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16:9 A type of Aspect Ratio. 16:9 is commonly known as widescreen and is wider than the standard 4:3 aspect ratio. Most new High Definition programming is in 16:9 format.
4:3 The 4:3 ratio (generally named as "Four-Three", "Four-by-Three", "Four-to-Three", or "Academy Ratio") for standard television has been in use since television's origins and many computer monitors use the same aspect ratio. 4:3 is the aspect ratio defined by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a standard after the advent of optical sound-on-film. By having TV match this aspect ratio, films previously photographed on film could be satisfactorily viewed on TV in the early days of the medium (i.e. the 1940s and the 1950s). When cinema attendance dropped, Hollywood created widescreen aspect ratios (such as the 1.85:1 ratio mentioned earlier) in order to differentiate the film industry from TV.
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