Anamorphic dvd's?

Please explain anamorphic dvd's? I just purchased a 16:9 hd upgradeable tv. Are anamorphic's 235:1 or 185:1? Do I still get the black bars top and bottom?
(I have only a basic understanding of what it actually is so if I err please do not crucify me). The NON anamorphic (and NOT enhanced for widescreen TV) widescreen DVD picture is ALWAYS sent out of the DVD player as a 4:3 shape signal... so the "black bars" at the top and bottom of the signal use up those scan lines as black bars in the 4:3 TV.
However in an ANAMORPHIC DVD, the signal CAN (not neccessarily so) sent out to a compatible TV (16:9 or a TV that can do the anamorphic squeeze: like my Sony 36XBR400) where the whole signal is only in the 16:9 portion and the "black bars" outside of the 16:9 area are just blank space.. (no scan lines are wasted in creating those inches of black)
So: the picture is sharper and clearer as all the scan lines are used to create the visible 16:9 area.
If the widescreen movie is a 2.35:1, and you have a 16:9 TV,you will get some top and bottom bars anyway. (((on this I am not clear, if the anamorphic superwidescreen picture gets ALL the scan lines 'just in the viewing area' or if the DVD format just creates a 16:9 size scanned area?)))
The major advantage of 'anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9' is in greater picture clarity for hdtv ready 3:4 sets (3:4 sets that can 'take' a 16:9 input and use it).. But also for the day in the future (for those who do not yet have such a set, or plan on getting a 16:9 set) you will thank yourself for buying anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9 DVDs!!!!! And the DVDs you will have that aren't, will be second class mistakes that will give you a 4:3 size picture in your 16:9 tv that will add black bars to the top and bottom of the 4:3 area in you 16:9 set. and when you squint to see the tiny picture area, you will curse. (unless you have some expensive electronics that can "fix" the problem, or an expensive TV that can fix it.. now most normal HDTV ready 16:9 DO NOT FIX this in the TV!!!)
thanks for your update. it's helpful.
Since you have a widescreen TV, just check the DVD for a few key catch phrases that you need for a good widescreen image:

16:9 enhanced for widescreen TVs

Anamorphic widescreen

If it don't say it, you don't get it, and you will be miserable for having purchased a useless DVD. Trust me, I have a ton of them that I purchased before I had the widescreen TV. Thankfully, the movie studios are re-releasing their old DVDs in an anamorphic format. 1.85:1 or 2.35:1, they can both be anamorphic video, its just that the 1.85:1 will fill the screen completely while the 2.35:1 will leave some little black bars above and below. You'll hardly notice. Good luck.
I believe this 2.35:1 and 1.85:1` is representative to the amount of compression on the DVD.The less compression (1.85) allows 16:9 widescreens display the full screen. On 2.35:1 theres more compression, thereby requiring a smaller display to have the appearance of full resolution.
For a great down to earth explanation, folow this link