2017’s Best Cinematic Experiences For Ultrawide Monitors

Image: ASUS

If you've been tempted by one of the new crop of ultrawide monitors hitting the market recently, we have some very good news for you: they look awesome when paired up with some high-quality video. So, to give you some inspiration and a good reason to head out and pick up a new screen, here's our guide to the best cinematic experiences you can enjoy to their utmost on an ultrawide monitor.

Why Choose An Ultrawide Display?

The huge advantage of an ultrawide display like the Asus Designo Curve MX34VQ is that no matter what content you're watching, it'll always be the same height -- whether it's a square video, a widescreen one, or an ultrawide one. Because your shiny new ultrawide monitor can display everything up to ultrawide 21:9 video, you'll never see those annoying 'letterbox' black bars on the top and bottom of whatever videos you're looking at. Human perception is far more forgiving to black bars on the side of a monitor, where they're closer to the edges of your vision.

Ultrawide video is only becoming more and more popular, too. Plenty of movies and high-end cinematic content like blockbuster TV shows are filmed in aspect ratios like 2.39:1, which are closer to ultrawide than they are to the older 16:9 widescreen format or to the boxy 4:3 ratio of old-school free-to-air TV. We're seeing more and more movies and TV shows, especially ones released digitally, captured and released in ultrawide sizes.

Even with widescreen video from Blu-ray movies or downloaded shows, you can easily crop or zoom the image to be shown fully on an ultrawide monitor. There's actually a plugin for Google Chrome that lets Netflix movies that were filmed in the 2.39:1 'anamorphic' aspect ratio of blockbuster cinema -- a ratio very close to ultrawide's 21:9 screen size -- be displayed natively, without any black bars. It looks especially awesome on a big 34-inch or 38-inch screen. If you have an ultrawide monitor, check it out.

Because ultrawide monitors are high-end, they often come with a swathe of advanced features that can make your entire movie-watching experience more enjoyable. Asus's Designo Curve MX34VQ, for example, has Qi wireless charging built into its translucent circular base, so you can charge your Android phone while you're watching away or browsing the 'net. It's also certified by TUV Rheinland to be flicker-free and low blue light, so it's easy on your eyes and won't cause fatigue even after extended viewing sessions. And because it's curved with a smooth 1800R radius, it'll slightly wrap around when in front of you, giving you an immersive movie-watching position.

Our Favourite Videos Of 2017 For Ultrawide Displays

Star Wars: Rogue One is an amazing cinematic experience, filmed in the classic anamorphic 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Because of that, you can view it at its full size, just like the movie's directors and cinematographers intended, on an ultrawide monitor. It has amazing colour, stunning scenery and some of the best CGI we've ever seen. Plus, it's Star Wars!

Planet Earth II may have been captured in widescreen format, but it's still a stunning piece of video. It's some of the best vision of our natural planet that you'll ever see. And the best thing about an ultrawide monitor is that even with widescreen content like Planet Earth II, you won't be missing any piece of the image at all compared to a regular widescreen monitor -- it'll be shown at full height.

Pacific Rim is always going to be one of our favourite videos for showing off any kind of high quality display. It has amazing deep, shadowy blacks and excellent colours, and if you can ignore the terrible Aussie accents, you'll get to enjoy some giant robots fighting giant monsters. It's also one of the most detailed Blu-ray movies you can buy and it looks great on a high-end PC monitor.

Mad Max: Fury Road is a cinematic masterpiece, filmed right here in Australia in that ultrawide 2.35:1 aspect ratio -- so it'll fill a 21:9 ultrawide monitor completely and blow you away. Full of bright colours and dark shadows, it's a great test of any display and always looks great. If you want to see some amazing black and white footage, too, there's a great Black & Chrome version you can buy as well.

Google Earth is a demonstration that you don't have to be watching the latest movies to get the most out of an ultrawide monitor. If you download Google Earth and a high-resolution map, you'll be able to scroll around ultra-high resolution satellite images of our planet, and an ultrawide monitor gives you even more viewing area to scour. If something a little more extraterrestrial is more your speed, take a look at Google Sky for an ultrawide view of the galaxy above us.