16:9

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For other meanings, see 16:9 (disambiguation).
A 16:9 rectangle in which rectangles visualize the ratio. Note that the groupings are not square.
An LCD television set with a 16:9 image ratio.

16:9 (1.77:1) (16:9 = 42:32) is an aspect ratio with a width of 16 units and height of 9. Since 2009, it has become the most common aspect ratio for sold televisions and computer monitors and is also the international standard format of HDTV, Full HD, non-HD digital television and analog widescreen television.

History[edit]

An equal-area comparison of the aspect ratios which Dr. Kerns Powers employed to derive the SMPTE 16:9 standard.[1] TV 4:3/1.33 in red, 5:3/1.66 in orange, 16:9/1.77 in blue, 1.85 in yellow, Panavision 11:5/2.2 in mauve and CinemaScope/2.35 in purple.

Dr. Kerns H. Powers, a member of the SMPTE Working Group on High-Definition Electronic Production, first proposed the 16:9 (1.77:1) aspect ratio at a time when nobody was creating 16:9 videos. The popular choices in 1980 were: 1.33:1 (based on television standard's ratio at the time), 1.66:1 (the European "flat" ratio), 1.85:1 (the American "flat" ratio), 2.20:1 (the ratio of 70 mm films and Panavision) and 2.39:1 (the CinemaScope ratio for anamorphic widescreen films).

Powers cut out rectangles with equal areas, shaped to match each of the popular aspect ratios. When overlapped with their center points aligned, he found that all of those aspect ratio rectangles fit within an outer rectangle with an aspect ratio of 1.77:1 and all of them also covered a smaller common inner rectangle with the same aspect ratio 1.77:1.[1] The value found by Powers is exactly the geometric mean of the extreme aspect ratios, 4:3 (1.33:1) and 2.35:1, which is coincidentally close to 16:9 (1.77:1). Applying the same geometric mean technique to 16:9 and 4:3 yields the 14:9 aspect ratio, which is likewise used as a compromise between these ratios.[2]

While 16:9 (1.77:1) was initially selected as a compromise format, the subsequent popularity of HDTV broadcast has solidified 16:9 as perhaps the most important video aspect ratio in use.[citation needed] Most 4:3 (1.33:1) and 2.39:1 video is now recorded using a "shoot and protect" technique[3] that keeps the main action within a 16:9 (1.77:1) inner rectangle to facilitate HD broadcast[citation needed]. Conversely it is quite common to use a technique known as center-cutting, to approach the challenge of presenting material shot (typically 16:9) to both a HD and legacy 4:3 audience simultaneously without having to compromise image size for either audience. Content creators frame critical content or graphics to fit within the 1.33 raster space.[citation needed] This has similarities to a filming technique called Open matte.

After the original 16:9 Action Plan of the early 1990s, the European Union has instituted the 16:9 Action Plan,[4] just to accelerate the development of the advanced television services in 16:9 aspect ratio, both in PAL and also in HDTV. The Community fund for the 16:9 Action Plan amounted to 228 million.

In 2008 the computer industry started switching to 16:9 as the standard aspect ratio for monitors and laptops. A 2008 report by DisplaySearch cited a number of reasons for this shift, including the ability for PC and monitor manufacturers to expand their product ranges by offering products with wider screens and higher resolutions, helping consumers to more easily adopt such products and "stimulating the growth of the notebook PC and LCD monitor market".[5]

In 2011 Bennie Budler, product manager of IT products at Samsung South Africa, confirmed that monitors capable of 1920×1200 resolutions aren't being manufactured anymore. “It is all about reducing manufacturing costs. The new 16:9 aspect ratio panels are more cost effective to manufacture locally than the previous 16:10 panels”.[6] Since computer displays are advertised by their diagonal measure, for monitors with the same display area, a wide screen monitor will have a larger diagonal measure, thus sounding more impressive. Within limits, the amount of information that can be displayed, and the cost of the monitor depend more on area than on diagonal measure.

In March 2011 the 16:9 resolution 1920×1080 became the most common used resolution among Steam's users. The earlier most common resolution was 1680×1050 (16:10).[7]

Properties[edit]

16:9 is the only widescreen aspect ratio natively supported by the DVD format. Anamorphic DVD transfers store the information as 5:4 (PAL) or 3:2 (NTSC) square pixels, which is set to expand to either 16:9 or 4:3, which the television or video player handles. For example, a PAL DVD with a full frame image may contain a video resolution of 720×576 (5:4 ratio), but a video player software will stretch this to 1024×576 square pixels with a 16:9 flag in order to recreate the correct aspect ratio.

DVD producers can also choose to show even wider ratios such as 1.85:1 and 2.39:1[a] within the 16:9 DVD frame by hard matting or adding black bars within the image itself. Some films which were made in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, such as the U.S.-Italian co-production Man of La Mancha and Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing, fit quite comfortably onto a 1.77:1 HDTV screen and have been issued anamorphically enhanced on DVD without the black bars. Many digital video cameras have the capability to record in 16:9.

Super 16 mm film is frequently used for television production due to its lower cost, lack of need for soundtrack space on the film itself, and aspect ratio similar to 16:9.[citation needed]

Common resolutions[edit]

Common resolutions for 16:9 are 640×360, 854×480, 960×540, 1024×576, 1280×720, 1366×768, 1600×900, 1920×1080, 2048×1152, 2560×1440, 2880x1620, 3840×2160 4096×2304, 7680×4320 and 15360×8640

8640p commonly referred to as 16K is 15360×8640, 4320p commonly referred to as 8K is 7680×4320, 2160p (Ultra HD) commonly referred to as 4k resolution is 3840×2160, 1080p (Full HD) is 1920×1080, and 720p (HD) is 1280×720.

In Europe[edit]

In Europe, 16:9 is the standard broadcast format for most digital channels and all HDTV broadcasts. Some countries adopted the format for analog television, first by using the PALplus standard (now obsolete) and then by simply using WSS signals on normal PAL broadcasts.

Country Channel
 Albania Top Channel, TV Klan, Klan HD, Digi Gold, DigitALB HD (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), SuperSport (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)*, Digi Plus**, Film Author**, Film Hits**, Film Thriller**, Film Drame**, Film Aksion**, Film Komedi**
*Do not set the aspect ratio correctly when broadcasting in 16:9 and the image appears squashed on 4:3 TV sets.
**These channels do broadcast in 16:9 and 4:3 but the aspect ratio is always kept 4:3 so 16:9 programs appear squashed.
 Austria ORF1, ORF2, ORF Sport +, ORF1 HD, ATV, Puls 4, Servus TV, and others (all main channels)
 Azerbaijan AzTV (16:9 in news programs), Idman Azerbaijan TV (16:9 in Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Formula One), İctimai Television
 Belarus Belsat
 Belgium All channels
 Bosnia and Herzegovina BHT 1, Kanal 1, Face TV, TV1, Hayat music, BDC TV, Federalna TV
 Bulgaria BNT 1*, bTV Fox Channel (Bulgaria), The Voice, TV+, FILM+/SPORT+, TV7*, RING.BG, bTV Action*, PlanetaTV
* These stations do not set the aspect ratio correctly when broadcasting in 16:9 and the image appears stretched on 4:3 TV sets. Such stations use mostly 4:3 programming.
 Cyprus Nine out of the 13 FTA channels always in 16:9 even when showing 4:3 content: ANT1 Cyprus, CyBC One, Two, HD and the international channels CyBC has the duty to rebroadcast: DT, Euronews, Sigma TV, Plus TV, Primetel.
The other four always broadcast in 4:3, even when showing 16:9 content: MEGA Cyprus, Capital TV, EXTRA TV, MusicTV.
 Croatia HRT 1**, 2**, RTL Televizija*, RTL 2*, Doma TV**, Sportska televizija**, Kapital Network**

Older programmes filmed in 4:3 are:
*cropped.
**transmitted in their original format.

 Czech Republic TV Nova, Česká televize, TV Nova HD, TV Prima, TV Barrandov
 Denmark Almost all main channels.
 Estonia All main digital channels (ETV, Kanal 2 and TV3) and their sister channels are 16:9.
 Finland Almost all main channels as 16:9 with resolution 1920×1080 is the national standard for television, including but not limited to Yle TV1, Yle TV2, MTV3, Nelonen, TV5, Liv, Jim, Sub, Yle Fem, Yle Teema, Kutonen, Fox, AVA
 France All nationwide channels on the French DVB-T (TNT)
And almost all pay channel via TNT, ADSL, DVB-C and DVB-S;
Canal+ Décalé, Canal+ Family, Poker Channel, CinePlay, Ciné Cinéma Premier, OL TV, Motors TV, Disney Cinemagic, Disney Cinemagic + 1, NRJ Hits, Ciné Cinéma Premier HD and SD, National Geographic HD and SD, Ushuaia TV HD and SD, Disney Cinemagic HD and SD, MTV HD, NRJ 12 HD and SD, iConcert HD, HD1, Melody Zen HD, Sci Fi Channel HD and SD, 13ème Rue HD and SD, Orange cinemax HD...
 Germany ARD (Das Erste, EinsExtra, EinsFestival, EinsPlus; BR and BR-alpha, HR, WDR, SWR, RBB, RB), ZDF, 3sat, Arte, DW-TV, Phoenix; kabel eins, ProSieben, Sat.1; RTL, RTL II, Super RTL, VOX; and others (all main channels)
 Georgia Maestro TV, Tabula TV, GDS TV, Voice of Abkhazia
 Greece All major stations in Greece ET3, DT (Public Television) DT HD (Public Television High Definition), ANT1 TV, Mega Channel, Alpha TV, Star Channel, EPSILON TV, Makedonia TV, now use the 16:9 aspect ratio, and only switch to 4:3 when an older program is broadcast. Skai TV was the first in Greece to broadcast in 16:9 format on 2006, and 100% of its programming is in 16:9.

Other stations using exclusively 16:9 aspect ratio: MTV Greece, NovaCinema1, NovaCinema2, NovaCinema3, NovaCinema4, NovaCinema HD, NovaSports1, NovaSports2, NovaSports3, NovaSports4, NovaSports Highlights, NovaSports6, NovaSports7, NovaSports HD, Nickelodeon (Greece), Kontra Channel, THRAKI NET, IONIAN CHANNEL, BEST TV, PatraTV, Blue Sky TV, Action 24, ΜΕΣΟΓΕΙΟΣ TV, ΚΡΗΤΗ TV, NEA TV ΚΡΗΤΗΣ, ΘΡΑΚΗ NET, TV 100, ΗΠΕΙΡΟΣ TV1, ΑΛΦΑ ΤΗΛΕΟΡΑΣΗ ΔΡΑΜΑΣ TELE TIME
4:3 is still the most popular aspect ratio among local television stations.

 Hungary All main channels (RTL Klub,[8] RTL Klub HD, RTL2, Cool, Film+, TV2,[9] SuperTV2, TV2 HD, M1, M2, Duna TV,[10] Duna World, FEM3, PRO4) Story4, Sport Klub, Sport 1, Sport 2, Sport M, Life Network, Ozone Network, Viasat3, TV6, ATV, Spektrum, DigiSport, 1 Music Channel, MusicMix, Discovery Channel, DoQ
 Iceland All three national stations broadcast in 16:9 with occasional 4:3 programs. Local stations still use 4:3.
 Ireland RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, TV3, TG4, and Setanta Ireland
 Italy Exclusively widescreen: All Sky Italia Channels (Sky Cinema, Sky Primafila, Sky Sport, Sky TG24...), All Fox Company Channels except Fox Retrò, Cielo, all Discovery Channels except Animal Planet (Discovery, DMAX, Real Time, Discovery Science...), RTL 102.5 TV, QVC Italy, TGCom 24, Rai Storia, Rai News, Rai Sport Channels, all NatGeo Channels, History Channel, Winga, MTV Channels except MTV Classic, all Disney Channels except Disney In English, all Mediaset Premium channels, Deejay TV, Vero, COming Soon Television, TG Norba 24, SuperTennis and other.

16:9 with 4:3 occasional programs: Rai, Mediaset, La7, La7d, Giallo.
Anamorphic 16:9: Sportitalia Channels, Play.me, Repubblica TV.

 Latvia Always on 16:9: Latvijas Televizija (LTV1, LTV7), Re:TV, Riga TV24, OTV, TV XXI.

Often on 16:9: MTG channels (TV3, LNT and others)

 Lithuania Always on 16:9: LRT televizija, LRT Kultūra, LRT Lituanica, Lietuvos rytas TV, BTV (Lithuania), Balticum Auksinis.

Often on 16:9: LNK, TV3 Lithuania, TV6, TV8, TV1, Info TV, Viasat Sport Baltic.
Sometimes on 16:9: Channel One Russia, Sport1
Always on 4:3: Liuks!, Balticum TV

 Luxembourg RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg, Luxe.tv
 Macedonia Alfa tv, MRT 1, MRT 2, Sitel,
 Malta All nationwide channels.
 Montenegro RTV Panorama, RTV Vijesti
 Netherlands All nationwide channels (Netherlands Public Broadcasting, RTL, SBS), BravaHDTV. Only older programmes filmed in 4:3 are usually transmitted in their original format, as cropping a 4:3 picture for 16:9 TVs has proved unpopular.
 Norway 16:9 is the national standard for television – almost all channels conform to this format.
 Poland Almost all TVP channels, Polsat, Polsat 2, Polsat News, Polsat Sport, Polsat Sport Extra, Polsat Café, Polsat Film, Polsat Play, Canal+, Canal+ Film, Canal+ Sport, Ale Kino!, TVS, TVN, TVN +1, TVN Siedem, Religia TV, TVN 24, TVN Meteo, TVN CNBC, TVN Style, TVN Turbo, TVN Warszawa, nSport, Mango 24, nFilm HD, nFilm HD 2, 4fun.tv, Eska TV, TV4, TV6, Orange Sport Info, Domo, Kuchnia.tv, MiniMini, TV Biznes, AXN, National Geographic Channel, NatGeo Wild HD, Fox, FOX Life HD, MGM HD, Wojna i pokój, BBC Knowledge HD, Animal Planet HD, TLC, Radio na wizji
 Portugal RTP1 (except news), RTP2 (almost all shows), RTP Informação (only some shows and continuity), RTP África, RTP Internacional, SIC Mulher, SIC Radical +TVI, TVCine, MOV, Canal Q, AXN, AXN Black, AXN White, National Geographic Channel, SportTV, Syfy, Económico TV, História, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Odisseia, FOX, FOX Life, FOX Crime, Fox Movies, A Bola TV, Canal Hollywood, MTV, Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel, Localvisão TV, CMTV
 Romania Occasional 16:9 widescreen programming shown on the Romanian Public Broadcaster's channels (TVR 1, TVR 2, TVR Cultural), Sport.ro, RegioTV Transilvania, B1 TV and DigiSport. SD version aired in 16:9-in-4:3 letterbox on PRO Cinema and MTV Romania. Full 16:9 widescreen programming aired on all HD channels: TVR HD, PRO TV HD, Digi Sport 1, 2 and 3 HD, Digi 24 HD, Digi Life HD, Digi World HD, Digi Animal World HD, UTV HD, Acasa TV HD and Sport.ro HD.
 Russian Federation Always on 16:9: Channel One Russia, VGTRK (Rossiya HD, Rossiya 24, Sport 1, IQ HD), OTR, LifeNews, RT, NTV, NTV Plus HD channels, Tricolor TV HD-channels, RTG TV, FOX, FOX life, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Dozhd Optimistic Channel, Euronews, RBC TV, Eurospot channels, Viasat TV1000 HD channels, Discovery HD-channels, Nickelodeon, HD media
Often on 16:9: NTV Plus Sport plus, NTV Plus channels, Viasat channels, Tricolor TV channels
 Serbia Prva (programming in 4:3 are transmissed in its original format with Prva logo changing its aspect ratio to match the aspect ratio of the program, idents are still being in 16:9), RTS1, RTS2 , RTS HD, RTS Digital, Arena Sport 1, 2, 3 and 4 (also on HD), Sport Klub, Sport Klub 2, Sport Klub 3, Sport Klub 4, 5, 6, SK Golf, Cinemania, RTV Pink (some programming, still airs in 4:3), Happy TV (some programming, still in 4:3)
 Slovakia All nationwide channels (CME Slovakia (TV Markiza, Doma, Dajto, Fooor), RTVS (Jednotka, Dvojka), J&T (TV JOJ, Plus, Wau), TA3)
 Slovenia All main channels (RTV Slovenija (SLO 1, SLO 2, SLO 3, TV Koper/Capodistria, TV Maribor), Info TV, POP TV, POP BRIO, Kanal A, Sport TV 1, Sport TV 2, Sportklub+, Golfklub, HBO Slovenija, TV3 Slovenia, RTS Maribor) and all HD channels (Televizija Slovenija HD, Info TV HD)
 Spain As of 2013, all nationalwide and regional channels on 16:9, as the national standard for television. Practically all of the local tv channels in 16:9. 4:3 is still common in PPV channels. Older programmes filmed in 4:3 are transmitted in their original format or zooming to 14:9 Pillarbox; stretched programs are rare.

The first films were broadcast in 16:9 (PALplus) at TV3 and TVG in 1997. Transition to widescreen programs and commercials started in only DVB-T and regional channels like Neox, Nova, Teledeporte, TV3 (Catalonia) or Aragón Televisión in late 2008, and in main analog networks in 2009 (except TVE). HD versions of nationwide main TV channels, Antena 3, Telecinco, LaSexta and TVE (as TVE HD) were launched (or relaunched in the case of TVE-HD) in 2010. 1080i HD version of Cuatro was launched in 2012. Main news programme in Spain, Telediario, only available in 16:9 as late as January 2012. Other networks' news programmes adapted to 16:9 in 2009 or early 2010.

 Sweden Almost all main channels.
  Switzerland All SRG SSR channels.
 Turkey All channels.
 Ukraine English Club TV, BTB[disambiguation needed] (Bank television), Media Group Ukraine (NLO TV, Kinotochka, Football 1, Football 2), Tonis, 112 Ukraine, Music Box Ukraine, Espresso TV, HD Fashion, Trofey TV, Poverkhnost TV (Sport 1, Sport 2), ATR
 United Kingdom In 1997, BBC, ITV and Channel 4 began producing 16:9 idents and switched some television shows to 16:9.

In 1998, with the introduction of digital television, digital versions of BBC One, BBC Two, ITV and Channel 4 were created. An On Digital set top box or a subscription to Sky Digital was required to view the digital versions.
On 1 July 2000, "C-Day", most of the UK broadcast industry began requiring commercials to be delivered in 16:9 full-height format (with a 14:9 safe area for those channels still broadcasting in 4:3). ITV and C4 upgraded their continuity suites to be 16:9 capable at the same time, allowing idents to be broadcast in widescreen format on digital.
In 2001, the UK's fourth broadcaster Channel 5 switched to 16:9.
In 2002, On Digital became defunct and free-to-air digital terrestrial television services instead began to operate under the name of Freeview.
In 2003, Sky branded channels were re-branded which included the switch to 16:9.
In 2006, BBC HD began broadcasting in 1080i which became the standard for all HD channels. Similar to the switch to Digital in 1998, viewers using terrestrial services required an additional set-top-box which was HD capable
In 2007, Channel 4 HD was launched on Sky. It was later added to Virgin Media in 2009 and then to Freeview HD in 2011.
In 2008, ITV HD was launched on Freesat and was later added to Virgin Media, Sky and Freeview HD in 2010.
In 2009, Freeview HD launched allowing terrestrial viewers to watch BBC HD and ITV HD without a subscription, a Freeview HD set-top box or television is required.
In 2010, Channel 5 HD was launched on Sky and Virgin Media.
In 2011, BBC One HD was launched on Sky, Virgin Media and Freeview HD in 2011.

As of 2012,
Almost all Freeview channels broadcast in 16:9;
Almost all Virgin Media/Sky channels broadcast in 16:9 with the rest expected to switch by the end of 2012.

In Oceania[edit]

Country Channel
 Australia All major channels since the introduction of DVB-T in 2001
 New Zealand Almost all channels

In Asia[edit]

Japan's Hi-Vision originally started with a 5:3 ratio but converted when the international standards group introduced a wider ratio of 513 to 3 (=16:9).

Country Channel
 Hong Kong All major channels since the digital television broadcasting in 2007.
 India HD channels were added by most DTH operators.
 Indonesia Kompas TV, BeritaSatu TV, and NET.
 Malaysia All HD channels available on Astro and HyppTV are in widescreen format.
 Israel All main channels, including but not limited to Hot, Yes.
 Japan Japan pioneered in its analogue HDTV system (MUSE) in 16:9 format, started in 1980s. Currently all main channels have Digital terrestrial television channels in 16:9 while being simulcast in analogue 4:3 format. Many satellite broadcast channels are being broadcast in 16:9 as well.
 Singapore All MediaCorp channels, however those channels did not set and broadcast content in correct ratio and 16:9 contents will look squashed in older 4:3 sets. Also, all 4:3 contents including news clips will be stretched as stretching is common.
 South Korea All major channels currently feature 16:9 aspect.
 Qatar All Al Jazeera Sports channels, ESPN channels, NBA TV, Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera English, Qatar TV HD,
 Thailand All major channels since the digital television broadcasting in 2014.
 United Arab Emirates Alarabiya (Since 01.07.2011), MBC 1, MBC DRAMA
 Syria Syria TV , Sama TV , Syria News Channel , Syrian Drama TV
 Vietnam All of VTC HD's channel, K+'s channel (selected programme)

In South America[edit]

Country Channel
 Bolivia Always on 16:9 PAT, ATB. Often on 16:9 Bolivia TV.
 Brazil Rede Bandeirantes, Rede Globo, Rede Record, Rede Gazeta, Rede TV!, SBT, FOX Sports, ESPN, ESPN Brasil, ESPN+, Telecine Premium, Telecine Action, Telecine Touch, Telecine Pipoca, Telecine Fun, Telecine Cult, Multishow, GNT, HBO, HBO HD, MAX HD, Gloob, Arte1, Megapix Sky Esportes, Canal Off, BIS, Canal Sony, History Channel, TBS, AXN, +Globosat, Warner Channel, Bio., Discovery Channel, and more.
 Chile Canal 13HD, Chilevisión HD, TVN HD, MEGA HD.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The 2.39:1 ratio is commonly labeled 2.40:1, e.g., in the American Society of Cinematographers' American Cinematographer Manual, and is mistakenly referred to as 2.35:1 (only cinema films before the 1970 SMPTE revision used 2.35:1).

References[edit]

Cited[edit]

  1. ^ a b Understanding Aspect Ratios (Technical bulletin). The CinemaSource Press. 2001. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  2. ^ US 5956091, "Method of showing 16:9 pictures on 4:3 displays", issued 1999-09-21 
  3. ^ Baker, I (1999-08-25). "Safe areas for widescreen transmission" (PDF). EBU (CH: BBC). Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  4. ^ "Television in the 16:9 screen format" (legislation summary). EU: Europa. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  5. ^ "Product Planners and Marketers Must Act Before 16:9 Panels Replace Mainstream 16:10 Notebook PC and Monitor LCD Panels, New DisplaySearch Topical Report Advises". DisplaySearch. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  6. ^ "Widescreen monitors: Where did 1920×1200 go? « Hardware « MyBroadband Tech and IT News". Mybroadband.co.za. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  7. ^ "Steam Hardware & Software Survey". Steam. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  8. ^ "RTL KLub 16:9-es képarányban | R-Time". R-time. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  9. ^ "Tájékoztató a 16:9 képarányú sugárzásról | TV2 Sales". TV2. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  10. ^ Szerző, Lukács Andrea (2010-10-05). "A Duna TV műholdváltása – Duna Televízió". Duna Televízió. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 

General[edit]