A friend sent me a demo site URL for the Phillips 21 x 9 Ambilight. A little over $5 thousand bucks so you can watch a 56-inch wide Lawrence of Arabia without black bars on the top and bottom. 21 x 9 = a 2.3 to 1 aspect ratio, which means you’d still have black bars on the tops and bottoms when you watch Ben-Hur or the 1962 Mutiny on the Bounty, which have been mastered at the old Ultra Panavision 2.76 to 1 aspect ratio.

The Philips Cinema 21:9 is a full HDTV system with 2560 x 1080p screen, offering 8.3 million pixels. You can watch regular 4 x 3 TV, of course, but with heavy black bars on the side. Content on recent Blu-ray discs will support the 21:9 aspect ratio.

A statement from Des Power, Philips consumer lifestyle senior VP: “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. 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.”