To further illustrate my previous post, another example of how different versions of the same scene look on different TVs and with different settings.
From Friends‘ “The One with Ross’s Teeth” (Season 6):
This scene makes full use of the 4:3 aspect ratio. To evoke the claustrophobic setting of the elevator, there is barely any empty space on the sides or the top.
Filmed on a constricted set, there is nothing on either side to open the image up to, so instead this is one of the rare cases where the widescreen aspect ratio was achieved entirely through cropping:
This means that Rachel and Ralph Lauren’s hands, which in the original version added much to show their respective levels of comfort on this elevator ride, had to be sacrificed.
The pillarboxed example above shows how opening up the image, while keeping the hands in frame, makes the elevator feel a lot less cramped. It’s a trade-off, and I don’t blame whoever decided to crop the image for doing it that way, especially when you consider how the 4:3 would look like on most widescreen TVs: