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FOX starts framing the NFL in 16x9 and letterboxing the laggards

Ben Drawbaugh

If you love football and HD as much as we do, then you know the pain we feel when we watch a game with lots of empty space or the times when you can't see the linebackers. This is because we are HD snobs in an SD world and while football has been presented in 16x9 for close to 10 years, with few exceptions it is still framed for 4x3. Well tonight FOX changed the way we'll watch football forever. The Patriots vs Falcons game on Thursday August 19th was the first to feature the Ultimate Experience which features a new less obtrusive score bug and is framed for 16x9. This of course means that SD viewers will have to watch it letterboxed. We suspect that despite some marketing efforts by Joe Buck and Kurt, that FOX will receive quite a bit of flack about this, but honestly with the HD household penetration breaking 50 percent, we have to say it is about time. Of course the majority doesn't always win against the vocal minority, but we have are hopes up that they do this time and this trend takes hold in all HD sports. A few more screen captures and embedded video after the break.

[Thanks, @Loomis2]

What the laggards see.

FOX's image to help sell the 4x3 folks on why the picture is twice as wide and not half as tall.

Showing the 4x3 fans what they are missing.

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