision must surely be wider than it is high (because of course you are two eyes wide by one eye tall!). I guess I'm completely wrong but having got used to widescreen TV, I always feel awkward watching a standard square TV - it feels as though my field of vision is too wide for the screen! Maybe this is all just in my mind though..

User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3335 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5062 times:



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 12):
I hate that too. I see that a lot at bars where they have a non HD program on and the picture sucks because they have the format off. I don't get how the black bars bother people. I guess they didn't like watching a full screen movie on a regular TV either. Some of the better HDTVs have a lot of features that make older and non HD programs look great! An Upconverting DVD/VCR helps too.

On Plasmas and older LCD, and CRT HDTV's the bars burn into the screen and you need to get TV Screen Savers to fix the burn in, which is probably why they stretch the image in order not to make it look like garbage when they actually put something in HD. The burn in also happens to people who play a lot of video games especially 1st person shooters as the health and ammo meters never move on the screen.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinePilotsmoe From United States of America, joined May 2005, 249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5035 times:



Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 7):

Can you still get non HD ready TV's? They seem to be dying breed like VCR's

HD and digital aren't the same thing, most broadcasts are in 480i (same resolution as NTSC)

I think the wide screen thing is a ploy by the electronics companies to make more money. Less transistors for the same price. A 4:3 screen has more screen area than the equivalent 16:9 screen(because it's measured diagonally).


User currently offlineIH8BY From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1140 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4978 times:

Quoting Luke (Reply 13):
I always thought that the purpose of widescreen was to allow for the fact that a person's field of vision must surely be wider than it is high (because of course you are two eyes wide by one eye tall!). I guess I'm completely wrong but having got used to widescreen TV, I always feel awkward watching a standard square TV - it feels as though my field of vision is too wide for the screen! Maybe this is all just in my mind though..

I once had someone come into the store where I was working and asked about camcorders. He wanted to know why consumer camcorders weren't optimised for filming in a rotated image; i.e. why companies that made video cameras hadn't considered the needs of users who wished to take video in tallscreen...

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 7):
Can you still get non HD ready TV's? They seem to be dying breed like VCR's.

My family bought an HD-ready TV about a year ago, as the old TV was at the end of its life. For the time being, they have no particular interest in getting HD content, but to have a decent screen that a large family can all watch at the same time the only real option was to get an HD-ready set, as finding non-HD-ready sets seemed difficult and pointless. No need for 1080p or equivalent.

[Edited 2009-05-15 06:46:08]


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User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11932 posts, RR: 25
Reply 17, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4875 times:



Quoting JetsGo (Reply 4):

I'm pretty sure most people still do not own a high definition TV. What's worse though are the ones who own them but do not subscribe to any HD content.

Yep, that's a strange situation.

I held out on digital cable and widescreen till there was enough desireable content.

When I got it, I went in pretty deeply. I got a plasma widescreen and a TiVo with 500 GB external drive. I went into the TiVo and turned off all the analog channels, so all it records is digtal content. I have over 90 hours of HD capability, more than I've ever needed. I never watch non-HD channels any more

Quoting L1011 (Reply 8):
What you can do to eliminate black bars on the top and bottom is this:
If the movie was made after 1953 and is not in CinemaScope, you can blow it up to the full screen with your zoom feature. You will crop the top and bottom, but that is exactly what theatres do. Most theatrical prints are in 1.33:1 so they will fill a standard TV screen, but are cropped to 1.85:1 with an aperture plate in the projector. This is the preferred aspect ratio. So if you zoom it, you are losing nothing important.

Very interesting.

By only watching the HD channels, I never have to crop or stretch the programming. If a HD channel is showing non-HD content, they do what they think is appropriate to make it fit the widescreen form factor.. I rarely see them use bars on side with the exception of sports content shot in 4:3. In all other cases, they seem to be doing cropping, but they seem to be doing a better job of it than either the cropping, linear stretching or non-linear stretching modes of either the TiVo itself or my HDTV.



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User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 5968 posts, RR: 27
Reply 18, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4868 times:
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Does the format of this thread look weird to anyone else? It has been odd looking for days, but every other thread looks normal.


My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8494 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4836 times:

16:9 (film) and 16:10 (computer) more closely approximate human vision than the older 4:3 standard did. That's why things are in widescreen these days.

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