The Tumblr What Netflix Does is drawing attention to the company’s practice of showing wider-screen movies — films shot in the “Scope” formats, in the neighborhood of 2.39:1 instead of the standard widescreen ratio of 1.85:1. To put it simply, at risk of being boring: most movies and TV shows fill your 16:9 widescreen TV, while others, usually epics and big action movies and the like, shoot in the wider “Scope” format, which thus requires the black bars on even a widescreen TV, so you can see the entire frame (just as the bars were required to see standard widescreen movies on a square TV). But Netflix has quietly, without any notation or indication of alteration, been doing stuff like this:
This has been something most of us are aware of and have been for a while. But this is good timing for media sources to draw attention to the aspect-ratio switcharoo.