Understanding Aspect Ratio Of Monitors

When you are going to buy a monitor or already have one then you must need to know some important things about your monitor such as screen size and aspect ratio. The screen size and aspect ratio are both used to describe the size of the display. The most important and must need to consider is aspect ratio. So let’s get deep in order to understand aspect ratio.

What is Aspect ratio?

Aspect ratio is a term used to describe the proportional relationship between its height and width of the screen or display. It is commonly expressed in terms of ratio of width and height. For example it aspect ratio of widescreen display monitor can be 16:9, in which “16” represents the width of the monitor screen and “9” represents the height of the monitor screen.

Screen size measurement for CRT and LCD monitors

Monitor CRT diagonal

Screen size is measured diagonally and the interesting thing is this measurement is different for CRT and LCD monitors. For CRT monitors, screen size is measured diagonally from outside edges of the display casing and for LCD monitors, screen size is measured diagonally from inside the beveled edges. LCD monitor screen size measurement does not include the casing.

Monitor LCD diagonal

This difference in screen size measurements will make much difference. A 17-inch LCD display is comparable to 19-inch CRT display. To perfectly know the CRT screen size we need to consider the viewable screen size.

This screen size is has a direct effect on resolution of the display. The small resolution is sharper in small screens and awkward in large screens because the pixels will spread through that large space which decreases the sharpness.
Not only resolution which matters for good display quality but we need to consider the aspect ratio. For 16:10 aspect ratio, the best resolution is 1680*1050 or 1920*1200 and for 16:9 aspect ratio, the best resolution is 1600*900 or 1920*1080.

How Screen shape effects the aspect ratio?

There are two common TV screen shapes that most will recognize, the squarish shape and the widescreen shape of today’s Monitors & Desktops. The screen shape had the huge impact on the aspect ratio.

If we have 16:9 aspect ratio a square shaped monitor then we will observeblack bars on top and bottom and it is same with 4:3 aspect ratio on a widescreen will result in black bars on left and right of the screen. The aspect ratio and shape of the monitor must be chosen accordingly.

The 16:9 and 16:10 are the latest aspect ratio of the monitors and even HDTV’s. If we want see an image of 4:3 on 16:9 screen then you will observe black bars on left and right of the screen and in order to remove black bars we must Zoom or stretch the image to fit the screen. If we use zoom then we are left with some missing edges of image and if we use stretch then it destroys the look of the image.


In order to experience high quality display of images, videos and programs we need to consider the media should have same aspect ratio as Monitor and desktop aspect ratio.

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