What is an aspect ratio and how can you tell which one you need to use for your next presentation? This article sheds some light on the matter.
In a nutshell, aspect ratio is a simple matter of dimensions (as expressed in width to height). In terms of television, film, and projectors, aspect ratio refers to the size and shape of the viewable image.
Remember watching older movies on TV where the opening and closing credits were all stretched out? That's because the film was produced in 16:9 (sometimes called "letterbox" or "widescreen" format) and then squished into 4:3 to fit on your TV screen.
If you're giving a presentation, these tips will help you determine which aspect ratio you need for your rental projector.
In many cases, when you purchase a film on DVD, you can choose whether you wish to view it in widescreen or regular format (in widescreen format, you will see a black bar above and below the film image, and this will run throughout the movie; regular format will fill your television screen (unless you own a widescreen television). In either case, this is due to the aspect ratio.
Aspect ratio is a relevant factor when selecting a projector because most projectors have a fixed resolution (also called native aspect ratio) for display. However, rental projectors from Projector123.com can display a number of aspect ratios (and in most cases, the native aspect ratio is listed first).
If you're planning a PowerPoint Presentation, your projected image will likely appear in an aspect ratio of 4:3 or 5:4. Home theater viewing of films on DVD and HDTV can be projected with 16:9 (letterbox or widescreen) format. The aspect ratio is purely a matter of personal preference.
Here are some factors to consider when you're deciding which aspect ratio to use for your next presentation:
1. Find out whether the projector you'll use has a fixed or variable aspect ratio. This will determine whether or not you have options in creating your presentation display.
If you're presenting something on film, you'll want to use the 16:9 widescreen ratio. If you're demonstrating software, an online system, or anything where you'll be directly displaying what you're controlling on a computer, use a 4:3 (television) ratio, as this is the display for most monitors and therefore most websites use this same aspect ratio.
2. Consider whether the size and proportions of your presentation require a specific fixed ratio. For example, if it's a display on photography, you'll likely want to stick with 640x480 or 1024x768. A widescreen format will not always display photographs properly.
3. If the proportions of display have no relevance in terms of your specific content, stick with 4:3 (television) ratio, as this is generally the most comfortable for your audience.
Be sure to read the directions that accompany your rental projector and practice changing the aspect ratio before you begin your presentation.
If your presentation requires a fixed or specific aspect ratio, be sure to request a rental projector with the specifications you need.
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