Erich blogged that most TV these days is still shot in 4:3 rather than 16:9. At least in the English speaking world this is normally the case, especially for things intended for export. 4:3 would be a deliberate choice rather than the path of least resistance. TV stations can choose to buy and screen 4:3 versions (and will usually do this where they can’t broadcast 16:9) but that doesn’t mean that the production wasn’t done in 16:9. Of course, if there’s no sign that your national broadcasters are going to go to 16:9 this makes very little difference to you.

As far as computers go I’ve been using a 16:9 screen for years – I find it useful in much the same way that people find multi-headed displays useful. You can get a bit more on screen at once than you would otherwise which makes it easier to keep an eye on some extra terminals, an IM client or web browser windows. Besides, my glasses mean that the world tends to have a definite widescreen frame to it for me.

3 thoughts on “Widescreen

  1. I cannot leave a comment on Erich’s blog, and do not want to blog tech stuff on my familly site. So I’ll polute here 😉 Feel free to deal with my comment according to your policy…

    At work, I have only 16:10 screens: 15″ 1920×1200 on my laptop, 24″ 1920×1200 external (as secont monitor, TwinView, sweeeet!) and I am lucky enough to have one of those massive 30″ panels, with 2560×1600 pixels.

    The only thing I can say is that my next screen for my personnal PC is going to be at least the same 24″, replacing a massive 4:3 Sony Trinitron 21″ CRT.

    I love wide screens on computer for 2 reasons: extra space, and better aspect ratio for my photography work (I am quite the amateur, and this work is the only thing making me keep a Windows partition on a few machines: Gimp needs to be 16bits and X need color management).

    First, extra space: 4:3 ratio screens in LCD ar 1600×1200 at best. the 16:10 ratio screens are 1920×1200. That’s 320 columns of pixels more. I call this extra space. I use those for a permanent Gaim window, next to my email client, for example. Or I love it in order to place various icons toolboxes or extra menus when in Gimp or other software of this kind. It *is* real extra space.

    Second, better aspect ration: the compact digital photography world may be using 4:3 rations, but digital SLRs use the 3:2 ratio. It is a bit wider. I do not want to sound pedantic with a “my camera is better than yours”, but that change of ratio makes me edit more pictures at work, on on my notebook (I love the pixel density aspect on this screen). The mismatch of aspect rations brings me back to my previous point, I love the bit of extra space for the toolboxes.

    I used to be a dual monitor freak of nature. The wider aspect ratios tend to be the medecine I needed in order to get (partially) cured. Not having a black bar void in-between the screens is a good feature.

    As for TV, I see more and more programs made for TV directly in 16:9, mostly because of the HD push. All things digital tend to go in that direction, and I do not think it is too bad. I still own a 4:3 CRT TV, have no plan on changing it now, especially not because og its aspect ratio, but if it braks, then I would go for a big wide LCD model.


  2. Oh, and my glasses, when I am not wearing my contacts, are surely wide aspect, closer to 2.35:1 cinemascope than 16:9, even! 🙂


  3. Yes, my glasses give me a roughly cinemascope field of vision too. I’ve had some in the past that were narrower and closer to 16:9 but the current set are similar to yours.

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