Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Stretch 'til it Hurts

Television consumers want bigger, brighter, and higher resolution displays. We look down upon a measly 1080i - yet at the same time I see more tolerance of completely fuct aspect ratios. Sure, is fun to laugh at screwed up proportions when looking at a fun house mirror, but now we just cannot escape it. In sports bars, building lobbies, and in our own homes we are increasingly tolerant of 4x3 aspect ratio pictures being stretched to 16x9. It drives me batty and gives me a headache. Why is it okay for a square to be a rectangle? Why is that fat lady on the tv the same width and height?

Today I came across the perfect illustration of this sad sad stretched world in which we live. The main video page for CNN has EVERY VIDEO STRETCHED. It is a tiny box in my browser, not constrained by the physical dimensions of a real television or a wife that says "what are those black bars on the side... fix it". Yet this huge media company thinks that this is okay. Until Joe public starts demanding non fun house video we have more whack stuff like this to look forward to. Shame on everyone. Stop stretching and squeezing.

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