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Aspect Ratio Vs. Resolution – What’s the Difference?

What Is An Aspect Ratio?

As the name suggests, the aspect ratio is the ratio of the screen’s dimensions; this ratio depends on your device and your choice. For theatres and big televisions, this ratio is 16:9, whereas, for small televisions and screens, it’s usually 4:3 and so on.

Changes are made in the ratio, the screen visibility, and how a screen is distributed accordingly.

What Is Resolution?

The smallest unit of a screen is called a pixel, and a screen is made up of many pixels. When you play an old game, you will notice that the characters are not clear, while in the new ones, they are clear to every detail. Screen resolution refers to the number of pixels that are present on the screen.

This is the feature of pixels that change colors and allow the users to view images on the screen. So as the number of pixels on the screen will increase, the quality of the image will also increase.

Aspect Ratio & Screen Resolution Table

Points Aspect Ratio Resolution
Definition Aspect ratio refers to the ratio in which the screen is displayed; if the height to width ratio varies, so will the display container. Screen resolution points to the count of pixels that are present on the screen.

The screen is treated as a 2D display, so coordination of both x and y-axis is disputed.

Examples 16:9, 4:3, 1:1 1920 x 1080, 3840 x 2160

What Is The Difference Between Aspect Ratio & Resolution

Users tend to confuse between aspect ratio and resolution because they both are the values related to the screen’s dimensions. Still, the major thing is that they both handle dimensions differently.

The resolution counts the screens in several pixels and decides the number of pixels to be distributed across the screen, whereas aspect ratio is length and breadth. Depending on the aspect ratio, the screen is visible to the users.

Frame Vs. Pixel Aspect Ratio

The frame is when a big-screen video is displayed. The ratio is eventually 16:9 with clear quality. In contrast, the pixel ratio is different from it. It is the ratio in which pixels are compared to other gap-completing pixels that help create Blu-Ray level of videos.

Square Pixels & Pixel Aspect Ratio

The concept of square pixel seems right, but it does not work that way because RGB variations would appear, and the screen will appear distorted. Hence square pixels are not used. The complete concept on which these pixels work focuses on the change of colors. So the image is created on the screen, and with square pixels, the color between each pixel would be visible, leading to various colors spread on the screen.

Why Are The Aspect Ratio & Resolution Important?

Sometimes you might have a very high-resolution video, but if you cannot select the perfect aspect ratio for it, it will look distorted or stretched, and you will lose the real fun of watching it. So both aspect ratio and resolution are interdependent.

Which Resolution Will Best Match Your Aspect Ratio?

There is some resolution in aspect ratios that will allow you to make the best out of the images provided, and they are listed below.

For 4:3 aspect ratio, the best resolutions will be:

  • 640×480
  • 800×600
  • 960×720
  • 1024×768
  • 1280×960
  • 1400×1050
  • 1440×1080
  • 1600×1200
  • 1856×1392
  • 1920×1440
  • 2048×1536.

For 16:9 aspect ratio, the best resolutions will be:

  • 1024×576
  • 1152×648
  • 1280×720
  • 1366×768
  • 1600×900
  • 1920×1080
  • 2560×1440
  • 3840×2160.


Watching a video in advanced quality allows you to enjoy it in the best way possible. And this is the most suggested way to watch movies in theatres. So you must know about the picture quality and other factors. Hope this article will solve your doubts.

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