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<!-- from fixya rte -->Why are the movies half screen? - Televison & Video

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Movies that are created for "Wide Screen" viewing show up in letterbox on your TV. If you go to a theatre you notice it is a big rectangle. To be able to fit all of the widescreen movie on a TV it has to make the height smaller.


Because many people want to see the "complete" Movie, the "Letterbox Format" came about. I do NOT know what the word "Letterbox" actually means, or how that term was chosen. To get the complete Rectangle into that Square, they discovered that they could shrink the entire rectangle to fit that square. Meaning, what used to take 2 inches on your screen, now may only take 1.75 inches. Now a problem arrose. When you shrink the WIDTH to fit your dinky Square of a TV, the HEIGHT also has to be shrunk along with it, or else you're stretching the image as if it was on silly-putty ("Compression"). When the image was shrunk to fit the TV Screen, they were left with a gap at the top and bottom of the screen. So they simply fill it in with "Black". I guess the only alternative was to leave it snowy.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014

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