Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sony launch new "Portrait" TV

By +Brad Naylor

Electronics giant Sony have announced that they will be launching a new TV known as the Portrait TV this Spring. The large 9:16 ratio screen comes in response to the number of people making videos on their cellphones in portrait or vertical mode rather than using the traditional landscape orientation.

Sony's new "Portrait" TV
The new Portrait TV from Sony
While the concept of flipping the screen orientation through 90° is not a new one, nobody has yet released a TV or monitor which was designed to be used exclusively in portrait mode. Sony's US project manger, Yokomuki Monitā told us, 
"Ōku no hitobito ga geitaidenwa de bideo o tsukutte imasuga, tadashī asupekuto-hi o eru ni wa, amarini mo oroka demo namakemono demo, sore o suihei ni hanten sa seru no wa mendōdesu. Dakarakoso, watashitachiha senotakai eiga o mite iru igai no mokuteki o motteinai kono mudana terebi o tsukurimashita."
Which (according to a free online tool) translates to,
"Many people are making videos with their cell phones but they are either too dumb or too lazy to flip it horizontally to get the correct aspect ratio. That is why we have created this useless TV which has no other purpose than watching tall thin movies."

While this may just look like Sony cashing in with some clever marketing of a redundant and useless technology, a couple of movie directors see this as a new niche in movie making, and have started making feature length movies in portrait mode. Even James Cameron has embraced the idea and copyrighted the term Vert-O-Vision which pertains to what may possibly become known as TallScreen.

Avatar in Vert-O-Vision
Avatar would look very different in portrait mode
"Just think what we can do visually with all that extra vertical space, all that extra information we can project into the audiences mind," said famous movie director, Michael Bay. "Do you have any concept of how big an explosion I can make on a vertically oriented screen? This format definitely has some great potential for my action movies."

On the other side of the argument are the movie theater owners who would need to adapt to the new aspect ratio considering that all the existing multiplexes were all built according to the traditional landscape format. 'TallScreen' theaters would have to be specially built to accommodate the new viewing aspect, which could cost the theater owners millions of dollars. Not to mention the need to either buy new projectors, or tip the existing projectors on their side.

"It's possible that they could design a curved 'up and over' screen which starts off vertical at the bottom and then curves gently to a more horizontal aspect above the viewers." said some guy on the bus reading over my shoulder as I was writing this. "That way they wouldn't have to make the theaters taller to accommodate the new shape screens."

Some Guy on the Bus
Some Guy on the Bus
Personally, I think we should just leave movies the way they are. The new crop of Vert-O-Vision movies are just a fad and will eventually go the way of 3D, 4:3 and B&W movies of the past. What do you think? There is a comments section below for you to share your opinion. Could the Portrait TV take off? Does Michael Bay need to make bigger explosions in his movies? Isn't reading over someone's shoulder on the bus a little rude? Let us know.

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