If you’re planning an audiovisual project with a large viewing area, you will likely be confronted with an important question: 16:10 or 16:9?

These numbers represent the aspect ratio (width and height) of a viewing area. It’s important because of something called native resolution.

The 16:9 aspect ratio is used for televisions, digital signage displays, monitors and similar. Video content like DVDs, video recordings, YouTube videos, television shows and photos are typically 16:9. When 16:9 images are displayed using 16:9 technology, the technology’s native resolution will give you the best possible image.

On the other hand, many laptops, which are frequently used for presentations, have a 16:10 aspect ratio (native resolution).

So to consistently have a great image, your very first question becomes: what type of media is going to be displayed the most?

Once answered, you can start considering the AV technologies that will best suit your large viewing area. Likely your options will come down to two: a video wall comprised of multiple displays or a video projector and screen.

The video wall (typically more expensive) will have a 16:9 aspect ratio as its native resolution.

A projector/screen solution gives you a choice between 16:9 or 16:10 – but you have to make that choice up front. When a video projector in manufactured, there is a device inside through which the light shines. The aspect ratio of this device is either 16:10 or a 16:9. It can’t be changed.

Now to be fair, a video wall and projector will display content in virtually any ratio format…but native resolution will always give you the best image.

If you had your heart set on a video wall but realize virtually all of your media with be 16:10, I urge you to evaluate today’s projectors. The advances of laser projection with less noise, maintenance and ultra-short throw lenses may leave you pleasantly surprised.

Of course, there is much more to this. In fact, with special devices that can overcome many of the complications (like black bars on the sides or top and bottom) there are many possibilities. We can help. If you would like more information, please e-mail engineerging@exhibitone.com.