[opendtv] Re: (No Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 10:30:37 -0400

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 08:49:44 -0400

At 7:18 PM -0500 11/2/04, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
>For practical reasons, and to minimize the width
>of annoying black bars, it seems logical to go for
>something that best approximates the majority of
>movie and (new) TV content. It seems to me that
>16:9 is a good compromise. Certainly, 4:3 is NOT.

>By the way, lost in all of this was John Golitsis'
>observation, some time ago, that in his store,
>when he would place signs up high, even if within
>view, people would IGNORE them. Like they weren't
>there. This too should be a clue that vertical
>coverage is less important than horizontal

Bert is finally beginning to focus on the right questions now.

As I just posted, there is no illusion that an HDTV display should 
cover our field of view. As Bert calculated, it will be rare when a 
TV display covers even the 30 degree field of view that NHK believed 
is necessary for the HDTV viewing experience.

There is a huge difference between our field of view, and what is 
practical from an applications standpoint. I am not, and have not 
argued for an HD display that is 4:3 or narrower. I  did support the 
motion picture industry proposal for a 2:1 aspect ratio.

This is NOT the same thing as arguing for a 4:3 HD display during the 
transition, when the vast majority of TV content is still 4:3. I 
bought such a display and I am very happy with that decision. But my 
next big screen will most likely be 16:9, as that is the only option 
I have with the current generation of rear projection DLP displays.

The fact remains that the human visual field is closer to 4:3 than 
16:9. But this is not relevant unless you are designing an immersive 
display experience like IMAX.

For HDTV the issue is how to get a big enough screen with a sharp 
picture into the home. This is closely followed by the application 
requirements for a TV.  People move horizontally most of the time, 
not up and down. Groups of people tend to make wider pictures, not 
taller pictures.  The history of all forms of motion imaging suggest 
that a wider raster is appropriate for telling stories about people.

How wide? As Mark Schubin has noted, there is no perfect aspect 
ratio.  Displays are just a window into a virtual world.

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