Aspect ratios are a measure of the width and height of an image or screen. The aspect ratio is typically expressed as two numbers separated by a colon, such as 4:3. This means that the width is four units and the height is three units. Aspect ratios can be used to describe other things besides screens too, like paper dimensions. In this blog post, I will give you information on how aspect ratios work
Screen resolution, or how much information is displayed on the screen, can be expressed in two ways. The first way is by stating the number of pixels to the left and top of a display – this is called horizontal resolution (example: 1920 x 1080). The second way is by stating the number of pixels tall to width – this is called vertical resolution (example: 2560 x 1440). The aspect ratio is the ratio of the pixels presents within the vertical space to those available in the horizontal space.
This means that if you were to divide the number of pixels by the aspect ratio, you would receive a value that represents how much information can be displayed on one line. For example, a 1920 x 1080 resolution would have 1,777,216 pixels. Divide that figure by 16:9, and you get approximately 129,734 pixels on one line.
The most common aspect ratios for consumer television sets are 16:9 (also known as widescreen), 4:3 (also known as standard), and 21:9 (also known as widescreen).
While the majority of today’s console games do support all three aspect ratios, there are some exceptions. Most notably, games for older consoles such as the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox tend to only support 4:3. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean games are letterboxed – instead, the game will display on your 16:9 or 21:9 monitor with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.