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Vizio Cinemawide HDTV -- The Ultimate Home Theater Cinematic Experience

Updated on June 16, 2011

The Ultimate Home Theater Cinematic Experience -- Vizio Cinemawide HDTV

In a previous hub I suggested that value-conscious home theater enthusiasts should look to VIZIO Home Theater as the way to go. That hub showed how to put together a high-quality home theater with VIZO off-the-shelf components -- a VIZIO Internet Apps Class XVT HDTV combined with a VIZIO Sound Bar with Subwoofer.

Now VIZIO has take a huge step toward the Ultimate Home Theater. In January it released production plans for the new VIZIO Cinemawide LED LCD.

This hub discusses why cinemawide offers the best cinematic experience for widescreen content, and highlights features of upcoming VIZIO Cinemawide products.

Screen image aspect  ratios | image width:height credit: Wikipedia
Screen image aspect ratios | image width:height credit: Wikipedia

The cinemawide experience

When you watch movies on television you may have noticed the phrase, "formatted to fit your screen." Most likely you are not watching the film as it was intended by the producer. Or the image you are watching is a narrow letterbox strip across your screen with black bars (or hard matting) above and below the image. Or you are watching just a portion of the original image.

Limitations of television's cathode ray tube led to choosing an image width:height ratio of 4:3 (or 1.33:1) for television shows. Early silent films were also produced in 4:3. Today, some film is produced in Super 35, also with a 4:3 ratio.

Thirty-five millimeter (35 mm) still cameras settled on a 3:2 ratio -- image width was one-and-a-half times its height.

Hollywood came along and introduced a variety of wider screen aspect ratios, such as 1.85:1 and 2.39, Fans of widescreen movies reflect nostalgically at the "golden age of widescreen" from the 1950s to the end of the '60s -- with names like Todd-AO, Super Panavision, Cinamascope and others. More recent widescreen films have continued the tradition.

If you want to experience the complete cinematic experience as the producer and director intended, you need to watch the entire image.

But television manufacturers and DVD producers settled on a 16:9 (1.78:1) ratio. For HDTV movies and DVDs to show the entire widescreen image filmed at 1.85 or 2.39, producers must shrink the image to fit the 16.9 aspect ratio leaving black bars across the top and bottom of the screen.

VIZIO Cinemawide HDTVs

Enter VIZIO. In January, VIZIO released production plans for Cinemawide HDTVs at 21:9 (2.37:1) cinema aspect ratio. According to VIZIO: --

"(The VIZIO Cinemawide models) can display native 2.35:1 ("CinemaScope") movies without any black bars for a true cinematic experience. The ultra widescreen perspective displays movies as designed for the silver screen for an immersive movie experience at home. Each model also features VIZIO Internet Apps™ (VIA) in Cinema mode, which allows users to browse apps side-by-side with 16:9 Full HD content without any compromise in resolution or size."

VIZIO Cinemawide HDTVs will come in 3 sizes

VIZIO Cinemawide HDTVs will come in three sizes: --

  • 50" (XVT3D500CM) and 58"(XVT3D580CM), both with Edge Lit Razor LED backlighting with Smart Dimming -- and a huge 71" (XVT3D710CM) model with VIZIO's TruLED Full Array LED backlighting with Smart Dimming
  • Ultra-widescreen HDTV with a 2.37:1 (or 21:9) aspect ratio
  • CinemaScope picture fills entire screen.
  • Watch CinemaScope and block-buster movies like 2001, Lord of the Rings, Toy Story 3 and many more -- with no black bars
  • Also plays traditional 16:9 content.
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1080 -- that's 2.764 million pixels
  • Theater 3D technology
  • Contrast Ratio: 10 million to 1

VIZIO Cinemawide HDTV Advanced Audio

According to VIZIO, the Cinemawide HDTVs will come with SRS StudioSound HD --

"the most immersive and natural surround sound ever using built-in TV speakers." It will feature spike-free volume levels and optimized audio presets for movies, news, sports and music. Plus built-in EQ tools for peak performance.

VIZIO Cinemawide HDTV VIA Internet Apps

Using VIZIO Internet Apps™ will be more seamless that ever, according to VIZIO: --

"While watching a pixel-perfect 16:9 full HD image on the right side of the screen, users can simultaneously browse and use Apps on the left side of the screen. Search Wiki TV for the actor you are seeing in the movie."

VIZIO plans to include Google TV in their VIZIO Internet Apps (VIA)™. That will open up many new options for viewers.

VIZIO Cinemawide Price and Details

VIZIO has not yet announced a price or release date for their 3 Cinemawide models.

Stay tuned for details, reviews and news.

What kind of Apps would you like on an HDTV?

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