How should you watch 'widescreen' matieral greater than 16:9.

Jon Weaver

Distinguished Member
Everyone goes to great lengths to stress the importance of not doing extended watching in 4:3 in order not to 'burn' the screen.

But what do you do about widescreen material (i.e 2:1 and 2.35:1)

Even though its anamorphic, there are still going to be black bars top and bottom if you watch it in the correct ratio.

What do people do about this? Do you just watch it as it was intended (With black bars) and forget about screen burn, or do you put it in a 'zoom' mode and put up with everything being tall and skinny?

I guess its wise to be cautious about this, but is it possible to be too cautious?


Active Member
Don't worry about it.
I watch a good mix of stuff wide & fullscreen and have never felt the need to zoom/distort the image for the sake of filling the screen.
I use the Panasonic 'just' mode for absolutely NOTHING. I didn't spend this much on a screen to watch people get wider as they move 'off-screen'. - Horrible.
There is a well subscribed plasma b/b over at AVSforum & they had a similar post; not one person was able to say that they had experienced screen burn as a result of having black/grey bars on screen.
Even guys using pdps as PC monitors for 10 hours/day were only experiencing a mild 'ghosting' (start button/toolbar) that was removed by a couple of hours alternate useage.
I do use grey side bars for 4:3 material. Obviously you might experience problems (eventually) if you only ever watched say, 4:3 material.


Active Member
I watch everything in 16:9 mode with or without black bars and not seen any problems yet.

Becuase you are likely to be watching different DVD's with different rations the screen burn is not such an issue (as it might be watching a lot of 4:3 stuff which is obviously a constant size).


Standard Member

As suggested by you and Nike, my plasma's zoom and just (or 'wide' on Pioneer) modes don't get used a lot. I find the false wide-screen broadcasts (non-anamorphic?) on DTT channels like The Hits benefit from Zoom as this makes the image fill the screen at the correct ratio.

When I had a toshiba 220 DVD, I quite liked its incremental zoom modes - on wider than 16:9 material this allows you to get rid of most or all of the top/ bottom black bars at the detriment of losing the full picture width. However, I only played with this to increase the image size, not because I was bothered about burn-in.


The latest video from AVForums

Samsung S95B QD OLED Review - A Quantum Leap for OLED!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom