Aspect Ratio

August 3, 2009 – 9:49 am, posted by Oliver

For anyone who has invested in an HDTV over the last 5 years, this is something with which you should be familiar. For those considering buying one, the aspect ratio can be a crucial part of that decision. For others, it does not make much of a difference. In this article, will look at what ‘aspect ratio’ is, and why it can have an impact on which High Definition television you buy.

Aspect ratio is the viewing mode of all televisions. There are multiple ratios, but the standard ones are as follows.

4:3 Standard – This has been the standard for CRT televisions since its development.

Widescreen – This was the original widescreen format used for the projection screen before the development of High Definition broadcasting.

720 P & I – This is new to the playing field of High Definition. This is the resolution usually reserved for the smaller HDTVs, generally 32 inches and below, although some 36 inch screens also use this as a default.

1080 P & I – This is also new to the HD playing field. This resolution is generally reserved for the larger screen High Definition Televisions, usually 36 inches and up.

The aspect ratio is going to play a role in the television you buy, depending on the content you will mostly be viewing. If you have cable or satellite and subscribe to the HD service, you are more than likely going to want a 1080p or 1080i – especially if you also watch a lot of DVDs that are recorded in High Definition, or if you do a lot of gaming that is made for High Definition. All in all, take a look at the content you will be viewing, and base the HDTV you buy off of that.

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