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Old May 7th, 2006, 02:48 AM   #1
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Where is 16:9 on international TV channels?

Hello,

About a week ago we finally got digital TV to our home and we bought a new Philips 16:9 HD ready LCD tv set as well (previously we have had only 4:3 TVs). Despite all the 16:9 pushing that is being done everywhere (including the forums here :)) I can find only 3 channels out of the available 40 that sometimes broadcast true 16:9 (the channels are Finnish YLE1, YLE2 and Nelonen). As I don't like to have the 4:3 video squeezed into wide, I have to use the widescreen TV in 4:3 mode. Most of the programmes I watch (from channels like National Geographic, Discovery, BBC World, CNN, EuroNews etc) are even filling the whole 4:3 frame so it seems like they have been filmed also in the same aspect ratio.

It looks like having a widescreen television today isn't a really good benefit yet and the only real reason for it seems to be when watching newer DVDs. As an owner of wide TV I am really wondering when I can fully use it, but I'm afraid it won't happen too soon...

I would be very glad if you could tell your opinions on this and maybe say how the situation is in your countries. Thanks!
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Georg Liigand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #2
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Hi Georg,

I'm in the UK and virtually all of the major broadcasters transmit 16:9 on digital. On the BSkyB platform I would estimate at least 50 channels are anamorphic widescreen with 100 or less, mostly very low audience, being 4:3/Letterbox widescreen. The main factors for 4:3 being channels that bought the hardware when the platform launched and don't want to spend the extra money to upgrade, and those channels that are based largely around showing repeats of 5, 10, 15 year old programs which were recorded in 4:3 anyway.

HiDef is about to hit out little shore properly with the BBC, Sky, National Geographic, Discovery and others launching HiDef channels on the BSkyB platform.

Overall the majority of viewers, by a large margin, are watching 16:9 programs but the bulk of the channels still haven't converted.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply, Marvin. UK seems to be one of the most fast developing countries in the world as far as TV is concerned. Will have to see how quickly the channels via my digiTV start going wide.

Maybe you or someone else can give me some suggestions... Currently I'm using VX2100 for video work (not TV, but DVD and internet publishing) and am very happy with it (the audience is too). If I plan to upgrade to FX1 or Z1U in the next 6-12 months, would those cameras be the right ones to look at? I hope I can keep my VX for some time.
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Panasonic GH5 V-Log L + Metabones 0.64x + Sigma Art 18-35 F1.8; DMW-XLR1; Panasonic HC-X1 camcorder; DJI Ronin MX - CINEFILM Estonia http://www.cinefilm.ee
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