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Philips Widens HD Options With ‘Cinema 21:9’ LCD

While HD formats typically have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which provides a sharp contrast to analog’s 4:3, Philips appears on the verge of introducing an even wider aspect ratio especially geared to movie buffs.

Philips 21:9 screen

The company's new 21:9 aspect ratio would eliminate much of the need (albeit not all) for letterboxing on many feature films (unlike 16:9)—but could also pose a real distraction for viewing all that other content that is not cinema in 16:9 and especially 4:3.

Philips is fueling speculation about its “Cinema 21:9” LCD sets by launching a still-incomplete Web site, www.cinematicviewingexperience.com this week. (On Jan. 27, most of the site’s links were still prompting “Coming Soon” notices.)

“With our unique Cinema 21:9, we have developed a television which takes you as close to the experience that you enjoy at the cinema as you can get without buying a ticket,” Philips said in a statement. “We believe that to really become absorbed in watching a film at home, consumers are looking for a real cinematic viewing experience, so we have launched the world’s first cinema-proportioned TV screen perfectly complemented by our immersive Ambilight technology.”

The new extra-wide panels—which curiously, were not shown at CES—could start shipping this spring in Belgium, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. But no U.S. release date has been posted, nor possible sizes or price points.

Read all of HD Notebookhere.