Opening up the image left and right is no option either. Directors of photography exist for a reason, and shots are composed by framing them properly.
There are some TV DVDs of 4:3 shows around that open up the frame to gain (force, really) a 16:9 image, and what you get is...
- Most of the time: Empty space left and right. Lots of it. Actors huddling each other center frame.
- Sometimes: Half faces, noses, ears of actors that are not supposed to be in frame.
- Every once in a while: Visible production equipment.
Completely unacceptable. Just look at the European releases of Buffy
TNG in HD has
to go OAR, or it's a no go.