Aspect Ratio

Standard vehicle safety cameras have a 4:3 aspect ratio. The same ratio is used in CRT based monitors and a number of LCD monitors. However a number of suppliers provide 7” diagonal wide screen format LCD’s. They do this because the wide screen format, which by the way has a 16:9 aspect ratio, is more common today because it's cheaper to produce. The larger format also gives the appearance of being able to see more. This part is simply not true.

You may be asking yourself; well, why not? The answer is simple, 4:3 goes into 16:9, but not equally, you have some left over screen in the horizontal realm. You might be thinking, yes it does, 3 goes into 9 three times and 4 goes into 16 four times. While that’s true the ratio is actually different. You would need to use 3 as your divisor in both cases. Let's look at the math; 9 ÷ 3 = 3 but 16 ÷ 3 = 5.33. Widescreen formats compensate for the remainder by stretching the left and right side of the image to fill the screen. This stretching causes a certain amount of image distortion. If they didn’t stretch the image you’d have black bars down the left and right side of the screen, which is basically the unused segments of the screen void of any image.

You may have seen this at home (especially if you have a newer LCD or Plasma television) where HD channels are broadcast in 16:9 and standard definition channels are broadcast in 4:3. When you view a standard definition channel the image will be stretched like in the examples below. Unless you set your aspect ratio to standard or 4:3, in that case the black bars down the left and right side will be present.


                             Matched 4:3 Aspect Ratio                                         4:3 Aspect Ratio Stretched to 16:9

INTEC uses 4:3 aspect ratio LCD panels so they match the 4:3 ratio provided by the cameras CCD imager. Though they cost more to produce they provide a truer image with less distortion.