aspect ratios

Why can't I adjust the aspect ratio in my streaming app?

Sony TV

Episode 1492

John from Boston, MA

John is trying to stream movies using the FilmStruck app and they all end up 16:9. What can he do? Leo says that the Sony TV that John has uses a variety of aspect ratios. One setting is dot for dot or 1-to-1. That will give him the image it was meant to have. But the TV app is overriding that setting. It sounds like it's a shortcoming of John's smart TV. This is why Leo isn't a fan of smart TVs. Leo recommends using a Roku or cast it from his phone so that it won't override the TV aspect ratio settings.

Can I get a cheaper monitor for my Mac other than Apple's Cinema Display?

Dell Monitor

Episode 1263

Pete from San Diego, CA

Pete has a 2011 iMac and he needs more screen real estate. What monitor should he get? Leo says that iMac can probably drive more than one screen. Pete says that third party monitors throw off the aspect ratio, but he doesn't want to pay the Apple premium.

Leo says Apple sets a preference pane for each monitor and sets them separately. So Pete can just get a monitor from Dell instead. They have Thunderbolt capable monitors and will cost half as much, and the aspect ratio will be fine.