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View Full Version : Why are there no 16:9 computer monitors?


rayneg
Mar 7, 2003, 05:29 PM
Since the official widescreen ratio is 16:9, I wonder why Apple (and others) have not committed to this standard for "widescreen" computer monitors. Currently, the "widescreen" computer trend is the 16:10 ratio (all current Apple Cinema Displays, along with Sony, Samsung, etc. PC monitors use this ratio). This is a concern because widescreen DVDs will not play completely full screen on widescreen Macs, even though they are advertised to do so.

ALL widescreen TV's have a 16:9 ratio and ALL widescreen DVDs use a 16:9 ratio. This ratio is expected to be the standard for all TVs in the future, replacing the traditional 4:3 ratio.

It makes sense that computer monitors should follow the trend. After all, the fewer compatibility problems the better. Since Macs are touted as being the machine to have if you're creating DVDs, I wonder why Apple neglected to support the standard widescreen ratio. Do you think they did it on purpose or is it an oversight?

dricci
Mar 7, 2003, 05:41 PM
Do you spend more time doing work or watching DVDs on your computer? 16:10 will give you more desktop space to work with. If all you want your monitor for is DVDs, maybe you should invest in a 16:9 TV?

szark
Mar 7, 2003, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by rayneg
This ratio is expected to be the standard for all TVs in the future, replacing the traditional 4:3 ratio.

Well, in the U.S., this will never happen unless the FCC makes it mandatory. And they don't seem willing to do so.

rayneg
Mar 7, 2003, 07:17 PM
I do have a 16:9 TV and am happy with it. My concern is that software developers should have a standard they can work with so they have some idea what their product will look like on other people's monitors. The 15" widescreen powerbook, the original 22" Cinema Display, and now the 20" and 23" Cinema Displays all have different ratios (1.49, 1.56, and 1.6 respectively). I'm only pointing out that Apple should commit to one ratio, and it minus well be 16:9 since that is what everyone else defines as the"widescreen" ratio.

At the current 16:10 ratio, powerpoint presentations that are full screen on a Mac will not be full screen when output to a widescreen plasma monitor or widescreen projector (they are all 16:9).

I should probably be telling this to Apple I guess, instead of venting here. Don't get me wrong, I love Apple. I've used nothing but Macs for the last 10 years. It just bugs me that they seemed to miss this point.

Doctor Q
Mar 7, 2003, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by dricci
16:10 will give you more desktop space to work with.That's only true if you fix the width (say 16 inches) or the diagonal and let the ratio determine the height (e.g., 10 inches vs. 9 inches). Otherwise, for a given number of pixels or a given amount of video RAM, the aspect ratio does not determine how much space you have; just what shape it is.

What shape is most convenient is a matter of opinion. rayneg's point that the movie/TV standard would suit monitors is reasonable for video applications (including DVD playback). For other purposes (say editing one, or two, full-page word-processing documents), other shapes would be preferable. This is a case where variety serves a purpose and people can and should vote with their pocketbooks.

rainman::|:|
Mar 7, 2003, 08:05 PM
minas well?

barkmonster
Mar 7, 2003, 08:22 PM
minus well ?

you mean, "might aswell" ?

there's always "mais well", that always works.

as far as widescreen monitors go, there's no advantage in going for 16:10 over 16:9.

beez7777
Mar 7, 2003, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by rayneg
Since the official widescreen ratio is 16:9, I wonder why Apple (and others) have not committed to this standard for "widescreen" computer monitors. Currently, the "widescreen" computer trend is the 16:10 ratio (all current Apple Cinema Displays, along with Sony, Samsung, etc. PC monitors use this ratio). This is a concern because widescreen DVDs will not play completely full screen on widescreen Macs, even though they are advertised to do so.

ALL widescreen TV's have a 16:9 ratio and ALL widescreen DVDs use a 16:9 ratio. This ratio is expected to be the standard for all TVs in the future, replacing the traditional 4:3 ratio.

It makes sense that computer monitors should follow the trend. After all, the fewer compatibility problems the better. Since Macs are touted as being the machine to have if you're creating DVDs, I wonder why Apple neglected to support the standard widescreen ratio. Do you think they did it on purpose or is it an oversight?

the sony vaio w i believe has a 16:9 ratio, at 15.3 inches. its 1280x768. someone can do the math, but im almost positive that that's 16:9

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_BrowseCatalog-Start;sid=YFWpHAKkOuypHDzNNXyjF0205VCxhWjgQRE=?Dept=cpu&CatalogCategoryID=gI0KC0%2eNZ6sAAADzupwzFriI

KingArthur
Mar 7, 2003, 09:06 PM
Although I have no basis for this, I might guess that the additional space on the screen would be so that one could watch a DVD in almost full screen mode and still have the title-bar at the top. Who knows. It may be that they needed a 16:10 ratio in order to have a screen as big as possible for the size of the laptop. Also, maybe it is that whoever makes the screens for Apple might only produce screens in certain pixel sizes, and that is what it is. Just a though.

FlamDrag
Mar 7, 2003, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by rayneg
Since the official widescreen ratio is 16:9, I wonder why Apple (and others) have not committed to this standard for "widescreen" computer monitors. <snip> This is a concern because widescreen DVDs will not play completely full screen on widescreen Macs, even though they are advertised to do so.

ALL widescreen TV's have a 16:9 ratio and ALL widescreen DVDs use a 16:9 ratio. This ratio is expected to be the standard for all TVs in the future, replacing the traditional 4:3 ratio.

<snip>

Hmmm... no.

Current "acadamy flat" ratio is 1.85:1 which equals 16.65 x 9. The other 'standard' is "anamorphic scope" which is 2.35:1 or 21.15 x 9. And those are just the two most popular.

Read more about itat this web site. (http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/anamorphic/aspectratios/widescreenorama.html)

In short if it's the picture you're worried about, there will still be space at the top and bottom with 'black bars'.

If you're really letting this get in the way of your enjoyment of a film - your priorities are out of whack.

Your statement about "ALL" DVD's are made this way is misleading as well. While many DVD's are 'optimized for HDTV' or 16x9 TV's, it still doesn't fill the screen. It's just a better solution to the problem.

Read more about that on this web site. (http://gregl.net/videophile/anamorphic.htm)

You'll see the same film either way. While I'll agree that the DVD "stretching" isn't quite the same as a 16x9 monitor - why is it such a big deal? People will shoot and produce the same movies. You can still create DVD's with their software which (I believe) supports this aspect ratio.

I guess I just don't see your problem. Resolution should be the drum you're beating - not aspect ratio.

Go watch a movie and enjoy it.

daveg5
Mar 7, 2003, 09:43 PM
I though sony had a 24" wide screen display for years, does anybody know about that

macphoria
Mar 8, 2003, 01:04 AM
I wish Apple would come up with 17 inch Studio Display in Widescreen format, not unlike iMac's. I would rather have that than current 17 inch Studio Display which is pretty much a square.

KingArthur
Mar 8, 2003, 04:55 AM
There are probably a million reasons that the 17" Apple Studio display is made more square like. Let us think about websites and word processing for a moment.....Aren't most websites and word-processors designed to be relatively the same width as a piece of paper? It just prints better. Therefore, maximizing a website or wordprocessing on a widescreen doesn't do you much good other than take up more white-space. Making it taller, though, can add to more actual print on the screen. That is probably why they make them the way they use. I don't know for sure, though. Makes sense, if nothing else. Maybe apple will switch soon, anyway, we don't know.

buseman
Mar 8, 2003, 07:25 AM
16/9 is wider than 16/10, right?

But 16/10 is closer to the golden ratio

Chimaera
Mar 8, 2003, 08:05 AM
Originally posted by rayneg
ALL widescreen TV's have a 16:9 ratio and ALL widescreen DVDs use a 16:9 ratio. This ratio is expected to be the standard for all TVs in the future, replacing the traditional 4:3 ratio.

Really? I've just done a little test on that front, puilling a sample of 10 films from my DVD collection. There were 6 films in 2.35:1 ratio, 2 in 1.85:1 and only 2 in 16:9

So statistically even with a 16:9 TV you'll still have bars at the top and the bottom 80% of the time.

Cinematically speaking Flamdrag is correct, the vast majority of films are in Flat or Scope (1.85 or 2.35 to 1) although there are a few odd ones here and there too - for example Top Gun was originally released in (I think) 2:1 aspect ratio, so trying to say *Everything* is 16:9 is a bit much (and speaking personally I consider modifying a film from its original aspect ratio to 16:9 to be every bit as bad as Pan and Scan 4:3 versions of films).

Its not that big a deal to have a couple of bars on the screen after all :)

macphoria
Mar 8, 2003, 11:21 AM
KingArthur, you are right. I remember those tall (vertically oriented) CRT monitors from few years ago that were designed for word processing and page layouts. That does make sense, monitor being tall can be useful.

KingArthur
Mar 8, 2003, 01:00 PM
Thanks. I thought it made some logical sense. And also, think about it. A 4:3 monitor scales to 16:12. Now, that means a 4:3 aspect monitor has more pixels than one that is 16:9. Actually, a 16:9 monitor has only 75% of the pixels of a 4:3 monitor! It makes more economical sense for Apple to be putting widescreen monitors on the iMac and PowerBook to keep their cost down. Personally, I am not distraught by having a 4:3 laptop monitor. I just wish it were SXGA! Then it could have a lot more pixels for the same size:D

Doctor Q
Mar 8, 2003, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by KingArthur
Actually, a 16:9 monitor has only 75% of the pixels of a 4:3 monitor!If one monitor was 16"x9" (16:9 ratio) and another was 16"x12" (4:3 ratio), sure the second one has more pixels. But if one monitor was 16"x9" (16:9 ratio) and another was 12"x9" (4:3 ratio), the first one has more pixels.

You can't compare the product of two numbers by comparing their ratio. In the case of monitors, the cost is roughly proportional to total pixels (the product), while the shape is a result of the ratio.

KingArthur
Mar 8, 2003, 03:25 PM
The wide-screen 17" iMac has 1440x900 pixels which equals a total of 1,296,000 pixels. The 17" studio display is 1280x1024 which is 1,310,720. I know that is only 14,720 pixels difference or 1.2%, but I just figued I had to make some sort of point;)

dynamis
Aug 19, 2003, 10:23 PM
Yeah, I hear what you are saying. You are looking for a notebook screen with WXGA (1365 x 768) like the 50" plasmas, right? You also want flat-panel lcd desktop screens in WXGA 16:9 aspect ratios 1.7777 at 17" 19" 21" and mega 24" . Cinema display, the samsung, and the Sony's are at 1920 x 1200 so you are saying - reduce the vertical to 1040. Sure - go for it - start an lcd monitor company and make a few million. By the way make them out of cool translucent bullet-proof acrylic and slim down that damn bezel to no more than .4".

Yeah, makes sense. I am sure it can be done. For web pages and documents, spreadsheets there is nothing wrong with having extra space to display pages side by side. So when people say 4:3 is ideal for "data" view mode it doesn't make sense. You want to lay out a 2000 line spreadsheet vertically - just spin the 16:9 monitor to 9:16 and there you go. I really want like a 100" OLED flat panel - 1" thin, 5000 candela, 4000:1 contrast ratio, trillions of colors, with a native resolution of Q-HDTV i.e. 3840 x 2080 Come on we're in the year 2003 we should have better display technology by now. Anyone want to join me in a CRT bombfire ?- get rid of the heavy junk and bring in the new. Hey - what about Q-HDTV in 4-D?

ima_pseudonym
Aug 19, 2003, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by Doctor Q
If one monitor was 16"x9" (16:9 ratio) and another was 16"x12" (4:3 ratio), sure the second one has more pixels. But if one monitor was 16"x9" (16:9 ratio) and another was 12"x9" (4:3 ratio), the first one has more pixels.



Don't forget that apple (like all computer/lcd manufacturers) markets the screen by the length of the diagonal. A screen with a 15" diagonal and 4:3 ratio will have more pixels (and, other things being equal, therefore cost more to make) than a screen with a 15" diagonal and a 16:10 ratio, which will have more than a screen with a 15" diag and 16:9 ratio.

So, economically, apple should switch to 16:9 - they can keep the advertised size of the screen the same, but include fewer pixels.

In fact, isn't the rumored 15.4" screen of the alleged alum. pbook a 16:9 ratio? I seem to recall talk about it losing pixels along the vertical dimension even as it gained .2" on the diagonal.

Lanbrown
Aug 20, 2003, 08:10 AM
Originally posted by szark
Well, in the U.S., this will never happen unless the FCC makes it mandatory. And they don't seem willing to do so.

They do want to force broadcasters to broadcast in HDTV and force TV manufacturers to include an HDTV tuner. I can see forcing the broadcasters to use the spectrum for HDTV, as they did want to do other things with the spectrum. But forcing the tuner is a bit much. Less than 20% of the population uses antenna on the top of the house to get TV signals. The rest use satellite or cable, both of which require their own tuner. The only people that use the integrated tuner in TVís now days are analog cable users or analog TV signals from the local stations. Why make every TV set cost more for the 20% that uses it. Like they are going to upgrade their TV. My neighbor across the street has such a limited budget that they just replaced their 20-year-old TV last year with a new one because it finally died. They don't have cable and they use an antenna. Like they are going to pay to upgrade their antenna to an HDTV one. The use of tuners in TV's are dead, let the people who use them buy them, not the other way around. The FCC really needs to force an HDTV standard; as of right now, there are around 20 specifications.

Lanbrown
Aug 20, 2003, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by rayneg
I do have a 16:9 TV and am happy with it. My concern is that software developers should have a standard they can work with so they have some idea what their product will look like on other people's monitors. The 15" widescreen powerbook, the original 22" Cinema Display, and now the 20" and 23" Cinema Displays all have different ratios (1.49, 1.56, and 1.6 respectively). I'm only pointing out that Apple should commit to one ratio, and it minus well be 16:9 since that is what everyone else defines as the"widescreen" ratio.

At the current 16:10 ratio, powerpoint presentations that are full screen on a Mac will not be full screen when output to a widescreen plasma monitor or widescreen projector (they are all 16:9).

I should probably be telling this to Apple I guess, instead of venting here. Don't get me wrong, I love Apple. I've used nothing but Macs for the last 10 years. It just bugs me that they seemed to miss this point.

Create it for 16:9 and there will only be a little area not used on a 16:10 display. Very little will not be used and is no big deal. You are also forgetting that the PC works adopted non-interlaced a longtime ago, most of the HDTV specs are interlaced. They have 480P and 480i, 720i and 720P and 1080i and a few offer 1080P. The HDTV side wants to differentiate themselves from the computer industry so they almost want to give us a poor standard rather then a good one. I ay get rid of the interlaced and use only non-interlaced which is progressive.

You could tell Apple all you want, but they don't make the LCD screens. If they wanted a 16:9 they would pay through the nose. They could set the video card to only do 16:9 and put extra plastic on the display to cover that area up though. Then people would pay the same price and actually get less.

Lanbrown
Aug 20, 2003, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by daveg5
I though sony had a 24" wide screen display for years, does anybody know about that

Yep, have the Sun version that Sony made for Sun. Sony components with a Sun interface board.

MacsRgr8
Aug 21, 2003, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by beez7777
the sony vaio w i believe has a 16:9 ratio, at 15.3 inches. its 1280x768. someone can do the math, but im almost positive that that's 16:9


Not quite:

1280 x 800 = 16:10
1280 x 720 = 16:9
1280 x 768 = 16:9.6 (which is closer to 16:10 than 16:9)

buseman
Aug 21, 2003, 04:18 PM
Slightly off topic, but did anyone notice that the new Matrix Revolutions trailer is in 16/10 instead of 16/9. Very cool for us with QT Pro and 20" Cinema Displays :D

themadchemist
Aug 21, 2003, 05:15 PM
Here's the problem. I have a Samsung 61" DLP, which is a widescreen TV (a very nice looking one, I might add :D ), BUT:

Widescreen movies come with the black bars standard so that the image becomes 4:3. That means that I can't use the full dimensions of my TV, and the black bars surround all 4 sides. The top and bottom black is built into the image, and the side bars exist because a 4:3 image is centered onto the screen.

The only way to take advantage of the full width of the TV is to use the panorama mode, and although it does use a good algorithm to stretch, it's not quite the same as the whole image filling my screen.

16:9 screens will only be worth their salt for DVD watching when you can get DVDs that don't have the black bars as part of the image.

MacsRgr8
Aug 22, 2003, 01:58 AM
The problem with hollywood movies, is that they're are even wider rhan 16:9, more like 18:9 (or 2:1)....
So, even a widescreen TV (16:9) gets those black lines top and bottom. Sometimes those lines are being used for a good cause like subtitles.
Over here in Europe, we get more and more "native" 16:9 broadcasts, especially the very lucky UK BSB-sports viewers...
If you have a widescreen TV, then watching those live football matches widescreen on Sky Sports is absolutely perfect!

acj
Aug 22, 2003, 09:59 AM
It's easier to compare numbers when they are all X:1.

To get that, just devide the width by hight. so 16/9=1.77:1, or slightly squareer than many movies at 1.85:1. It works on the pixel level too since as far as I know all computer monitors have square pixels.

here's more:


Apples 17" studio display = 1280/1024 = 1.25:1
most regular 4/3 monitors (800x600, 1024x768, etc.)= 1.33:1
Apples 17" widescreens = 1440/900 = 16/10 = 1.6:1
Apples 15" PB display = 1280/854 = 1.5:1
35mm film = 36/24mm = 1.5:1

The last two match, so the 15" PB is the only computer in the universe that displays a full frame 35mm photo.

machinehead
Aug 22, 2003, 03:31 PM
Working out aspect ratios from the pixel count is one thing. But when I actually put a ruler to my 22" Cinema Display, the illuminated area is 18.5" wide x 12" high, for an aspect ratio of 1.54.

With so-called "full screen" DVDs, the image appears at 16" x 12" size (4:3 aspect ratio), so there's a 1.25" vertical strip of wasted space on each side.

The problem with a 1.85 aspect ratio on a computer screen is this. Keep the 18.5" width of the Cinema Display, and divide by 1.85 to get the height: 10 inches.

Oops! No black "letterbox" bars. But who's gonna put up with a big, wide, costly display that's only 10" tall and won't display a full 8.5" x 11" page?

I realize that "full screen" DVDs are considered a bit downscale and lowbrow by film purists. The issue for me is image magnification. The "full screen" image is a full 12" high, whereas the "widescreen" image is reduced to only 8" to 10" high to fit the screen width. For musical concerts I prefer the "closer in" feeling of full screen format.

I conclude that "widescreen" will never be popular for computer displays, because getting adequate height means absurd widths.

When I get a decent HDTV or projection screen with widescreen format, then I'll buy widescreen-format DVDs of my favorite concerts.

obeygiant
Aug 22, 2003, 04:04 PM
Hey
35mm anamorphic is 2.35:1
35mm motion picture film is 1.85:1 ratio not 1.5:1
Super 16mm is 16:9
Standard 16mm is 4:3