Maximize the Resolution of Non-Native Aspect Ratio Projection

Superior Ultra HD 4K resolution results in better picture quality and has been increasingly catching the attention of golf simulator users. But a significant number of golf simulator users still tend to use more squarish projection screens such as 4:3, 1:1 or something in between these ratios due to limited space. And they are often puzzled by the maximum real resolution they can get when projecting using a non-native resolution or aspect ratio. For example, if users are trying to use a native 4K 16:9 projector when displaying in a 4:3 aspect ratio mode.

Resolution Appearance when Projecting a Non-Native Aspect Ratio

Every projector resolution comes with its native aspect ratio. For instance, the native aspect ratio of FHD and 4K UHD is 16:9, WUXGA and WXGA use 16:10, while XGA is 4:3. In fact, the native resolution of a projector dictates its native aspect ratio. Take 4K UHD for example, the native resolution is 3840 x 2160 and you could take these two numbers, then divide 3840 by 2160, and get a 16:9 ratio. Nevertheless, almost all projectors support a number of popular non-native aspect ratios. The supported non-native aspect ratios are mainly achieved by rescaling the image, which might result in slight image distortion.

Alternatively, users who connect a PC to a projector may take advantage of graphics card drivers and their ability to create custom resolutions. With customized resolution, users may maximize a pixel count that meets the target aspect ratio while avoiding the disadvantage of image distortion.

Here we have a simple equation to help you figure out the maximum resolution for your setup if you are trying to use a 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) projector to display in 4:3 mode. As shown below, put the 4 divided by 3 on the left, with native height (in pixels) of 4K resolution as the denominator after the equal sign. Next, we have 4 times 2160 divided by 3. The result is 2880, which means the maximum resolution of 4:3 aspect ratio projection through a 4K UHD projector (native aspect ratio 16:9) is 2880 x 2160. This resolution could be translated to around 6.2 million pixels, which is lower than the native resolution of 4K UHD, i.e. 8.3 million pixels. More often than not the resolution for non-native aspect ratio projection is lower than the native one even if it’s been maximized through graphics card resolution customization.

Here you can see resolution appearance when projecting a non-native aspect ratio:

 16:9 16:10 4:3 1:1 4K (3840x2160) WUXGA (1920x1200) 1080p (1920x1080) WXGA (1200x800) 4K (3840x2160)3840x2160 WUXGA (1920x1200)2133x1200 1080p (1920x1080)1920x1080 WXGA (1200x800)1422x800 4K (3840x2160)3456x2160 WUXGA (1920x1200)1920x1200 1080p (1920x1080)1728x1080 WXGA (1200x800)1280x800 4K (3840x2160)2880x2160 WUXGA (1920x1200)1600x1200 1080p (1920x1080)1440x1080 WXGA (1200x800)1066x800 4K (3840x2160)2160x2160 WUXGA (1920x1200)1200x1200 1080p (1920x1080)1080x1080 WXGA (1200x800)800x800

Maximize Resolution if You Select a Non-Native Aspect Ratio

To take full advantage of your projector, the best strategy is to project at the native aspect ratio and resolution. By doing this, you get every single pixel available to you. Do remember to customize a resolution that complies to your desired aspect ratio through graphics card settings if you really need to display a non-native aspect ratio image. You may get less detail, but you will also avoid image distortion that could really hamper your golf sim experience.

1. Use the projector Test Pattern before mounting or placing your projector (0'20")
2. Set up a custom resolution from your Graphics Card driver (1'46")
3. Go to Windows Display Settings and select the custom resolution you’ve just created (3'03")
4. Change the resolution in the Golf Sim Software settings (3'26")
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