Fox News has officially transitioned to an all-widescreen format that, when correctly displayed, is letterboxed on 4:3 televisions.
Rather than producing two feeds — one cropped for a 4:3 SD television, which most people have, and one in 16:9 for widescreen HDTVs — FNC will now produce solely widescreen programming to streamline their operations and ensure that high definition and standard definition viewers will see the same, arguably improved image.
To the untrained viewer, the move — a first in cable news — might seem confusing. FNC senior VP and creative director Richard O’Brien told B&C: “It’s counterintuitive. You’d think on a 4:3 screen you’d be getting less, because it’s letterboxed. But the way it’s designed, and the way you’re able to make use of the whole width of the screen now, you’re actually able to get more. It’s hard to think that way until you see it, but when we did all the tests, it was a no-brainer that this was the right way to go.”
According to the article, FNC actually set up a widescreen TV lab to test the new feed. Fox insists the new version of the broadcast will have more information and more legible graphics.
Fox News also created this site to help you adjust your television if the new format is displaying incorrectly.