Widescreen TV sets have become so popular today that its application is seen not just in homes but in other life activities as well. The wider they are the better viewing there is. The same application is seen in monitors and digital images.
It used to be that a “widescreen” TV set meant screens measuring 24 inches and up. Today, they cover a fourth, half, and even a whole wall of a house. These are flat widescreen TV sets free standing, hanging, or built-in into walls for space saving considerations. With these TV sets watching becomes more realistic as images are magnified many times over showing more vivid colors and details. It’s like viewing the real thing up close.
A Problem with Standard TV Sets
Sometimes, no matter how wide screens of standard TV sets are, there seems to be an imagery problem especially with regards to the effective TV screen area. Especially when watching movies on a standard TV, people often encounter black portions on top and at the bottom of the screen so that images are a bit compressed, distorted at times, and cropped. It’s because of the incompatible “aspect ratio” between images on regular TV sets and those projected from films. And this is what widescreen TV sets remedy.
Aspect ratio is the relation of an image’s width to its height. Regular TV sets have an aspect ratio of 4:3-simply put, the width is 4 units and the height is 3 units. This means the width of images seen on TV is merely one unit bigger in width than in height. Such ratio is more a square or a “box” than it is a rectangle. That’s why a regular TV set is also called an idiot box. This may be okay with regular TV programs, but when viewing movies on TV there sometimes is a problem.
Movies projected from films have an aspect ratio of 16:9. The width is about double the length of the height. Rather than a square, film projections are rectangular in nature. Thus, when fitted on standard square TV sets, people see the annoying black areas on top and at the bottom of their TV screens. And this is what widescreen TV sets solve.
Aspect Ratio of Widescreen TV Sets
Widescreen TV sets have an aspect ratio of 16:9. Thus, when movies are shown on widescreen TV sets watchers get a satisfying image proportion on screen, no black areas, more realistic and un-cropped scenes, plus more details with colors and picture elements. Whole details are captured on screen and it’s like being there right where the film was shot.
Even in real life, the eyes see things in a panoramic scope. People have the tendency to view everything from left to right, rather than just see a square patch of the scene in front of them. Try to close one eye when looking at something and that’s what one is bound to see-a patch of a scene in front.
Widescreen TV sets are so satisfying and enjoyable because they give us a picture of what may be seen with two eyes open. They are the future and expect the old standard TV set to disappear soon.