Aspect Ratio

What is the Aspect Ratio? (16:9, 21:9, 4:3)

What is the Aspect Ratio? (16:9, 21:9, 4:3) - Table of contents:

The aspect ratio is the ratio between the width and height of the screen. It makes no difference what the size of the picture is whatsoever. Aspect ratio refers only to the relationship between the width and height of the image itself.

Aspect Ratio

When buying a new LCD monitor or perhaps a TV screen, you’ll stumble on the specification called “Aspect Ratio.” Wondering what this means?

This is essentially just the ratio between the width and height of the display. The higher the first number compared to the last number, the wider the screen will be compared to the height.

Most monitors and TVs today have an aspect ratio of 16:9 (Widescreen), and we are seeing more and more gaming monitors getting a 21:9 aspect ratio, also referred to as UltraWide. There are also several monitors with a 32:9 aspect ratio, or “Super UltraWide”.

Aspect Ratio

Other, less popular, aspect ratios are 4:3 and 16:10, though finding new monitors with these aspect ratios is difficult nowadays, they were quite widespread back in the day.

Aspect ratio standard at present (4:3 vs 16:9 vs 21:9)

The average TV set today deals with this proportion between width and height. Most generally it is expressed in the width/height format or W: H or as in width or 16 units and a height of 9 units would be put in as 16:9. This has been quite a problem between television manufacturers and Film production companies for many years.

With the newer models of TVs, this has also become a concern to TV users on the consumer end. Almost all movies are produced in the 21:9 aspect ratio. If it is converted to a smaller ratio the viewer will lose some of the pictures. It cannot be avoided. In older TVs the aspect ratio was just a mere 4:3. There are in most TVs today have an aspect ratio of 16:9 which is a great viewing ratio. However, even in that ratio, the TV viewer will see a black bar at the top and bottom of the screen while watching the video.

Aspect ratio Uses TVs
4:03 1.33:1 Standard channels Old TVs
16:09 1.77:1 HD channels The majority of HDTVs
21:09 2.35:1 Most movies Very few TVs
There are some TV manufacturers today that are producing 21:9 aspect ratios to give that 100% movie-picture ratio you see at the theater. (Nice to know fact: When watching a movie at the theater you ever notice that the curtains are normally drawn in during the pre-show ads and opened for the movie? That causes most ads to be 16:9 while all movies are 21:9.) Neat, huh? Prior to purchasing a TV with a 21:9 aspect ratio, keep this in mind.
Aspect Ratio

If you normally don’t watch anything except movies, a TV with that 21:9 ratio will be just great. But if you watch a lot of TV shows as well, those shows will have black bars on all of the TV shows.

As an example, a 58” TV with a 21:9 aspect ratio will be the same as watching a 47” TV with a 16:9 aspect ratio. In other words, you will be downsizing your content to the normal 16:9 ratio while watching all the regular TV programs with black bars on top or sides. (By the way, those black bars are known as ‘letterboxing’.) If there is any mismatch between the aspect ratio and the movie you are watching and the aspect ratio of the TV you will find those pesky little black bars.

As mentioned before when movie studios began producing their first movies they were in the 4:3 ratio and that was just fine. However, when they added sound to the movies the ratio changed ever so slightly to accommodate the soundtrack. For the next twenty years. It was known at the time as the Academy Ratio.

Aspect Ratio

Here’s a list of aspect ratios and associated screen resolutions:

· 32:9 aspect ratio:

3840×1080, 5120×1440

· 21:9 aspect ratio:

2560×1080, 3440×1440, 5120×2160

· 16:9 aspect ratio:

1280×720, 1366×768, 1600×900, 1920×1080, 2560×1440, 3840×2160, 5120×2880, 7680×4320

· 16:10 aspect ratio:

1280×800, 1920×1200, 2560×1600

· 4:3 aspect ratio:

1400×1050, 1440×1080, 1600×1200, 1920×1440, 2048×1536

Aspect Ratio

What Aspect Ratio Should I Use?

Most of the time, the best aspect ratio will be whatever your display’s native screen resolution/aspect ratio is. However, it also depends on what type of content you are watching as well as your personal preference.

16:9 is the most widespread aspect ratio as it is used for the most common monitor and TV resolutions, including 1920×1080 and 4K. Moreover, a 16:9 aspect ratio is very versatile as it can decently display both 4:3 and 21:9 content.

When it comes to gaming, ultrawide monitors can offer massive benefits due to the broader field of view. That’s why some competitive games will limit the aspect ratio to 16:9, meaning you’ll have black bars at the sides of the screen.

In the end, you should use whatever aspect ratio you see fit. Some prefer having a wider image while watching movies, for example, but others prefer the picture fully outstretched.

Unmarked pictures come from Internet, and source:

The commonly used aspect ratio is 4:3,16:9 and 16:10.
For most of our displays, the aspect ratio is 16:9.