is used in the context of computer graphicsto describe the layout of pixelsin adigitized image. Most digitalimagingsystems use a square grid of pixels—that is, they sample an image atthe same resolution horizontally and vertically. But there are some devices that do not (most notably somecommonstandard-definitionformats indigital televisionandDVD-Video) so a digital image scanned at avertical resolution twice that of its horizontal resolution (i.e. the pixels are twice as close together verticallyas horizontally) might be described as being sampled at a 2:1 pixel aspect ratio, regardless of the size or shape of the image as a whole.Increasing the aspect ratio of an image makes its use of pixels less efficient, and the resulting image willhave lower perceived detail than an image with an equal number of pixels, but arranged with an equalhorizontal and vertical resolution. Beyond about 2:1 pixel aspect ratio, further increases in the already-sharper direction will have no visible effect, no matter how many more pixels are added. Hence an NTSC picture (480i) with 1000 lines of horizontal resolution is possible, but would look no sharper than a DVD.The exception to this is in situations where pixels are used for a purpose other than resolution - for example, a printer that uses dithering to simulate gray shades from black-or-white pixels, or analogvideotape that loses high frequencies when dubbed.