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If it's an LCD screen, you should be able to find out the exact resolution of the screen and match your movie to that size. That way, each pixel on stage will be equal to each pixel on the screen, giving a nice sharp image.
Otherwise - generally - widescreen formats are a 16:9 ratio. Some common resolutions that fit this ratio are:
You should also check whether your lcd screen has square pixels or 'wide' pixels. I have had screens in the past use wide pixels, so although the physical screen ratio is 16:9, the actual resolution is 640x480, with widened pixels.
hope this helps!
Also, you need to make sure the video card used will work with the LCD at
the resolution you pick. I find 1280x720 to be the most common that works,
but once in a while they will only do the 1365. Also sometimes 1280x768 will
come out pretty good. I always insist on getting the LCD and PC in the
office before it goes on site.
You also need to take into consideration your content. If your using
existing digitized data that's DVD sized or 854x480, and run it at say
1280x720 it will looked stretched and pixelated. The graphics/video people
at my office really like it when we can get the 854x480, sometimes 848x480
Just a quick tip if you’re coding for rectangular pixels (like plasma displays). These displays have native resolutions that will appear familiar to PC users like 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024, etc…, however, because the pixels are rectangular multimedia developed on stages with those sizes will appear to be stretched wide. Trying to compensate for the distortion when designing is difficult to impossible, for example, circles with width = height end up looking like ovals on the plasma (a big problem when you do work for a tire manufacturer that wants their tires to be round ;-) … Here’s our trick for correcting the aspect ratio on plasmas when designing with equipment and software that assumes square pixels:
1. Find the native resolution of the target monitor, take 1024 x 768 as an example.
2. Develop your multimedia on a stage with a width to height pixel ratio of 16:9. If we match the stage height to the target monitor height and do the math, we get 1365 for the stage width, so the Director stage in our example would be 1365 x 768
3. Create a projector stub with a stage that matches the target monitor
4. Use the projector stub to play the multimedia through an MIAW with a rect & drawRect that matches the target monitor … this will distort playback on the development machine, however, the aspect ratio of images on the screen will be correct on the plasma display.