Search Unity

  1. Unity support for visionOS is now available. Learn more in our blog post.
    Dismiss Notice

...why not the golden section?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by taumel, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. taumel

    taumel

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Posts:
    5,292
    Hmmm does anyone know why 16:9 got the new format for screens of the future instead of 16:10? Is this due to the physical eye twinkle of humans?
     
  2. DocSWAB

    DocSWAB

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Posts:
    615
    From a broadcasting engineer's list:
    -----------------------------------------
    Anyhow, between the EC-35 and the Panacam 30 years ago and the current crop
    of "just like film" cameras, SMPTE tried to wring order from chaos. They
    created a working group on high-definition electronic production, and the group
    first tackled that most basic of issues, where to meet. After that, they tackled
    the second most basic of issues, the shape of the pictures.

    This much they knew: Cinematographers sometimes shoot for a 4:3 TV screen.
    They sometimes shoot for a roughly 2.4:1 CinemaScope-shaped theatrical screen
    (at the time it was called 2.35:1). They sometimes shoot for shapes in between.
    Only in extraordinary circumstances do they shoot for any wider or narrower
    shapes.

    The E of SMPTE stands for engineers. So the engineers tackled an engineering
    problem. What is the shape that will have minimum area loss for any shape
    between 4:3 and 2.35:1? The answer is roughly 1.77:1, pretty close to 16:9.

    Like it so far? There's more. 16:9 is close to the linear (1.76:1) and
    geometric (1.75:1) means of the world's most popular theatrical projection aspect
    ratios (1.66:1 and 1.85:1). It's close to a Motion Picture Association-proposed
    1.5x anamorphic projection system (1.76:1). It nicely matches a
    three-perforation length frame of 35mm film. It's close to an old 1.75:1 projection
    standard. It allows a large 4:3 image to be displayed with three smaller ones stacked
    next to it. It works with digital component sampling rates and color
    sub-sampling. It allows square-sampled HDTV with 1920 active pixels per line to fit in
    common memory sizes. It allows dual-aspect-ratio memory readouts at 4fsc and
    3fsc sampling rates. It's 4:3 x 4/3 (and another 4/3 factor brings it up to
    CinemaScope).
    ------------------------------
     
  3. taumel

    taumel

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Posts:
    5,292
    Hmmm, i'll have to test some things but just from watching at the format i think i prefer 16:10 more. Thanks for your explanations.
     
  4. podperson

    podperson

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Posts:
    1,371
    DocSWAP -- thank you, very educational.
     
  5. DocSWAB

    DocSWAB

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Posts:
    615
    I hadn't known that story either -- a classic example of trying to create a new standard with some modicum of backward compatibility plus forward features. Very, very hard, especially in the TV world, where NTSC has been derided as "Never The Same Color"