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Philips, Scorsese Launch Widescreen Campaign

NEW YORK — Philips Consumer Electronics has joined forces with director Martin Scorsese on a consumer education campaign to communicate the benefits of watching movies on widescreen televisions.

The campaign, called “See What You’ve Been Missing,” demonstrates how 16:9 widescreen televisions provide the best movie viewing experience, without compromising the original content of the film, as often occurs when a film is reformatted to fit tradition square 4:3 television screens.

The campaign will focus on using “the media as a vehicle” to educate consumers to what widescreen television is and why it is a better way to watch movies.

According to a statement on the global campaign, Scorsese is teaming with Philips as part of his career-long crusade to promote the preservation of film and the viewing of movies in their original format — as the director intended them to be seen.

He is the founder and president of The Film Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of America’s Film Heritage.

“The goal of this educational campaign is to illustrate to viewers the benefit of seeing widescreen films the way they were intended to be seen — in their original aspect ratio — either in the theatre, or at home on a widescreen-formatted television set,” Scorsese said.

As part of the widescreen drive, Scorsese has prepared a list of the top 10 films best viewed in widescreen format. Some of these include: “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962, dir. David Lean), “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick), “East of Eden” (1955, dir. Elia Kazan) and “Bladerunner” (1982, dir. Ridley Scott). Philips, which will join Scorsese on a news media tour over the next year to promote widescreen viewing, is devoting a “micro site” to widescreen initiative. It will go online in mid-June at

Additionally, a company spokesperson said Philips is working on an arrangement whereby Philips dealers can link to the site through their own Web sites.

Philips has been the leading manufacturer of widescreen televisions in Europe for more than 11 years. It marketed its first widescreen television in the United States in 1998, with the launch of the FlatTV (plasma display panel).