Since the moment of the very beginning the appearance and the technical stuffing of the TV-sets has been changing a lot. One thing about them was staying the same till the early 90-s ' it's the dimension of the screen. The attitude of width to length was 4:3.
But then there was born a new TV-set ' the one with the wide screen. It's dimension is 16:9. Widescreen has come to the television from cinematography but still the widest format of movies is 21:9. So why 16:9?
The secret is ages old ' the gold number. Leonardo da Vinci was the first to enter it in practical use. The aim of the gold number is to make us feel the harmony in what we're viewing. The cinematography has proved that the larger part of the sight the movie picture occupies the deeper is the feeling of participation and the more exciting it seems.
The attitude of the sides of the 'gold rectangular' is about 1,47. Mathematically the 4:3 is closer to that, by physically we are using two eyes for viewing that makes the widescreen look more harmonic.
There are few formats which are used in movie and TV programming producing. 16:9 is traditional for all American movies and is said to be a format of the future TV. Many TV companies are planning to produce all their content in this format. But on the usual 4:3 TV-set a widescreen picture occupies only 75% of screen square. Movies in the classical 4:3 aren't shot anymore although it's the format of the most TV programs. The same way when you're watching on a widescreen TV-set programs of 4:3 ' you get the black stripes by the sides of the picture. Widescreen TV-sets are supplied by the system of stretching.
There's a format which is called 'letterbox' ' it's when you're watching a 16:9 movie on a common TV-set you are like looking in the crack of a letterbox. When you stretch that picture on the widescreen you see a striped picture ('effect of a striped vest') because this format has the lower than usual resolution on the vertical. Yet the widescreen TV-sets developers have solved this problem, but the technology fighting with the stripy picture isn't widely used in the radio TV broadcasting.
So should one prefer purchasing a widescreen TV-set to a usual one? If all the TV goes widescreen in the short terms then the answer should be 'yes'. The question of terms is important because the lifetime of a widescreen TV-set is limited by 7-8 years.
A widescreen TV-set doesn't occupy more place than a usual one with the same screen diagonal (in fact it occupies even less place because it's lower), also it looks more graceful (mind the gold number that brings harmony).
All modern widescreen TV-sets have different modes of scaling which means that you won't have to watch TV programs of the usual format with the black stripes by the sides of the screen. By the way scale picture adapted to the wide screen by mean of small losses looks bigger. But a widescreen TV-set is more expensive than a usual.
One has to decide whether he/she prefers black stripes by the sides while watching TV channels or black stripes under and below the picture. The first variant is probably preferable because the picture doesn't loose one forth of it's height as it does in the second case.
People who have home theaters and DVD-players should definitely choose a widescreen TV-set because almost all DVD-s (especially American) contain the original widescreen version of a movie.
Looking forward to the moment when all TV will become if not widescreen soon but at least digital one should prefer to own a widescreen TV-set because digital technologies will allow for sure to stream both traditional and widescreen versions of programming.