Aspect Ratio: Definition of the term with Explanation

different aspect ratio

What is the Aspect Ratio?

The screen aspect ratio is the ratio of the screen height to the width. This term is used in the photography, television, and film industries. For example, a 16: 9 format is a screen where for every 16 units of width (such as inches or pixels). There are 9 units of height. Modern monitors with a resolution of 1920x1080p (Full HD) or 3840x2160p (4K) have an aspect ratio of 16: 9. While video with a resolution of 1920x817p has an aspect ratio of 2.35: 1

List of aspect ratios and a few related resolutions

  1. 32: 9 Aspect Ratio: 3840 × 1080, 5120 × 1440
  2. 21: 9 aspect ratio: 2560 × 1080, 3440 × 1440, 5120 × 2160
  3. 16: 9 Aspect Ratio: 1280 × 720, 1366 × 768, 1600 × 900, 1920 × 1080, 2560 × 1440, 3840 × 2160, 5120 × 2880, 7680 × 4320
  4. 16:10 Aspect Ratio: 1280 × 800, 1920 × 1200, 2560 × 1600
  5. 4: 3 Aspect Ratio: 1400 × 1050, 1440 × 1080, 1600 × 1200, 1920 × 1440, 2048 × 1536

What aspect ratios should I use?

In most cases, any native screen resolution of your display will be the best aspect ratio. However, it also depends on the type of content you are watching as well as your personal preference.

16: 9 is the most common aspect ratio. As it is used for the most common monitor and TV resolutions, including 1920 × 1080 and 4K. What’s more, the 16: 9 aspect ratio is very versatile. As it can display both 4: 3 and 21: 9 content decently.

When it comes to gaming, 21: 9 ultra-wide monitors can offer tremendous benefits with a wider field of view. This is why some competitive games limit the aspect ratio to 16: 9, which means you’ll have black bars on the sides of the screen.

At the end of the day, you should use whatever aspect ratio you think is appropriate. Some people prefer, for example, to have a wider picture when watching movies, while others prefer a fully stretched picture.

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