The Future of Widescreen Cinema and On-Line Video Streaming

Photo by Kelly Robinson on Unsplash

Watching on widescreen cinema these days can be a luxury for some. By doing so, they can get out of their enclosed workspace and stroll outside and socialize with their family and friends.Widescreen cinema started in 1891 when the Edison Company in the United States demonstrated a prototype of a kinetoscope. This model enabled one person at a time to view moving pictures through a peephole.

Then in 1892, William Dickson and Thomas Edison introduced the cinema using 120 film stock supplied by German Eastman.

In 1909, 35mm became the standard for motion picture format in almost any cinema in the world using a movie projector. Major companies offering 35mm film at that time were Eastman Kodak, Fujifilm, and Agfa-Gevaert. Today, with the development of digital technology, Kodak is the last remaining manufacturer of motion picture film.

The first widescreen feature seen in 1926 was Paramount’s Old Ironsides and, in 1927, the epic film Napoleon. By 1928-1929, special features as widescreen color became a fad. But in the 1930s widescreen movies were shelved because of the great depression.

American movies grew again by 1950-1960. The widescreen cinema gained its foothold once again in the ’50s as movie companies started marketing their film as special events. A company in 1952 marketed their film “as an event they couldn’t miss” which brought in people to watch it.

After those generations after generations indulged in watching movies in widescreen cinemas anywhere in the world. When the new millennium came in, the 35mm widescreen film format projection became Digital Cinema Package or DCP.

Widescreen cinema is actually how our eyes see the world. Looking at the widescreen is like looking outside with our natural field of vision.

The films have been shot in a widescreen ratio format of 4:3 for 70 years. And now, there’s a second version of widescreen – the 2.35:1 widescreen ratio format offers a broader view and heightened the sense of interactivity with the viewers. This 2.35:1 format is effective when it comes to crowd or landscape images.

The technological advancement these days offers broader choices and opportunities for everyone.

Surround sound systems and home theater projectors are now more affordable as compared before.  The addition of lens memory feature in projectors, allows the buyer to purchase a widescreen system that adjusts to perfectly match the film format.

With digital televisions, widescreen TV and ultra-widescreen have been available. And now the curve screen also comes out in the market. The TV picture resolution now ranges from 4k to 8k. Accordingly, there’s already an available 10K television.

The viewers have more choices to choose from where to watch and what to watch with different streaming apps popping here and there.

YouTube opens up a whole new world of online video viewing when it started in 2010 and now has over 5-billion download counts. Netflix levels up the game in 2016 and became a by-word for everyone watching drama series online with 500-million downloads.

Amazon released its own Amazon Prime Video app following the Netflix app with 100-million downloads. HBO recently also released this 2019 their own HBO GO app.

AndroidTV, AppleTV, Google Chromecast, and FireTV boxes installed in our televisions allow people to have a better online streaming preview. These boxes allowed other streaming apps from other parts of the world to be available in your TVs like Viki Rakuten. Viki already started in 2012 and has 10,000,000 downloads as of the moment.

widescreen cinema
Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

What are the future of the widescreen cinema and online video streaming?

We asked people of different ages, nationalities, and backgrounds which medium do they prefer when it comes to watching movies? Widescreen cinema or online video streaming using a computer, tablets, or mobile phones.

48% of the correspondents prefer online previewing. Their reasons: it’s cheap and economical, they have a busy schedule and have no time to go out, and it’s easier and quicker to access.

While the major 52% responds that they still like watching on widescreen cinema. They mentioned going to movie theaters allow them to have social interactions with friends and special someone. Some prefer watching movies on widescreen especially if it’s in an action genre or has a lot of special visual effects.

Checking on the 50 top-grossing films revealed that action films, visually-filled special effects movies, or animation films have gained the most theatrical exhibition revenue.

The technology keeps on advancing every day. The digital era opens up more and bigger opportunities to showrunners and younger filmmakers. They have the means to explore more and market their ideas and projects with more video streaming apps popping out.

We should learn from the 50s era of reviving the widescreen cinema industry. Constantly implement a good marketing strategy to keep the widescreen cinema on the entertainment activity list. As long as film outfits continue to cater to the viewer’s taste and keep on discovering new ways to excite the moviegoers, the widescreen cinema would still remain and would not cease to exist.

Related: How Netflix has changed the Online Video Streaming World? ; History of Edison Motion Pictures; Video Aspect Ratios; List of Top-Grossing Films


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