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Dutchess_III's avatar

Will you help me find out where I can get a 4:3 ratio flat screen TV?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46526points) February 16th, 2011

I know I sound all cool with the “4:3 ratio,” but it’s something I just learned. 4:3 is the “square” TV that we’ve been used to until the advent of the flat screen TV’s that are much longer than they are tall…yes, like a movie screen. THOSE are designed for film that is shot in 16:9 ratio (think of a 4×3 and 16×9-inch cake pan, for comparison) However, 99% of the video of TV broadcasts is sent out in 4:3 ratio, and that’s why, if you have a long flat screen, you have black bands around the edge, and if you reset it so there are no black bands, the pictures, and people, are all stretched out like in a house of mirrors as it tries to force it to 16:9. For some reason, some people think that the TV doesn’t count if it doesn’t fill the whole screen, so they go for the “stretch” distortion mode and pretend like that’s OK….and…..I’m having a hard time handling that. SO, I’ve been told that they make a 4:3 ratio flat screen TV, and I want to find one. But I’m having a hard time finding one.

Will you help me?

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15 Answers

PhiNotPi's avatar

I know someone who has one of those. I think it was manufactured by Sony.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Try ebay, they stopped making those a few years ago, luck may be with you. The TV companies make the size that sells today 16:9 HDTV, while all 4:3 were SDTV’s

JilltheTooth's avatar

My Samsung is wider than it is tall (like all the new ones) but I can adjust the picture size to get both regular TV stuff and widescreen movie stuff without distortion.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JilltheTooth You’re saying that if a TV program shows up in 4:3 ratio, so that there are black bands along the side, you can adjust it to fill the whole screen with no distortion? How do you do that?

JilltheTooth's avatar

Not the whole screen, I’m just saying that you can adjust for different types. I don’t mind the black bands on the side. When I bought this one I couldn’t find any of the old ones, I would have rather had what you’re describing, but I got used to it.

PhiNotPi's avatar

@Dutchess_III I was refering to the that individual TV, not the model of TV. That TV WAS manufactured, because is can’t be still in the manufacture process and be at my friend’s house. The model of TV is (I assume, because it is a new TV) still manufactured by the company

YoBob's avatar

You really are better of with a 16:9 screen.

Yes, it is true that a large majority of TV broadcasts are 4:3, but for those you simply set your 16:9 screen to have black bands on the side and you get the same viewing experience as you would on a 4:3 screen. Trust me, you start not even noticing those bands very quickly, especially if you have a black chassis in a TV cabinet in a moderately dark room like most people watch TV in.

However, DVDs as well as HD broadcasts will require those black bands at the top and bottom of your 4:3 screen in order to display the whole image, which means to make the image fit it must be shrunk down.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JilltheTooth Well, I know we can “adjust” to the different types, but “adjusting” a program that has the black bands on the sides means you totally distort the images. I guess I can get used to it but…’s just ridiculous, IMO, to force a picture to fill the whole screen when the result is a house of mirrors..

@YoBob I believe that you can get used to the bands, but my husband feels that if the whole screen isn’t filled then we aren’t getting our money’s worth. However, I’ve been doing some researching on my own, and hopefully I can show him that some of the programs shown in 4:3 at the lower end of the channels are displayed in 16:9 at the higher end (the “HD” end, I presume,) which means you get the whole screen with no distortion. I guess it’s a question of who gets used to what…either he gets used to black bands, or I get used to distortion or we manage to always find 16:9 programming, which isn’t possible at this point. It seems to me that the black bands would be much easier to “get used to” than distortion.

Anyway, now I know why our old 4:3 TV had black bands on some shows…which I got “used to” in about 1.5 seconds, so it’s all good.

Thanks you guys…..

chocolatechip's avatar

@Dutchess_III Don’t put up with people who have to fill the entire screen even though it’s distorted. They are wrong.

JilltheTooth's avatar

You get used to the black bands very quickly. I did, and I’m usually the biggest whiner about that stuff.

faye's avatar

@Dutchess_III You can adjust the settings on your tv so it looks ‘normal’. That’s how mine is and, yes, I have the black sections at each side and it’s just fine with me. I do mine under set-up on yhe tv remote instead of the cable remote.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The problem is…..I can easily adjust to the black bands, in a heartbeat, but me thinks my husband can’t….me husband thinks the screen needs to be filled, and the distortion bothers me much longer than a heartbeat. We’ve been talking about getting a Flat Screen TV for three years…finally got one three days ago. Problem is, over the last three years that we’ve been discussing it, when we enter a house where they have a flat screen TV, my husband immediately notices they have a Flat Screen TV!! I immediately notice that the picture is distorted ....wish me luck.

faye's avatar

I knew you’d know how!! But I often have questions about new technology that just make my kids giggle and snicker, so it’s possible you didn’t!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, here is what I have discovered. First, from what I can see, all the stations playing on the “low” end, 3, 10, 12, etc., have counter parts at the “high” end. Only those channels are, for example, 117–5 or 115–3. Some of the programs at the high end are broadcasting in 4:3, so the black bands are there on the side. But then along comes a commercial, or another show, and it’s broadcasting in 16:9 and viola! The whole screen is filled, with no distortion! So I’ll present the argument that we stay with the “upper end” (HD) channels and just deal with what ever comes! Reason being, if it’s set to “wide” or anything other than normal, even when a 16:9 broadcast comes on, it will still be distorted but for no reason. Si? Si! I win. Now, I just have to convince my husband…..

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