Do Not Adjust Your Flat Panel TV

Joe Morgenstern on the problem with flat panel TV
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2007 5:06 AM CDT
___UPF_START_OF_TABLE___Document NameBIZ CPT-BIGTV OSDocument DateMay/31/2006PhotographerJacob LangstonFormat3000 x 2042 Color JPEGCategoryF ELCKeywordskrtbusiness business, krtfeatures features, krtn   (KRT Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern needs you to know that you’re watching your HDTV wrong. Next generation televisions are built for a 16:9 aspect ratio, he explains, so normal TV’s 4:3-formatted programming only looks right when bordered by black boxes. But TV owners who paid a premium for the big sets are stretching images beyond reason.

The resulting distortion is infuriating to Morgenstern, who wonders if America’s disregard for proportion degrades the art of television. “It is odd when people don't notice that actors, or even basketball players, seem to have put on 30 pounds,” says one director Morgenstern goes to for comfort. “But all sorts of things in modern society bother me.”