When it comes to TVs, bigger is better, sure. But for movie and TV show presentation, wider is better too.
Philips is taking widescreen TV even further with the introduction of its “Cinema 21:9” model, with the number representing the aspect ratio on this TV as the first LCD to employ the super widescreen format.
We’ve seen so-called ‘scope (for CinemaScope) done plenty in home theaters with projection screens, as it’s a big trend right now to combine projectors and 2.35:1 aspect ratio screens (and anamorphic lenses) to produce impressive displays of such movies that ordinarily create black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.
Regular HDTV presents in 16:9 (or 1.78:1), which is why you get those bars when wider content is shown on your TV or conventional screen. Of course, it works the other way as well, as you’ve probably noticed so-called pillar bars on the sides of your screen when you watch standard-definition TV on an HDTV, unless you have it set automatically to stretch.
So thinking that way, you’re wondering if the Cinema 21:9 will have the same for regular high-def broadcasts? Philips says that along with the 2.35:1 material, it’ll fill the screen with the 1.78:1 content as well—so guess we’ll see the stretch or zoom mode to accomplish that.
My question is, if Philips really wants to get rid of the black bars for a true cinema experience, why 21:9? Unless my math is wrong, that’s 2.33:1, so perhaps they’ve incorporated a slight zoom already to account for the difference.
Oh yeah, if you were wondering how large the screen is, Philips says it measures 56 diagonal inches. Not quite a ‘scope setup, but perhaps not a bad compromise because not everyone can fit a projector and 100-inch screen into their media rooms.
The company says it’ll be available this spring, with more details to come in February.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.