VIZIO has announced their new XVT 58” HDTV, the first ultra-widescreen HDTV to hit the US market, is now available for purchase. Sporting a 21:9 (2.33) aspect ratio that matches up nicely with the 2.35 AR used on most major films, the greatest benefit of the XVT is that you’ll no longer have to deal with black bars at the top and bottom of your HDTV when watching the latest widescreen content. How important you find such a feature will depend in a large part on how you use your HDTV, naturally, as broadcast 16:9 AR content will result in black bars on the left and right of the display. But there are other uses for such a wide screen, of course.

Besides being wider than normal display—the XVT sports a native 2560x1080 resolution—the new HDTV also includes other modern features like VIZIO’s Theater 3D functionality (four pairs of lightweight passive 3D glasses are included), SRS StudioSound HD, built-in WiFi, and smart TV technologies. That last item is perhaps the best example of what you might do with the added width when viewing 16:9 content, as VIZIO supports Internet Apps in a column on the left side of the screen that can be used for checking scores, tweeting, or other web-browsing activities—all while still watching HDTV.

In related news, Sigma Designs announced that many of the features of VIZIO's new CinemaWide display come via Sigma Designs' HiDTV Pro platform. VIZIO states that the HiDTV Pro “delivers outstanding picture quality and functionality”, and Sigma Designs returns the compliment stating, “We're thrilled that an industry leader like VIZIO is taking Sigma's HiDTV Pro platform to production.”

The VIZIO XVT3D580CM is currently available exclusively on with a limited time pricing of $2499 (down from the initial $2799 target). I'd expect the displays to eventually show up on retail shelves, if you're willing to wait.

Source: VIZIO Press Release

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  • HardwareDufus - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    We all saw this coming a while back...

    16x9 (1920X1080p) was a stopgap.... because movies have a higher aspect ration than that... how long would consumers settle for movies that were just close enough to their theatrical release versions?

    2560 X 1080 is 2.33 to 1.... Cinema ratio... CinemaHD

    But maybe we will get some
    2560 X 1200 2.13 to 1 ... displays... then you could use the bottom 120 pixels for menus that dont intrude on the movie..... like my 1920X1200 monitor that I use how for HD content.
  • cheinonen - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    The term you're looking for is Cinemascope, or Scope, which started out as typically being a 2.35:1 ratio, but now is typically a 2.39:1 ratio (referred to as 2.40:1 much of the time as well). Less than half of all films are shot in scope, or any aspect ratio > 2.0, which also includes 70mm (2.20:1) and other variants. Most films are shot flat, which is 1.85:1, which looks almost perfect on a 1.78:1 screen.

    There certainly is a market for wider screens (I have a 122", 2.40:1 screen in my theater, Anand has a 2.40:1 screen as well I believe) but most movies are not shot that way. 1.78:1 was judged more as a good compromise between scope, Academy (1.33:1) and Flat (1.85:1) as it is a good aspect between all of those. The fact that there is no hardware support for scope screens at native resolution (unlike DVD, there is no anamorphic flag for packing in extra resolution on a Blu-ray) mean that mainstream adoption wouldn't occur until that happens, and is still likely never to happen. For many cinema buffs, they will install a 2.40 screen or something else, but it'll likely be a niche, and it's certainly not the prevailing aspect ratio in theaters.
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    Agree. Somehow, I doubt TV content is going to switch to the wider format any time soon because there's little advantage for them to do it. Movies benefit often from the wider format because they're epic with huge amounts of money being spent on details thrown all across every inch of the screen and since we perceive horizontal information in larger swaths than we do vertical (to a point of course), if you want to get more visual going for a user, it's usually going to be horizontal.

    But TV shows have budgets, they have limitations, and often they want you focusing on a main center point rather than looking out in the distance and marveling at the massive alien warship landing on top of the Empire State building and humping it. For TV, they want you look at the guys and ignoring the fact their budget is not good enough to have dinosaurs in every scene or giant insects in every scene even if they're supposedly in ancient Earth of the past surrounded by fences with huge gaping holes that invite bugs and what not to come eat the stupid humans.

    "Regular" widescreen (especially 720p) offers the high def with a good amount of horizontal info without going overboard and requiring much higher budgets. It suits the way humans perceive visual content more than the old school 4:3 did, though 16:9 and 16:10 do encourage you to buy larger screens for your computers to match up and get the same amount of vertical screen as you used to imho.
  • nathanddrews - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    There's a reason they are called HDTVs instead of HDFilmViewers. HDTVs are built for compliance with the ATSC broadcast standard, not Academy standards... which are looser than the sleeve of wizard.

    All film, the physical medium (8mm-70mm, IMAX, ToddAO, etc.) is natively 4:3 - 1.33:1. The cinematographer and/or director then select the aspect ratio they want for artistic or technical reasons and edit it accordingly. This is why movies can vary between 4:3, 1.85:1, 1.78:1 (16x9), or 2.35/.39/.40 (anamorphic Scope/Panavision) - all from the same 4:3 film stock.

    Many of the newer 4K+ digital systems (like RED) shoot natively in just about any pre-selected AR.
  • nathanddrews - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Oops, I mistyped:

    "All film, the physical medium (8mm-70mm, IMAX, ToddAO, etc.) is natively 4:3 - 1.33:1"

    should read

    "All film, the physical medium (8mm-70mm, IMAX, ToddAO, etc.) is natively 4:3 - 2.40:1"

    I would also add that most common 35mm film stock is 1.33:1 and most IMAX film stock is 1.66:1.

    Bad morning to lack an edit button. :(
  • HardwareDufus - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - link

    Thanks.... Cinemascope is correct... my bad. I didn't know that cinescope was 2.4 to 1... I thought it was 2.35 to 1... so thanks for that info!

    Did not know that Blu-Ray had no ability to pack in extra X-axis resolution. always assumed Blue-Ray was flexible from 480P to 1080P, with a variety of aspect ratios 4:3, 16:9, 2.35:1...

    I appreciate your summary of formats... as well as nathandrews comments below about raw capture on 35 and 70mm...

    DVD only really enhanced broadcast television by using Progressive scanning and more channels for sound, no?

    Then Blu-Ray only really caught consumer media up to HDTV...rather than surpassing it and of course added a slew of DRM schemes?

    always learning.
  • tumbleweed - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    I like using the black bar below to put subtitles, so they're much easier to read than being on top of the picture.
  • MadMan007 - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    People who complain about black bars are just technically inept.
  • duffman55 - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    Are you implying that people should use the "zoom" feature? Some people want to see content displayed in its original aspect ratio. Especially the people that would buy this TV.

    Personally I like 16:10. It's a good balance for watching 4:3 and 16:9 content.
  • MadMan007 - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    People should use 'maintain aspect ratio' to avoid image distortion while using as much screen space as possible.

    This screen is fine for a niche that will use it primarily for movie viewing. However as a general video content screen it will still have black bars *somewhere* with *some* aspect ratios unless the user is ok with image distortion, which would be odd for someone buying this screen.

    Vizio proposes people use the side black bars on this monitor for 'smart TV' viewing, which is fine if a little ADHD, but that's no different than using top or bottom black bars for the same purpose.

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