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Miniature television

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Miniature television

While that kooky scientist in the Honey, I… films accidentally changes the size of his toddler, no-nonsense engineers in labs have very deliberately altered the dimensions of the TV screen itself. Here’s how the latest sets size up:

Shrunken TV: Three years ago, Sony debuted a TV/VCR resembling a large paperback book. This fall, the company introduced upgrades in the form of two new Video Walkmen, one with a three-inch screen, the other with a four-inch. When not in use, the screens fold in to further shrink the sleek combos to the size of a small paperback. As for picture quality, the tiny LCD screens are remarkably watchable, though a dark room and the proper viewing angle are essential.

Blown-up TV: Finally television has caught up to a change in theater-screen dimensions that took place 40 years ago, RCA and Pro-Scan this spring will introduce the CinemaScreens, two TVs measuring 34 inches diagonally. Each has a width-to-height ratio of 16 to 9, the same as your local multiplex screen, and is wider than the usual TV aspect of 4 to 3. Now, when you watch letterboxed films on video, you won’t have to ignore the black bands at the top and bottom of the screen — because with wide-screen TV the bands will no longer be there.