16×9 vs. 16×10 Projector Screen – What’s the Difference?

You have been thinking of getting a new projector screen but want to make sure you get the right one. The problem is you are not familiar with any of the technicalities about projector screens like aspect ratios and such. Well, continue reading this article, and you may know which one to pick after comparing 16×9 vs. 16×10 projector screen.

Projector Screen Formats and Aspect Ratio

When you look for a projector screen, it is useful to know about the different formats available, which the aspect ratio determines. The aspect ratio is the fractional relation of the video image’s weight to its height. The most common aspect ratios are 4×3 or the standard and 16×9 called widescreen. In this post, however, we’ll compare the 16×9 vs. 16×10 projector screen.

But what do these numbers mean exactly? Take this example – an aspect ratio of 1:1. Based on the given definition, this would mean each 1 unit of horizontal measurement has an equal 1 unit of vertical measurement. If your project screen has an aspect ratio of 4:3, then it has 4 units of measure for the width in every 3 units of measure for the height.

Standard Projector Aspect Ratio

Most people who do presentations and use projectors find that the 4×3 aspect ratio is good enough. It does the trick, projecting their presentations well enough to be seen by the people in the back. Over the years, however, the industry has been progressing. It has now moved away from 4×3 projector screens since there are better options.

16×9 vs. 16×10 Projector Screens

The 16×9 and 16×10 aspect ratios are quite different from each other. Still, a film or game shot in a 16×9 aspect ratio can work on a projector screen with a 16×10 aspect ratio. Expect, though, that picture quality will not be perfect. There may be black bars, the images blurry or distorted, etc. Choosing the right aspect ratio will help ensure you get a good resolution.

16x9 vs 16x10 Projector Screen
Image Source: By Anamorphiac

On that note, let’s talk more about 16×9 and 16×10 projector screens.

16×9 Projector Screen

16×9 or 1:78:1 is also known for names High Definition or HDTV. All these refer to the aspect ratio of 16×9. As the international standard HDTV format, this aspect ratio is used in the satellite and non-HD widescreen TVs PALplus in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, and Europe.

This aspect ratio was also the compromise between the 35mm (1:66:1) European widescreen standard as well as the 35mm (1:85:1) US and UK widescreen standard. Right now, it is the standard aspect ratio in the US. Also, this the native way that all HD (720 or 1080) projectors project.

It is the optimal and most popular format for home theaters and media rooms. This is true, especially if you are more into gaming and sports than watching. It accommodates high definition performance while giving you optimal visual results. Not only is it the most widely used format in gaming and television, but stand-alone monitors.

With that, you will easily find a residential or commercial projector in the 16×9 format. In terms of projectors, it matches with those that have:

  • Native 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160)
  • 1080p HD resolution (1920 x 1080)
  • 720p HD resolution (1280 x 720)

16×10 Projector Screen

16×10, also known as 8:5, is the widescreen format. It was the most popular aspect ratio, getting passed the standard 4×3 in 2008. However, it started losing market share to 16×9 in late 2012. It’s because 16×9 became the typical format used in TV programming and video games. The 16×10 format became more popular when widescreen PCs also became common.

Widescreen PCs have an aspect ratio of around 16:10 but with some variation. Besides computer displays, it is also mostly used in tablet computers. It is the ideal projector screen if your media player is a native widescreen notebook. Similarly, 16×10 matches up with projectors with:

  • Native WXGA resolution (1280 x 800)
  • WXGA+ resolution (1440 x 900)
  • WSXGA+ resolution (1680 x 1050)
  • WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200)
  • WQXGA resolution (2560 x 1600)
  • WQUXGA resolution (3840 x 2400)

As you can see, there are not a lot of similarities between a 16×9 and a 16×10 projector screen, except that it’s a projector screen. Comparing them to find out which one to get depends mostly on what kind of media player you have and how clear you want the projection to be. On that note, knowing what these projector screens help you decide.

What is the Right Aspect Ration/Projector Screen for You?

Before you pick, it’s good to know that you can watch 16:9 content on a 16:10 display or any other aspect ratio. However, there will be black bars on the screen, at the top, bottom, or sides of the image. It happens when the material you are watching or playing does not match the projector’s native resolution.

If you don’t want these black bars to appear as well as other issues like blurs and distortion, you need a projector screen that matches the material’s aspect ratio. On that note, there are three things you need to consider when deciding what projector screen or format to get. These factors include:

  • Projected content’s (the video) format
  • Projector’s format
  • Viewing surface’s (screen) format

You can enjoy a clear, beautiful resolution if all these factors are of the same format. If any of them are not the same, you will have to live with having black bars. Unless that does not bother you, then you do not really need to be picky about the aspect ratio. But if you want things to be perfect, then you should try to match all the formats above.

Here’s a video comparison of a 16×9 and 16×10 monitors to help you understand it more.

Conclusion

Comparing 16×9 vs. 16×10 projector screens, choosing between them has to do with the formats of the viewing surface and material. If it’s cinematic and gaming content, the best option is the 16×9 aspect ratio. But when you’re using PCs or computer tablets with WZGA, WUXGA, and similar resolutions, then 16×10 is the best choice.

References:

  1. Projectors And Aspect Ratios: Here’s What You Need to Know, Projectorpeople.com
  2. Projector Screen Buying Guide, Projectorscreenstore.com
  3. Understanding Aspect Ratio, Elitescreens.com
James Core
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right projector.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *