Reader Ralph writes in and asks: Does 480p and 16:9 Really Match? If a video game is 640x480 which is
obviously not 16x9 how is the image 16x9? So is it some behind the scenes TV work that is going on to make the image
widescreen? Or is the image stretched slightly?"
Yet another great question by an HD Beat reader. This really drove me nuts until I researched it. You sort of already know the answer, the picture is displayed in the appropriate aspect ratio regardless of the actual resolution. The reason is that not all pixels are square. Any image can be made up of any number or shape of pixels. When we watch 640x480 on a 4x3 TV the pixels are square as they are with 1280x720 on an HDTV. When we watch most SD widescreen video like Fox Widescreen or video games which are only capable of displaying a certain number of pixels, they use square pixels so they can produce a 16x9 image.