Widescreen 'Screen' Size


Standard Member
Stupid newbie type question .. but .. If I was to buy a 32" Widescreen telly ... (and am now leaning towards the Philips 32PW9617 as I'm lead to believe it's a cracking set), what 4:3 equivalent screen will I be looking at?

In other words, if I'm not watching a widescreen program (ie a 4:3 source) and don't want to stretch it out longways to fill the screen (so everyone looks short and fat) and want the true 4:3 ratio (with the black bars up the side of the screen), what size screen can I compare that to in good old 4:3 standards.

I'm currently a happy owner of a Panasonic TX29AD2DP with a 29" Screen .. so am used to a 29" (or near as no matter) 4:3 image - so need a comparison.

Hope this has made some sort of sense!

Cheers all.


Standard Member
On my 36" widescreen Tosh you get a 27" 4:3 screen size. I too had a 29" 4:3 Phillips TV and felt that upgrading to a 32" widescreen tv wasn't really worth it.

I think you'll probably find that you watch very little in 4:3 mode though. Going off the 32" Phillips I had prior to my 36inches of Tosh, they have a pretty good faux widescreen mode which strectches the oter edges more than the middle making the distortion less obvious.

And more and more stuff is broadcast in Widescreen now.

The only stuff I really watched in 4:3 mode was home videos but I've just baught a Sony IP5 which shoots in widescrren mode - lovellllllly.


Careful, this may be a move you'll regret! I bought a Phillips 32" widescreen to replace a 29" Toshiba. I reckon the 4:3 image was nearer 25" on this model (depends on the visible bit of the 32" - maybe more, maybe less). In any event it was too small after the 29" and the set lasted a year before I traded up to a 50" RPT. Unfortunately, you'll find that a lot of the channels on Sky are still 4:3 format, so unless you want a cut a bit off the top and bottom to get the middle bigger, think carefully before you go forward!


Novice Member
KeyserSoze, as others have said.. you'll want at least a 36" to get similar (well closer to your current) 4:3 size... my 32PW9617 gives around 24" diag in 4:3... an upgrade for me (I used to have a 20" Sony!) :)


Standard Member
Thanks all for your replies .. Most appreciated, believe me!

Primarily, I would use the set mainly for watching DVD's (one reason for wanting to get a WS set), but also watch a lot of Sky Digital, and as mentioned, they don't broadcast that much WS stuff currently.

With all this in mind, I'll probably hold off for the time being as I can't quite stretch my budget to a 36" model - plus it wouldn't fit in the space it would have to fit in up the corner.

Again, thanks all .. appreciate the advice :)


keyser, are you looking at retaining the same widescreen picture height as your 29'' ?


Standard Member
No - not at all. I know the 32" WS will be more beneficial picture size wise for all WS material than my current 4:3 29" .. So that's a big plus.

But, I've got a huge back catalogue of 4:3 VHS material which I use a fair bit, so am concerned about the drop from the 29" that I've been used to for years, to 24"/25" equivalent on the 32" WS.


Well-known Member
After using a 28" 4:3 TV for several years I made the mistake of only upgrading to a 32" WS TV, which like others have said is the equivalent of a 25" 4:3 TV. Yet the actual surface area (per sq inch) was a fair bit more on the WS, but it's the smaller height that seems to be more noticeable.

Anyway, I upgraded to a 40" RP a year later and have never looked back. Another reason was, as most DVD films are in 2.35:1 I found I needed as large as possible to compensate for the black borders.

It gives me a 33" 4:3 equivalent and 2.35:1 films are the equivalent of a 36" WS.

But a 36" WS should be more than adequate.

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