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Philips Cinema 21:9 Ultra Widescreen Perfect for Movie Snobs

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So now that you’ve got your brand new super-deluxe widescreen flat screen television, isn’t it time for an upgrade? If you’re like me, you know the minute you buy anything that runs on electricity, you’re cursed with its immediate obsolescence. So it is with great pleasure that I present the latest in drool-worthy future tech, the ULTRA-widescreen television.

philips cinema widescreen 21 9

Conventional 16:9 HDTV sets are for wussies. At least that’s what Philips is saying with their upcoming Cinema LCD televisions, which support a truly cinematic 21:9 viewing aspect ratio.

You see, big blockbuster movies are often shot in 70-millimeter or Cinemascope formats are actually 2.20:1 or 2:35:1 ratios, so end up showing with black bars on top and bottom on even the best 16:9 displays. With a 21:9 ratio, you’re at 2.33:1, which means you’ll have virtually no black bars when watching films shot in these formats.

philips cinema joker

Now keep in mind that the 56″ Philips Cinema LCD screen will have to stretch your precious HD and Blu-Ray signals to fill the screen so the former black bars will result in some wasted resolution. But what good were all of those pixels doing as black dots anyhow?

Of course, watching 4:3 programs on this bad boy will give you the fattest black bars you’ve ever seen, but 4:3 is so last decade anyhow. The Cinema display can also stretch 16:9 content to fill the 21:9 screen, but if you’re like me, you hate stretchy heads, and would rather put up with the black bars on the sides while viewing regular HD content.

Philips also says the Cinema series will include their colorful RGB LED Ambilight backlight technology, which should make watching movies on this beast a truly immersive experience. Expect the Cinema 21:9 to hit stores this spring. Pricing and release information should be available sometime in February.

[via DVICE]





Comments (25):

  1. manchicken says:

    I bet technabob already has two of these. hah.

  2. Rachel says:

    Can somebody wipe the drool from my mouth, please? Beautiful!

  3. Nic Stage says:

    Hmmm… I’m sure it’s a nice set, but I don’t think I really like that aspect ratio. If they shoot in way that makes this format native, I think that they should stop. 16:9 seems more esthetically correct to me. The 21:9 looks distractingly narrow and wide. 16:9 is closer to the golden ratio (Technically (16:9.8885), and therefor more esthetically pleasing, in my opinion.

  4. Jean-Pierre Thilges says:

    Excellent format for snakes and funeral processions…
    but for nothing else…
    and some of the best american movies ever where shot on 4:3…so forget it!

  5. Kelly says:

    How much does this cost?

    And where can i get it?

  6. technabob says:

    Oh noes…

    According to Engadget HD, Philips has no plans to ever sell these sets in North America. Boo. Hiss.

  7. Tim says:

    “and some of the best american movies ever where shot on 4:3…so forget it!”

    Wow…

  8. technabob says:

    Looks like Philips has announced a June 2009 release, priced at €4,000 (appx. $5,045 USD). Still no US release planned, though.

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/20/philips-gives-cinema-21-9-hdtv-a-price-and-release-date/

  9. Brandon says:

    “You see, big blockbuster movies are often shot in 70-millimeter or Cinemascope formats…”

    Wrong. Cinemascope, yes… as a framing standard. 70mm, no. Dark Knight was the notable exception.

    Keep in mind that although many blockbusters are framed in the 2.35:1 format, most stick with 1.85:1. 95% of the stuff you watch will feature fat bars on either side. Far more distracting in my opinion than 16:9.

    This is a gimmick.

  10. james braselton says:

    HI THERE YOU ARE RIGHT 21:9 RATIO SCREEN IS BRILLIANT FOR MOVIE BUFF AND THE HARD CORE GAMERS LIKE ME CANT WAIT UNTILL I PLAY HALO ON THE 21:9 SCREEN

  11. samco says:

    just orderd one…….

    hd dvd and bds gnna shine

  12. Andy20 says:

    “Excellent format for snakes and funeral processions…
    but for nothing else…”

    So the hundreds and hundreds of professional cinematographers who choose this aspect ratio to shoot their movies in are wrong?

    “Keep in mind that although many blockbusters are framed in the 2.35:1 format, most stick with 1.85:1. ”

    Actually… most movies are 2.35:1. 1.85 movies are a considerable minority these days. More and more movies are being shot in 2.35.

    “If they shoot in way that makes this format native, I think that they should stop.”

    They’ve been doing it for well over 50 years now, and it’s only gotten more and more popular. I don’t think they’re gonna stop any time soon.

    While it’s a good point that it’s really only a tv for movie buffs, and not you’re average viewer… to say that it’s a bad aspect ratio or that only a minority of movies use it is just plain wrong.
    The fact is, we see wider from side to side than we do up and down, as a result of our eyes being placed side by side and not on top of each other. 2.35:1 actually fits our field of vision more naturally than 4:3 or even 16:9 does.
    There’s also the fact that there’s more interesting information to contain in a wider frame than a taller one. You can hold more people’s heads in the frame without having to get too wide. Landscapes are more vast without having to get too much sky. Two-shots of people together in a frame are more eloquently framed.

    On top of that… IMO, at least, 2.35:1 is just a cool looking shape. It feels grand. It feels sleek.

    Now if they’ve only make a projector like this, then we’d be in business! TVs are too small for me.

    • technabob says:

      I was actually hoping the new iPhone would have a 2.35 to 1 ratio :)

    • Brandon says:

      “Actually… most movies are 2.35:1. 1.85 movies are a considerable minority these days. More and more movies are being shot in 2.35.”

      Might want to check with Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers before you commit to that idea. In film, framing itself can set a mood, and for many chick flicks and comedy, 2.35:1 looks too expansive and impersonal to be considered.

      I personally love 2.35:1 framing. I use it in my own videos, and I own anamorphic lenses to create this format natively… but I recognize it’s not for the masses.

  13. Maverick1130 says:

    Right… so it’s a novel idea, resulting in gigantic black bars and wasted pixels on everything BUT the occasional movie, so it’s going to have an extremely limited marketshare, being purchased mostly by people looking to shove it in a theater room. and how many people do you actually know that have a designated theater room? Most TVs end up in the family living room or den where cable TV and video games dominate the greater amount of time the TV is in use. Movies maybe a couple times a week if that.

    Plus, it’s Phillips. Unless they’ve teamed up with Sony, Samsung, or Panasonic for some help developing a better signal processor for this over-large screen, it’s going to fall on its face. I work for a large retailer in the home theater section and I promise I’ll take everything back if one ever sells to someone who gives a damn about their picture, as opposed to someone who “hates those black bars” … but then that person will completely ignore you when you explain why they’re there, and that they’ll be there for EVERYTHING but movies…

    what they really need to do is put their money into developing an amorphous blob screen that can stretch and morph into the proper screen size for the signal. seeing as we’re still in the 21st century, people are going to have to suck it up. credit to Phillips for outside thinking, but it’s going to come up very short of the mark.

  14. AJ says:

    so basically pay more for less resolution?

  15. Palomino says:

    hmmm….

  16. Gillette says:

    Thanks for this comment..

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