Just watched LOTR why have I got black bars top & bottom on my widescreen tv ??


Ray Von

I have a JVC 28 inch widescreen and the film in the special edition boxed set, yet its got the black bars top and bottom I thought the whole point of widescreen was to remove this, I can use the zoom feature on my tv to fill the screen but then the picture looks stretched and doesnt seem right.

any ideas ??



Active Member
No, it depends on the aspect ratio of the move LOTR has aratio of 1:2.35 so bars top and bottom. If you watch a dvd with a ratio of 1:1.85 (look on the back cover of dvd) no black bars. HTH

Nyquil Driver

Standard Member
The 'whole point' of owning a widescreen TV is being able to watch any of the regular ratios (4:3/16:9/21:9) with minimal borders. Older TV shows (and a lot of current U.S shows) will be 4:3 (1.33:1), wheras films will generally be either 16:9 (1.85:1) or the 'wider-than-widescreen' 21:9 (2.35:1).

As highlanders said, If your equipment is set-up properly, then films made with a 2.35:1 ratio will still be shown with small borders on a 1.85:1/16:9 (Widescreen) TV. On a 4:3 set these borders are stupidly huge though! so I don't understand how anyone can complain. On a Widescreen TV, 4:3 & 21:9 stuff is designed to be shown with comparitively small borders and obviously 16:9 stuff will fill the screen completely. On a 4:3 set only 4:3 stuff is shown fully and as I said earlier, 2.35:1 stuff is a complete joke (there's as much black as there is picture!).

So unless the ratio is a true 16:9 effort (like the 1.85:1 preferred by many broadcasters these days) then the image won't fill the screen. You can't expect the screen to be filled by an image composed in a DIFFERENT shape!. You can use zooms and different screen-modes if you really wanted to, but I think the main benefit of WS TV's is the fact that you can watch any ratio satisfactorily, so it would be stupid to cut bits off.


Standard Member
My way of looking at it, is that its not that your loosing "screen real-estate" by having black bars, but gaining the advantage of a wider presentation.

My 2 euros.


Ray Von

yeh thanks guys, I'm new to this home cinema thing and I thought it may have been my tv or something, but thanks for clearing that one.

I wasn't winding you up I didn't know.

I may upgrade my tv, I want to go widescreen as big as possible so I'm either looking at a CRT 36in or a RP 42" ,

I play alot of playstation 2 games at the minute, what would be the best option, buget is around £1000-1500 max



Well-known Member
It's only obvious when you know.Sometimes it gets forgotten that it is new to some people.


Novice Member
I spend more time explaining this question than any other in the AV or computer area and its amazing even when you have explained it some still don't get it. :confused:

gmt steve

Novice Member
The reason that a screen aspect ratio of 16:9 was chosen for Widescreen TV, is that this ratio is exactly half way between 4:3 at one extreme, and 21:9 at the other.
So the Widescreen TV is a jack of all trades and a master of none.
The only ratio that actually fits the screen is 1:1.78 which most modern TV shows should be produced in.

John Jennings

Active Member
Just wondering...

Why not say 7:3 instead of 21:9... it'd make more sense to me, and more easy to make the comparision with 4:3. Or alternatively, why not say 12:9 instead of 4:3.. that way all aspect ratios would be easily comparable...

Sensing I may have said something stupid, but can't immediately see it!


Staff member
......or express everything as a ratio to 1

eg 1.33:1 (aka 4x3)
1.77:1 (aka 16x9)

and so on....

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