I've done some comparisons between the 4x3 and 16x9 versions when both are \noffered on the same DVD, usually on the flip side, sometimes on the same \nside via a menu selection. For example Annie Hall and Rocky 3. Look at \nWoody's monolog at the start of the film. You can see 2-3 buttons on his \nshirt with the 4x3 version, but barely 1 button with the 16x9 version. You \ndon't lose anything significant with the 4x3 version, which is slightly \ncropped on the sides, but very little. Maybe only about 5-10% of the width \nof the 4x3 version is cropped off. However the tops of people's heads are \ntypically cut off with the 16x9 versions. I estimate that at least 25% of \nthe vertical heighth is cropped to make it into a 16x9 image.\n\nSo the old adage and complaint about the blank/black areas at the top and \nbottom of widescreen versions is a good one, because it's true. Those areas \nwere indeed cropped and removed from the film. You get a lot more real \ncontent, and the picture looks more normal, with 4x3.\n\nI think that what we have here is a big promotion to buy the new expensive \n16x9 televisions that cost over </body>,000. To provide them with something to \nwatch in the same size, films are being hacked to death to fit that size \nartificially. It is actually the 16x9 version which is modified most to fit \nthe screen, not the 4x3 versions - contrary to the announcement at the \nbeginning of 4x3 films to that effect.\n\nThe 7:3 versions (usually called 2.35:1) are another ballgame entirely.