What Would You Do with a 21:9 Flat Panel?

So you’ve probably heard that consumer TV maker Vizio has introduced a 58-inch, 21:9 aspect ratio, LED-edge-lit display for all those movie buffs who want to watch their movies in CinemaScope-like splendor. I say, let the pro AV brainstorming begin! How might these displays apply to the commercial market? (Assuming you’re in the camp that’s willing to spec consumer displays for certain commercial applications — which many are not, understandably.)

I’ll be honest, the consumer in me is intrigued by the prospect of watching 2:25:1 movies without black bars or without having to build a new home theater with screen, projector, and anamorphic lens (thanks to Digital Projection, SIM2, Projectiondesign, etc., however, for coming up with solutions to the second lens issue). The new Vizio XVT 3D CinemaWide Razor LED Smart TV (phew) goes for $2,500. Philips has been selling a 21:9 TV in Europe for a while, with no apparent plans to sell them in the U.S. As for the new Vizio, compared to other flat panels in its size range (consumer or commercial), it would probably be hard for a pro AV integrator to justify the cost…

…Unless there were some killer application for it! So let the ideas flow! As it is, Vizio is emphasizing the TV’s apps. After all, when you’re not watching a movie (and now that I think of it, I rarely am, so my intrigue is diminishing), there’s going to be some spare real estate to fill. Price aside for a minute, could it be a digital signage platform in the pro AV space? Something else?

At the risk of offending AV integrators who wouldn’t touch a consumer display with a 10-foot pole, this is what this industry does so well — it takes available technology and builds solutions out of it. 3D? Feels like a dud in the home, but still a real possibility in a cool, fitting commercial solution. 21:9 TVs? They feel like a niche product in the home (wouldn’t movie lovers just build the home theater, if they haven’t already?).

So what can we do with it? We’ve seen companies like LG and ViewSonic come out with uniquely shaped displays for signage. And we know traditional aspect ratios sometimes go out the window with tiled products from companies like Christie and Prysm. Granted, creating content for non-traditional aspect ratios is a challenge, but pro AV and its partners are up to it.

The first thing I thought of when I heard of the 21:9 Vizio was what AV integrators would think of it. Well? Please, use the comments section and share ideas. We’ll pick our favorites, put it to a vote, and award the best idea with coveted InfoComm swag.

About Brad Grimes

Brad Grimes is the Director of Communications for InfoComm International and the former editor of Pro AV magazine. He has been writing about technology for more than 25 years.

9 Responses to “What Would You Do with a 21:9 Flat Panel?”

  1. The ratio is being sold by Phillips in Europe for some time now and we in the USA are behind new technology that comes out in Europe all the time, like on demand hot water heater. I remember having that in Germany in the 1950 in my parents home and the Europeans had flat screen TV’s first and windmill power generators. So what is the US doing in new technology?

  2. The best thing i can think of is use the 21:9 display for Video Conferencing.Normally while using data sharing facility with a Video conferencing system a second monitor is used which shifts focus.with a 21:9 monitor a video + content image would be split perfectly on this screen.

  3. with all the added retail space it would be great as a confidence monitor with dual inputs so you can split the image to show current and next slide.

  4. 21:9 provides less dominating TV sets ! Thats it. Imagine a 32″ PC monitor, then imagine a 29″ 21:9 as a PC monitor. Same width, but very different in height and dominance.

  5. It would make for an awesome ambient experience such as virtual aquariums, virtual windows, tilt it up and do waterfalls, weather events like snowing, a beach scene, fireplaces.

    Locations could be lobbies of buildings, medical offices to soothe patients, yoga studios…

  6. Well now days the consumers wants their Smart TV to have control of their Home Automation
    Controlling Lights & other systems well it could be designed in such a way that the TV turns into a control system Home theater Experience.

  7. Tilt the display and mask off a 3″ stripe corner to corner for and extra long scrolling ticker tape display. An 18″ x 49″ display would give you a 96″ stripe! Granted its a waste of display real estate, but I bet some marketing gurus would go for it. Someone say 32:1?

  8. having multiple inputs with switching and side by side capabilities built into the unit would make a very nice small classroom display. Add touch capability and you’ve got a sophisticated classroom in a box.

  9. A 32:9 monitor with dual inputs and a built in auto switcher is what my customers are asking for. Everyone is used to dual screen at the desk, and they want dual screen in conf rooms. But putting up 2 screens doesn’t work well in the conf
    erence room because sometimes there is only 1 source. So in those times only 1 of the 2 screens is used and it throws off the focus point for the room to one side The 21:9 monitor is a step in the direction for doing side by side work, but would be better if increased to 32:9.