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Definition: pillarbox

The display of a standard TV image on a wide screen. For example, to show a standard TV program with a 4:3 aspect ratio on a high definition TV set with a 16:9 aspect ratio, black bars are displayed at the left and right sides to make up for the shorter width of the 4:3 frame. Contrast with letterbox. See HDTV display modes.

The black bars on the left and right side take up the extra space on a wide screen when a movie is played that is formatted in the traditional 4:3 aspect ratio.