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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    New HDTV owner with aspect ratio ?

    I got a Panasonic HDTV, 16:9 aspect ratio.

    How come widescreen DVD's are still letterboxed on this TV. Aren't DVD's 16:9?


  2. #2
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    No, not all DVDs/movies are 16:9. Some are shot with a wider angle, hence the black bars to give the proper aspect ratio.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    One of the major disappointments for new owners of "big screen/16:9 ratio"-myself included- is that almost all movies are displayed in "widescreen". My informal survey at my local video store indicates more than 90% of movies available are not 16:9 ration and as such do not fill the entire screen leaving black bars at the top and bottom of the picture.

    Adding to this frustration is the typical friends and family comment upon first viewing
    "Is there something wrong with the dvd player or the screen?
    No, that's the way it was produced on the dvd.
    You mean after all this (money and time invested) the movies are in letter box?

    My prediction is that the screen size will change again sometime in the future and our 16:9 ratio big screens will go the way of a VHS player. For now my standard advice is to buy the bigest screen you can afford/fit in your room, because that 50" diagonal will actually be something significantly less when you play movies.
    Last edited by The Tahitijack; 01-21-2007 at 03:41 PM.

  4. #4
    Oldest join date recoveryone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Calm down Jack! Once again you are a victim of misinformation. Not 90% of DVD are not 16X9 format. The 16x9 was for the broadcast purposes, you don't get black bars when you view HD broadcast do you. Now, movies are shot in several different aspects, the two most common are 1.78:1 (Anamorphic) and 2.35:1.

    The Anamorphic is made to fill a 16x9 screen, the 2.35:1 is more of the pure form of how the movie was shot. At the theater you don't get to see the black bars due to building designs contouring the screen. So DVD's were not an issue when the choice of screen size was desided for HD viewing. Don't hold your breath for a new screen size/aspect, ratio to come out. If you are not able to deal with the black bars of a widescreen DVD then just buy the full screen version. And then listen to your family and friends say it just a bigger picture than the one they have. So in the future you can look for DVD's that are made at the 1.78:1 aspect/ratio or learn to appreciate the extra viewing space/room that all widescreen DVD gives you. The wide part is what your looking at, not the height. If truth be told you are seeing the whole picture just as the director intented even tho you may feel your being cheated by the black bars.
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  5. #5
    AR Regular evil__betty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Great White North
    I don't foresee aspect ratios of TVs to change any time soon, so don't bother returning your new TV based on the bars. Generally, you will find that it is mostly the epic/action movies that are shot in a wider than 16:9 ratio (Gladiator, Star Wars, LOTR, etc) and most everything else (like comedies, dramas, animated movies) will be shot in 1.78:1. Is it surprising, yes, but it is simply the way that the director wanted you to see the film - and usually, they are the best judge on viewing their work.

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