iPhone's pseudo-HD display

iPhone's pseudo-HD display

Summary: I was going to save this for my second installment of iPhones missing features, Crave beat me to it (damn Cravers!) Another huge iPhone oversight, although it's probably due to technical reasons, is that it doesn't have a High Definition (16:9) display.

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TOPICS: iPhone
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iPhone's Pseudo HD displayI was going to save this for my second installment of iPhones missing features, but Crave beat me to it (damn Cravers!).

Another huge iPhone oversight, although it's probably due to technical reasons, is that it doesn't have a High Definition (16:9) display:

Add one more reason to doubt the iPhone hype: It appears that Apple's uberdevice utilizes a totally proprietary 1.5:1 aspect ratio. While that's wider than the standard square-ish 1.33:1 (4x3) aspect ratio found on older TVs, PC monitors, and iPods, it's 15 percent narrower than the 1.78:1 (16x9) screen dimensions found on most HDTV and DVD programming.

When Steve demo'd a movie ("Pirates of the Carribean, Dead Man's Chest") it originally filled the screen. But then Steve says "now this is a wide-screen movie so I  just double-tap to watch it in wide screen. Or I can tap to fill up the screen, whichever I like." You can see this at around 46'50 mark in the MWSF07 keynote podcast.

When he switched to wide-screen mode the movie had bars at the top and bottom of the display. I think that Apple should have found a way to modify the pixels or use a different panel that supports true wide screen display of movies. Maybe they'll address it in iPhone 2.0.

For more information on letterboxing and aspect ratio, check out CNET's quick guide to aspect ratio.

Topic: iPhone

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12 comments
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  • So what's the solution?

    Making the phone longer or narrower?

    Most of the videos I watch are either 2.21:1 or 4:3, so I'd get black stripes either way.
    Michael Kelly
    • Huh?

      Most movies are filmed in 4:3 and the bars are added to create the 16:9 ratio
      (questions - go to Wikipedia). Note I said most...

      A full-screen is a much better offering (gives you more picture for the space) and will
      be just fine - especially on this tiny venue.

      This article is pretty much a waste of space - Jason, we expect more from you...
      ladyirol
      • Completely backwards

        Films are taped in widescreen mode not 4:3. That is why you get the disclaimer on 4:3 movies that the film has been modified to fit your screen.
        ShadeTree
  • Modify the pixels ?

    I don't care who you are, that there's funny...
    BitTwiddler
  • You'd Still Have Black Bars...

    Even if the display was 16:9, you'd still have black bars while watching "Pirates" in its full wide mode, as it is a 2.35:1 (Scope) film.
    cseanor
    • good point

      Many people think wide screen and assume you're talking about a standard ratio. Not so. Almost every different distributor uses their own idea of what "wide screen" means. That means you'll often have those ugly black bars, depending on who made your current selection.

      Now that isn't to say that the "video iPod", when it finally makes it's appearance, won't use something closer to the 16:9 ratio. It just may, after all it's more designed for those movies and not being a phone.

      But to look at the iPhone and assume that all subsequent devices have to use the same screen ratio is being closed minded.
      rwahrens1952
  • Must be getting desperate for articles

    There are some good articles on this site. This isn't one of them. How about
    something that has real substance and doesn't waste my time.
    larry@...
  • Dare we compare

    After a year of hearing about how small the video iPod screen was (even though it
    had the same number of pixels) as compared to Zune (3 inch, 320x240), we now get
    to hear how the iPhone's screen -- the best screen in any portable device (3.5 inch,
    320x480, 160 pixel per inch) is suddenly inadequate?

    Give it a rest.
    Len Rooney
  • Ok, now this is just beyond stupid...

    do you want a really skinny phone the same length or do you want a huge, long phone the same width.. they did as they should.. figure out how bid the phone should be and then put as big a screen on it as they could... not just for widescreen viewing but so it could be wide as it can be for other applications too...

    would it have been better if the screen was just skinnier and the same length and it would qualify as "wide screen" but suck for every other application? NO that would be stupid!!! like this story... stupid!!

    again.. Jobs demo'd this so what did that Einstein at Crave really "discover".. idiot.. they are really grasping at straws now i think...

    Jason, you really need to get a life... and start thinking before you put finger to keyboard... this is a new low for you.. i 5 year old child could see how incredible dumb what crave wrote and what you repeated.. oh man.. <shaking head>
    doctorSpoc
  • give the iphone a rest

    Why not write about iTV, at least that is something that has the power to lead to
    massive changes in the media landscape. The iphone, believe it or not, is not a smart
    phone, not a fast phone, nor at this point a great phone. Its just a phone!

    If I see one more story about iPhones this week then i'm gone.
    Scott Dobson
  • Aren't you talking about widescreen?

    Why would you use HD in the title of your article? Aren't you talking about widescreen? I doubt anyone expects a 3" screen to have true high-definition resolution (720p or better).

    Even then, the display is widescreen, it's just not 16:9 - but it is wider than 4:3.
    weldon@...
  • What other Smartphones offer true 16:9 widescreen?

    Let's be fair about feature comparisons. Don't slam the iPhone for not having a feature that other phones don't have either. What do you expect for 2.5 years of development from ground up? Smartphones have been around for longer than that, yet their feature pack has not had any notable improvements...what have they been working on...new cosmetics and keypad?
    pmpco