[Home]Pixel Aspect Ratio

Pixel aspect ratio (PAR) is the ratio of the width to height of a single pixel in a video frame, as opposed to the entire frame. A 1:1 PAR indicates square pixels, common on PC displays.

The pixel aspect ratio of a video stream can be computed from the display aspect ratio (usually 4:3 or 16:9) and the frame width and height. For example, a DVD 4:3 video stream encoded at 720x480 would have a PAR of (4*480):(3*720), or 8:9; the same stream encoded at 704x480 would have a PAR of 10:11.

Note that video captured by standard-definition digital camcorders is 720 pixels wide but has a PAR of 10:11, giving a display aspect ratio of a little bit wider than 4:3. This has to be taken into account when converting DV to DVD or other formats.

See also aspect ratio.

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Last edited May 1, 2006 6:30 pm by Achurch (diff)