What is Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio is basically used to describe the dimensions of a display resolution. It is the ratio of the horizontal width to the height i.e. the relative horizontal and vertical sizes. The number denoting width comes first, and the height portion of the aspect ratio is always written as 1. For e.g. – if the graphic has an aspect ratio of 4:3 then it means that the width is 4 is to 3 times the height.The aspect ratio is to be maintained if a graphic is to be resized as to avoid stretching the graphic out of proportion. For e.g. – if a user wants a stretched or zoomed picture, then the aspect ratios should be considered as there are various aspect ratio modes that a television offers. Many televisions come with a button which directly enables to change the ratio. In other way around, a resolution of 800×600 has an aspect ratio of 4:3.

The most common forms of aspect ratio in the world today are the full screen and widescreen formats. Full screen format is the common 4:3 standard that stretches the picture across the width and length of entire television set. This has dominated the television market for more than two decades.

An academy named The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) sets the standard of use for the full screen aspect. In the mid-90s, the theater attendance began to drop due to which this academy (AMPAS) worked on creating a new format from the classical format that would bring television audiences to head back to the theater. Most of the movies which are photographed on film could be shown on the standard home television set without any problem.

Many aspect ratios are used in movie making, for e.g. – European standard of 1.66:1 of 2.76:1 (used only for a few films). Movies, which are usually shot with a wide angle lens, have an aspect ratio of 16:9 which means that the width of the image area is almost twice its height. The traditional television and computer display are basically designed for an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which means that the width of the display area is only 1.33 times the height, almost square.

Since, HDTV is or will be the future of television; the widescreen will be dominating the market. In the near future, people will even wonder how they lived without a television.

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