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Not a mock thread ... Is it time to drop the 4:3 safe zones

(April 2008)

AN
all new Phil Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
It baffles me that you can still buy TVs that are neither widescreen nor digital. I've been looking for a new one for my bedroom, but small widescreen TVs with a digital tuner are still at least 200 for a decent name one.
BA
bilky asko Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
all new Phil posted:
It baffles me that you can still buy TVs that are neither widescreen nor digital. I've been looking for a new one for my bedroom, but small widescreen TVs with a digital tuner are still at least 200 for a decent name one.


Purely because so few manufacturers make CRTs with built in Freeview - why not buy

http://empiredirect.co.uk/content/products/details/index~modelcode~JVC-AV28F3~dept~ctv~subdept~WIDE-SCREENCTV~brand~jvc.htm

and

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000UX11AA/pricerunner-21/ref=nosim

then you will save money on intergration, and get a larger TV for it.
MH
miss hellfire
Well i'm of the opinion that its no big deal to me. I'm just a regular tv viewer. I like that i don't have to change things on the set in my bedroom, but, changing the living room tv to full screen or panoramic is no problem with the remote control. A short sharp dig in Mr. H's ribs usually does the trick, seeing as he hogs the remo most of the time.
DJ
DJGM Granada North West Today
Spencer For Hire posted:

Johnny83 posted:

Erm, every TV in our house is 4:3, not everyone can afford to upgrade to widescreen
& not all TVs have the option to allow you to change them either

Try eBay. I sold my old 16:9 Toshiba for £10 last week. A bit old now, but in full working order.


It's also worth popping into a branch of Martin Dawes when they sell off ex-rental equipment. You can pick up a decent branded
widescreen TV from about 50, sometimes cheaper. The only caveats are that they're CRT, definitely not HD ready, and may
have minor scratches or scuffs here and there on the outer casing. But they're still widescreen none the less.

Eitherway, they're a pretty good stop-gap solution before upgrading to a full HD ready large screen LCD or plasma TV.
:-(
A former member Anglia (East) Look East
miss hellfire posted:
Well i'm of the opinion that its no big deal to me. I'm just a regular tv viewer. I like that i don't have to change things on the set in my bedroom, but, changing the living room tv to full screen or panoramic is no problem with the remote control. A short sharp dig in Mr. H's ribs usually does the trick, seeing as he hogs the remo most of the time.


So surely the "no big deal" people won't care if the rest of us get what we paid for -- ie proper widescreen!
MH
miss hellfire
jason posted:
miss hellfire posted:
Well i'm of the opinion that its no big deal to me. I'm just a regular tv viewer. I like that i don't have to change things on the set in my bedroom, but, changing the living room tv to full screen or panoramic is no problem with the remote control. A short sharp dig in Mr. H's ribs usually does the trick, seeing as he hogs the remo most of the time.


So surely the "no big deal" people won't care if the rest of us get what we paid for -- ie proper widescreen!


Well i can only speak for myself of course, but yes i don't have a problem either way. Tv people will do what they want when they want anyway. If it buggers up my bedroom telly picture then i'll just get a new tv for the bedroom.
RH
Rhysey
Asa posted:

I think the real knack for a designer is to create graphics which make use the outer space but keep all the required content firmly in the safe area.


I like this quote. Another I like is by Ryan Renshaw who designed the 2000 titles for Neighbours (the first to be filmed in widescreen) and he said that he made everything that was vital for the viewer (character names and faces) in the 4:3 safe area, but that anyone viewing in the 16:9 ratio would get something extra from the sequence, but not crucial enough to warrant being in the safe area.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Do any other countries use the 14:9 compromise - from what I gather in America anyway it's 4:3 on the traditional analogue networks, with 16:9 only on digital / HD.


Back here and worth noting still that digital text services and interactive services still seem to be made with a 4:3 TV in mind. If you're viewing in widescreen you'll find logos stretched etc.
BA
bilky asko Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Brekkie posted:
Do any other countries use the 14:9 compromise - from what I gather in America anyway it's 4:3 on the traditional analogue networks, with 16:9 only on digital / HD.


Back here and worth noting still that digital text services and interactive services still seem to be made with a 4:3 TV in mind. If you're viewing in widescreen you'll find logos stretched etc.


Australia do.
NG
noggin Founding member
Brekkie posted:
Do any other countries use the 14:9 compromise - from what I gather in America anyway it's 4:3 on the traditional analogue networks, with 16:9 only on digital / HD.


The EBU uses it as the standard 16:9 to 4:3 conversion for shows like the Eurovision Song Contest ISTR.

Sweden DID use it for a while - but switched to 16:9 full letterbox for most 16:9 content on 4:3 outlets - but now analogue has been switched off there, it is a moot point.

Quote:

Back here and worth noting still that digital text services and interactive services still seem to be made with a 4:3 TV in mind. If you're viewing in widescreen you'll find logos stretched etc.


Yep - and multiscreen front pages (the ones with the windows showing the various streams) are usually still 4:3 to ensure that there is a fixed aspect ratio of the video stream containing the multi-pics so that text overlays will align properly.
CW
cwathen Founding member West Country (West) Spotlight
Quote:
So it really does beg the question: Why bother with 16:9 at all?

And to me the answer to that is simple; there was nothing wrong with 4:3 and there is no reason to move everything to 16:9.

4:3 was not invented as an aspect ratio; it was what eventually evolved as a decent compromise between space on the screen and the space the TV will take up in people's homes.

CRT based 16:9 TVs on the whole did not deliver a bigger, wider picture; popular pre-flat panel sizes like 28" and 32" widescreen did not actually make the picture any wider than the average 4:3 set being replaced, they simply reduced the height. Only since the explosion of flat panels on the market over the last couple of years, making sizes like 37" and 42" more practical has TV returned to delivering the same size of picture as it had 10 years ago when 25" and 28" 4:3 sets were commonplace. But flat panel TVs (LCDs in particular) simply do not deliver the same kind of picture quality that a decent CRT does, so it's questionable as to whether or not we're worse off than we were in the 90's as regards to the average size of picture and the quality of it.

The quality of graphic design has also IMO taken a massive downturn since the move away from 4:3 as a universal standard. Pretty much all logo design these days will end up delivering something text based with solid block colouring, to stop the logo looking particularly awful when it inevitably gets squashed/stretched by incorrectly set up displays (this IIRC was exactly the reason why the BBC logo was changed in 1997). Symbols like the Central cake and the Meridian Sun just wouldn't be designed in this day and age because the designer can't assume that the proportions will always be maintained correctly as they used to be able to.

This issue permeates not only TV branding, but the branding of any company which might ever have it's logo displayed on a screen - the result of the modern high street displaying a collection of austere cloned logos (always lower case lettering set against a solid background colour) rather than vibrant symbols which designers were happy to experiment with 10-20 years ago.

Adding in also the issues of budget LCD TVs using a 16:10 panel from a computer monitor (so such sets are INCAPABLE of displaying an image in it's correct proportions, regardless of the input source of the setup of screen) and I feel that in the name of progress the technical standards of UK TV have ended up in a very sorry state of affairs which would have engineers of the past turning in their graves.

I've held this view for years, and although I now (finally) own a 16:9 set, I've still yet to hear a single compelling reason (that doesn't involve marketing nonsense like 'golden ratio' or 'more natural' in it's explanation) to actually justify widescreen TV.

Widescreen TV has IMO created more issues than those which it was designed to correct. And from where I'm standing, 4:3 TV was not broke and didn't need fixing.
MS
Mr-Stabby London London
Personally i think a decent 4:3 CRT TV recieving TV through an analogue signal was better quality than anything we've got now. But I do like 16:9 as an aspect ratio.

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