The whole 16:9 issue is a curious one! From what I've gleamed Fox US issued a statement suggesting that it was never the creator's intention to screen Buffy in widescreen (from S4 onwards). However, the DP (Director of Photography) is clearly considering a 16:9 composition (with a caveat that most of the action takes place in a 4:3 safe zone). On later seasons, of both Buffy and Angel, directors fully utilised the 16:9 frame, which played havoc with 4:3 formatting (pan and scanned). Widescreen adoption has been faster in Europe due to a lack of confusing standards.