With the development of high-definition television (HDTV) systems came the 16:9 (width to height) viewing image aspect ratio. This is compared to the National Television System Committee (NTSC) standard ratio of 4:3 (width to height). This variation in width-to-height aspect ratio has led to the question of which ratio is preferred by the viewing public. The use of a paired-comparison preference-judgment experiment is described that was designed to determine whether or not significant differences exist in image preference between the two aspect ratios. Observers were asked to choose a preferred image from a set of two (NTSC versus HDTV) of various image sizes over 84 separate trials. Three separate image types were used in the study: a portrait, a landscape, and a still life. The results indicate that image quality perception is a function of image aspect ratio. The HDTV image was preferred for all three image types.