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Video aspect ratios

Video aspect ratios

The frame aspect ratio of an image is its horizontal size divided by its vertical size. The frame aspect ratio of television is normally stated as 4:3, or 1.33:1. Most video images, whether for broadcast or multimedia, are based on this 4:3 frame aspect ratio.

Most computer-based desktop video systems define a full-screen NTSC image as being 640 × 480 pixels, which exactly fits a 4:3 frame aspect ratio. (This is also the most common image area size for a 13-inch monitor.) A full-screen PAL image is usually defined as being 768 × 576 pixels. However, much -professional NTSC digital video follows the CCIR-601 standard (which defines most professional-format digital video, such as D1) of 720 × 486 pixels. This is the most common size for NTSC D1 video frames. Its corresponding definition for PAL is 720 × 576 pixels. (A third common NTSC format is 648 × 486 pixels, because it retains all 486 horizontal scan lines of D1 video and maintains the normal square-pixel 4:3 aspect ratio that computer users often prefer.)


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