Hello everyone, Chance here with another edition of BMD’s tech blog series “Behind the Lens!” Back in February, I wrote a blog detailing what an Aspect Ratio is, and how to figure out which one you have. If you don’t remember, you can brush up on it here: http://broadwaymediadistribution.com/index.php/2017/02/03/behind-the-lens-resolution-and-aspect-ratio/

Ultimately there are 3 different aspect ratios you will probably deal with when working with projectors: 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10. In case you don’t remember, the first number represents the width while the second number represents what the height will auto adjust to with that width. So a projector with a “4:3” aspect ratio will look close to a square (4 feet wide for every 3 feet tall), while a “16:9” aspect ratio will be closer to a rectangle.

All of BMD’s content is rendered in 16:9 aspect ratio!

What this means is that the only way to ensure the content looks the way it was intended to is to keep that aspect ratio. If you try to convert something that is 16:9 to 4:3 the content will get distorted from being mashed together. There is simply no way to turn something from a rectangle to a square AND have all of the content showing without distortion.

What are my options?

Ultimately there are two things you can do.

  1. Allow BMD to cut some of the content. By removing some of the side content, we can effectively turn the rectangle into a square without distorting the image. Most of the important content is in the center, so client’s typically don’t lose anything important during this transition.
  2. Allow the projector to project 16:9 within 4:3. What this means is that there will be black bars filling the empty space, and a rectangle will project the content within the square. You don’t lose any content this way, but you have to adjust the projector placement to make up for the black bars. Unless of course they don’t prove to be as big of a problem as they seem!









As you can probably tell, this is only really a problem when going from a square aspect ratio to a rectangular one. A lesser version of this will happen when going from 16:9 to 16:10, but the black bars and the cut content is MUCH less prevalent.

If neither of these options look like something that is going to work for you, send an email to help@bwymedia.com, and we will try our best to work something out!

chance_thumbnailCHANCE CROFT, Support Technician

Chance is from Visalia, California and grew up performing in theatre. He attended California State University, Fullerton, where he studied theatre, focusing on theatre technology and education. If he wasn’t BMD’s awesome Support Technician, he’d likely be a voiceover artist (he has a very deep voice). He enjoys video games and finding new restaurants in town. Chance lives in Fresno, California with his girlfriend Sam, his two cats and his dog Lady. His favorite musical is Seussical.

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