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back to article Philips creates cinema aspect-ratio HD TV

Film fanatics rejoice, because Philips has premiered the world’s first cinematically proportioned telly. philips_cinema_tv_01 Philips' Cinema 21:9 TV Many existing 52in HD TVs have a 16:9 aspect ratio, but Philips' similarly dimensioned movie monster has a 21:9 aspect ratio. This not only makes the screen look even more …

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What proportion of film are shot at this aspect?

More than ever before, but there's still a lot of 16:9 stuff around. No letterbox bars maybe, but you will (or should, anyway) get the equivalent at the sides of the screen for anything that's not optimal...

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wasted effort?

Seems a waste of pixels to me. The 16x9 (1.78:1) ratio was chosen as a compermise between the normal 4:3(1.33) ratio, the sometimes used film ratio of 1.85:1 known as "widescreen"and the 2.35/2.40:1 ratio for modern 35mm film.

All the DTV standards for broadcast use 1.78:1 as does until now, all HDTV's because you can either letterbox or pillarbox TV or Film content and use the majority of pixels easily.

Maybe if they had decided on a 1.85:1 ratio so as to cater more to film and have only small pillarbox for 1.78:1 material, I could see the benefit.

The problem is that films do not always use a fixed ratio and all other content will either be scaled or pillarboxed yo loose much of the everyday benefit of the added pixels.

Beyond that, most anyone needing or wanting to see a film in the original aspect willl be using a projector and anamorphic lens along with som form of matte for the different movies and tv they watch rather than having pixels going unused or dealing with a distorted picture.

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World's first ?

Maybe the world's first commercially available such telly, but didn't IBM demonstrate a large super-high-def screen back in around 2000 ? I remember the spin saying you could read the newsprint in the paper being read by a man in the picture ...

Maybe that was just a graphics monitor.

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16:9 was a compromise, but not in the way you think

I was always under the impression that the 16:9 ratio was a compromise chosen that was governed by the physical characteristics of the glass CRT technology of the day. 16:9 ratio TV's pre-date LCD or plasma by a relatively long timeframe. i.e. tubes with display surfaces of wider aspect ratios were simply impractical and uneconomic to manufacture.

Once established however, 16:9 became a format in it's own right, such that even in display technologies not constrained by the same considerations (i.e. early LCD video projectors of the day) 16:9 became the defacto standard for video. iirc Sony did have a 21:9 LCD projector a long time ago.

More importantly, in a convergent world, a 21:9 wide screen provides far greater width for side-by-side content, e.g. video chat or to upgrade PiP (Picture In Picture) with PaP (Picture Alongside Picture).

But unless Phillips manage to get the entire display technology industry on-board and establish 21:9 as a viable standard, driving development of content and content delivery to take advantage of it, 21:9 TV's will be largely a curiosity in the same way that Sony's 21:9 projector was.

Also note that as far as I know, "widescreen" only means 16:9 when used to describe a TV or DVD content formatted for presentation on such.

"widescreen" in movies (i.e. the actual content) refers to anything wider than Academy ratio (4:3)

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