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British TV Ratio

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How are they handling that format in the U.K. for broadcast?


I figured 14x9 was only for letterboxed 4x3 TV viewing as a way of transitioning people to the wider 16x9 sets eventually -- but that the post work was being done in 16x9. But are widescreen TV sets sold in Britain 16x9 or 14x9? Do they transmit separate 16x9 and 4x3 letterboxed (to 14x9) signals?

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> figured 14x9 was only for letterboxed 4x3 TV viewing as a way of transitioning

> people to the wider 16x9 sets eventually


Precisely. This means that essentially ALL TV framing in the UK is currently a compromise, and it sucks.


To be more precise, analogue terrestrial is often 14:9. Only a few news networks, principally ITN, still shoot and broadcast 4:3. All other stuff is shot 16:9 (hence the uselessness of my 4:3 video camera) and broadcast in 16:9 full height anamorphic on terrestrial and sattelite digital, and converted to 14:9 for terrestrial analogue. The idea is that if you are using digital TV you have a set-top decoder which then has the responsibility of converting the image in realtime to suit your output device.


However, if people have widescreen TVs, they generally just watch everything stretched out to fill the display; likewise, if they're watching a 16:9 DVD on a 4:3 TV, likely everything'll be tall and thin. In practice all this stuff is wrong much more often than is right and it will continue to be so until such time as we outlaw the use of 4:3 TVs!



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  • 2 months later...
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Everything I shoot for UK is shot 16:9 (unless I can persuade them to shoot 2.35:1 for TV which I manage ocasionally)


The only time I've found 14:9 to be a consideration is for BBC broadcast such as the D Day trailers I shot recently. When doing do I still shoot 16:9, but treat 14:9 as a safe area if the shot requires a safe area as such at all. So far I've never had to do this, so I compose and shoot 16:9.


Going back to 4:3 (when shooting for US or France for example, also a lot of stuff for Sky) I find really dull for most projects.


Most sets have a 14:9 setting that I've ever looked at, the exception being my current Panasonic Plasma.

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