FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions - Knowledge Base

Description for TV aspect ratio

The aspect ratio of traditional TV pictures is 4:3 (horizontal:vertical) while movies are generally a wider aspect ratio, up to 2.35:1. A compromise format, 16:9, is now in use for widescreen TVs and, in Europe in particular, for an increasing number of television programmes.

DVD-Video discs can contain video suitable for either 4:3 or widescreen TVs. A total of three screen formats are available.

  • Widescreen, which is only suitable for a widescreen TV display, where a 16:9 image is displayed full screen.
  • Letterbox, where the full widescreen image is displayed but leaving black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.
  • Pan & Scan where a widescreen movie is displayed as a 4:3 image which is narrower than the original (The left and right edges of picture may be cut outside range of the screen).