I like the 16:9 screen but almost all of the programming I watch will be in the 4:3 format. I'm sure I wouldn't want the black bands on the side but will I be disappointed in a stretched screen or cropped top and bottom?
I watch mostly Direct TV as a feed (4:3). I hesitated purchasing a 16:9 set because of this. However, I ended up buying a Toshiba 57H81 16:9. This is why:
1. I expect to keep this set for at least 5 years. In that time, I expect to be seeing more and more HDTV broadcasts. 16:9 is the best way to view HDTV.
2. You can still view your 4:3 on most sets. Some are more forgiving of the "burn in" issue associated with the side bars. Toshiba added something called "orbital" movement which supposedly moves the picture around imperceptibly to prevent burn in issues. I have not used this mode at all. I have no comment on whether it works or not.
3. I viewed a number of 16:9 and 4:3 sets. On the 16:9 sets I always requested to see a Direct TV or Dish Network feed (4:3) so I could try out the expansion modes. Some are better than others. Most will offer at least three different modes to try for the expansion. You will mostly see the difference in the modes by viewing things that "pan across" the screen. Even a scrolling ad at the bottom is helpful to see the differences. As it turns out, despite my apprehension about buying a 4:3 set for viewing DTV, I have been enjoying the 16:9 expansion and found it to be quite satisfactory. On my set, I use the full screen expansion which does not cut out any of the image (screen mode 1).
4. 10-20% of my viewing is DVD. 16:9 is best for this mode.
If you look around the showrooms you will see that many manufacturers are moving away from 4:3 ratios in their HDTV monitors. I think that should say something to prospective purchasers.
hope this helps you.
continue cruising these boards to find more information, if you have just started your search... more information may confuse you (it did me!) but in the end you will discover the joy of owning any HDTV monitor in significantly improved picture quality (even for Direct TV!)..
I've got a mistsubishi 55" 16:9. They have several modes for viewing. Starting in 2000 they offered a "stretch mode that actually maintains 4:3 aspect in the center portion of the screen (where the camera focuses) and stretches the side area on each side to fill the screen. This works well for most programs. For basketball I prefer to watch in standard and have gotten used to the slightly widened appearance. From other posts I believe most 16:9 monitors have various modes for modifying the on-screen ratio. I'm not sure if they all offer that stretch mode. I can't imagine having a 4:3 and since I've gotten my widescreen I generally don't watch my other 4:3 sets. For HDTV, DVD and even the increasing number of widescreen SDTV broadcasts 16:9 is excellent.
A forum community dedicated to home theater owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about home audio/video, TVs, projectors, screens, receivers, speakers, projects, DIY’s, product reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!