16:9 (1.77:1) is a widescreen aspect ratio with a width of 16 units and height of 9.
Once seen as exotic,since 2009, it has become the most common aspect ratio for televisions and computer monitors and is also the international standard format of digital television HDTV Full HD and SD TV. It has replaced the fullscreen 4:3 aspect ratio.
16:9 (1.77:1) (said as sixteen by nine or sixteen to nine) is the international standard format of HDTV, non-HD digital television and analog widescreen television PALplus. Japan's Hi-Vision originally started with a 5:3 ratio but converted when the international standards group introduced a wider ratio of 16 to 9. Many digital video cameras have the capability to record in 16:9, and 16:9 is the only widescreen aspect ratio natively supported by the DVD standard. DVD producers can also choose to show even wider ratios such as 1.85:1 and 2.4:1 within the 16:9 DVD frame by hard matting or adding black bars within the image itself.
Dr. Kerns H. Powers, a member of the SMPTE Working Group on High-Definition Electronic Production, first proposed the 16:9 (1.77:1) aspect ratio in 1984, when nobody was creating 16:9 videos. The popular choices in 1980 were 4:3 (based on TV standard's ratio at the time), 15:9 (the European "flat" 1.66:1 ratio), 1.85:1 (the American "flat" ratio) and 2.35:1 (the CinemaScope/Panavision) ratio for anamorphic widescreen.
Powers cut out rectangles with equal areas, shaped to match each of the popular aspect ratios. When overlapped with their center points aligned, he found that all of those aspect ratio rectangles fit within an outer rectangle with an aspect ratio of 1.77:1 and all of them also covered a smaller common inner rectangle with the same aspect ratio 1.78:1. The value found by Powers is exactly the geometric mean of the extreme aspect ratios, 4:3 and 2.35:1, √47/15≈1.77:1 which is coincidentally close to 16:9. Applying the same geometric mean technique to 16:9 and 4:3 yields an aspect ratio of around 1.5396:1, sometimes approximated as 14:9 (1.55:1), which is likewise used as a compromise between these ratios.
While 16:9 (1.77:1) was initially selected as a compromise format, the subsequent popularity of HDTV broadcast has solidified 16:9 as perhaps the most common video aspect ratio in use. Most 4:3 (1.33:1) and 2.40:1 video is now recorded using a "shoot and protect" technique that keeps the main action within a 16:9 (1.77:1) inner rectangle to facilitate HD broadcast[ citation needed ]. Conversely it is quite common to use a technique known as center-cutting, to approach the challenge of presenting material shot (typically 16:9) to both an HD and legacy 4:3 audience simultaneously without having to compromise image size for either audience. Content creators frame critical content or graphics to fit within the 1.33:1 raster space. This has similarities to a filming technique called Open matte.
After the original 16:9 Action Plan of the early 1990s, the European Union instituted the 16:9 Action Plan,just to accelerate the development of the advanced television services in 16:9 aspect ratio, both in PALplus (compatible with regular PAL broacasts) and also in HD-MAC (an early HD format). The Community fund for the 16:9 Action Plan amounted to €228,000,000.
Over a long period in the late 2000s and early 2010s, the computer industry switched from 4:3 to 16:9 as the most common aspect ratio for monitors and laptops. A 2008 report by DisplaySearch cited a number of reasons for this shift, including the ability for PC and monitor manufacturers to expand their product ranges by offering products with wider screens and higher resolutions, helping consumers to more easily adopt such products and "stimulating the growth of the notebook PC and LCD monitor market".By using the same aspect ratio for both TVs and monitors, manufacturing can be streamlined and research costs reduced by not requiring two separate sets of equipment, and since a 16:9 is narrower than a 16:10 panel of the same length, more panels can be created per sheet of glass.
In 2011, Bennie Budler, product manager of IT products at Samsung South Africa, confirmed that monitors capable of 1920×1200 resolutions are not being manufactured anymore. "It is all about reducing manufacturing costs. The new 16:9 aspect ratio panels are more cost-effective to manufacture locally than the previous 16:10 panels".
In March 2011, the 16:9 resolution 1920×1080 became the most common used resolution among Steam's users. The previous most common resolution was 1680×1050 (16:10).
16:9 is the only widescreen aspect ratio natively supported by the DVD format. Anamorphic DVD transfers store the information as 5:4 (PAL) or 3:2 (NTSC) square pixels, which is set to expand to either 16:9 or 4:3, which the television or video player handles. A PAL DVD with a full frame image may contain a video resolution of 768×576 (4:3 ratio), but a video player software will stretch this to 1024×576 square pixels with a 16:9 flag in order to recreate the correct aspect ratio.
DVD producers can also choose to show even wider ratios such as 1.85:1 and 2.4:1 within the 16:9 DVD frame by hard matting or adding black bars within the image itself. Some films which were made in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, such as the U.S.-Italian co-production Man of La Mancha and Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing , fit quite comfortably onto a 1.77:1 HDTV screen and have been issued as an enhanced version on DVD without the black bars. Many digital video cameras have the capability to record in 16:9.
Common resolutions for 16:9 are listed in the table below:
In Europe, 16:9 is the standard broadcast format for most TV channels and all HD broadcasts. Some countries adopted the format for analogue television, first by using the PALplus standard (now obsolete) and then by simply using WSS on normal PAL broadcasts.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||All channels.|
|Croatia||HRT 1**, 2**, 3**, 4**, 5, RTL Televizija*, RTL 2*, Nova TV*, Doma TV*, RTL Kockica* Sportska Televizija**.|
|Czech Republic||All channels.|
|North Macedonia||All channels.|
|Romania||Always on 16:9: Antena channels (Antena 1, Antena Stars, Antena 3, Happy, ZU TV, Antena Internațional), RCS & RDS channels (including Digi24, U TV, Music Channel), Kiss TV, B1 TV, Telekom Sport, Look TV, Look Plus, WarnerMedia channels (Cartoon Network, Boomerang)|
Often on 16:9: TVR channels (TVR 1, TVR 2, TVR 3, TVRi), PRO channels (Pro TV, Pro 2, Pro X, Pro Cinema, Pro Gold, Pro TV Internațional)
Always on 4:3 with 16:9 stretched: CNM channels (Național TV, Național 24 Plus, Favorit TV), TVR regional channels (TVR Cluj, TVR Craiova, TVR Iași, TVR Tîrgu-Mureș, TVR Timișoara), Prima TV.
|San Marino||All channels.|
|United Kingdom||All channels.|
|New Zealand||All channels.|
|China||CCTV channels 1-15, CCTV-5+, all CGTN channels. Older contents in 4:3 and news contents are stretched on SD variants of these channels as stretching on SD channels is common.|
|Hong Kong||All channels.|
|India||All HD channels. Most SD channels are still broadcasting in 4:3, either fullscreen on letterboxed.|
|Indonesia||16:9 native*: Kompas TV, MetroTV, Trans7, Trans TV, NET., TVRI |
*Channels that are primarily broadcast in 16:9 sometimes are filled by 4:3 content which are either stretched or pillarboxed.
**Broadcast in 16:9 HDTV along with inner 4:3 SDTV. Due to their visibility, some contents are either pillarboxed and windowboxed (especially in commercial ads and live sport games). Contents wider than 16:9 are usually letterboxed. They're usually stretched in SDTV mode. HD versions are limited to pay TV services and digital terrestrial TV in select regions.
***These channels are still using 4:3 configuration. Stretched when broadcasting in 16:9 format. Some channels have limited original 16:9 video contents.
Note: Nationwide TV channels listed above are classified according to their original configuration, sorted chronologically according to TV configuration update. Configuration for exclusively digital and local channels are may vary. Local versions of nationwide channels may be different from their national version.
|Japan||Japan pioneered in its analogue HDTV system (MUSE) in 16:9 format, started in the 1980s. Currently all main channels have digital terrestrial television channels in 16:9 while being simulcast in analogue 4:3 format. Many satellite broadcast channels are being broadcast in 16:9 as well.|
|Mongolia||MNB & MN2, TM Television, TV5, TV6, TV8, Channel 25, Эx Орон, SBN, ETV, MNC, Eagle News TV, Edutainment TV, Star TV, SPS, Sportbox and SHUUD TV.|
|Nepal||Kantipur Television Network|
|Pakistan||All HD channels. Most SD channels are still broadcasting in 4:3, either in fullscreen or letterboxed|
|Philippines||16:9 native*: PTV, ABS-CBN HD***, S+A HD ***, ANC (both SD and HD)***, Kapamilya Channel (both SD and HD)***, CNN Philippines, One PH,*** One News***, Hope Channel Philippines, 3ABN , Hope International, INCTV, Net 25, DZRH News Television |
4:3 upscaled/stretched to 16:9**: ETC, 2nd Avenue, all BEAM's subchannels, Light Network, UNTV****, Ang Dating Daan TV, SMNI, all ABS-CBN terrestrial channels (including TVPlus channels), TV5, One Sports, GMA 7, A2Z, GTV, IBC 13
*channels that are squeezed/letterboxed to 4:3 on analog terrestrial transmissions nor no letterbox on widescreen-produced programs.
**channels that are originally broadcasting in 4:3 on analog terrestrial, but upscaled or stretched to 16:9 for digital terrestrial television, cable and satellite.
***16:9 versions available on pay-TV services only.
****Some programs are aired in true 16:9 formatting
|Qatar||All beIN Sports channels, Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Mubasher, Qatar TV HD, all Alkass channels.|
|Saudi Arabia||All channels.|
|Singapore||All MediaCorp channels, however 16:9 contents look squashed on older 4:3 sets. Also, all 4:3 contents including news clips are stretched as stretching is common.|
|South Korea||All channels.|
|Sri Lanka||All channels|
|Taiwan||TTV HD, CTV HD, CTS HD, FTV HD, PTS HD, TVBS.|
|United Arab Emirates||All channels.|
|Vietnam||All of VTC's channels, VTV channels, HTV channels and K+'s channels (selected programmes), most of local channels.|
|Bolivia||Always on 16:9: PAT, ATB.|
Often on 16:9: Bolivia TV.
|Chile||All channels. Expect Telecanal in 4.3 in ident 4:3 letterboxed in comercials|
|Costa Rica||All channels.|
|Dominican Republic||All channels.|
|Mexico||Free-to-air television: Las Estrellas, FOROtv, Canal 5, NU9VE, Televisa Regional, Azteca Uno, Azteca 7, a+, adn40, Imagen Televisión, Excélsior TV, Canal Once, Canal 22, Una Voz con Todos, Teveunam, Milenio Televisión, Multimedios Televisión, Teleritmo, and some local HD stations. |
Pay television: U, Golden, Golden Edge, TL Novelas, Bandamax, De Película, De Película Clásico, Ritmoson Latino, TDN, TeleHit, Distrito Comedia, Tiin, Az Noticias, Az Clic!, Az Mundo, Az Corazón, Az Cinema, 52MX, TVC, TVC Deportes, Pánico, Cinema Platino, Cine Mexicano.
|Paraguay||Almost all channels on free-to-air television, especially HD feeds (ex.: RPC, NPY, Unicanal, channel 7 HD). SD feeds (usually found on pay television) are usually letterboxed and downscaled to 4:3 (ex.: SNT & Paravisión).|
|United States||All HD channels. SD feeds (usually found on pay television) are usually letterboxed and downscaled to 4:3.|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2015)
|Burkina Faso||All channels.|
|Cape Verde||All channels.|
|Equatorial Guinea||All channels.|
|Ivory Coast||All channels.|
|South Africa||All channels.|
Letterboxing is the practice of transferring film shot in a widescreen aspect ratio to standard-width video formats while preserving the film's original aspect ratio. The resulting videographic image has mattes above and below it; these mattes are part of each frame of the video signal. LBX or LTBX are identifying abbreviations for films and images thus formatted.
Pan and scan is a method of adjusting widescreen film images so that they can be shown in fullscreen proportions of a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio television screen, often cropping off the sides of the original widescreen image to focus on the composition's most important aspects.
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Widescreen images are images that are displayed within a set of aspect ratios used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35 mm film.
Anamorphic widescreen is a process by which a comparatively wide widescreen image is horizontally compressed to fit into a storage medium with a narrower aspect ratio, reducing the horizontal resolution of the image while keeping its full original vertical resolution. Compatible play-back equipment can then expand the horizontal dimension to show the original widescreen image. This is typically used to allow one to store widescreen images on a medium that was originally intended for a narrower ratio, while using as much of the frame – and therefore recording as much detail – as possible.
The display resolution or display modes of a digital television, computer monitor or display device is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. It can be an ambiguous term especially as the displayed resolution is controlled by different factors in cathode ray tube (CRT) displays, flat-panel displays and projection displays using fixed picture-element (pixel) arrays.
PALplus is an analogue television broadcasting system aimed to improve and enhance the PAL format while remaining compatible with existing television receivers. It followed experiences with the HD-MAC and D2-MAC, hybrid analogue-digital formats that were incompatible with PAL receivers. It was developed at the University of Dortmund in Germany, in cooperation with German terrestrial broadcasters and European and Japanese manufacturers.
720p is a progressive HDTV signal format with 720 horizontal lines and an aspect ratio (AR) of 16:9, normally known as widescreen HDTV (1.78:1). All major HDTV broadcasting standards include a 720p format, which has a resolution of 1280×720; however, there are other formats, including HDV Playback and AVCHD for camcorders, that use 720p images with the standard HDTV resolution. The frame rate is standards-dependent, and for conventional broadcasting appears in 50 progressive frames per second in former PAL/SECAM countries, and 59.94 frames per second in former NTSC countries.
576p is the shorthand name for a video display resolution. The p stands for progressive scan, i.e. non-interlaced, the 576 for a vertical resolution of 576 pixels. 576p is considered standard definition for PAL regions. The frame rate can be given explicitly after the letter.
High-definition video is video of higher resolution and quality than standard-definition. While there is no standardized meaning for high-definition, generally any video image with considerably more than 480 vertical scan lines or 576 vertical lines (Europe) is considered high-definition. 480 scan lines is generally the minimum even though the majority of systems greatly exceed that. Images of standard resolution captured at rates faster than normal, by a high-speed camera may be considered high-definition in some contexts. Some television series shot on high-definition video are made to look as if they have been shot on film, a technique which is often known as filmizing.
1080p is a set of HDTV high-definition video modes characterized by 1,920 pixels displayed across the screen horizontally and 1,080 pixels down the screen vertically; the p stands for progressive scan, i.e. non-interlaced. The term usually assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, implying a resolution of 2.1 megapixels. It is often marketed as Full HD or FHD, to contrast 1080p with 720p resolution screens. Although 1080p is sometimes informally referred to as 2K, these terms reflect two distinct technical standards, with differences including resolution and aspect ratio.
16:10 is an aspect ratio mostly used for computer displays and tablet computers. The width of the display is 1.6 times its height. This ratio is close to the golden ratio "" which is approximately 1.618.
The technology of television has evolved since its early days using a mechanical system invented by Paul Gottlieb Nipkow in 1884. Every television system works on the scanning principle first implemented in the rotating disk scanner of Nipkow. This turns a two-dimensional image into a time series of signals that represent the brightness and color of each resolvable element of the picture. By repeating a two-dimensional image quickly enough, the impression of motion can be transmitted as well. For the receiving apparatus to reconstruct the image, synchronization information is included in the signal to allow proper placement of each line within the image and to identify when a complete image has been transmitted and a new image is to follow.
High-definition television (HD) describes a television system providing a substantially higher image resolution than the previous generation of technologies. The term has been used since 1936, but in modern times refers to the generation following standard-definition television (SDTV), often abbreviated to HDTV or HD-TV. It is the current de facto standard video format used in most broadcasts: terrestrial broadcast television, cable television, satellite television and Blu-ray Discs.
The aspect ratio of a display device is the proportional relationship between the width and the height of the display. It is expressed as two numbers separated by a colon (x:y). Common aspect ratios for displays, past and present, include 5:4, 4:3, 16:10 and 16:9.
"21:9" is a consumer electronics (CE) marketing term to describe the ultrawide aspect ratio of 64:27, designed to show films recorded in CinemaScope and equivalent modern anamorphic formats. The main benefit of this screen aspect ratio, compared to the more common 16:9, is the absence of the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen when viewing content in this format, and a constant display height when displaying other content with a lesser aspect ratio.
The graphics display resolution is the width and height dimension of an electronic visual display device, such as a computer monitor, in pixels. Certain combinations of width and height are standardized and typically given a name and an initialism that is descriptive of its dimensions. A higher display resolution in a display of the same size means that displayed photo or video content appears sharper, and pixel art appears smaller.
The aspect ratio of an image is the ratio of its width to its height. It is commonly expressed as two numbers separated by a colon, as in 16:9. For an x:y aspect ratio, the image is x units wide and y units high. Widely used aspect ratios include 1.85:1 and 2.39:1 in film photography, 4:3 and 16:9 in television, and 3:2 in still camera photography.
Ultrawide formats refers to photos, videos and displays with aspect ratio greater than 2. There were multiple moves in history towards wider formats, including one by Disney, with some of them being more successful than others.
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