I’ve ranted before about shops who try to sell widescreen TVs by displaying 4:3 images stretched across a 16:9 screen. This has the effect that a large percentage of the population seem to think that widescreen TV is supposed to make people look fatter.
Things may finally be changing tho’. Currently the Dixons store at Holborn Circus has a display of two TVs – one is 16:9 and the other is 4:3. They are both tuned to the same channel and it’s obviously one that transmits widescreen properly as the 16:9 tv had a proper wide image and the 4:3 one was correctly cropped to the right size. You could clearly see the the wide image had more stuff on the edges. and by looking up at other TVs in the shop you could see how the others all had the 4:3 image stretched in a most unpleasant manner. It’s probably because the display was for Freeview which is a digital platform and therefore transmits in widescreen most of the time. The other TVs are all running off analogue systems which never broadcast in widescreen.
Someone needs to create a web page that explains this in simple terms for the masses.