(correct if i'm wrong, but) anamorphic widesceen is as wide as non-anamorphic widesceen /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
I have only seen some episodes of Farscape and B5:Rangers in this "format" and it looks ok..certainly not too awful for CGI-cuts /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Speaking of widesceen and "black bar" - i'm mostly annoyed when i dont see "black bars" when watching feature on TV when it's pan-and-scanned. For me black bars are like part of feature and i find it surpriseing when people generaly dont like watching widesceen movies on 4:3 TV sets (And that's why i dont belive i like Widesceen TV's also /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif )
It's "wider" than 1.66:1 but narrower than 2.35:1 for example, so it's not too bad, even on a standard 4:3 TV set.
The black bars can be an annoyance at first, especially when you're not used to seeing them with a TV show, but at least in my experience once you get used to them, and get into what's going on in the show itself, they shouldn't matter all that much.
It's worse on a small TV screen of course, but I've also watched 2.35:1 movies on my 17'' computer screen and while a fullscreen picture is more comfortable to watch, I've also found I kind of enjoy widescreen more, even on such a tiny screen.
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anamorphic dvd's will automatically display black bars on a 4:3 TV, but not display them on a 16:9. There is no need to change any settings, they just work.
Anamorphic DVDs will display black bars on 2.35:1 movies, because that ratio is wider than the 1.78:1 ratio of a widescreen television. They should display slight black bars on 1.85:1 material because that is also a bit wider than 1.85:1, but the "overscan" in most TV sets prevents the bars from being visible. Again, anamorphic (in the context of DVDs) is a process to improve the quality of the image on widescreen TVs, not an aspect ratio.
And some older widescreen sets do need to be manually adjusted to display letterboxed or anamorphic widescreen material correctly. Mine is one of them. The TV, not the disc or the DVD player, is what determines how things are displayed.
In all cases the DVD player must be set to the correct type of monitor, although this only has to be done once. If you have a 4:3 TV and your player thinks it is a 16:9 set, anamorphic discs will display in a 4:3 window, but with minimal letterboxing bars and everything in the picture will look "tall and skinny" Conversely if you have a 16:9 set and the player is output is set to 4:3, you'll get a standard letterboxed image and never enjoy the increased picture quality of anamorphic discs.
Finally some newer 4:3 sets have a built-in "anamorphic squeeze" mode that will correctly display an anamorphic disc with the increased resolution by reducing the space between scan lines.