16:9 – The Black Bar Myth

16:9 - The Black Bar Myth

Interestingly I do come by many people who thought that acquiring a 16:9 ratio monitor will eliminate having black bars above and below the content on display. 🙂 In reality, the black bars will be there even with monitors of such ratio .

16:9 Myth-Mongers

It’s always the same, “no more black bars when watching movies” – bullshit man, absolutely nonsense.

The most common myth-mongering happen to be done by companies promoting their products of that come with 16:9 screen. sales people, printed material, web ads and whatever else that talks about the product. And these are not small companies, these are BIG NAMES in the industry!

Here are some of them – and when I say BIG NAMES, I mean BIG!

16:9 - The Black Bar Myth
Source : Microsoft

16:9 - The Black Bar Myth
Source : Sony

Personally I feel that these myth-mongers are so BACKWARD, I mean c’mon la, movies have long left the 16:9 ratio. I don’t even know if these big guns actually know what they’re talking about.

If they’re not backward then they’re clearly just preying on the ignorance of people, which is why this article is here!

Ok, I’ll give credit to Sony for using the word “often” there, at least they’re not claiming it to be totally without black bar. Now the question is, would you buy a blu-ray movie to play it at 16:9 just to eliminate black bars but lose out the other details?

Aspect Ratios

Fact of the matter is that only content that are specifically done in 16:9 ratio would result it 100% usage of the screen (read : no black bars) but in reality movies today are in aspect ratios wider than 16:9.

Of course you could setup 4:3 or 2.35:1 ratio content to fully occupy 16:9 screen if you don’t mind the distortion.

Here’s a good read about Aspect Ratio

Some Examples

Let’s look at some examples that I captured, viewing some of the movies I have on a 16:9 ratio monitor. These aren’t your 2009 releases either.

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

16:9 - The Black Bar Myth

Transformers (2007)

16:9 - The Black Bar Myth

300 (2006)

16:9 - The Black Bar Myth

Chicago (2002)

16:9 - The Black Bar Myth

Oh dear, what do we have? The closest 16:9 we have here is Chicago, which was a 2002 release.

Look at 300, a 2006 release – it’s not even 16:9 already. Why on earth are people still going about telling others about 16:9 and how good it is that it eliminates black bars?

Accept The Black Bars

On a 16:9 screen, you’ll have black bars on the left and right side of the content. Shows wider than 16:9 would result in black bars above and below the content.

In reality, there’s no escape from the black bars. In my opinion, it’s too petty a matter to pursue elimination of.

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15 Comments

  1. those movies u listed above obviously do not use 16:9 resolution. they are cinematic, meant for being played in cinemas with wide wide wide wide screens.

    but if u look into video files such as torrents for tv series broadcasted in the US (lost, prison break, smallville, and the like), u will find that those movies do fit nicely with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

    hope u know where this is actually coming from.

  2. Author

    Eh, I thought the article would be clear enough – it’s just to state that sales people always claim that BLACK BARS will be removed with 16:9 ratio screens (you’ll see this most often on laptop / notebook sales pitch) when in reality it doesn’t remove black bar unless the displayed content is truly 16:9 (I’ve mentioned this in Aspect Ratio section)

    and btw, Lost, Prison Break, Smallville and all…….. they’re not movies 😛

  3. i never said they were movies. i used the term tv series.

    and im just pointing out that the black bars do not show on content such as the above with 16:9 aspect ratio.

    while u are going on and on about cinematic movies which clearly use the wider aspect ratios for cinema audiences.

    u mentioned that shows nowadays are all wider than 16:9, but im just pointing out that the mentioned tv series use eactly that; 16:9 aspect ratio. mainly because they are shown overseas in HD format, and most HD format shown on TV uses this aspect ratio.

  4. for those who dont like black bar, just set it to touch windows from outside! Then can d.
    but u will missed the edge part lah.
    my friend even worse, he go and destroy the ratio to avoid the black bar =.=

  5. Author

    @awh – you said they were movies in the 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence. 😛 just thought of pointing out that part. Anyway no worries dude and thanks a lot for your comment, I truly appreciate it as it just adds to what I mentioned that content done in 16:9 will eliminate the black bars. 🙂 (sorry, I don’t do BTing for those series. ASTRO shows them in 4:3)

    Looking at my article from start to bottom, you’ll see it’s all about MOVIES – and how these companies are harping that black bars will be eliminated when watching WIDESCREEN MOVIES on 16:9 screens.

    SORRY for my part on using the word SHOWS. 🙂 I should just stick to the word MOVIES. I’ll go edit it……..

    @joshuatly – yeah those are the people lor, who willing to live with distortion. it’s like SO YUCKY man.

  6. I dont get it lol What’s all the fuss. I just place my subs down there on the black bars 😀

  7. by using freeware like gom player, press alt+enter also will view the movie in full screen without blackbar..but..it stretched the video.= =

  8. my method to eliminate black bar(using the samsung 931bw)
    i just change the resolution to 1280×720.that’s it.

    but a lot of movies can lose the black bar…few still cant

  9. too bad.. alot of people doesn’t even understand what this goldfries is talking about.
    hence arguing about the fact that already provided by this articles.

  10. i always like Superman and of course the TV Series Smallville, Lana Lang is very pretty too :,,

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