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For all those who decry the movement from 16:10 to 16:9

post #1 of 10
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For a long time I have been reading posts by people who are generally unhappy with the trend towards 16:9 as a monitor aspect ratio instead of the previous de facto standard of 16:10. I think for various reasons, chief among which 16:9 looks to be less than 16:10 when written on a piece of paper, people think it is necessarily a step backwards. My claim is however that rather than losing vertical pixels, we have gained horizontal pixels at the same monitor sizes. While I was not around when 4:3 was a popular aspect ratio I would imagine there was also a fair amount of "outcry" when LCD screens shifted to 16:10 for most consumer applications.

I would like to make clear the distinction between resolution and aspect ratio. I feel often times people often assume 16:9 means 1920x1080 whereas 16:10 means 1920x1200 and there is some kind of equivalence between the two. Naturally the inclination is to say well we lost an inch of diagonal screen real estate and with it 120 vertical pixels. The aforementioned ignores two very important factors: 1920x1200 was never a widespread resolution and a 23" 1080p screen has a higher pixel density than a 24" 1200p screen.

Firstly, the dominant 16:10 resolution prior to the influx of 16:9 panels was not 1920x1080, it was always 1680x1050. The following is data obtained from Steam's hardware survey (http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/), the following data is in the format of resolution, percentage of market, and (what I assume to be) change since August 2010. I feel it to be representative of the general public and therefore as an extension what manufacturers and making and selling.

1440 x 900 8.74% -0.19%
1600 x 900 4.52% +0.11%
1600 x 1200 0.95% +0.10%
1680 x 1050 17.37% -0.22%
1920 x 1080 25.15% +17.38%
1920 x 1200 7.75% +7.75%
2560 x 1440 0.93% +0.15%

My argument is mostly centered around the desktop space and recently hardware developments and therefore I am not going to consider anything below 1440x900 as a modern desktop resolution. The most important thing to focus on is the fact that 1680x1050 and 1920x1080 are the most popular screen sizes. We see a decrease in 1050 panels and a rise in the popularity of 1080 panels. It is my opinion that we have seen 1680x1050 become 1080p. The 1920x1200 monitors were not cheap before, nor are they now, they are largely being supplanted by the 27" 2560x1440 monitors.

I realize the last comment may be slightly puzzling since a 27" monitor should be at least 10 percent larger than a 24" monitor. The most popular 1920x1200 monitor size is most likely to be 24 inches, 27 inch monitors of this resolution can also be found. A U2711 (2560x1440) has a panel that is 3 percent taller than a U2412 (1920x1200) despite having 60 percent more pixels. The old 27" 1920x1200 monitors are almost 9 percent taller than the modern 2560x1440 monitors.

In conclusion, we haven't really seen monitors get less dense, nor are we being robbed of vertical pixels. Instead, we are seeing vertical pixel count remain largely the same but about a ten percent increase in horizontal pixel count. I see this as a positive because for the same screen sizes your old 21" 1680x1050 monitor has been replaced by 21.5" 1920x1080 monitors that are no taller, but significantly wider. As for the people who are sad about the decreasing number of 1920x1200 panels, we are seeing cheaper and cheaper 2560x1440 panels that occupy more or less the same space on your desk.

For reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot_pitch#Common_dot_pitches_in_monitors . lists commong desktop resolutions, their sizes, and the resultant pixel pitch.
Edited by TickleMeElmo - 2/2/12 at 2:04am
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post #2 of 10
It is true that due to price reasons, 1680 x 1050 was much more popular than 1920 x 1200 as a monitor which makes it a much better 16x9 vs 16x10 comparison. In the end, specialty 1920x1200 monitors still exist but the mainstream has moved to a LARGER monitor, ie. 1680x1050 to 1920x1080. Overall gains all around. 1080p hasn't taken over 1200p, it's 1440p and 1600p that's taking over 1200p.
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post #3 of 10
whatever resolution produces a true undistorted uniform PERFECT circular circle at it's native resolution
16:9 ftw
horizontal space, it's called widescreen for a reason
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post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cha0s_Cha0 View Post

It is true that due to price reasons, 1680 x 1050 was much more popular than 1920 x 1200 as a monitor which makes it a much better 16x9 vs 16x10 comparison. In the end, specialty 1920x1200 monitors still exist but the mainstream has moved to a LARGER monitor, ie. 1680x1050 to 1920x1080. Overall gains all around. 1080p hasn't taken over 1200p, it's 1440p and 1600p that's taking over 1200p.

Yes, that is true.

If it wouldnt be for 1920x1080, 1680x1050 would still be the most common resolution for gamers. 1920x1080 became the most common resolution 2011 in March. Earlier it was 1680x1050.
post #5 of 10
Don't you guys get tired arguing about such a insignificant topic? I don't mean to be rude but some of the arguing on this topic is just crazy. laugher.gif
Edited by Hogwasher - 2/3/12 at 12:02am
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogwasher View Post

Don't you guys get tired arguing about such a insignificant topic? I don't mean to be rude but some of the arguing on this topic is just crazy. laugher.gif

It accounts for 20% of the M&D section post economy.
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickleMeElmo View Post

My claim is however that rather than losing vertical pixels, we have gained horizontal pixels at the same monitor sizes.
but how do you come up with that when the monitors both have 1920 pixels across?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickleMeElmo View Post

While I was not around when 4:3 was a popular aspect ratio I would imagine there was also a fair amount of "outcry" when LCD screens shifted to 16:10 for most consumer applications.
there was hardly an outcry because 4:3/5:4 monitors for the masses mostly ended at 19"and 16:10 came in at 22". and at the time most ppl were going from CRT to lcd monitors so there were other reasons to appreciate lcd monitors. 1680x1050 vs 1280x760, 1280x1024..
enthusiasts were still stuck on the larger crt 4:3/5:4 monitors because they had way more resolutions to work with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickleMeElmo View Post

I would like to make clear the distinction between resolution and aspect ratio. I feel often times people often assume 16:9 means 1920x1080 whereas 16:10 means 1920x1200 and there is some kind of equivalence between the two. Naturally the inclination is to say well we lost an inch of diagonal screen real estate and with it 120 vertical pixels. The aforementioned ignores two very important factors: 1920x1200 was never a widespread resolution and a 23" 1080p screen has a higher pixel density than a 24" 1200p screen.
dont get caught up with all the jargon. the only thing that matters is the resolution. (or so i think) the more the better. (well... at a "reasonable" screen size).
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickleMeElmo View Post

Firstly, the dominant 16:10 resolution prior to the influx of 16:9 panels was not 1920x1080, it was always 1680x1050. The following is data obtained from Steam's hardware survey (http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/), the following data is in the format of resolution, percentage of market, and (what I assume to be) change since August 2010. I feel it to be representative of the general public and therefore as an extension what manufacturers and making and selling.
1440 x 900 8.74% -0.19%
1600 x 900 4.52% +0.11%
1600 x 1200 0.95% +0.10%
1680 x 1050 17.37% -0.22%
1920 x 1080 25.15% +17.38%
1920 x 1200 7.75% +7.75%
2560 x 1440 0.93% +0.15%
My argument is mostly centered around the desktop space and recently hardware developments and therefore I am not going to consider anything below 1440x900 as a modern desktop resolution. The most important thing to focus on is the fact that 1680x1050 and 1920x1080 are the most popular screen sizes. We see a decrease in 1050 panels and a rise in the popularity of 1080 panels. It is my opinion that we have seen 1680x1050 become 1080p. The 1920x1200 monitors were not cheap before, nor are they now, they are largely being supplanted by the 27" 2560x1440 monitors.
I realize the last comment may be slightly puzzling since a 27" monitor should be at least 10 percent larger than a 24" monitor. The most popular 1920x1200 monitor size is most likely to be 24 inches, 27 inch monitors of this resolution can also be found. A U2711 (2560x1440) has a panel that is 3 percent taller than a U2412 (1920x1200) despite having 60 percent more pixels. The old 27" 1920x1200 monitors are almost 9 percent taller than the modern 2560x1440 monitors.
if you didnt live thru the era don't look at steam statistics to try and predict what was going on back then or even now. one could also come to the conclusion that 16:10 1920x1200 is more popular than 16:9 2560x1440. but so what it doesnt mean anything..
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickleMeElmo View Post

In conclusion, we haven't really seen monitors get less dense, nor are we being robbed of vertical pixels.
since 4:3 and 5:4 we have been robbed of the vertical pixels by both 16:10 and even a little more 16:9 monitors. if 4:3 and 5:4 monitors were still in production 24" would be at 1920x1440 and [cant find nothing for 5:4]. (the popular 1600x1200 4:3 monitors were 20".)
the current argument ppl use for justifying 16:9 "wider" FOV is total crap esp. FOR DESKTOP USE. there are also situations in gaming where the vertical 16:10 FOV will offer an advantage over 16:9's shorter vertical fov.
for desktop use we know pages are made to be read vertically so 16:10 wins in that argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TickleMeElmo View Post

your old 21" 1680x1050 monitor...
.... get beat by 1600x1200 20" monitors in resolution and that's a shame.
when i moved from a 19" 2048x1536 monitor to a 22" 1680x1050 i was very very disappointed. back then in 2005-6 most of the lcd monitors were junk showing poor colors with very bad contrast ratios and the marketing gimmick was lcd's using less power and occupying less space. today the gimmick is FULLHD !!! no black lines!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickleMeElmo View Post

we are seeing cheaper and cheaper 2560x1440 panels
2560x1440 monitors are still expensive. one might as well get a 30" screen because they are on sale all over. i got mine for 7 bills.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickleMeElmo View Post

that occupy more or less the same space on your desk.
not sure if serious.
    
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post #8 of 10
I read a lot of text on my monitors, mainly journals, technical manuals, and similar things, usually with two facing pages up at a time. 16:10 is much better suited for this than 16:9. Ideally I'd rather have something like 32:21 or even 16:11. As for pixel density, I do not like high densities, because they compromise readability. 1920x1200 at ~27" diagonal is pretty ideal for me.

For movies and games, 16:9 is fine, but 16:10 isn't any worse because every 16:10 monitor can be a 16:9 monitor of the same horizontal resolution. The opposite cannot be said of 16:9 screens.

In the end and all things (quality, pixel pitch, etc) being equal, total pixels is the most important factor. I'll take a 2560x1440 monitor over a 1920x1200, but I'll take a 1920x1200 over a 1920x1080, every time.
Edited by Blameless - 2/3/12 at 2:38am
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post #9 of 10
Not to sound rude or anything, but the only thing I got from what you were saying is that pixel density in monitors has increased over time and that we are seeing a trend shift due to the lack of production of certain panels.

Umm...okay?
post #10 of 10
You are correct about the distinction between resolution and aspect ratio. I for one am greatly saddened in the demise of 1920x1200. But it's that specific resolution I'm looking for, not the 16x10 aspect ratio.
The fact is that it IS a loss in vertical pixels. The only reason why monitor manufacturers started mass producing 1080p computer monitors is due to the rise of HD TV's. So they could use the marketing lingo "True HD". Which sounds great on paper, but it actually sucks for a PC. That resolution was intended for TV and movies. But on a computer, vertical space is much more important than on a TV. Whenever I'm web browsing or developing or word processing, I'm constantly wishing I had more vertical space. 1920x1200 would be just right, or certainly much better than 1080p. Those 120 pixels would actually make a world of difference.

How many movies have you watched (even on a widescreen monitor) that have black bars on the top and bottom?
How many websites have you seen that have empty space or filler on the left and right sides of the page?

The answer to those two questions should tell you what is more important for each medium. That is the reason why the loss of 1920x1200 is so bad for pc's, it is that specific resolution, not the 16x10 ratio that is important. So far there is still no good resolution to take its place. 1680x1050 is pointless because 1920x1080 has more vertical pixels, regardless of the ratio. And all the larger resolutions are way out of any realistic price range.
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