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TV Aspect Ratios: how wide is wide?


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#1 Mark Dunn

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 04:34 AM

Having just acquired a widescreen TV, I note that most shows here are actually transmitted at a compromise 14:9. Filling the screen with the 'letterbox' button usually crops far too much off the top. 'ER' is acceptable, so are some 'Scope films, but generally I can't fill the screen without losing a big chunk of picture . What's the standard elsewhere- are you already getting true 16:9?
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 06:36 AM

Hi,

This has long been the case in the UK. I'd hazard that the majority of new programming is done ins 16:9, and is usually broadcast as such on terrestrial channels who've decided to do widescreen. Some do not (the history channel, for one) and their content, which is often few-months-old mainstream stuff, goes out in 14:9. More and more material is shot widescreen, though - one of the greatest holdouts in the UK was the channel four news, which recently went over to widescreen as it was a bastion of 4:3 in a channel which was otherwise almost universally 16:9.

Other stuff, mainly imports like Scrubs and The Simpsons, are and go out as 4:3. One of the biggest differences HD production has made in the UK is that American imports such as ER and the Star Trek series now appear as 16:9. It's not about it being higher res, it's about aspect ratio.

Phil
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#3 Mark Dunn

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 09:46 AM

I've not looked at C4 News, but I have noticed that most stuff still goes out in 14:9. Except for the older shows you mentioned, I watch on 'zoom'; the only shows which satisfactorily fill the screen are those which air with a visible letterbox on 'zoom' and there aren't many. ER is the only one I can think of off-hand- CSI is still 14:9.
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#4 John Holland

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 12:01 PM

I am a bit confused ! why not just set your wide screen to tv to 16.9 ?
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#5 John Holland

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 01:21 PM

Just twigged you dont have a digital box Freeview / Sky ? Cable ,do you ?
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#6 Mark Dunn

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 02:05 PM

No digibox, no. Do they detect the AR?
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#7 John Holland

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 02:10 PM

Yes , not much point of having a wide screen tv without one . can get a Freeview for box from about £20 to what ever price you want to pay , make sure you have a strong signal .
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#8 Mark Dunn

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 02:17 PM

It works fine, I just have to press the button to get the right AR. We have a digibox elsewhere. Thanks for the tip. I had no idea.
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