The widescreen TV format is likely to be the standard television format in the future, and many TV program producers and filmmakers have either already switched to using it or are in the process of doing so. It makes sense therefore, for someone buying a new TV, to get a digital television that will be in sync with the new high-definition broadcast technology. Having a widescreen television will allow the viewer to watch TV programs and home theater movies as they are meant to be seen.
Conventional TVs have a 4:3 format, which means the screen is four units wide and three units high. Programs shown on these screens can be viewed in either the center cutout or the letterbox formats. In the center cutout format, the picture sides are cropped to fit the screen, leading to visual information loss. With the letterbox format, black bands appear at the top and bottom of the picture, allowing the viewer to see the picture in its entirety, albeit on a reduced scale that detracts from its overall enjoyment.
There are no such issues with a widescreen TV. These TVs follow a 16:9 format, where the screen is 16 units wide and nine units high, offering the viewers a panoramic view akin to what is seen in a cinema theater. Thanks to the high-definition broadcast and the digital television technology that utilizes all the lines on the TV screen, the viewer also gets the benefit of a much sharper and clearer picture.
Apart from offering viewers better pictures, the widescreen TV format is excellent for covering large sporting, entertainment and other public events. Viewers can keep up with what is happening in its entirety and even watch different camera views at the same time on split screens. Another benefit of the widescreen television format is that it makes life easier for filmmakers; they don't have to reissue their films in another format if the theatrical format works just as well for television.
Widescreen TVs can receive digital signals in both the 16:9 high-definition broadcast format as well as in the standard-definition transmissions. Viewers can decide in which format they want to watch a program by making the suitable selection on the digital receiver. They can also set this to automatic so that the receiver will detect the incoming signals and, accordingly, display the picture in either the 16:9 or the 4:3 format. Pictures in the 4:3 format can be zoomed to fit the widescreen TV, although this may cause some amount of distortion.