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Widescreen TV 6. 'Conclusions' by Richard G. Elen


Diagram illustrating aspect ratios

With a little bit of thought, you can make sure your equipment is set up properly so that when you watch something, you see it as the makers intended, whether it was a Cinemascope movie from the Fifties, an American movie from the Thirties, a TV programme from 1955 or a widescreen show made last month. That, basically, means respecting the original aspect ratio of the material as far as possible.

Home consumer equipment gives you the ability to do your best to make sure this is the case but, regrettably, it also gives you the opportunity of getting it wrong. Unfortunately, as we have seen, broadcasters can get it wrong too, without your intervention, and you won't be able to do much about this.

But with a careful review of your setup, and above all with the intention, as far as you can, to watch something in the format that was originally intended, the only things that will catch you out will be the result of careless broadcasters who can't be bothered to do it properly because they think you don't care. If you do care, write to them. If you don't... well, you can delete this article for a start.

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Seeing films and programmes as their makers intended