[opendtv] Re: News: Nielsen Gives Fuzzy Picture of HDTV Penetration

  • From: Albert Manfredi <bert22306@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 20:53:42 -0500

Cliff Benham wrote:

> I guess I was remembering that some EBU programs
> were produced in 14:9

IIRC, Alan Roberts said that widescreen BBC programs transmitted on *analog* TV 
in the UK used 14:9. And the other sites you pointed to were in the UK or 
Australia, not here.

We went through this some time ago, with several of us taking measurements. 
Even prime time TV shows that are (or were) transmitted as letterboxed NTSC 
over here are (or were, I don't watch analog anymore) 16:9, it turned out. The 
digital widescreen TV productions, as far as I can tell, are always 16:9. Even 
those that are both letterboxed and pillarboxed, and transmitted as SDTV. John 
Shutt ought to know - PBS does this a lot.

In my digital setup, 1.85:1 movies have very minor letterboxing, whether from 
DVD or TV. In my old analog CRT, the 16:9 analog shows (letterboxed) *measured* 
to be 14:9, but that was only caused by a rather excessive amount of overscan 
on that set. When everyone had their say, it turned out that the intended ratio 
was 16:9. And I took measurements from all the major broadcasters at the time, 
and all came out identical on widescreen (letterboxed) analog transmissions. 
There was complete consistency.

So there may be some odd exceptions, like the BBC News shows transmitted by 
PBS, upconverted from analog, but I doubt very seriously that TV viewers in the 
US will see anything approaching "For some years to come it is fair to say that 
the majority of viewers will see 14:9."


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