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Sprint Product Ambassadors: LG V30+ Streaming Video

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Sprint Product Ambassador

I have really learned to appreciate the two to one screen factor of this phone that allows for a huge screen on a device that feels comfortable in my hands.  I was particularly curious to see how television shows and movies look on this wider than normal screen.

 

The original format ratio for films was 1.375:1 (11:8), which is the classic “Academy” ratio that was used since the early silent days until the invention of wide-screen movies came out.  Even then, many films were produced in this ratio.  Television originally had a format ratio of 1.33:1 (4:3) when everyone involved agreed on the standard in 1941.  It made sense, since there was already a huge library of old films lying around that could be rebroadcast, and the 4:3 ratio of TV was the very close to the Academy standard.  A little could be clipped off the sides and nobody would be the wiser.

 

Widescreen films were created to bring back the movie-going audiences that were now sequestered at home glued to their boob-tubes.  There were several different widescreen ratios, but a couple common ones were 1.85:1 and 2.35:1, which was revised in 1972 to 2.39:1, (usually just rounded up to 2.40:1 and referred to as "two-four-oh).

 

So when widescreen films first became available for rebroadcast on the little televisions, the picture was cropped by chopping off the left and right sides of the film, and the sliding the image left or right to fit the subject in the cramped screen.  This practice is known as “pan and scan”, and is a terrible compromise.  But the alternative was to show the film with very wide black bars above and below the film image, (known as letter-boxing), which would further reduce the size of the movie and thus the resolution.  Standard definition TV resolution was already pretty low, and doing this would throw away half of the available resolution, making small details indiscernible.

 

So, some engineers in Japan, who were already dissatisfied with the low resolution of standard-def TV wanted something better.  They started working on high definition television in the 1960’s, and by the mid-seventies had some prototypes.  But what shape should it be?  If you made it wide enough to display widescreen 2.39:1 films, you would end up with an extremely thick black border on the left and right sides of the screen when showing old Academy films or reruns of Starsky and Hutch.  If you made it fit the Academy ratio, then you were still stuck with the extra thick bars on the top and bottom of the screen.  So a clever compromise was suggested; find the ratio that would show black bars of equal width regardless of displaying 2.39:1 or 4:3.  If you made the screen 16:9 you could fit old or new movies and keep the width of the black bars to a minimum.  You could even crop a little off the top and bottom of 4:3 content by zooming in a little bit, or crop just a little bit off of the sides of widescreen films if you wanted to.  It seemed that this compromised ratio was the perfect balance.

 

It took a while, but finally in 1996, the first public broadcast in the United States from a digital HDTV station occurred.  Many television shows and even some movies have been shot in this 16:9 ratio since the adoption of this standard.

 

But remember, the LG V30+ has a 18:9 or 2:1 ratio, which means that HDTV now has a thin black border on the left and right sides, so it’s now wider than most HDTV content, but still not quite as wide as widescreen.  I’ve been watching streaming content from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube to see how it looks on the V30+.  First of all, it is just incredible.  The OLED screen is so bright and vibrant, yet the shadow detail is never crushed.  This is the best screen I've ever seen on a phone.  All apps from these services allowed for zooming content to perfectly fill the 2:1 screen with the exception of Hulu.  Everything I watched looked really good in this format, and I never felt like I was missing anything that had been cropped, because the cropping was so slight.  What’s cool was that it didn’t matter if I was watching a TV show shot in 16:9 or a movie filmed in 2.39:1, everything filled the screen in a way that looked right in this device.  I wasn’t able to get screenshots from the Netflix app, but got a few from Amazon Prime.

 

By the way, you can add a Hulu subscription to your Sprint account for free, and if you don’t already have an Amazon Prime account, you can add that to your account with small monthly payments instead of paying the lump annual fee to Amazon.

 

I like to watch stuff on my real TV, and am not really the type of person you can sit for hours looking at a tiny screen, but with that being said, the V30+ is the first device I’ve seen that I actually wouldn’t mind watching content on.  The V30+ continues to impress me at its ease of excelling at everything it does.  This is simply the best phone I’ve ever used.

 

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Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

2 Comments
Sprint Product Ambassador

Well said... Really enjoyed your review.  Can you explain the pictures above a bit? Which service is for which picture and how is it zoomed?  Can the black bar at the bottom be removed or does it 'hide' itself after a few seconds? 

 

Rick

Sprint Product Ambassador

Hi NewYork_NY.  The screen shots are from Amazon Prime video.  See the three with James Bond looking at the car?  The first one is letter-boxed.  Then I touched the screen which brought up the options.  I clicked on the icon labeled "Zoom" with the four arrows pointing outwards toward the corners.  That resulted in the third picture with the image zoomed in to fit the screen.  Not all shows support this; for instance, The Grand Tour would not allow zooming, so there must be something set by Amazon to control which content can be zoomed.