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HD Aspect Ratio Spills Into Computer Monitors

The steady increase in HD set owners and high-definition content, along with online broadband streaming, have led to a jump in 16:9 displays for both laptops and desktop computers.

While the typical Web site is not geared for a 16:9 display per se, virtually all motion pictures–and most of today’s primetime television on the broadcast networks—are HD widescreen.

For typical 16:9 PC monitors, 1366x768 is the standard resolution, although 1680x945 (and even 1920x1080) are now becoming increasingly available in higher-end models, said Austin, Texas-based analyst DisplaySearch.

However, any eventual widespread consumer use of 16:9 desktop and/or portable laptop monitors for viewing long-form content (such as movies and TV programs) is still a big question mark. Among other things, today’s smaller portable DVD players (at least for standard-format discs) are not only far less expensive, they also have longer battery life than laptops or desktop computers.