Can you get away from letterboxes?
November 9, 2004
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Why it is when I go to look at wide-screen TVs in the stores, they are playing wide-screen DVDs, but there are still black bars at the top and the bottom of the screen, even though the picture is the full width of the screen. What is the point of paying for a wide-screen TV if you are still watching letterbox style?
| | Movies that fit the 16:9 aspect ratio
of your wide-screen TV--such as Saving Private Ryan
and Men in Black
--will completely fill the screen with no black letterbox bars. But many films, including home-theater favorites such as the Star Wars
and Lord of the Rings
series, are filmed in a wider 21:9 ratio, which requires letterbox bars even on wide-screen TVs. For a more detailed explanation that includes ways to eliminate the black bars, check out "CNET's quick guide to aspect ratio
covers home theater, helping CNET users find the optimal audio and video equipment--as well as the occasional must-have video game or DVD--to fit their lifestyle.