When choosing a projector screen, people usually prioritize the screen size, flexibility, materials, screen gain, and other crucial factors. However, what most forgets to keep in mind is the aspect ratio. But did you know that if you do not get the correct aspect ratio, your projector viewing experience will not be up to par?
Yes, as experts that set up projectors in office spaces and homes, we can certainly back that up. That said, 16×9 and 16×10 are the two of the most common aspect ratios. But what are the differences that lie between 16×9 vs. 16×10? Which is the correct aspect ratio for you? Well, that is what you will find out through this article.
Before talking about 16×10 and 16×9 ratios, we would like to ensure you have a clear idea of the aspect ratio. If we consider layman’s terms, the aspect ratio defines the shape of the screen’s image that the projector will output.
In other words, it is the fractional difference between the width and the height of the image. And there are plenty of different types of aspect ratios out there. For example, take a look at your Instagram feed. The ideal aspect ratio of each of the images that you will be viewing there will be 1:1.
However, that is not the only aspect ratio that is available. You will also find 4:3, 2.35:1, 16:9, and 16:10. In the case of aspect ratios, each of them has a different meaning. Understanding that will undoubtedly help you understand each one of them better.
Take the 4:3 aspect ratio into your consideration. Here, each unit of measurement of width will have three units of measurement of height. Likewise, the 1:1 states that each of the width measurement units will have one height measurement unit.
That said, you might be wondering what the aspect ratio dictates. Well, first of all, it will determine the size of the image on the screen. Secondly, it will play a part in terms of the resolution of the picture. And the resolution can impact the overall sharpness and clarity of the images.
16×9 Projector Screen
Among both the 16×9 and 16×10 aspect ratios, the 16×9 is the most popular option. It is utilized by a lot of different movies, games, presentations, and other content. You might even find people referring to it as high definition format or HDTV as it serves the international standard HDTV format.
Another reason for its popularity is that it is the sweet spot between the 35mm UK and US widescreen standard. It even acts as a bridge between the 35mm UK and European standard.
In earlier days, when the movie production houses wanted to find a ratio that would let them showcase their movies better and in higher quality, they put in the effort to find this perfect sweet spot. And that is where the rise of the 16:9 aspect ratio came to be.
The widescreen ratio paved the path to get highly detailed images on reasonably large screens and saw an enhancement of quality when paired with cinematic bars. For that reason, it is this prevalent in the HD widescreen TVs and other satellite TV channels.
Since it is the standard format of the US, you will find the aspect ratio being utilized by most of the FHD and HD projectors that are within the budget range of $200. And the resolutions that those projectors will be capable of offering are:
- 720p HD resolution, otherwise 1280×720
- 1080p FHD resolution, otherwise known as 1920×1080
- Native 4K UHD resolution, otherwise 3840×2160
Even though the 16×9 resolution might make the content and media, people will not utilize it for presentation projector screens. Wondering why? Sometimes, the ratio might make the slides and other professional works look distorted and out of place. That would eliminate the professional feel and look.
Advantages of 16×9
So, what does the 16×9 projector has to bring to the table? Here are the benefits that you will enjoy after getting one of these screens:
- Videos and photos will fit on this screen without needing any modifications
- Most of the movies are meant to be enjoyed on a 16:9 aspect ratio, which means you will be enjoying the content the way it was meant to be enjoyed
- As this ratio is standard for projector screens, these will be highly accessible
- These projector screens are available in all price points, including the affordable budget segment
- Can run in native standard resolutions, such as 720p, 1080p, and 4K
Disadvantages of 16×9
Even though the 16×9 projector screens are pretty popular, they do associate with some drawbacks. Here are the major ones:
- The 16×9 ratio is mostly for enjoying content, which means it will not be suitable for professional use
- Some of the unsupported formats will crop in the video or image. That would end up with an unpleasurable viewing experience
16×10 Projector Screen
You might have heard about the 8:5 aspect ratio. Yes, 16×10, or 16:10, is the same as 8:5. Back in 2008, people used to refer to this as something that will outshine the legendary 4×3, or 4:3, format. And it exactly did that. Then, it became the most popular option for WUXGA, WXGA, and other similar resolutions.
However, the popularity did not last that long. Soon after it was gaining fame for being superior to the 4X3, 16X9 stole the show. With its capabilities, the 16×9 even bypassed all of the market shares that are out there. For that reason, you will not notice this aspect ratio being used that much in content consumption devices.
Does that mean that you will not find any use of the aspect ratio? Not really! In fact, most organizations will still use it for presentation purposes. It can make the content look and feel more professional. Also, different computer screens will come with this ratio. It will let the user select loads of different resolutions.
Want to know what resolutions does the ratio support? Here is the list:
- WQUXGA resolution, otherwise known as 3840×2400
- WQXGA resolution, otherwise 2560×1600
- WUXGA resolution, otherwise known as 1920×1200
- WSXGA+ resolution, otherwise 1680×1050
- WXGA+ resolution, otherwise known as 1440×900
- Native WXGA resolution, otherwise 1280×800
Advantages of 16×10
Just because the 16×10 is not that popular, it does not mean that it will not offer any benefits at all. In fact, you will gain a load of benefits if you opt for these screens. For example:
- The 16×10 ratio can make presentation and professional content look more professional
- It allows non-standard display resolution and ratios to fit natively on the screen
- This aspect ratio allows the screens to achieve a much broader height compared to the other standard ratios
- These projector screens offer a load of options when it comes to resolutions
Disadvantages of 16×10
Yes, there are a couple of drawbacks to the 16×10 projector screens. Here are the major ones that you should know about before pulling the trigger:
- These screens will not support the standard resolution natively
- Most of the contents will have a huge black bar on the top and bottom, which can degrade the overall content-viewing experience
Comparing 16×10 vs. 16×9 Projector Screen
The correct aspect ratio would depend on the amount of projection clarity you want on the screen. It will also depend on what media or content you wish to view on the screen primarily. For example, if you plan to watch content, play games, and watch movies on the screen, opt for the 16×9 projector screen.
That screen will let you enjoy all of the content with the highest quality and in the way, they were meant to be enjoyed. And as it supports all of the standard resolutions, you will not find it challenging to view media of different resolutions and traditional formats.
On the other hand, if you want to use the projector screen for professional purposes, you need to opt for the 16×10 screens. 16×9 would not make any sense in this case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 1280×720 resolution fall under the 16:9 ratio?
Yes, the 1280×720 resolution does fall under the 16:9 ratio. In fact, it is the standard 720p resolution for different contents.
Will 16:10 be a good choice for presentations?
Absolutely! The 16×10 aspect ratio is an ideal pick for presentations. It will make the presentation contents seem more professional, and there will be a good amount of space on both the top and bottom of the images.
Is WUXGA better than FHD?
The WUXGA will be capable of offering more pixels to the screen. That can make the images seem sharp and clear. However, it is not a standard ratio, which means it will not be possible to enjoy different contents the way they were meant to be. But FHD is a standard resolution. So, those issues will not be present with this resolution.
In a nutshell, when it comes to the topic of 16×10 vs. 16×9 projector screen, you need to consider the purpose and personal preference. If media is your priority, 16×9 is the right pick, and if presentation and professional works are your priority, 16×10 is the correct one.
That said, if you plan to use the screen for both professional purposes and media consumption, we would recommend getting the 16×10. You can easily bring black bars on the top and bottom to enjoy the movies and other content, while professional presentations will still look and feel professional with those screens.