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Ultra-wide or Ultrawide formats refers to photos, videos,[1] and displays,[2] with aspect ratios significantly wider than 2:1. There were multiple moves in history, towards a wider display aspect ratio, including one by Disney.[3] Some moves were successful, while others saw limited success.

Cameras usually capture ultra-wide photos and videos using anamorphic format lens, which shrinks the extended horizontal FOV while saving on film or disk.[4]

Contents

Historic displaysEdit

Before monitors became a separate product line, televisions were used as monitors,[5] for computers such as Timex Sinclair 1000.

4:3Edit

4:3 was the aspect ratio used by 35 mm silent films. By having televisions match this aspect ratio, movies originally photographed in 4:3 could be satisfactorily viewed on SDTV.

NTSC (480i)Edit

NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) broadcasts were analogue and intended for analogue NTSC displays. It was developed and implemented by the NTSC in the United States in 1954. It also saw widespread international adoption by trade partners of the US. When converted to the Digital Video format, DV, NTSC has a 3:2 aspect ratio, a resolution of 720x480i, and a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

PAL (576i)Edit

PAL (Phase Alternating Line) broadcasts were analogue broadcasts, meant for PAL analogue displays. It was developed in 1967 by United Kingdom & Germany, and implemented is most countries. When converted to Digital Video format, DV PAL has a 5:4 resolution of 720×576i running at 50 Hz.

32:27Edit

32:27 was originally developed for compressed video storage in cameras, meant to be displayed in anamorphic x1.5 as 16:9. 640×540i was such a 32:27 resolution running at 50 Hz and 100 Hz, meant for cameras.

Panasonic's DVCPRO HD[6] with a resolution of 1280×1080i was latest in the line of 32:27 video formats for cameras. Hitachi's 42" and 50" 1280×1080i televisions, like the P50T501, were the last line of 32:27 consumer displays.[7]

32:27 is derived from 4:3 aspect ratio.

 

Historic Ultrawide CinemaEdit

Historically ultrawide movie formats have varied between ~2.35:1 (1678:715), ~2.39:1 (1024:429) and 2.4:1. To complicate matters further, films were also produced in 2.55:1, 2.76:1 and 4:1. Developed by Rowe E. Carney Jr. and Tom F. Smith, the Smith-Carney System used a 3 camera system, with 4.6945:1 (1737:370) ratio, to project movies in 180°. [8] Disney even created a 6.85:1 format, using 5 projectors to display 200°. The only movie filmed in Disney's 6.85:1 format is Impressions de France.[3]

Modern displaysEdit

Widescreen revolutionEdit

European widescreenEdit

European widescreen format was a 5:3 (15:9) resolution of 800x480p and 1280:768p. Developed in 1969 by Rune Ericson, Super 16 mm was widely used in Europe, before the move to 16:9.

16:10Edit

16:9Edit

Suggested by Dr. Kerns H. Powers of SMPTE in USA, the 16:9 aspect ratio was developed to unify all other aspect ratios. 16:9 was first adopted in the USA.

16:9 aspect ratio is 4:3 squared.

 

Around 2007, cameras and screen began to switch from 15:9 and 16:10 to 16:9 resolutions. Aspect ratio of 16:9 is currently the worldwide standard for 'widescreen' and HDTV.

Univisium revolutionEdit

Univisium is an aspect ratio of 2:1, created by Vittorio Storaro of ASC in USA, to unify all other aspect ratios. It is popular on Smartphones and cheap VR displays. VR displays half the screen into two, one for each eye. So a 2:1 VR screen would be halved into two 1:1 screens. Currently smartphones are moving to 2:1 aspect ratio, advertised as 18:9.

Ultrawide CinemaEdit

21:9 is the rounded down aspect ratio for multiple anamorphic formats and ultrawide monitors, including 64:27 (21.3:9), DCI 1024:429 (21.482517:9), 43:18 (21.5:9) and 12:5 (21.6:9).

The 64:27 aspect ratio is the logical extension of the existing video aspect ratios 32:27, 4:3 and 16:9. It is twice the pixel width of 32:27, and third power of 4:3, where as 16:9 of widescreen HDTV is 4:3 squared. This allows electronic scalers and optical anamorphic lenses to use an easily implementable 4:3 (1.33:1) scaling factor.

 

21:9 movies usually refers to 1024:429, the aspect ratio of modern ultrawide cinema format, which is often rounded up to 2.39:1.

list of 21:9 monitor resolutions
Common Name Technical name Aspect ratio Decimal value Resolution
UW-HD Ultrawide 1080p 64:27 2.370 2560×1080
UW-UHD Ultrawide 1440p 43:18 2.38 3440×1440
UW 4K Ultrawide 1600p 12:5 2.4 3840×1600
UW 5K Ultrawide 2160p 64:27 2.370 5120×2160
UW 10K Ultrawide 4320p 64:27 2.370 10240x4320

Ultra-Widescreen 3.6Edit

In 2016, IMAX announced the release of films in 'Ultra-WideScreen 3.6' format,[9] with an aspect ratio of 18:5 (36:10).[10] A year later, Samsung and Phillips announced 'Super UltraWide displays', with aspect ratio of 32:9, for "iMax-style cinematic viewing".[11] Panacast developed a 32:9 webcam with three integrated cameras giving 180° view, and resolution matching upcoming 5K 32:9 monitors, 5120x1440p.[12] In 2018 Q4, Dell released U4919DW, a 5K 32:9 monitor with a resolution of 5120x1440p, and Phillips announced 499P9H with the same resolution.

32:9 aspect ratio is derived from 4:3, and twice as wide as 16:9:

 

list of Super Ultrawide monitor resolutions
Common Name Technical name Aspect ratio Decimal value Resolution
32:9 4K Super ultrawide 1080p 32:9 3.5 3840×1080
29:9 4K Super ultrawide 1200p 16:5 3.2 3840×1200
32:9 5K Super ultrawide 1440p 32:9 3.5 5120×1440
36:10 4K Ultra-widescreen 1200p 18:5 3.6 4320×1200
36:10 5K Ultra-widescreen 1600p 18:5 3.6 5760×1600

Ultra-WideScreen 3.6 video format didn't spread, as cinemas in an even wider ScreenX 270° format were released.[13]

Screen XEdit

 
Screen X 270° cinema concept

Developed by CJ CGV, Screen X uses three(or more) projectors to display 270° content,[13] with an unknown aspect ratio above 4:1. Walls on both sides of a ScreenX theatre are used as projector screens.

ComparisonEdit

Decimal value Aspect ratio Format name Resolutions Lens & Film
1.185 32:27 DVCPRO HD 640×540, 1280×1080 1x
1.25 5:4 DV PAL 720×576, 1280×1024, 1500×1200 1x
1.3 4:3 Video Graphics Array 640×480, 1440×1080, 1600×1200 SDTV
1.5 3:2 DV NTSC 720×480, 1920×1280, 2400×1600 1x
1.6 8:5 "16:10" widescreen format (IT only) 1280×800, 1920×1200, 3840×2400 -
1.6 5:3 European Widescreen 800×480, 1280×768 Super 16mm
1.7 16:9 Widescreen format (unified) 1920×1080, 3840×2160, 7680×4320 Anamorphic 1.5x on 32:27, HDTV
1.85 37:20 "Flat" DCI 1998×1080, 3996×2160 1x
1.896296 256∶135 "Full" DCI 2048×1080, 4096×2160 1x
2.0 2:1 Univisium 2160×1080, 4320×2160, 5760×2880 VR cameras (most)
2.3468531 1678:715[14] Cinemascope (1950s–1970s) analog Anamorphic 2x on 35mm with optical audio
2.370 64:27 "21:9" ultrawide 2560×1080, 5120×2160, 10240×4320 Dashcam, Anamorphic 1.33x on 16:9, 1.25x on DCI 256∶135, 2x on 32:27
2.386946 1024:429 "Scope" DCI cinema format 2048×858, 4096×1716, 8192×3432 1x
2.38 43:18 "21:9" ultrawide (IT only) 3440×1440 -
2.4 12:5 "21:9" ultrawide 3840×1600, 5760×2400, 7680×3200 Anamorphic 1.33x
2.55 51:20 Cinemascope 55 analog Anamorphic 2x on 35mm without optical audio
2.76 69:25 Ultra Panavision Anamorphic 1.25x on 70mm
3.2 16:5 "29:9" Super ultrawide (IT only) 3840×1200 -
3.5 32:9 Super Ultrawide (IT only) 3840×1080, 5120×1440 -
3.6 18:5 Ultra-widescreen 3.6 4320×1200, 5760×1600 1x

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ A History of Widescreen and Wide-Film Projection Processes
  2. ^ All About Ultrawide Monitors, the Latest Trend in Gaming and Productivity
  3. ^ a b p20, Sherlock, Daniel J. "Wide Screen Movies" Corrections, 1994–2004
  4. ^ Red Camera: Anamorphic lens intro
  5. ^ University of Virginia's Computer Museum
  6. ^ Apple Final Cut Pro: DV Pro HD Format, Archived
  7. ^ Hitachi P50T501
  8. ^ Smith-Carney System
  9. ^ "Voyage of Time: The IMAX® Experience in Ultra-Widescreen". IMAX.com. Dec 7, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  10. ^ Kristopher Tapley (Dec 5, 2016). "'Ultra Widescreen' Version of Terrence Malick's 'Voyage of Time' Set for Release". variety.com. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  11. ^ Super Ultrawide -Samsung News
  12. ^ Panacast
  13. ^ a b Introducing Screen X, Cinema in 270 Degrees
  14. ^ "Wide Screen Apertures and Aspect Ratios". The American WideScreen Museum. October 17, 2000. Retrieved November 2, 2018.