letterbox


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letterbox

The visual effect when a wide screen movie is displayed on an earlier standard TV (SDTV) set. The video frame spans the full width of the TV screen, but because of the difference in aspect ratios (wide screen movie vs. more square TV screen), the vertical height of the frame is reduced. The unused top and bottom areas of the screen appear as black bars.

Black Bars Are Still Present
Many major motion pictures are shot in full panoramic format with aspect ratios that are even wider than today's 16:9 wide screen TVs. As a result, the letterbox black bars still show, although not as thick as when displayed on a standard 4:3 screen (see aspect ratio for comparison). The term "letterbox" was coined because the wide frame resembles a letter envelope. Contrast with pan & scan. See pillarbox and anamorphic DVD.


Standard Vs. Wide Screen TV
When a wide video or movie plays on a standard TV (left), the image is reduced vertically, producing the letterbox effect. (Image courtesy of Intergraph Computer Systems.)
References in periodicals archive ?
It sells big letterboxes, which are also being made available through the new website, alongside letterbox cages to stop fragile deliveries being damaged or over-zealous dogs getting hold of them.
The jury was told Oliver ripped a jacket then Shields pushed it through the letterbox and lit it with a lighter.
That original letterbox was damaged several years ago and was about to be replaced by a more modern version but local residents pleaded with Royal Mail to repair the popular Victorian letterbox and the restored piece of history was returned to its original spot.
Armed with chocolate digestives, he pushed them through the letterbox totempt Tyson, who then let go of the key and fuel card.
Cons: The letterbox idea, not formatting a TV show for a TV is crazy.
It is bad enough that I spend around five minutes per day shuttling glossy flyers from letterbox to recycling bin, but now they are making me feel old.
POLICE have released CCTV of a man they want to trace after petrol was poured through the letterbox of a retired couple's Stourbridge home.
One lunchtime I heard the letterbox rattle and as I made my way to the front door I was just in time to see the Royal Mail delivery man shutting my gate and getting back into his van.
Dan Eggleton, 17, phoned his shop for help after smelling gas as he opened the 72-year-old's letterbox.
John Lewis calendar Soft padded one from Letterbox Bethlehem Advent Stable
Mold Crown Court heard the letterbox and upper part of the door were severely damaged as a liquid, possibly petrol, had been poured through the letterbox.