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Aspect ratio refers to the ratio of width to height of a pixel, image, or monitor display screen.


A square pixel aspect ratio (PAR) of 1:1 is considered preferable, but early televisions used as analog computer displays had a PAR of 8:9 (NTSC) or 16:15 (PAL).[1] Bill Atkinson was a proponent of implementing square pixels in the original Macintosh display, which was implemented by Burrell Smith.[2]

The overall aspect ratio of analog CRT displays was usually 4:3, the same as that of analog television sets.[3] With the digital transition to HDTV, the preferred aspect ratio has widened to 16:9.[4]


  1. Aspect ratio at the Free On-Line Dictionary Of Computing. 1996-02-09.
  2. Square Dots by Andy Hertzfeld, Folklore. 1981-04.
  3. Resolution at the Free On-Line Dictionary Of Computing. 1996-02-09.
  4. Getting from 4:3 to 16:9 by Michael Robin, TV Tech. 2001-06-01.

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