Aug 302010

I installed new TV for my dad. Part of installation was climbing roof and bunch of cabling 10 meters over splash surface, but that was not hard part. Hard part was teaching my dad about how TV should be used (he had 4:3 before).

In Croatia we still use 4:3 aspect ratio. Our national TV just cannot be bothered. Choice was simple for this.. You must use 4:3 for everything to look properly but 16:9 can be tolerated if you hate vertical black bars and you like stubby people. Yes, you can zoom picture (three different ways to do it) and cut either people’s heads, or subtitles, or both, but this is not a real choice. That is, until they decide to show 16:9 movie. It is done in such manner that 16:9 picture is crammed into 4:3 frame with black bars on top and bottom. For this you need zoom.

Of course there is sport channel that has proper 16:9 support. If we switch to it, we should use proper aspect ratio. But that sport channel also has some shows that use 4:3. It’s switching time again.

To make things better, aspect ratio settings are common for all channels. That means that my father must switch aspect ratio every time he switches between “incompatible” channels. Tracking two football (proper football) games on two different channels could (and usually will) cause need to adjust aspect ratio.

Before today all choices were clear to me and I never gave it much thought. However, as I stood explaining this to my father it struck me how this can seem complicated and annoying to someone who just wants to watch TV. This whole system is just piece of shit.

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