Do I need a Widescreen TV to play 16:9 movies?

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A DVD-player can be connected to any television, but with a Widescreen TV you will get the most viewing enjoyment. With DVD-Video you can gradually build up your own Home Cinema system with widescreen TV and multi-channel digital surround sound. DVD-Video supports multiple aspect ratios. Video stored on a DVD in 16:9 format is horizontally squeezed to a 4:3 (standard TV) ratio. On Wide-screen TVs, the squeezed image is enlarged by the TV to an aspect ratio of 16:9.

DVD video players output widescreen video in three different ways:
  1. Letterbox (for 4:3 screens), which provides horizontal bands at the top and bottom to, in essence, create a widescreen picture in a traditional television set.
  2. Pan & scan (for 4:3 screens), a version that fills the screen of traditional 4:3 television sets with an entire picture, much like watching network movies.
  3. Anamorphic or unchanged (for wide screens), which provides a special "anamorphic video" signal that, when processed by a widescreen television set, fills the entire screen and delivers optimum picture quality.

In widescreen or letterbox mode, if a movie is wider than 16:9 (and most are), additional thin black bars will be added to the top and bottom at production time or the sides will be cropped. Video stored in 4:3 format is not changed by the player. It will appear normally on a 4:3 screen. Widescreen systems will either stretch it horizontally or add black bars to the sides.
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