View Full Version : 4:3 vs 16:9 aspect ratio - what's your preference?


Wetdogeared
02-12-2011, 09:38 AM
I see a lot of comments from members about their dislike of the 16:9 aspect ratio on viewing devices. Can someone please explain the reasoning behind this dislike? Is it just a preference or ease-of-use issue for surfing the web or viewing web content or what?

My HDTV has 16.9 ratio, which I assume is better to view full 1920 X 1080 HD, so why wouldn't I want this ratio on *all* my devices?

What's all the fuss about aspect ratio on your devices. I am somewhat naive in this area so a simple explanation may make me see this controversy in a whole new light. Please enlighten me. :blink:

Crowl
02-12-2011, 09:48 AM
On smaller devices the non-optimal uses for the particular ratio are just that much more annoying, 4:3 content is fine on a nice big tv or monitor, not so much on a small widescreen netbook or tablet screen.

Personally, since I don't use my tablet much for browsing I would be fine with a ws ratio even if the ideal would actually be something more like 3:2 that was closer to matching the ratio for magazines without being too bad for either 4:3 or 16:9 content.

Maybe adding an option to the poll for an intermediate option would be good?

HarryT
02-12-2011, 09:51 AM
16:9 is an excellent ratio for video, but it's wrong for books; it's too tall and narrow. 16:9 has sides in the proportion 1.78 to 1; standard "A" paper sizes obviously have sides in the ratio square root of 2 to 1 (1.414 to 1). A 4:3 screen, with an aspect ratio of 1.33 to one is much closer to the aspect ratio of paper books than is a 16:9 screen.

gastan
02-12-2011, 10:05 AM
My HDTV has 16.9 ratio, which I assume is better to view full 1920 X 1080 HD, so why wouldn't I want this ratio on *all* my devices?


If you plan on using *all* your devices primarily for viewing video I suppose you would. But most of us here use our devices primarily for reading, so X2 everything Harry said. (Even though my PD Novel is an excellent little internet tablet - especially with the latest firmware - I use it 99% of the time strictly as a reader.)

Wetdogeared
02-12-2011, 10:17 AM
16:9 is an excellent ratio for video, but it's wrong for books; it's too tall and narrow. 16:9 has sides in the proportion 1.78 to 1; standard "A" paper sizes obviously have sides in the ratio square root of 2 to 1 (1.414 to 1). A 4:3 screen, with an aspect ratio of 1.33 to one is much closer to the aspect ratio of paper books than is a 16:9 screen.Okay, this makes sense. If your primary use for the device is reading, the 4:3 ratio would be preferable.

With all these new multi-purpose tablets coming out that offer a lot more functionality than just reading, would anyone still prefer the 4:3 ratio?

And Harry, if you can, could you please add another option "Other - please explain' to the poll options?

Jellby
02-12-2011, 10:32 AM
For general work (writing, browsing, programming, image editing...), I prefer 4:3, I have no need for an overly wide screen. For watching a film, I guess 16:9 would be fine. For an ebook reader, I prefer 4:3 or similar too.

What I really, really dislike is when the image is distorted (stretched/shrinked) to fit in the screen, with no care for aspect ratio. I'm sick of seeing 4:3 content stretched to 16:9 screens in bars and pubs, commercials with long faces, TV shows with a black border all around the image...

And Harry, if you can, could you please add another option "Other - please explain' to the poll options?

Done

petermillard
02-12-2011, 10:44 AM
I voted 'other' for the exact reasons stated above - 16:9 is great in landscape mode but lousy in portrait; on a multi-purpose tablet I don't want to be restricted to landscape, simple as that.

Lemurion
02-12-2011, 10:55 AM
Yes, I'd still prefer 4:3. It doesn't matter so much what it does, as what I want to use the device for.

Narrowscreen (for those of us who use portrait mode primarily) ,means that a 7" Nook Color will display a full page PDF at a physically smaller size than a 6" Sony Reader because most of the larger screen size is in the wrong direction. It defeats the purpose of a larger size.

Sure, it's better for video -and some times for web surfing - but those uses are less important to me than reading. So even a multi-purpose device is better for me with the 4:3 aspect ratio.

It's the double whammy of what's more important to me as a user, and that the drawbacks of "widescreen" on PDF outweigh the benefits it brings to video.

Sweetpea
02-12-2011, 11:13 AM
It doesn't matter.

When I first got my JE100, I was afraid the 16:9 might throw me off. But, after a few pages of reading, you hardly notice it anymore.

Lemurion
02-12-2011, 11:16 AM
It doesn't matter.

When I first got my JE100, I was afraid the 16:9 might throw me off. But, after a few pages of reading, you hardly notice it anymore.

It doesn't matter with reflowable text - it does with PDFs and other fixed formats.

fjtorres
02-12-2011, 11:33 AM
I prefer 4x3. One of the reasons I chose a PB IQ as my Android toy.
For multipurpose devices, the best compromise would be 16x10 but even that will have issue.
Ergonomically speaking the key driver is why 4x3 is preferable for portrait reading (and why sigle column landscape is sub-optimal) is scan-width, the distance the eyes have to track on each line.
Where single column landscape requires relatively large font sizes to maintain a comfortable reading experience, 16x9 displays require *smaller* font sizes.
Aother way to put it is that 16x9 displays behave as if they were physically smaller than comparable 4x3 displays.

GlenBarrington
02-12-2011, 11:40 AM
the same aspect ratio as the photos from my Olympus cameras. That would enhance the symmetry of my life and make the angels sing.

hgwlackey
02-12-2011, 12:49 PM
Video is what I use my iPad for the least, so I'm pretty happy that it's 4:3.

pholy
02-12-2011, 12:55 PM
I voted 'other' because I like 16:9 for watching movies on my TV, and 4:3 for pretty much everything else, for the reasons others have given. I wish I could find a 1600x1200 20" LCD to replace the CRT that I can't fit on my desk.

Maggie Leung
02-12-2011, 01:17 PM
I read in portrait, so 4:3.

fantasyfan
02-12-2011, 02:05 PM
I chose "other" because the aspect ratio will depend on what one is viewing. When I read I prefer a 4:3 aspect ratio. That is also the best mode for the older classic films. When browsing the web, I use landscape mode on my iPad--which isn't really either 4:3 or 16:9 but does allow easier reading of the text. The landscape mode is preferable for modern wide screen films, though a letter box effect is created if one wishes to see the entire screen image. In the end, I don't think the choice is either one or the other. Rather one should have a device which gives the necessary flexibility of viewing oiptions for whatever your main usage will entail.

Thierry.C
02-12-2011, 03:33 PM
What about 16/10 ?
It's the closest from the golden number (1.618...).
By the way, I think most e-paper reader are 16/10, aren't they ? (Sony, Kindle, PocketBook, etc., according to their resolution.)

I dislike 16/9 for other screens than a TV.
The best for A4 would be... 1.414 (by order of preference: 14/10, 10/7, 13/9, 4/3, 16/10, 16/9).
For US letter, it's 1.294 so ~ 4/3.
However, there are plenty of p-books that are not "standard" size...
For readability , a text shouldn't be more than about 80 characters per line.
An interesting link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canons_of_page_construction

Finally, an economic consideration: for manufacturer coupled to marketing, it's far more interesting to have a big aspect ratio. By claiming the same screen diagonal, one can strongly decrease costs in raw materials.
To put this bluntly, one could sell a screen with a diagonal of 100" with only one pixel width...
We consumers should ask for indication in term of surface + aspect ratio (or + diagonal), rather than diagonal + aspect ratio.

Thierry

Namekuseijin
02-12-2011, 03:46 PM
What the fuss is about? 16:9 simply allows for more content on screen at once, be it video or text -- not narrow reading, just more text down there. Case closed.

Sweetpea
02-12-2011, 03:50 PM
What the fuss is about? 16:9 simply allows for more content on screen at once, be it video or text -- not narrow reading, just more text down there. Case closed.

To a point, I agree. However, if you take a 5" screen, the line width on that screen would become too narrow. From 7" onwards, it doesn't really matter anymore...

kacir
02-12-2011, 04:30 PM
Manufacturers started to produce those wide computer monitors to SCAM consumers. They claim it is because consumers demand this, but the reality is, that 17" 4:3 monitor has larger screen area than 17" 16:10 monitor. (*)
16:10 monitor might be better for viewing wide-screen movies. But for most computer applications with system menu at the bottom, status line, windows title, application menu at the top, toolbars, or even ... shudder ... ribbon 4:3 will give you more text in a word processor, more numbers in spreadsheet, more books in Calibre, more code in IDE, ...

For books, 4:3 just looks better to me ;-)
This might be because I have been using 4:3 monitors for the last 20 years, and 4:3 TV even longer.
A4 has ratio 1.412:1, which is closer to 4:3 (1.3333) than 16:10 (1.6).
Books here generally do not use A4 or A5, but B or C series format. All those formats have so-called Silver ratio 1 to (square root of 2) = 1:1.412
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A4_paper#The_A_series

(*) See a little math here:

4:3 monitor with 20 inch diagonal has:
Dimensions: 16x12 inch
Area: 192 square inches

16:10 monitor with 20 inch diagonal has:
Dimensions: 16.96x10.6 inch
Area: 179.775 square inches

Quexos
02-12-2011, 04:34 PM
Gotten totally used to wide screen formats. Can't live without it by now. :cool:

snipenekkid
02-12-2011, 05:08 PM
Yes, I'd still prefer 4:3. It doesn't matter so much what it does, as what I want to use the device for.

Narrowscreen (for those of us who use portrait mode primarily) ,means that a 7" Nook Color will display a full page PDF at a physically smaller size than a 6" Sony Reader because most of the larger screen size is in the wrong direction. It defeats the purpose of a larger size.

Sure, it's better for video -and some times for web surfing - but those uses are less important to me than reading. So even a multi-purpose device is better for me with the 4:3 aspect ratio.

It's the double whammy of what's more important to me as a user, and that the drawbacks of "widescreen" on PDF outweigh the benefits it brings to video.

thanks for expressing it exactly as I see it. The whole widescreen thing is a just a way to charge more for less screen real estate anyway. It looks great on the spec sheet to Joe Consumer but to anyone who is not new to the whole ereader world it's not the way to go because as you say it totally does not deliver on the purpose for a larger screen on your ereader.

I was able to find a laptop that was NOT 16:9 but 16:10 instead and it's amazing the difference that makes to the actual square-footage of the display with the difference being it's a lot taller. This is the closest I was able to find to a 4:3 screen which is near to impossible to find in a new laptop, even business build systems. But to be honest, I would be fine with a reader that uses a 16:10 ratio if it was at least 10" or better 11"-12" as my large screen device for reading. It's perfect for a 17" display that I have on all my laptops.

snipenekkid
02-12-2011, 05:13 PM
For general work (writing, browsing, programming, image editing...), I prefer 4:3, I have no need for an overly wide screen. For watching a film, I guess 16:9 would be fine. For an ebook reader, I prefer 4:3 or similar too.

What I really, really dislike is when the image is distorted (stretched/shrinked) to fit in the screen, with no care for aspect ratio. I'm sick of seeing 4:3 content stretched to 16:9 screens in bars and pubs, commercials with long faces, TV shows with a black border all around the image...



Done

Just drink until she/he is pretty...just keep drinking until the horse face flattens out. And don't stop until that happens. :p

snipenekkid
02-12-2011, 05:15 PM
Manufacturers started to produce those wide computer monitors to SCAM consumers. They claim it is because consumers demand this, but the reality is, that 17" 4:3 monitor has larger screen area than 17" 16:10 monitor. (*)
16:10 monitor might be better for viewing wide-screen movies. But for most computer applications with system menu at the bottom, status line, windows title, application menu at the top, toolbars, or even ... shudder ... ribbon 4:3 will give you more text in a word processor, more numbers in spreadsheet, more books in Calibre, more code in IDE, ...

For books, 4:3 just looks better to me ;-)
This might be because I have been using 4:3 monitors for the last 20 years, and 4:3 TV even longer.
A4 has ratio 1.412:1, which is closer to 4:3 (1.3333) than 16:10 (1.6).
Books here generally do not use A4 or A5, but B or C series format. All those formats have so-called Silver ratio 1 to (square root of 2) = 1:1.412
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A4_paper#The_A_series

(*) See a little math here:

4:3 monitor with 20 inch diagonal has:
Dimensions: 16x12 inch
Area: 192 square inches

16:10 monitor with 20 inch diagonal has:
Dimensions: 16.96x10.6 inch
Area: 179,775 square inches

ya might wanna edit that juuust a bit. that would be one big momma monitor!!

kacir
02-12-2011, 06:29 PM
ya might wanna edit that juuust a bit. that would be one big momma monitor!!
In my corner of the world we use coma instead of period, and I forgot to change before copying from Gnumeric.

CWatkinsNash
02-12-2011, 06:53 PM
I said other, because it really depends. Since I come from a film background, to me 4:3 and 16:9 translate to "flat" and "scope" (also known as widescreen, panorama, and so on depending on where you are). When film was the only option, there were both the content factor and the price factor, which affected everything from pre-production to final delivery (exhibition), and then on to TV delivery, which gave birth to pan-and-scan and some bizarre letterboxing approaches and messages about being edited to fit your TV. Some people are tremendously happy that everything is "HD FTW!" because they've believed for years that everything should be wide screen. But IMO, content is King and some content works better in one format than in the other; the choice isn't always cost concerns. But perception is a strong force to be reckoned with, as I learned the first time I tried to explain that a 4:3 full frame projected image really is bigger than 16:9 when the screen is designed to show both formats.

When we move away from film and video and into more static content delivery such as text, I find there's two issues - screen real estate and (again) perceptual size. My 11z has a much smaller screen overall but it's an HD-resolution display. So, technically, I can fit "more stuff" on the screen than my old Dell 15" but everything is smaller. It "feels" bigger than it is. The strange thing is, my Kindle vs. my Literati gives me the opposite impression - the Literati his a screen that's about the same width as my Kindle, but it's taller. Instead of seeming larger than the Kindle, it seems smaller. The text seems cramped. Logically it makes no sense, but perceptually it seems too narrow. I *know* that more text can fit on the screen, but I *perceive* that there is less.

Overall, I prefer 4:3 for reading, 16:9 for computer screens, and whichever suits the content for video.

Lemurion
02-12-2011, 07:29 PM
What the fuss is about? 16:9 simply allows for more content on screen at once, be it video or text -- not narrow reading, just more text down there. Case closed.

The amount of content you can put on screen at once depends on two things: the amount of pixels in the viewing area, and how well the aspect ratio of the screen conforms to the aspect ratio of the content.

A 16:9 aspect ratio conforms very well to current video standards, and very poorly to page standards. If I try to view a full page of a PDF game rulebook on a 16:9 screen in portrait mode, I find a lot of blank space above and below the rendered page.

A 4.3 aspect ratio screen conforms much more closely to the page size of my game rulebooks, and so I can use almost the entire screen in full-page view.

The end result is that I get my choice of either less content, or the same content at a smaller size, by going to a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Page display is limited by the smallest dimension of the screen - not the aspect ratio.

Compare a 7" Nook Color to a 6" Sony Reader or Kindle.

The NC has a 1024x600 screen with dimensions of 6"x3.5"
The Sony has an 800x600 screen with dimensions of 4.8"x3.6

If I take a standard US letter size sheet (1.294) and try to display that on the Sony I get an image that's 4.65" high and 3.6" wide with only 0.15" of wasted space.

If I take the same sheet and try to display it on the Nook color I get an image that's 4.5" high and 3.5" wide and 1.5" of wasted space at the top and bottom of the image.

Bigger screen - less usable space.

When it comes to meeting my needs, any widescreen resolution is significantly less viable than a 4:3 ratio screen.

JSWolf
02-12-2011, 07:34 PM
HDTV has ruined computer monitors. Manufactures now think that 1920x1080 is a good resolution to have when itn fact, it's not. We were having monitors going up in resolution. Then HDTV came along and most now stop at 1920x1080. My monitor is NOT widescreen. But is is a 19" monitor at 1600x1200. Which for the size is more pixels for the screen size them most 22-24 inch monitors. The problem is that to replace this monitor, I'd need to get one that is 1920x1200. They are not easy to find at a reasonable price.

Lemurion
02-12-2011, 07:56 PM
HDTV has ruined computer monitors. Manufactures now think that 1920x1080 is a good resolution to have when itn fact, it's not. We were having monitors going up in resolution. Then HDTV came along and most now stop at 1920x1080. My monitor is NOT widescreen. But is is a 19" monitor at 1600x1200. Which for the size is more pixels for the screen size them most 22-24 inch monitors. The problem is that to replace this monitor, I'd need to get one that is 1920x1200. They are not easy to find at a reasonable price.

I agree - they're substituting size for resolution and we're the losers.

JSWolf
02-12-2011, 08:21 PM
I agree - they're substituting size for resolution and we're the losers.

The HDTV panels they are using are fine for a cheap monitor. But when we want more vertical space, we lose. Even laptops have crapped out. And there is no reason for that at all. It's just the manufactures being cheap tight-wads.

MrPLD
02-12-2011, 08:34 PM
I just had to replace my screen... alas, I could only get a 16:9 in the required timeframe/situation and while it's tollerable at 24" (1920x1080) I still really do miss those extra 120 pixels in height compared to the 1920x1200 24" I had, especially when working on datasheets and CAD.

Namekuseijin
02-12-2011, 10:18 PM
A 16:9 aspect ratio conforms very well to current video standards, and very poorly to page standards. If I try to view a full page of a PDF game rulebook on a 16:9 screen in portrait mode, I find a lot of blank space above and below the rendered page.

PDF is only standard for printed books. Digital displays demand reflowing formats like html and epub.

Screen state can clearly benefit from reflowing content, even to the point of allowing four pages on screen in the case of 16:9 PC displays, as long as you've got good resolutions for the reduced font sizes. On mobile devices, it's portrait mode all the way, with more content per page. :)

Piper_
02-12-2011, 10:45 PM
I hate 16:9 for laptop screens and monitors, but for my e-reader I prefer it to 4:3. :o

I can read books in portrait mode (short lines reduce eye fatigue),
and look at web sites or PDF in landscape mode (can zoom in more before I hit horizontal scrolling).

Lemurion
02-12-2011, 10:49 PM
PDF is only standard for printed books. Digital displays demand reflowing formats like html and epub.

Screen state can clearly benefit from reflowing content, even to the point of allowing four pages on screen in the case of 16:9 PC displays, as long as you've got good resolutions for the reduced font sizes. On mobile devices, it's portrait mode all the way, with more content per page. :)

From your response I gather you do not play pen and paper RPGs.

Many of the publishers of these games make their game rulebooks available in both paper and electronic form - but only in PDF. We're not talking novels, which reflow easily, but rulebooks with complex formatting including but not limited to charts, tables, sidebars, multiple columns, and illustrations.

It just doesn't reflow easily or well.

It also doesn't work with comics. There are a lot of public domain comics out there in CBR/CBZ format that have not been processed for panel by panel viewing, and are best viewed as full pages.

It's another case where 16:9 works very poorly and does not allow for more content on the screen.

It works fine for text - but it doesn't work for everything - and it certainly cannot be said that 16:9 will always put more content on the screen than 4:3 would.

Compare the Velocity Cruz Reader and the Velocity Cruz Tablet, both with 7" Diagonal screens:

The 4:3 aspect ratio Cruz Reader at 800x600 resolution has about 23.5 square inches of screen on a 7" diagonal.

The widescreen Cruz Tablet at 800x480 resolution has about 21.6 square inches of screen on a 7" diagonal.

Both 7" devices. Both from the same manufacturer. The 4:3 device displays more content than the widescreen. Widescreen does not always mean more content.

The Terminator
02-12-2011, 10:56 PM
I think for TV the wider the better like the new Phillips cinema 21:1

Namekuseijin
02-13-2011, 01:52 AM
complex formatting including but not limited to charts, tables, sidebars, multiple columns, and illustrations. It just doesn't reflow easily or well.

such features work well enough in html. I'm sorry if your favorite publishers favor pdf...


It also doesn't work with comics.

I'd say at least for comic strips 16:9 is better than 4:3. ;)

both with 7" Diagonal screen

Irrelevant when 4:3 got more resolution than the 16:9.

Nexutix
02-13-2011, 02:37 AM
16:9, landscape mode on my tablet. It's really "smooth experience"

Dulin's Books
02-13-2011, 03:23 AM
I prefer 4x3. One of the reasons I chose a PB IQ as my Android toy.
For multipurpose devices, the best compromise would be 16x10 but even that will have issue.


the upcoming Xoom and GalaxyTab 2 Android tablets are 16x10:)

Filark
02-13-2011, 03:32 AM
I voted "other" because, as has been clearly explained already, it depends. :)

If we could have a screen that changed size/aspect ratio to best fit content, that would be ideal! ;) As it is our content has to adapt to our screen, and sometimes it just can't . . . ;(

Jellby
02-13-2011, 06:01 AM
What the fuss is about? 16:9 simply allows for more content on screen at once, be it video or text

For the same short side (height in landscape, width in portrait), yes. For the same long side, not. For the same area, not.

If they have 16:9 and 16:10 now, maybe we can get them (the manufacturers) to make 16:12 too? :D

LCF
02-13-2011, 06:42 AM
For the same short side (height in landscape, width in portrait), yes. For the same long side, not. For the same area, not.

If they have 16:9 and 16:10 now, maybe we can get them (the manufacturers) to make 16:12 too? :D

:rofl::rofl::rofl: They probably won't notice it.

nrapallo
02-13-2011, 09:12 AM
I had gone through a similar evaluation of content vs aspect ratio when migrating from 4:3 TV screens to HDTV screens. In the end, the landscape nature of viewing TV/Movies allows one to enjoy the content better on a 16:9 display.

However, most books are read in a portrait orientation, and as a result, that's the way my ebook device should display page content, IMHO. But is the 4:3 aspect ratio the optimal screen size? Historically it is, but what should the BEST aspect ratio be?

I voted for Other!

Perhaps a bit of math may shed the light on our ultimate reading enjoyment, namely that Golden Ratio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio). Using a Golden Ratio calculator (http://goldenratiocalculator.com/), to retain the same width more or less, I would like to see current 5" and 6" e-ink use a screen size of 633 x 1024 while larger e-ink devices could use say 742 x 1200 (or 791 x 1280). These all retain the Golden Ratio!!!

I've summarized various sources/uses of page content as well as which current ebook readers best suit them in the following table:
66597

Lemurion
02-13-2011, 11:42 AM
such features work well enough in html. I'm sorry if your favorite publishers favor pdf...

I agree that a reflowable format such as HTML would be superior - or not trying to slavishly imitate the printed page - but we live in a world which is imperfect.

I'd say at least for comic strips 16:9 is better than 4:3. ;)

But not for comic books.

Irrelevant when 4:3 got more resolution than the 16:9.

Actually that's my entire point. In your first post in this discussion you stated as fact that 16:9 allowed more content to be displayed on screen.

What the fuss is about? 16:9 simply allows for more content on screen at once, be it video or text -- not narrow reading, just more text down there. Case closed.

That's incorrect for the very reason you stated above. If a 4:3 screen of a given diagonal measurement (which is what's used as the selling point) has a greater resolution (and viewable area) than a 16:9 screen of the same diagonal measurement then the 4:3 screen is going to display more content.

Some content works better on 16:9, other content works better on 4:3, while yet other content reflows and so total screen size (resolution and viewable area) is the only factor that matters.

Which one is better for any given user depends on the content they wish to consume. P prefer 4:3 because it's a better fit for the content I consume on a device. I don't require 4:3, but I do prefer it.

Content is, as always, king.

Graham
02-13-2011, 04:36 PM
the upcoming Xoom and GalaxyTab 2 Android tablets are 16x10:)

And as if on cue:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9209241/Samsung_adds_10.1_in._Android_Honeycomb_tablet?tax onomyId=15

Samsung 10.1" tab, 1280 x 800.

Graham

fjtorres
02-13-2011, 05:47 PM
the upcoming Xoom and GalaxyTab 2 Android tablets are 16x10:)

I'm looking forward to see how they work out.
(Assuming they are 16x10 physically and not just in pixel count. Stranger things have happened in the display business. ;) )
I think there's at least one 16x10 Win7 tablet in the pipeline.
(Not sure who it is right now... I think it's Acer...)

astra
02-14-2011, 09:01 AM
I see a lot of comments from members about their dislike of the 16:9 aspect ratio on viewing devices. Can someone please explain the reasoning behind this dislike? Is it just a preference or ease-of-use issue for surfing the web or viewing web content or what?

My HDTV has 16.9 ratio, which I assume is better to view full 1920 X 1080 HD, so why wouldn't I want this ratio on *all* my devices?

What's all the fuss about aspect ratio on your devices. I am somewhat naive in this area so a simple explanation may make me see this controversy in a whole new light. Please enlighten me. :blink:

Before I vote I would like to ask a question.

Are we talking about TVs or ebook readers?

Wetdogeared
02-14-2011, 10:13 AM
Before I vote I would like to ask a question.

Are we talking about TVs or ebook readers?I was originally just asking about aspect ratios in general but I've noticed, as the thread progressed, that preferences are going to be different for video, ebook reader and computer displays.

The questions about aspect ratios on this board usually arise when discussing tablets (that can be used as ebook readers) or large ebook readers capable of displaying PDF's.

If you have different preferences for ebook readers and TVs I suggest you choose "Other" and post your preferences for each device.

astra
02-14-2011, 11:17 AM
Voted for "other".

For ebook readers 4:3 only. I feel comfortable to read on a screen with this aspect ration only. Probably 30 years of reading printed books left a long lasting vestige.

For watching TV - wide screen, whatever ratio it is.

For desktop PC monitor at home - wide screen 1920x1200 pixels. Anything with hight below 1200 won't suit. I want to see pictures in portrait mode in decent size. Thus, if it is not 1920x1200, then 4:3 (1600x1200)
Any other PC/laptop/netbook screens - wide screen whatever ratio it is.

I have noticed that I will never buy another netbook or a laptop with 10" screen (my netbook). Very uncomfortable. I don't need glasses to read on it, it is just flippingly small - unpleasant.
12" is probably the bare minimum. Most likely 13-14.

theducks
02-14-2011, 10:47 PM
9:16 (16:9 in portrait mode) is EXACTLY the aspect of the text on a mass market paperback :thumbsup:
3:4 (most readers) chop off the bottom (assuming the margins have been relegated mostly to the Bezel area :) which just happens to be similar to the margins on said paperback) :D
Why muck with a aspect ratio that has been in use for 50+ years :smack:

Lemurion
02-14-2011, 11:03 PM
9:16 (16:9 in portrait mode) is EXACTLY the aspect of the text on a mass market paperback :thumbsup:
3:4 (most readers) chop off the bottom (assuming the margins have been relegated mostly to the Bezel area :) which just happens to be similar to the margins on said paperback) :D
Why muck with a aspect ratio that has been in use for 50+ years :smack:

Because it doesn't work for what I want to read - I don't care about aspect ratio for novels - but the game rulebooks and comics that don't reflow don't come in 9:16.

It all comes down to usage patterns - and 4:3 is better for mine than 16:9.

Crowl
02-15-2011, 02:43 PM
Because it doesn't work for what I want to read - I don't care about aspect ratio for novels - but the game rulebooks and comics that don't reflow don't come in 9:16.

It all comes down to usage patterns - and 4:3 is better for mine than 16:9.

Looking at the comics I own, 4:3 doesn't seem like the ideal ratio for comics either with 15:10 or 16:10 actually being a closer fit.

Lemurion
02-15-2011, 02:57 PM
Looking at the comics I own, 4:3 doesn't seem like the ideal ratio for comics either with 15:10 or 16:10 actually being a closer fit.

Oh I agree, 4:3 isn't perfect for comics - though it can be pretty good for RPG rulebooks. The problem is that while 4:3 isn't perfect, 16:9 is significantly worse. The limiting factor is the smaller dimension, and with 16:9 that smaller dimension (width in portrait) is such that a "larger" screen actually limits you to a smaller image if you're preserving the aspect ratio of your original image.

Namekuseijin
02-15-2011, 03:40 PM
Because it doesn't work for what I want to read - I don't care about aspect ratio for novels - but the game rulebooks and comics that don't reflow don't come in 9:16.

It all comes down to usage patterns - and 4:3 is better for mine than 16:9.

you're a bit egoistical there. What about all those e-reader users who don't care about comics at all?

BTW, many comic books often feature panels and images getting across 2 pages. How will you cope with that? ;)

Maggie Leung
02-15-2011, 03:43 PM
you're a bit egoistical there. What about all those e-reader users who don't care about comics at all?

BTW, many comic books often feature panels and images getting across 2 pages. How will you cope with that? ;)

Isn't this thread about individual preferences? Why the need to account for others' preferences when we're discussing what works for us individually?

Namekuseijin
02-15-2011, 04:26 PM
very true, forgot the original purpose of the thread. :p

Namekuseijin
02-15-2011, 04:28 PM
:offtopic:

ZOMG! how has my Karma gone from 108 to 2390?! :eek: :2thumbsup

Lemurion
02-15-2011, 04:47 PM
you're a bit egoistical there. What about all those e-reader users who don't care about comics at all?

BTW, many comic books often feature panels and images getting across 2 pages. How will you cope with that? ;)

How is it egotistical for me to state that 4:3 is better for my uses than 16:9?

I'm not saying 4:3 is always better - merely that it's better for me because it fits the content I wish to consume better than 16:9 does. I agree that it works for two-page spreads, but since most screens are too small to display the captions legibly in that orientation, please forgive me if I find that advantage less than compelling.

All your points seem to be attempts to prove to me that 16:9 is better for me than 4:3, and I take exception to that.

Both aspect ratios have advantages and disadvantages, depending on content, and the one that works better for any given reader is the one that best fits the content they wish to consume.

devilsadvocate
02-16-2011, 01:17 PM
Other, because each one serves a different purpose...
4:3 for multimonitor setup in console, 16:9 for movies, and 16:10 for computer monitors.
Funny thing is, the aspect ratio for my Droid X is something like 427:240 (854x480 resolution) and I do more reading on that than anything else except maybe my regular workstation monitors. Is it page-for-page flowable? No, but I know how to scroll too.

kennyc
02-16-2011, 07:04 PM
I voted 'other' for the exact reasons stated above - 16:9 is great in landscape mode but lousy in portrait; on a multi-purpose tablet I don't want to be restricted to landscape, simple as that.

This. :thumbsup:

GeneS
02-17-2011, 11:48 AM
As others have opined, my preference depends on the application. 16:9 (if screen is wide enough to provide an easily viewable height) is very good for viewing video content. For reading, 4:3 seems better since it's more comfortable for the (my) eye to follow the content and skip from line to line if lines are in the 50-75 character/10-12 word range. Your experience may vary.