What is 16:9?
The 16:9 aspect ratio represents a rectangle with a width of 16 and a height of 9 units. Also referred to as 1.71:1, it is currently the most common aspect ratio across devices—from computer displays to TVs and OTT platforms.
Aspect Ratio vs. Resolution
The terms aspect ratio and resolution are often conflated and used interchangeably. While both work together to boost the viewing experience, the aspect ratio is simply the width-to-height ratio of the display. In contrast, resolution refers to the number of pixels on a display screen.
Advantages of 16:9
- 16:9 is extremely cost-effective due to its compatibility across common device resolutions.
- It boosts the viewing experience by including more content in one frame
- It is used for resolutions like HD, Full HD, 4k or 3840 x 2160 pixels
Disadvantages of 16:9
- 16:9 is not suitable for watching movies in the theater since it's not as wide and results in blacks bars at the top and bottom of the screen
Use-cases of 16:9
- The 16:9 aspect ratio is the standard format for DVD
- Video websites like Vimeo and YouTube use it
- Most professional and consumer-grade electronics use the 16:9 format