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c-day UK commercials go widescreen!
On 1st July 2000, the shape of TV commercials in the UK changed overnight.
widehenge June 30 saw the UK's last ever TV commercial broadcast in the 4:3 aspect ratio. Following July 1st - "Commercials-Day" (C-Day) - the widescreen digital channels show all commercials in 16:9 widescreen format. The same ad is displayed in a 14:9 'letterbox' format on the analogue "PAL" stations.
The 14:9 mild letterbox format was chosen as a good creative compromise. Showing a 'deep' letterbox like in the old PALPlus system (analogue broadcasts in 16:9, now superseded) is said to cause viewer complaints. Zooming in to a 4:3 centre panel can pose a great challenge for shot composition and titling. As a compromise, 14:9 can work well creatively and research shows most viewers do not object to the mild 'letterbox' look. boule
At the station, the same commercial copy will be used to feed the two transmitters. This will be a 16:9 "Full Height" recording, sometimes called "anamorphic" due to it's vague similarity to the motion picture anamorphic process (when viewed on the wrong shape monitor). Because of the ambiguity, UK broadcasters will not use the term "anamorphic". Widescreen commercials will all be identified as "16:9 FH". An Aspect Ratio Converter will be used to convert this to 14:9 letterbox for analogue transmission (cropping an equal amount of picture from the left and right of frame).

Read here how corkscrew makes working in widescreen easy!

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