I can't necessarily say that I'm an OAR (original aspect ratio for the uninitiated) superhero, but I do my best to from time to time to make sure that only an OAR product is sold. For example, I "vote" with my buying dollar by buying OAR products at Wal-Mart (as opposed to not using my buying dollar there, otherwise, they'll keep thinking that nobody wants widescreen movies. People sometimes seem to forget that a lack of sales doesn't necessarily motivate people the way you want it too). And sometimes, as juvenile as this may sound, I put widescreen copies in front of the foolscreen or pan 'n' scam ones. Hey, just doing my job here. Anyways, this brings us (you're still reading this? )to the current topic, a widescreen television. My dad's been interested in buying an HD widescreen television, and much like myself, will probably "research" for the first two years before making a final decision. I was kind of excited about the prospect until I realized, "wait a minute, how will I watch full frame shows or films with an aspect ratio of 4:3?". So we were in this home theater shop, and the guy demonstrates. Ugh, whose bright idea (pun intended) was it to use gray bars to showcase full-frame or 4:3 presentations? So I ask the guy, "What can you do about those grey bars, can you make them black or something?" The guy said something to the effect of "Yeah you can, but screen burn-in ensues. The only way to alleviate this is to stretch the picture." Ugh that was ugly. I then began to question my OAR beliefs and found that what I've been advocating may just as well have been a matter of convenience. What I'm I talking about? Let me explain. When I watch movies, I do so at night and with the lights turned either very low or off. This way, I create a semi-theatrical experience. I used to hate black bars, and due to some miraculous intervention during the summer of 1997, I started to buy nothing but widescreen movies. I realized now that one of the main reasons I could tolerate widescreen is because of the theatrical setting I made for myself. The black bars blended seamlessly into both the dark and the outer contours of the television set. It would be some two years before I finally embraced widescreen as the preferred way of seeing the movie because that would be the way the artist had intended it. And with some fine examples of what I was missing with a foolscreen or pan 'n' scam presentation (Patton is a great example), OAR widescreen is now the only way I want to go. And now there's this problem with gray bars. It's flat out ugly. My theatrical showing is ruined. It just shines at you not like the beacon of hope, but like some police officer wanting to see your registration. In other words, very annoying. What am I to do? Please tell me there's another way. Or am I just an OAR poser? I'm probably no better than the guys who just can't stand black bars.