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2.35:1 or 2.39:1 aspect ratio is the current widescreen cinema standard and results in "black bars" on top and bottom of the screen when accurately displayed on a common monitor or television:

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2.40:1 image as shown on a 1.78:1 (16x9)TV (CNET)

Wide cinema aspect ratio may be cropped to fit TV screens (16:9 and 4:3):

Home releases (red line) can also have a larger aspect ratio than the theatrical version (yellow line) (see open matte):

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Can I expect that retail film releases have preserved the film's original aspect ratio or is there a chance that the image has been cut?

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    This is really too broad. This will entirely depend on the DVD producers and distributors. It's likely that the original aspect ratio would be transferred by there is no "one size fits all" for all films on DVD etc. – Paulie_D Mar 23 '17 at 11:24
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    Movies are often released in several versions for home or commercial use. Watching 2.39:1 on an airplane's teeny seat-back screen, or on a tablet/phone is not going to be a great experience, whereas you might quite enjoy it on your 60" TV. Check the release details to be certain which you're getting. It's always on the box. – Tetsujin Mar 23 '17 at 11:44
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No, you can't.

As Tetsujin writes in his comment:

Movies are often released in several versions for home or commercial use. Watching 2.39:1 on an airplane's teeny seat-back screen, or on a tablet/phone is not going to be a great experience, whereas you might quite enjoy it on your 60" TV. [...]

But...

there are several sites on the internet, where you can check, whether a movie/series will be published on DVD/BluRay in their original aspect ratio or not. For example: http://www.blu-ray.com/ .

It is also shown on the back of almost every DVD/BluRay-Cover.

DVD/BluRay Cover that shows where to look for the aspect ratio

In the past that practice was not so common, but with further technical development (more different aspect ratios, more different devices to watch your media on) and naturally a lot of people taking their aspect ratio very seriously, thus asking for it, the industry made it a standard to put all the technical information on the back of the DVD/BluRay-Cover.

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