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post #3 of (permalink) Old 2013-01-27, 05:58 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Posts: 56,281
Here's the FAQ on Black Bars. There are lots of different aspect ratios and black bars are a fact of life if you watch your channels OAR, unstretched, original format, etc.

Most product produced for TV was 4:3 and is now 16:9, however, movies can have any aspect from about 1.1:1 to 2.7:1. This is the director's prerogative, as you mentioned, but there can be directors of TV programming too, that may want to "stand out", although for most TV I haven't noticed much programming outside of 4:3 or 16:9..

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