back to article Philips prices up 21:9 ratio 'cinema' TV

Getting that true home cinema experience has been the dream of many a couch potato for years. But it will soon become a reality for some, because Philips’ Cinema telly will soon arrive in Blighty. philips_cinema_tv_02 Philips' 21:9 Cinema TV: does not come with popcorn The TV – which Philips claimed is the world’s first …


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  1. Ben Norris
    Thumb Down

    Useless gimmick

    Since content is already in 4:3 and 16:9 format, using this TV is going to require scaling/cropping so you are just as well off simply getting a bigger HD TV. Which no doubt will also be cheaper than this waste of space.

    You don't need to change the aspect of your TV, just don't look at the black bars!

  2. bluesxman


    Let's all have black(ish) bars down the side of the picture for 95%* of our viewing pleasure, rather than across the top and bottom for 5%* thereof.

    *All statistics are fabricated for effect.

  3. Jimmy Floyd
    Thumb Down

    Have I missed something?

    Do Blu-Ray discs go to this ludicrous width? If not, how are you meant to get a true cinema picture without lopping the top off "widescreen" video?

    And even if that works, everything else (and I mean EVERYTHING) is going to look ridiculous on it.

    I smell a project that was started before the credit crunch when people still (thought they) had the money to spend on pointless goods.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh not again

    We've only just got the hang of 16:9, along with the broadcasters. Any change of format is useless without content. If you've ever seen those cheap widescreen VHS versions of Minder, you'll know the top of everyone's head and chin is usually missing. Imagine cropping it to 7:3 and scaling it up to a huge screen.

    I think too much effort has been put into 16:9 and HDTV to change now.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ben Norris

    Post 1950ish movies will fit the screen with almost no black bands.

    16.9 TV content *IS* scaled but in a weird way on this new set. The middle of the image is almost untouched with progressively more distortion towards the sides. Theory is, on a set of this side, the distortion goes almost unnoticed by the viewer - although I'm not sure it will work so well with stuff where action takes place towards the sides of the picture.

    4.3 IIRC is not scaled in any way and sits in an ocean of blackness.

  6. frymaster


    Now all we need is some media...


  7. Radio

    With that attitude...

    "You don't need to change the aspect of your TV, just don't look at the black bars!"

    With that type of attitude we'd have never got 16:9 TV's to become mainstream, so the fact that some content is in 16:9 and some still in 4:3 isn't reason enough to hold this back.

    At 52inches this is a set really designed for movies, and there's plenty of them that come in 21:9 ratio, leaving black bars on normal HDTV's.

    I'm not saying I'm going to get one - I certainly haven't got £4500 to spare, but that's not to say the black bars on 21:9 movies don't annoy - and I'm sure they annoy some others a lot more than they do me.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is it 21:9 and not 7:3 ?

    Why is it 21:9 and not 7:3 ?

    You always use the smallest aspect ration.

    Anyway. If all TV's were 7:3 the cinemas would make movies in 10:3 or something.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Useless gimmick

    Not at all, this will give me the excuse I need to buy my entire movie collection all over again!

    I just can't understand people torrenting.

  10. Peter Clarke


    To misquote one of their old adverts 'Philips, simply pounds ahead'

  11. Bassey

    Re: Useless Gimmick

    Actually, most films today come in the (annoying) 2.35 format, despite tellies having standardised on 16:9. That's why you still get thin black bars, even on a 16:9 TV. So all this telly needs is a bit of technical wizardry to strip out the black lines from the top and bottom of the picture - hardly Nuclear Fussion.

    Still, at that price, I'll stick with the black lines thanks.

  12. Nick
    Thumb Up

    Yeah, but...

    ... Its still only the price of 3 cinema tickets plus popcorn!

  13. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    Let me guess

    All Blu-Ray disks will now play at 21:9, making your 16:9 HDTV redundant.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Why can't we have to a single standard aspect ratio? Ideally 4:3.

    Almost everything is transmitted 4:3 and it's a *good* ratio. You can view both tall objects and wide objects without them looking too small.

    But nowadays it's almost impossible to buy a decent size TV in 4:3 and you have to get 16:9 which makes European people look as fat as Americans. Now they want to foist 21:9 on us despite the fact that if you make it tall enough to view vertical objects clearly, it will be too wide to fit in anyone's living room.

    The same thing is happening with monitors too, Trying to produce A4 portrait documents on a widescreen monitor is really sub-optimal.

  15. RichyS

    I'm waiting...

    ...for the Cinemascope version. Hmmm, 21.6:9.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    Does it come with motorised curtains to cover the sides of the screen when viewing narrower formats?

  17. Mark Pattison

    Common denominators

    21:9? What's wrong with 7:3?

    Perhaps 21:9 just sounds bigger??

  18. Tony Hoyle

    lalala £5000?

    Hell, for half that money you can get a decent projector, 100" screen and have plenty of money left for popcorn.

    btw. why does this form say 'a title is required' when I tried to use '£5000' as the title?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ben Norris

    Not really useless - *if* you generally watch films in this ratio, as the screen size is measured by the diagonal you'd need a significantly bigger than 52" 16:9 TV to give you a similar picture size when displaying a 21:9 picture (and likewise this will give you a pretty small rendition of 4:3 TV with huge bars on either side). Horses for courses.

  20. Paul

    I suppose they called it 21:9 because...

    ...calling it 7:3 wouldn't have sounded similar enough to 16:9 and too much like 4:3 and scared the punters...?


  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    The "useless gimmick" critique have equally been used to describe the first 16:9 TVs released to the market before content was available for them....or indeed HDTVs which only recently have had more than a couple of channels taking advantage of their capability? The first telephones were comparatively useless too, until more people started buying them; but without the early adopters we wouldn't have most of the communication/entertainment tech which is around today.

    At the very least a 21:9 screen would be brilliantly emmersive for racing sims and pretty handy for Picture in Picture; graphic design work, presentations, advertising, hotel lobbies... i.e. just because you can't envisage a use for it; doesn't mean there isn't one. All hail progress! Whilst this is a bulky object, tentative steps towards estabilishing a future cinema style format could be brilliant when combined with developing flexible "roll up" screen technology.

  22. Eddy Ito
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Useless gimmick

    Quite, a quick bit of math shows a 16:9 format TV would have to be 54.8" to match this 52" in width and it would be about 6" taller. Oh look, there's a 55" on Amazon for just over half the price. Anyone care to do that math? I'm sure Paris can.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    7:3 surely

    Ooh, bigger number, therefore better. Does the volume go up to 11 too?


  24. Andy Barber
    Thumb Up

    @ Ben Norris

    I've had many a TV. The most reliable have always been Philips. Don't forget Philips invented Teletext... etc.

  25. Peter Kay

    It's for films, not for TV...

    Many films are shot in a ratio of 2.33:1 or 2.35:1, so should fit this TV well..

    Of course, for that amount of cash you could buy a decent screen and a halfway acceptable LCD/low end DLP or a decent second hand CRT. I know what I'd do..

  26. D M Arnold

    pay more for less

    For a 52" display (assuming measured diagonally) you're paying more for a smaller viewing area. A 21:9 display will have 980 square inches of viewing area; a 16:9 will have 1156 sq in, and 4:3 will have 1300.

  27. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

    @7:3 crowd

    It's 21:9 because it makes it easier and more clear for someone to see that's it's wider than a 16:9. We'd have thought that was obvious.

  28. Haku

    Re: Oh not again

    "We've only just got the hang of 16:9, along with the broadcasters."

    I'm not so sure about that, I've got friends who have a widescreen tv and they'll happily sit there and watch 4:3 footage stretched to 16:9 - so it wouldn't suprise me that a significant amount of widescreen tv owners also watch 4:3 streched to 16:9, so just imagine what 4:3 would look like stretched to 21:9...

    And the broadcasters still haven't gotten the hang of full widescreen, why do those tards persist on creating/broadcasting material of an aspect ratio (letterboxed on 4:3) that's part way between 4:3 & 16:9 so it doesn't properly fit on either aspect ratio of screen?

  29. Mad Hacker

    @ AC who said "fat as Americans"

    You're the idiot watching a TV in stretch mode. You should learn to ignore black bars on the side and watch the source in native mode the people won't look short and fat.

    Also you say:

    Trying to produce A4 portrait documents on a widescreen monitor is really sub-optimal.

    Uh, the amount of pixels vertically is the same (or even more) then you had on your 4:3 monitor. It's your problem you feel the need to zoom the document to the width of the screen instead of to the height. Try editing two A4 documents side by side on your widescreen, maybe that will make you happier.

    Lastly my widescreen monitor has a pivot mode where you can rotate it 90 degrees to have a 10:16 format (instead of 16:10) which of course is great for document viewing at your zoomed in view you like so much.

    I don't mind that you posted. I don't mind that your ignorant. I mind that you ignorantly posted.

  30. Martin Silver badge

    Erm 21:9 ?

    I suppose my old 44:33 portable is better then?

  31. Richard Porter
    IT Angle

    re 7:3

    When can I have surround tv?

  32. wsm

    Wide, wider, then...

    Stupidly wide, perhaps? Ludicrously wide might do it. How about a cottage industry to come up with uses for all that wasted space in the side bars before the green crowd begin to limit it?

  33. Anonymous Coward

    @ Standard by AC

    "But nowadays it's almost impossible to buy a decent size TV in 4:3 and you have to get 16:9 which makes European people look as fat as Americans."

    Wow...that was really original. Did you think of that all by yourself? Moron.

  34. Bod


    Problem is 2.35:1 films (which is the main reason for this set) are presented on Blu-Ray (and DVD) in 16:9 with hard matted black bars. The resolution available on the disc for the 2.35:1 film itself is less than a 21:9 TV will be capable of. The TV will have to scale the image and crop the black bars.

    As many will know, the last thing you want is the image to be scaled in any way on a pixel based set (LCD, Plasma).

    Blu-Ray should have been specified to store films and TV shows just in the actual ratio they are made, and let the player or TV fill gaps with black bars. Though tricky with the menus and subtitles which are often placed in black bar areas.

    Anyway, whilst a 21:9 TV would be kind of nice for 2.35:1 films (which are impressive at that width in the cinema), there are too many films that are 1.85:1, 1.66:1, 1.33:1 and odd ratios between, and of course TV is a mix of 1.77:1 (16:9) and 1.33:1(4:3).

    Solution to the black bar moans though is same as with 4:3 sets... get over it ;). Or just turn the lights off/down.

    Alternatively, get a projector and then you don't have the obvious frame to make you fuss about the bars, or if you use a frame around your screen then just do like in the cinema and have it expand to super wide when showing 2.35:1 films. Ultimate cinema experience then :)

  35. DJGM

    @ Anonymous coward - RE: "Standard"


    Why can't we have to a single standard aspect ratio? Ideally 4:3.

    Almost everything is transmitted 4:3 and it's a *good* ratio. You can view both tall

    objects and wide objects without them looking too small. But nowadays it's

    almost impossible to buy a decent size TV in 4:3 and you have to get 16:9

    which makes European people look as fat as Americans ... etc ....


    Someone needs to stop living in the past methinks. It's 2009 now, and most TV shows

    are made in 16:9 widescreen format. 16:9 is the standard TV aspect ratio now, while

    the old style 4:3 aspect ratio is becoming increasingly obsolete.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Andy Barber

    I thought the BBC invented Teletext, the first decoder I saw was in, I think Wireless World, built from TTL chips. The first custom chips were from Texas Instruments, but if anybody know different please correct me.

  37. Richard Crossley

    Black bars

    They're going to be used for in advertising whilst you're watching the programme.

  38. Andrew Garrard

    TV manufacturers stuck in the analogue past

    Firstly, I *hope* they're 1920x1080 (or 2520x1080, or - more usefully - 2560x1080). Unlike LG's ultra-widescreen displays (which were even wider):

    If they've gone with non-square pixels or a sub-HD 1920x823(ish), there goes the quality again. Of course, they have to call it 21:9 because 16:7-ish sounds like it's inferior.

    As Bod says, any kind of scaling screws up the image anyway - hence my hatred of 1366x768 panels and TVs that won't let you turn off the overscan; I can't understand why an entire industry is so happy to throw away image quality. The ironic thing is the fad for anamorphic lens attachments for projectors - first scale the 2.35:1 vertically (digitally) up to 16:9, then stuff an anamorphic lens on the front to make it wider; a spectacularly about-face way of getting an expensive blurry image...

    Re. 16:9 monitors, I agree they're stupid. For fitting most documents on screen they're too non-square - fill vertically and you have big borders horizontally (not, as suggested, a stretched image). A 1920x1080 monitor is *not* better than a 1920x1200 one, and it's debatable when you come to a 2048x1152 monitor (which at least has more pixels than WUXGA). On a CRT the aspect ratio of the monitor is arbitrary, but nobody thought about the numbers which come out for doing computery stuff with such an odd-ball aspect ratio. 16:10, which is at least half the standard SXGA aspect ratio, is much better.

    God forbid that anyone would think that sticking to some kind of standard might be important. I'm waiting for people to start producing adverts with black borders top and bottom on 16:9, in case they're viewed on one of these.

  39. Chris C

    Aspect ratio

    For those people saying it's "7:3", you're wrong. It may be "7:3" in maths, but not when referring to cinema/TV aspect ratios. In cinema/TV, the ratios are most often written as 4:3 (sometimes 1.33:1), 16:9 (sometimes 1.75:1), and 2.35:1.

  40. Christian Wolff
    Thumb Up

    21:9? 7:3? No, 64:27

    They chose 21:9 to make it comparable to 16:9 (same denominator), but the panel has 2560x1080 pixel, which makes it 64:27 (or 4:3 to the power of 3). Remember, 16:9 is 4:3 squared.

    This TV is great for people who watch a lot of movies, but don't want to install a constant height projection system. Basically, it gives you "constant height" in LCD form, which we did not have before.

  41. Andrew Kemp


    Give me the extra vertical height a 16:9 screen would give (or 16:10 for that matter) and then use black bars if needed. As said, a slightly larger 16:9 screen would show the same in addition to having the extra vertical space for normal widescreen resolutions.

    I'd much rather 'suffer' black bars than the physical restriction such a ratio would give.

  42. David Paul Morgan
    Thumb Up

    The bigger the better

    Surely, the bigger (wider?) the display, the better.

    this screen could display 16x9 programming and display maybe three picture-in-pictures OR one web page. This screen would also be great for four-up multi-player gaming.

    Roll on (or up?) oled wall-paper...

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