'80s widescreen TVs?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Greg_S_H, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I was watching a season three episode of Magnum, P.I. called Mr. White Death from 1982, and Magnum makes a deal with Higgins for use of the "widescreen TV." Did he just mean what we might have called a "big screen TV"--a large 4x3--or were there widescreen TVs available back then?
     
  2. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Not really an answer, but might be an affirmation.

    I was watching an episode of Dragonball Z that was animated in 1992 or so...the guy in Hell King Yemma was watching a Widescreen TV, so they where probably around in Japan circa 1992. Don't know about 1982, however.
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    "Widescreen" was used synonymously with "Big Screen" for TV's back then. Maybe it was an adjective borrowed from the days of cinema when "Widescreen" meant a bigger (and wider) screen that filled the front of large theaters instead of the relatively smaller movie houses with their 4:3 screens. It definitely meant a 4:3 screen, but just "wider" (and also "taller") than small screens.
     
  4. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    I sold appliances and tvs at Lowe's back in the mid 80s, there were no widescreen sets only big square ones with crappy picture quality, especially when you moved well off center. It is amazing the difference today.
     
  5. Jeff Savage

    Jeff Savage Second Unit

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    I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey two nights ago and I noticed that all the TV screens on the back of the space plane seats were widescreen so even in 1968 they wanted widescreens [​IMG]

    Laters,
    Jeff
     
  6. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Thanks, guys. I figured he just meant big screen, but I was worried my sense of television history was in for a serious revision. That's interesting about 2001. I wonder if there are other movies that anticipated true widescreen sets outside of theaters.
     
  7. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    I think widescreen displays have been around...just really rare and prolly expensive.

    I still think of 'Stange Days' when I think of a "widesreen tv". All the tv sets (like, crt direct view) were widescreen. The movie took place in the final days of 99'.
     
  8. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    Jeff

    No they where regular 4:3 sets with a piece of set dressing to give the illusion, but you could also say they where visionaries and could see the future looking something like that.
     
  9. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    As Scott said there have been widescreen TV's for a lot longer than you might think, they just weren't popularized until the late 90s. In America, they were practically non-existent, but in Europe and Asia, more common. Anyways, its possible, but if you didn't see the TV in magnum you'll never know one way or the other despite what we say here [​IMG] .
     
  10. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    There were 16:9 TVs, standard and high definition, sold to the public in Japan and, to an extent, Europe in the very late '80s and early '90s ; HDTVs with a 5:3 widescreen ratio were first sold in 1978 in Japan, although only as an industrial CCTV product since there were no HD broadcasts or recordings back then ; and Pioneer used to make 1.5:1 widesceen TVs which you could use to view letterboxed video with slightly less "black bars" by zooming, although why anyone would want such a thing (they also cut off the top & bottom of regular TV) I do not know.
     
  11. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I'll keep an eye out for it in future episodes. They don't show the inside of the main house too often, but maybe they will soon.
     
  12. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Weren't the TVs in "2001" also turned on their sides, so they were essentially tallscreen?

    I remember hearing the term "Wide Screen TV" used to decribe big screens a few times. Don't know why.
     
  13. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    All I know is, I still get a tad sad when I see that K.I.T.T. has two 4x3 screens in his dashboard, makes him dated and no longer state of the art. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  14. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    In the early 90's I saw a Phillips Plasma 16x9 set for 20K+ at Incredible Universe in Dallas.
     
  15. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Incredible Universe, how I miss you. Fry's is but a pale reflection. That place just screamed "cool" in the way it was set up. It was an adventure going there. Now? It's just "goin' to Fry's."

    I probably saw that set, too, but I don't remember for sure. I do remember this gorgeous 3D0 spokeswoman, though. Ahh, the good old days.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    When I was in London in the early 90's they had widescreen sets in their department stores. I thought it was really cool looking.
     
  17. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I never heard anyone use "widescreen" with reference to a TV until the very first (analog) widescreen sets made it to the U.S. market in the mid-to-late 90s. I certainly never heard it used with refrence to a big screen TV in coversation, advertising or anywhere else. If someone can come up with a printed citation to this usage I'll be stunned.

    I bought my first widescreen set (a 56" Toshiba CRT RPTV) in 1995. Cost me over three grand, but I got my money's worth out of it. (Still working, though somewhat dimmer and with slight 4:3 area burn-in because I was still learning about these things, when I dontated it to a local charity last year.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  18. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    I'm sure the local charity LOVES getting an old, dim 4:3 burn-in widescreen TV. VERY generous.
     
  19. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    As I noted it had only grown slightly dim, had very slight burn-in lines from the 4:3 area (visible only in very bright widescreen scenes, and then only to a nitpicking videophile who was looking for them) and yes, as a matter of fact they did love getting a big, free TV for one of their childrens' playrooms that only had a 19" B&W set before. They tell me it works very well for movie night. My only point in mentioning what happened to the set was that it still probably several years of life left in it, even though was ready to replace it as my main hometheater set. I wasn't trying to brag about my generosity, but I don't see any reason for your rather snarky remark.

    Should I have hung onto it until it failed? Thrown it out? Sold it?

    Joe
     
  20. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Must be a local thing, because that's what we called them in New England.
     

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