Over at Sound and Vision Mag they're asking exactly this question, and there's a lot of logic behind it. Current flat-screen TV tech favors the 16:9 (or 1.78:1) dimension ratio, but many movies are shot in Cinemascope 2.35:1, around 32% wider. That's why you still see letterboxing on your HDTV, or the frames are cropped to fit. High-end home theater projectors already cater for Cinemascope dimensions by using anamorphic lenses and some fancy processing to correct the image. So will next-gen home TVs end up wider too?
The experts Sound and Vision asked tended to think not, with both Toshiba and Sony confirming they had no plans in this direction. Partly it's a question of manufacturing: the tooling is set up for production of TVs in 16:9, which mainly concerns the production of LCD panels (or OLED panels that're in the pipeline), and changing that would be pretty expensive. As a Samsung expert points out this even affects things like the glass used for the panels: manufactures are used to particular dimensions and achieving a particular yield from a "mother" sheet of glass... changing the screen dimensions would involve adjusting all this production too. And of course there's all the tech involved in getting 2.35:1 images onto the screen in the first place: DVDs and BDs aren't that ratio, though you could achieve it by throwing away pixels.
But all of these problems are not insurmountable. And I, for one, would welcome the idea of a "full" widescreen TV sitting in my living room in four or five years time: maybe because I mainly watch movies rather than TV shows. What's your take on the idea, guys?
[Sound and Vision Mag]