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Go 16:9 or 4:3 for My Golf Sim Room?

One of the most important components in golf simulators is the projector that you will be using, and beyond that, many users are torn between the two most popular screen aspect ratios, 16:9 widescreen or 4:3 letterbox.
Go wider or go taller?

Best Projector for Ernest Sports Golf

What is Aspect Ratio?

Aspect ratio refers to the shape of the image being projected, or the relation between image height and image width. An aspect ratio of 4:3 has the shape of a CRT TV, and a 16:9 has the shape of a flat-screen TV. Every projector has its own native aspect ratio, which is set when you take your projector out of the box. It will be setting for your projector, showing both the most amount of pixels as well the best resolution. When the aspect ratio of the projected image and the screen match, the image fills the entire screen and you don’t get bothersome black bars at the top and bottom or left and right of the image. For example, if you have a projector with a 16:9 native aspect ratio, we strongly recommend you get a 16:9 impact screen.

To take full advantage of your projector, the best strategy is to project at its native aspect ratio and resolution.

16:9 Widescreen for the Most Immersive Experience

You will of course need plenty of room width to accommodate a wide screen, but go wider if possible. For example, golf simulator setups often feature an impact screen size that conforms to a 16:9 aspect ratio, such as 16ft wide and 9ft high.
For simulator systems such as FlightScope, Uneekor, Foresight, and Trackman, which are optimized for use with GSPro, E6 CONNECT, and TGC 2019 with support for 4K or full HD output, a 16:9 projector will make you feel a lot more like you are actually on the course. Also, the 16:9 aspect ratio is the most common for golf sims and home theater combos since all types of content these days, from movies and streamed TV shows to video games, are made in 16:9 widescreen. Projectors with a native 16:9 aspect ratio are great for 4K (3840×2160) and full HD (1920×1080) displays in a golf simulator, as both of those are native 16:9 resolutions.

4:3 Accommodates Smaller Spaces

The 16:9 aspect ratio is the most common for multimedia entertainment and golf sims, but it’s still not in complete control. That’s because many indoor golfers find they don't have space to fit a widescreen, as those take up a lot of space horizontally. The 4:3 ratio is taller and more square-shaped than widescreen, and best for golf simulator rooms with limited width. So, to maximize available height, many DIY golf sim users choose a 4:3 aspect ratio for their impact screen. Most projectors in the market are native 16:9 with some support for 16:10, so if you do wish to go 4:3, in order to get the highest resolution, we recommend using the graphic card to customize the resolution to 4:3.

How to Fill up Your 4:3 Screen?

You can adjust your projector image to fit almost any size screen. You can customize a resolution that complies to your desired aspect ratio through graphics card settings. Here is a helpful video guide to show you how to set up your projector, computer, and graphics card to adjust resolution and aspect ratio in order to make the image fill up your impact screen. The table below shows the resolution conversion calculations needed to go from 16:9 or 16:10 to 4:3. Use the numbers in the right side column when inputting a custom resolution in your graphics card driver settings.

  Display in 4:3
16:9 4K (3840x2160)
Display in 4:3
16:9 HD (1920x1080)
Display in 4:3
16:9 WUXGA (1920x1200)
Display in 4:3

With a customized resolution, you maximize a pixel count that meets the target aspect ratio while avoiding the disadvantage of image distortion or black borders and bars around your image. .

So will you go wide or tall? If you have a decently-sized space or prefer to enjoy movies, gaming, and golfing in combo use, 16:9 is for sure the best solution. If you have limited space, 4:3 with a custom resolution could be a good option to go for. Make sure to choose a corresponding screen for a projector that perfectly fits into your space so you get maximum use out of your entire golf sim setup.

Want to Talk to a Golf Simulator Projector Expert?

BenQ has trained staff to help you find the perfect golf simulator projector – within your room size and budget. To help you make the best decision, you can reach out to one of our experts to set up anything from a chat to a complete online demo, to help you find the right projector for your needs.