You know, back in the 40s and 50s,
the original standard television had a 4 to 3 width to height ratio.
That shape was chosen to be a slight rectangle,
but still mostly square, thus having the maximal screen area for the given dimensions.
And that’s still the ratio on many TVs and computer monitors in today’s homes.
The problem is, hardly anybody today treats video content in a 4 to 3 ratio.
See, this whole problem started when people wanted to watch movies from the theater
in the comfort of their own homes.
Movie screens are considerably larger than our home television.
More important, the screen is completely different rectangle,
and can’t mathematically fit on our TV screens without manipulation.
A typical TV is one and a third times wider
than it is tall. Some movie screens
could be up to three times as wide as it is tall.
那么 我们要怎样才能使电影银幕与电视屏幕的画面匹配呢 有很多种方法
So what’re we gonna do to make it fit? Well, we have all kinds of options.
我们可以通过挤压 拉伸和扭曲的方式对银幕画面进行处理 以适应电视屏幕
Well, we could squeeze and stretch and mangle everything on to the screen,
但是这样做会使画面中的人物看起来会很可笑 要么瘦窄 要么扁长
to make it all fill up, and everyone would look ridiculously thin and compressed.
但好消息是 即使画面比例变了 但声音没变
The good news is the sound would be just fine.
Although I don’t think people would be too happy about that option,
particularly the actors in the movie.
We could just cut a chunk of the original movie like a cookie cutter
and just see that frame of the movie.
The problem with that would be that people and objects would be speaking
from off the screen, or even worse, they might be cut in half.
Some movie editors use what’s called the ‘pan and scan’ technique
to allow the full height of the TV screen to be used,
but pick and choose what section of the original movie should be shown on your screen
thus eliminating the annoying cutting of people.
Imagine that job – staring at a 4 to 3 hole
watching movies all day, deciding for everyone
which piece of the screen is the most important part for people to see.
Now let’s do a little quick math.
If we compare a major cinematic film produced on a 2.35 to 1 aspect frame
with my standard 4 to 3 TV screen,
we find out that only 55% of the movie can actually fit on the screen
at any one time.
Just over half!
You’ve seen the disclaimer at the beginning of the movie on TV or DVD
that says ‘this film has been modified from its original format to fit on your TV screen.’
Well, what it should say is ‘we are only displaying 55% of the movie of our choosing.’
Now for all the full-screen TV lovers,
this is your dilemma: do you want to see all the movie,
or is 55% good enough? How about new TVs?
Around the start of the century, some widescreen TVs
emerged in a 16 to 9, or 1.78 times wider than it is tall.
Well, this screen fits the movie a little better,
but still only shows 75% of the original movie at one time.
Suppose someone made a TV for your living room that was actually 2.35 to 1 to show those full movies?
Well, the TV with the same height as the most current 50-inch TVs –
that TV would be close to six feet long.
And on top of that, you’d only use the full screen when you watched movies.
Most of the other content would have to be stretched,
or have empty space on the sides of the screen. Of course,
当然 还有一个选择 我们可以把电影银幕的长宽比例适当的缩小
there is one more option. We can just shrink the movie screen proportionally,
to fit the width of your home television.
Now we can mathematically scale the original to fit exactly the width of the screen
and this’ll preserve the entire movie screen, but show the infamous black bars
along the top and bottom that so many television watchers abhor.
Of course, now you can argue that we’re only using 75% of that screen.
And that is where the real question is:
do you want your full screen, or do you want to see the entire movie?
Most likely, you just need a bigger TV.