Ultra Wide (bar) Displays Technologies
When we talk about “ultra-wide” or “bar” or “stretched” LCD panels, we are not talking about the slightly wider desktop monitors with aspect ratios of 21:9 that have become very popular with gamers. What we are discussing here are LCD panels with radically different aspect ratios such as 16:3, 16:1, or even 8:9.
So What is an Aspect Ratio?
4:3 Aspect Ratio
16:9 Aspect Ratio
Before: 28″ LCD Panel 16:9
RESOLUTION: 1920 X 1080
AFTER: 28″ LCD PANel 16:3
RESOLUTION: 1920 X 357
So how do we take a 16:9 aspect ratio display and transform it into a display with an aspect ratio of 16:3? In simple terms we use a proprietary cutting technology that allows us to slice a portion of the display away (Fig. 3) while maintaining the integrity of the display’s electronics as well as the liquid crystal inside of the display.
So by cutting 2/3 off of a standard 32 inch 16:9 panel we end up with the 16:3 aspect ratio panel (Fig. 4) used to make our model SSD2845 ultra-wide monitor.
Formatting Content to Fit
How do I lay out content to fit these different aspect ratios?
Let’s start by looking at pixels and resolutions. Regarding an LCD display a pixel (short for picture element) equals the smallest unit of programmable color. These small little dots are what make up the larger image we view on the display. When viewed close up they would look like the image in Fig. 5, however from a distance they form a very clear and full color picture.
Now that we understand what a pixel is, resolution is simply the number of horizontal and vertical pixels on a display screen. For example if a display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (Fig. 6) that means it has 1,920 pixels from side to side and 1,080 pixels from top to bottom.
So formatting content for an ultra-wide display is as simple as changing the resolution of your vertical content (number of pixels) to match the vertical resolution of the display. As an example, to format content for our SSD2845 model in Fig. 4, you would set up your content to the same width as a normal 16:9 desktop monitor and then modify the height of your content to 357 pixels.
If your media player or content generation software does not allow you to select a specific vertical resolution there is still a simple way to layout your content but it may require a bit of trial and error.
Remember an ultra-wide display is produced by cutting down a standard display panel (Fig. 3) leaving the top portion of the panel to be used as the new ultra-wide display. Looking again at our model SSD2845 we see it has a resolution of 1920 x 357. The 1920 horizontal resolution informs us the SSD2845 display was cut from a standard high definition 16:9 aspect ratio panel which would have a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
If we divide the vertical resolution of the initial display by the resolution of the cut (ultra-wide) display we can determine the ultra-wide display is about 1/3 the height of the original 16:9 display.
1080 divided by 357 equals 3.02
Therefore, if we configure our content to fit the top third of a standard 16:9 desktop monitor it will display correctly on our 16:3 ultra-wide monitor.
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