Difference Between Widescreen and Fullscreen

SHARE

Widescreen and Fullscreen

Widescreen is a display that has a ratio of 16:9. It looks like a 4:3 screen but is actually wider. The standard 16:9 widescreen screen uses the same aspect ratio as an HDTV, which is considered the ideal for viewing films and videos.

The term “widescreen” is generally used to describe TV and movie screens, though it can also be used for computer monitors. If you’re referring to a movie, it’s generally used to describe films that are presented in a widescreen format.

When watching a movie in full screen, almost half of the visuals (mainly the visuals on the farther left and right sides of the original footage) are lost.

The full screen is simply a screen that looks like an old-fashioned 4:3 screen, but has been stretched out to look like the 16:9 standard. The size of the image is the same as a 4:3 screen, but it looks like a 16:9 screen. The term “full screen” is generally used to describe the feature of stretching the screen visuals on computer monitors and mobile devices.

Though full screen has been the standard format for decades, widescreen is fast becoming a more popular choice not only because of the availability of more HD TVs as compared with full screen TVs these days, but also because widescreen TVs keep movies’ original composition.

Windscreen vs Fullscreen: Key Differences

AspectWidescreenFullscreen (4:3)
Aspect RatioTypically 16:9 (e.g., 1920×1080)Typically 4:3 (e.g., 1024×768)
WidthWider screen, more horizontal spaceNarrower screen, less horizontal space
HeightShorter height compared to widthTaller height compared to width
Field of ViewBroader field of viewNarrower field of view
Movie FormatCommon for modern moviesOlder standard for movies, early TV shows
TV StandardStandard for HDTVs and modern displaysStandard for older CRT and early HDTVs
GamingPreferred for modern gamingUsed in older video games, retro gaming
Content CompatibilityMay require letterboxing for older contentCompatible with older content, may pillarbox modern content
AestheticOften considered more modernMay feel outdated, nostalgic

Key Takeaways

  • The term “widescreen” is generally used to describe TV and movie screens, though it can also be used for computer monitors. If you’re referring to a movie, it’s generally used to describe films that are presented in a widescreen format.
  • Fullscreen is simply a screen that looks like an old-fashioned 4:3 screen, but has been stretched out to look like the 16:9 standard.
  • A widescreen DVD has a 16:9 aspect ratio while a full-screen DVD has a 4:3 aspect ratio. Technically speaking, the aspect ratio is the ratio of the width of the image in relation to its height.
  • While using full screen mode there is a option open to choose if you want to view the content at a higher resolution or to reduce its size.
  • Widescreen is better for viewing movies than full screen.
  • There are two types of widescreen display: the portable and the desktop.
  • Desktop widescreen displays are generally bigger than a laptop or tablet, but they’re also much more difficult to carry around.
  • Portable widescreen displays are much smaller than a standard TV, but they’re also much more portable.
  • When watching a movie in full screen, almost half of the visuals (mainly the visuals on the farther left and right sides of the original footage) are lost.