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Absolutely. Many of the first DVD's were mostly in 16:9. 2.35 and 1.85:1 are becoming more popular, but not everone uses those ratios.


Thanks!
 

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Why 16x9? -> Because it is the HDTV aspect ratio.


Why did they decide on this ratio for HDTV? -> I don't know. Maybe they wanted it close to 1.85:1, but the math works out better somehow. Certainly 2.35:1 would make for funny looking TVs.


I haven't seen any movies that were originally filmed in this aspect ratio, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some start to show up.


- Chris
 

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I remember reading in the early days of developing the standards for HDTV that 16:9 was chosen as a compromise between 4:3 and 1.85
 

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Since 1953, most Hollywood features have been filmed in one of the two following aspect ratios:


-- "wide screen"--somewhere between 1.66 and 1.85, so around 16X9, which is 1.77. 16X9 was devised to be in the middle of this range.


-- "scope"--including CinemaScope, Panavision, and a host of similar processes, and most generally at 2.35.


There are several other aspect ratios, notably 2.2, 2.55, and 2.65, but the above are the main ones.


The selection of the 16X9 aspect ratio was in keeping with feature production practices since 1953.
 

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I can't find the link right now, this is why 16:9 was chosen (it's not because a lot of material is in that format...at the time it was chosen, there was very little):
  • Take all common source formats of the time the format was chosen. 1.33:1 (4x3), 1.66:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 2.40:1 (note that 1.78:1 [16:9] is not listed)
  • Lay each of the formats "on top" of one another, with their centers aligned.
  • Draw a rectangle that is the smallest rectangle that completely encompasses all of the inner rectangles (call it the "circumscribing" rectangle).
  • Draw another rectangle that is the largest rectangle that is completely enclosed by all of the outer rectangles (call it the "enveloped" rectangle).

Both the "circumscribing" and the "enveloped" rectangle happen to be in a 16:9 aspect ratio! In other words, 16:9 could be considered the "average" aspect ratio. By definition of the experiment, it is also the least compromising aspect ratio given a specified height or a specified width.


Another way to look at it would be, there is less waste (on average) with 16:9 than any other aspect ratio. 4:3 is pillarboxed within it (with waste on the sides), 2.35:1 and 2.40:1 is letterboxed (with waste on the top/bottom), but 16:9 mathematically minimizes the waste.


It was never considered the most common format at all. Just the least "compromising" for any of the then-existing formats.


Of course, now we actually have 16:9 aspect ratio broadcasting, but that was very rare when the format was chosen.
 

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I remember seeing a report containing diagram of exactly what Milori is describing. Now it's beginning to annoy me that I can't find it. Was it something that the "Grand Alliance" developed?


I agree. It wasn't an acccident or an artistic choice according to the report.
 

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Mark,


I'm a little confused by your description. Could you draw it up and post it here? Are all of the rectangles to scale, i.e. their height is 1 and their width varies from 1.3333 to 2.4, or do they all have the same width and varied heights?


-phil


Follow up:


Thanks msink. Now I understand. The important part that millori forgot was that the rectangles are normalized to be of equal area.

Oh well, more proof that your memory starts fading as soon as you get married. "What time were we supposed to meet your parents honey? I'm sorry I totaly forgot." :D


I never knew this before. Pretty amazing the stuff you can learn here at AVSforum.


-phil
 

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Thanks, Marc Blank!


I really didn't want to recreate that graphic, so thanks for posting that!
 

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Millori I believe has the story correct as to why 16x9 was choosen by the Japanese for the original analog hdtv system of theirs. Hi-Vision I think it was called. ATSC could have picked any aspect ratio they wanted (hey it's digital) but I think they went with 16x9 because the display technology needed was already developed by the Japanese for their system. They were already making picture tubes in 16x9 and had been for awhile.
 

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Just to confuse the issue, I believe that 16:9 TVs were designed simply because it was the widest ratio tube that could be manufactured by the then cutting edge technology. Today, possibly wider screens could be made, who knows?


BTW, I think Loewe are bringing out a 40inch CRT.


Miro.
 

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One nifty side effect of the 16:9 choice is that the same anamorphic lens can be used either to turn a 4:3 image into a 16:9 image, or to turn a 16:9 image into a 2.37:1 image, which is very close to the popular 2.35:1 size.


16:9 = 4:3 * 4:3

2.37:1 = 64:27 = 4:3 * 4:3 * 4.3


-Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Anderson
One nifty side effect of the 16:9 choice is that the same anamorphic lens can be used either to turn a 4:3 image into a 16:9 image, or to turn a 16:9 image into a 2.37:1 image, which is very close to the popular 2.35:1 size.


16:9 = 4:3 * 4:3

2.37:1 = 64:27 = 4:3 * 4:3 * 4.3


-Mike
... which also means that you can construct a display of these wide angle varieties by making an array of 4 x 3 4:3 displays. I always wondered why someone didn't make a dlp based on 12 640x480 dmd's. Now that would be cool. I suppose that 144 dmd's would be a bit much for the scope display. Sort of like RAID without the redundant part.


Cheers


chris vandemore
 
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