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Why are widescreen TVs the new standard?

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DaDude    46

Before I begin, let me just say that I have a widescreen LCD TV and I absolutely love it. I would not trade it in for a 4:3 TV. But I have a few friends who say that they hate widescreen TVs for three reasons:

1. Most TV content that's broadcasted are not widescreen, which means you'll get black bars on both sides.

2. Some channels stretch the image, resulting in a distorted picture.

3. When watching 4:3 content you get black bars on the right and left sides of the screen. When watching 2:35:1 movies, you get black bars on the top and bottom of the TV. So, you need to watch a movie/show with an aspect ratio of 1.78 or 1.85:1 to fill the entire screen and only a fraction of movies/shows are filmed in that ratio.

As much as I love widescreen TVs, my friends do have a point. So, my question is: how did widescreen TVs become a standard since they have many flaws (and even more flaws than 4:3 TVs)?

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steelcurtain    0
Before I begin, let me just say that I have a widescreen LCD TV and I absolutely love it. I would not trade it in for a 4:3 TV. But I have a few friends who say that they hate widescreen TVs for three reasons:

1. Most TV content that's broadcasted are not widescreen, which means you'll get black bars on both sides.

2. Some channels stretch the image, resulting in a distorted picture.

3. When watching 4:3 content you get black bars on the right and left sides of the screen. When watching 2:35:1 movies, you get black bars on the top and bottom of the TV. So, you need to watch a movie/show with an aspect ratio of 1.78 or 1.85:1 to fill the entire screen and only a fraction of movies/shows are filmed in that ratio.

As much as I love widescreen TVs, my friends do have a point. So, my question is: how did widescreen TVs become a standard since they have many flaws (and even more flaws than 4:3 TVs)?

Probably because movies are shot/shown in widescreen. My HDTV LCD stretches the picture so I never have bars on the left or right. Sometimes there are small bars at the top and bottom, and the stretching is done with distortion.

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+Gary7    7,380

Movies are shot in widescreen and when you watch a movie in the old way, you are missing part of the scene.

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Digitalx    17

It's mostly only analogue broadcasters or the broadcasters using analogue signals which are still in 4:3 images if you check out digital tv broadcasts and HD broadcasts you'll see they generally take use of wide screen resolution and only things they don't still that I've noticed from time to time is tv ads which who cares really..

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DaDude    46
Movies are shot in widescreen and when you watch a movie in the old way, you are missing part of the scene.

Some HD channels still show movies in 4:3 with black bars on the side. I'm assuming this is just a rights issue that will eventually fade away as widescreen TVs slowly become the norm.

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Rob2687    72

Wide aspect movies look even worse on 4:3 TVs. 4:3 TV content will disappear once studios make the transition to HD. It seems like it will take forever though. I remember hearing about shows going HD since like 1863. Sometimes I see more commercials in HD than TVs. :(

Edited by Rob2687

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»X«    1

Widescreen is the better format I reckon. The reason why there are black bars is because TV networks cater for people living in the dark ages who still use CRT 14" colour fish bowl screens. Its been YEARS and programmes are still in 4:3. Progress is slow for us humans. Twitter though, that took off like **** off a shovel.

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MrKuro    0

thinking about it for a moment; I bet currently the usage on our hdtv's in our household is around 75% HD widescreen; 15% SD widescreen; and 10% 4:3 SD content.

so; we are making good usage of the wide format of our tv's; so it being the standard nowadays sounds right to me

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DaDude    46
thinking about it for a moment; I bet currently the usage on our hdtv's in our household is around 75% HD widescreen; 15% SD widescreen; and 10% 4:3 SD content.

so; we are making good usage of the wide format of our tv's; so it being the standard nowadays sounds right to me

I don't know what kind of HD channels you have, but that's not the case with me. I would say, with me, it goes something like this:

50% 4:3 content

20% 2.35:1 content

30% 16:9 content

So, only 30% of the time, my widescreen TV is filled.

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McDave    9

We have cable and there are still a large number of channels in 4:3. Some programs like re-runs were originally recorded in 4:3 for example friends so we continue to see this format.

Most annoying is whe the TV is in strech mode everyone looks fat.

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steelcurtain    0
We have cable and there are still a large number of channels in 4:3. Some programs like re-runs were originally recorded in 4:3 for example friends so we continue to see this format.

Most annoying is whe the TV is in strech mode everyone looks fat.

Must be the TV our Sharp LCD does a great job of stretching the picture without blur or distortion.

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rob.derosa    6
Must be the TV our Sharp LCD does a great job of stretching the picture without blur or distortion.

You cannot stretch a picture without distorting it!

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Kravex    139

We 'see' in widescreen about 1.75:1

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cork1958    1,718

Hmm? Didn't know they were the "standard" to begin with. I think they just plainly look like crap, out of proportion, and mess up the picture.

I'm not much of a tv person though. If it wasn't for the wife and kid, I probably wouldn't even own a television, let alone waste my money on some sub standard wide screenie!!

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Wazooty    0
We 'see' in widescreen about 1.75:1

Does that take into account peripheral vision?

Because it would seem we see a heck of a lot more on the sides than that, just not directly.

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DaDude    46
Which doesn't really explain why TV sets are 1.78:1 instead of the 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 formats using in movies.

1.85:1 should fill the entire 16:9 if you have overscan turned on. On my TV, I turn it on for that reason and also to eliminate any picture noise that some HD channels have.

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Geoffrey B.    1,415

not to mention the fact that if you buy a DVD/VHS that is "Full Screen" they are actually cutting off the left and right side of the movie they are not re filming it or changing angles they simply cut the sides off to make it fit.

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episode    626
not to mention the fact that if you buy a DVD/VHS that is "Full Screen" they are actually cutting off the left and right side of the movie they are not re filming it or changing angles they simply cut the sides off to make it fit.

Yes and no.

They do what is called 'pan and scan'. They move the picture that you see depending on the scene so that you don't miss anything.

So they could be showing what is originally the left side while cutting off a huge section on the right.

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profets    1

kinda weird how no 4:3 TVs are available anymore. few years ago i bought a few 15 and 20" 4:3 LCDs that were SD. use them in places like the kitchen, offices.. usually mounted on a wall with direct analog cable. i dunno, when i look now, theyre all 16:9 and at least 720p. if i wanted to put up a tv for simple cable use in a kitchen lets say, i gotta worry about having an hd box siting around somewhere? i guess you could always get one with an atsc tuner and use OTA...

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Southern Patriot    937
Which doesn't really explain why TV sets are 1.78:1 instead of the 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 formats using in movies.

16:9 was designed as a compromise between true movie widescreen formats and older 4:3 content.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16:9#16:9_standard

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Pilsbury    0

I've noticed a lot of US shows appear to be shown here in HD channels in 4:3, whereas source material from Australia, UK etc is 16:9.

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thejohnnyq    50

The sad part is there is newer standard, that is 22x9, (i think it is either 21 or 22 x9), Hollywood is filming new movies in it, there was a special talking broadcast standards, and that there will be new TV that support the newer film standard this summer.

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furby    0
I've noticed a lot of US shows appear to be shown here in HD channels in 4:3, whereas source material from Australia, UK etc is 16:9.

Ye, lots of the US tv shows I watch are in 4:3, but virtually every show I watch is 16:9 in the UK. Just look more natural in widescreen (hard to explain).

Edit/ also I can't stand stretched 4:3 (fatovision). I have to control the urge to set the aspect ratio right when I see it done *calm* *calm*

Edited by furby

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