Wide Screens

Screen technology has progressed by leaps and bounds. Twenty years ago, we had to be content with grainy CRT screens, but today, LCD, LED and plasma technology have brought crisp, clear images, superior contrast and high definition within the reach of everyone. Some screens are wide screens, meaning that their aspect ratio is wider and flatter than a conventional television’s. A wide screen usually has an aspect ratio of 16:9, meaning that the image is 16 units wide by 9 units tall, or a ratio of about 1.77.

Cinemas also use a wide screen format and films are usually displayed in such a wide format. On a normal television set, this usually means that the film is displayed in a narrow horizontal bar on the screen, with black bands at the top and bottom, in order to fit in the entire width of the picture. Alternatively, the film may be broadcast to use the entire height of the television screen, but at the cost of a section of both the left-hand and right-hand side of the picture being lost. A wide screen enables one to use the whole viewing area and seeing the whole picture at the same time, much like in a cinema.

Rear projection screens are becoming commonplace, but sometimes have irregular light distribution, with dark corners and “hot spots”. Better quality rear projection screens utilise advanced optical screens that are able to combine the distributive properties of a tenticular lens with the focusing ability of a Fresnel lens. The result is a much brighter image, sharp focus and far superior contrast properties. Wide screens offering this technology offer excellent quality and good value and are ideal for watching wide screen movies at home.