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Aspect Ratios

What is Aspect Ratio?

Across our website, particularly in the projector and projector screen categories, you will see us referencing the aspect ratio.

Aspect ratios are one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a projector screen, yet, it can be a confusing concept which requires more explanation.

Hopefully what we detail here will help you understand the difference between them and allow you to make an informed decision about which screen is best for you.

Aspect ratio refers to the width to length dimension of a picture. If you want the perfect picture when using your projector and screen, you need to make sure you're using the correct aspect ratio....

To start at the basics, aspect ratios simply denote the width to height ratio of an image.

This is easier to explain when using an example such as the 4:3 aspect ratio. The 4 expresses the width of the image, and the 3 indicates the height. The measurements of 4 and 3 are not set, merely the ratio is. Therefore a screen 8m wide and 6m high would still be in the same 4:3 ratio as one that is 4m wide and 3m high.

There are four types of aspect ratio that are normally available in our screen range.

                             • 1:1 Square Format              • 4:3 Video Format
                             • 16:9 Widescreen Format    • 16:10 Business Widescreen Format (WXGA) 

Aspect Ratios

How does this work?

To get a perfectly matched projector screen for your projector, you first need to determine what is the native resolution your projector. This can normally be found on the manufacturer's specification.

The Native Resolution is the total number of individual pixels that make up an image. This is normally expressed Width x Height e.g. 1280 x 800 = WXGA

This also gives you the aspect ratio of the projected image, and therefore the best screen to pair with the projector.

Resolution Pixels width x height Best Screen Aspect Ratio
SVGA 800x600px 4:3 Video format
XGA 1024x768px 4:3 Video format
WXGA 1280x800px 16:10 WXGA Widescreen
High Definition (HD) 1920x1080px 16:9 Widescreen
WUXGA 1920x1200px 16:10 WXGA Widescreen


What Format Do I Need?

Our advice is to always choose a screen with the same format/ native resolution as your projector.

Square format aspect ratio

Square Format (1:1) : Mainly for Overhead Projector use.


Video format aspect ratio


Video Format (4:3) : Mainly for Office and Education use when projecting  from a Laptop or PC.


WXGA format aspect ratio

WXGA : Mainly for Business use when projecting from a Laptop or PC and can be used for Home Cinema use.


Widescreen format aspect ratio



Widescreen Format (16:9) : Mainly used for Home Cinema use.

Some projectors have the ability to switch between 16:9 and 4:3 so go for the format that best suits what you’re mostly going to be watching.

When buying a projection screen for your projector you will want to match it to the right screen format.

You can use a home cinema projector with a 4:3 screen but the end result is approximately 25% of the screen will be unused and will look something similar to the below image..

unused screen area

If you are still confused about aspect ratio and resolution, and want to speak to an advisor, please call or email us.

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