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Digital TV / Aspect Ratio / Widescreen

Well, in the 1950's Hollywood wanted to give the public a reason to buy a ticket instead of stay home and watch their sets. They tried a lot of ideas, some good and some bad, but one idea that still works today is the widescreen format. Wider screens, such as Cinerama, Cinemascope, and VistaVision, give the theater audience a more visually engulfing experience. Because our two eyes give us a wider view, a wider movie makes more sense.

Aspect Ratio Comparison

It's a simple but good idea. So good that HDTV is going to use it too. Like the widescreen movie formats, the HDTV screen is formatted much closer to the way we see. Our field of vision is more rectangular than square. So, when we view movies in widescreen format, the image fills more of our field of vision and has a stronger visual impact. After a few decades of experimenting with ratios, the most common theater screen aspect ratio is 16:9. HDTV is going to use the same aspect ratio.

However, that's only part of HDTV. Besides a wider screen, the picture is going to have more detail and crisper images. With the bigger pictures comes a finer resolution.

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