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It seems like odd timing for an odd product like this, but Philips has announced their Cinema 21:9 flat-panel HDTV with an aspect ratio of 2.4:1 that matches CinemaScope movies. With it, you’ll be able to set up a second home theater in  your mansion just to watch things like Close Encounters or Casino Royale without the letterboxing that happens when you watch a scope movie on a 16:9 TV.

Well that’s the theory anyway…what I’m trying to figure out is where you’d get 2.4:1 source material, since Blu-ray and other DTV sources are encoded with 16:9 anamorphic widescreen and not 2.4:1 (or 21:9 as Philips are calling it). It would seem that either the TV would “detect” the unused portion of the signal and compensate digitally automatically, or you’d have to finagle with the aspect ratio controls on the TV to manually zoom in. Which sounds to me like you’d be losing some quality in the process, unless the 56″ panel has a native resolution of 1920 x 822 or something crazy like that.

Admission time: It would definitely be cool to have a TV like this to be able to watch scope films without letterboxing, and it’s something I’ve thought about many times before. But without native source feeds available, I’m not sure this is the best solution in the world.

And yes, I know that modern anamorphic Panavision films are not really CinemaScope, but, hey, people recognize the name and still refer to those movies as scope, so you don’t need to tell me!