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A brief history of the Aspect Ratio April 21, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Definitions, Technology, Video Gaming Video Games.
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common (image) aspect ratio found in video.

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The 4:3 aspect ratio was originally developed by W.K.L.Dickson in 1889 while he was working at Thomas Edison’s laboratories. Dickson was experimenting with a motion-picture camera called a Kinescope, and he made his film 1 inch wide with frames 0.75 inches high. This film size, and its aspect ratio, became the standard for the film and motion-picture industry because there was no apparent reason to change it. In 1941, when the NTSC proposed standards for television broadcasting, they adopted the same ratio as the film industry.

In the 1950’s, Hollywood wanted to give the public a reason to buy a ticket to attend the theatre rather than sit at home watching the TV. Because our two eyes give us a wider view, a wider movie makes more sense. Widescreen formats are formatted much closer to the way we see. Our field of vision is more rectangular than square. When we view movies in widescreen format, the image fills more of our field of vision and has a stronger visual impact. Wider screens gave the theatre audience a more visually engulfing experience. The 16:9 aspect ratio allows TV to move closer to the movie experience.

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