Wall Street Journal critic Joe Morgenstern has finally joined HE in dissing those idiots employed by various bars, hotels and electronic stores who show images that are obviously intended to be seen on conventional 4 x 3 TV screens in a horizontally expanded format on their 16 x 9 flatscreens. This looks absurd to anyone with a sense of visual and biological proportion, and yet the people who understand that it’s infuriating to watch incorrectly widened images seem to be very much in the minority.
Is it fair to say that the people who look at these stupidly distorted 16 x 9 images in sports bars and say nothing as they chit-chat and sip their vodka and tonics are complacent to a fault? Maybe, but let’s not go there. However, the people who run the bars and hotels and electronic stores who deliberately set their widescreen TVs so that the entire screen is filled to the brim even if the images are from a 1.33 to 1 film from the 1930s or ’40s need to be taken out back and slapped around.
These bozos have been insisting on showing distorted images for one reason only — they paid for the damn 16 x 9 flatscreens and are determined to subject their customers to the full width of the image even if it looks ridiculous. So that people know they’re looking at a 16 x9 image that they’ve paid for (!), and not some old TV leftover from the ’90s.