While I was watching Step Brothers on FX it occurred to me that many movies on broadcast don't have black bars, but they don't look like they have been cropped/pan and scanned either. To make sure I compared the broadcast version of Step Brothers with my blu-ray copy, and the width of the picture is the exact same, the difference being the black bars on the blu-ray version-there seems to be more picture in the height of the picture also, almost as if the black bars are taking away picture vertically.
My question is, how do they remove the black bars for the broadcast version while still seemingly retaining the aspect ratio? I understand the reason for black bars (2:40:1 AR), so how is it possible to present the movie otherwise, without distorting the picture.
Thanks to anyone who can answer!