Explanation of Aspect Ratios

What is the Right Aspect Ratio for you?

Simply put, aspect ratio is the shape of a screen. The screen could be square, rectangular or a really stretched rectangle so aspect ratios define that shape so that the screen and projected content will match with one-another.  


The aspect ratio defines that for any set number of horizontal units of measurement, there will be a specific number of corresponding vertical units of measure that are equal.

In other words, a 4:3 aspect ratio means that for every 4 units of horizontal measurement, there will be 3 equal units of vertical measurement. 
With a 16:9 aspect ratio, for every 16 units of horizontal measurement, there will be 9 equal units of vertical measurement.
Using this logic, a 1:1 aspect ratio would be squared, whereas a 2.35:1 screen would be 2.35 times wider than it is high.
All of them have a valid purpose.

​Formatting your projector’s aspect ratio with a matching format of your projection screen is important.  While 1:1, 4:3, and 16:10 aspect ratios are ideal for commercial applications, 16:19 is ideal for home theater and it can “letterbox” 2.35:1 content when needed.  But for the dedicated movie enthusiast, a widescreen format would be best. 

Ratio Value
1:1 1:1 or “Squared” screens are still used by commercial operations, research and educational facilities. These are especially suitable with overhead projectors since the projector and screen have matching aspect ratios.​
4:3 4:3 or NTSC is the original TV format. It is based on the actual field of vision that a pair of human eyes have. They are also used mainly with commercial and educational facilities.​
16:9 16:9 or HDTV is the most common aspect ratio in use today. It is the standard aspect ratio of most TV flat panels and projectors on the market today.​
​2.35:1  ​2.35:1 or Cinemascope, or “Widescreen” is based on the original 35mm format of motion picture production. This is the typical format used in the movies shown in today’s theaters.
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