Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goodbye 16:9 Aspect Ratio and Hello 21:9!

21 x 9 Aspect RatioI think it's safe to say that we have all determined that wide screen television viewing is head over heels better than how we used to watch tv (back when your screen looked like a bubble). However, future HDTVs may have a viewing style that is even wider than our current widescreen format. HDTVs of today have a more rectangular 16 x 9 shape, though a wider 21 x 9 display standard is said to be in the making and was announced at the Consumer Electronics Association, or CEA.

Vizio's upcoming 58" 3D LED CinemaWide display is believed to be the very first television in production that will feature the new 21 x 9 shape. The device isn't set to be released until March for a retail price of $3,499.99 and will come with a total of four pairs of 3D glasses.

In addition to the 58" device, Vizio is planning a 70" and a 50" model as well set to be released in the second half of 2012. CinemaWide HDTVs allow movies shot in the cinema standard 16 x 9 aspect ratio to be automatically re-sized to the 21 x 9 ratio display without any black bars on the top or bottom. In addition to movies, other 16 x 9 content can be scaled up also.

The CinemaWide devices also allow users to use Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Yahoo TV and other apps on the left side of the screen while the full 16 x 9 video fills the rest of the screen.

According to a statement from Vizio's Vice President John Schindler, "We wanted to give consumers a good choice to watch movies and standard TV while you use the internet. This also offers a new look and feel for prospective TV buyers [that are] looking for something more modern in their homes." The CEA is currently in the process of developing a standard that would allow 21 x 9 content to be transferred via HDMI cables as well.

The TVs that Vizio is creating have built-in technology that would allow them to function without the CEA having to update the standard for HDMI cables. According to Schindler, "We really want to lead the charge." Ultra-wide video is also "closer to a cinematic experience," according to Vice President of Technology and Standards at The Industry Trade Group Brian Markwalter. Markwalter also added, "That is the aesthetic to it - to get the more sweeping panorama."

Source: USA Today - New Vizio HDTV breaks widescreen barrier for movies, apps

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