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I think that the aspect ratio for HDTV is about 1.78:1 [1.78], and a 1.85
picture will leave a slight letterboxing effect, and 1.66 will, potentially,
lose a little from the top and bottom [or we could have letterboxing on the
sides: sideboxing?].
 
I recently read that the new box set of THE GODFATHER on laser disc includes
the full-apature 1.33 image, which could be cropped to 1.78 without screwing
the image up, much.  It has even been suggested that one could add his own
cardboard letterbox to his TV screen to *see* GODFATHER in its 1.85 theatrical
aspect ratio [see the February ed. of _Laser disc newsletter_].
 
I believe that many programs are being produced now in preparation for the HDTV
format -- the recent LIZA television special was produced in HDTV, eg.
Further, it looks to me as though many of the big-budget shows, notably the
new STAR TREK series, are being shot in preparation for HDTV distribution.
 
That's my $0.02 - worth.  What say you?
 
Regards,
 
Andrew Jones
BBN Libraries