Philips Ultra-Widescreen 21:9 Cinema LCD Moves the Letterbox Bars To the Side

Illustration for article titled Philips Ultra-Widescreen 21:9 Cinema LCD Moves the Letterbox Bars To the Side

This is kind of ridiculous. Philips's new 56-inch LCD, bound for Europe, is boasting a 21:9 aspect ratio-displaying a full anamorphic 2.40:1 frame without letterboxing. But what about watching TV?

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Or even watching the large number of films that aren't filmed in 2.40:1? If all you watch is big-budget blockbusters (2.40:1 is the aspect ratio of Panavision 70mm film), then this will be great for your rich-guy home theater.

But if you're thinking about watching HDTV (native aspect ratio of 16:9) or any of the many, many thousands of films shot in less-than-21:9, you'll have to throw some letterboxes on the side. You won't even get to enjoy those IMAX scenes from Dark Knight in their glorious full-frame beauty. But if you never take Iron Man out of your BD deck, this is the TV for you. Philips is looking at a Spring '09 release, with more details coming next month. [Philips via GadgetVenue]

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DISCUSSION

If they're smart, they'll use LED backlighting and set it up so that they can completely turn off the backlight in sections towards the left and right sides. Then if you're watching 16:9, the black areas will be jet black and not gray, and same with 4:3.