Sunday, September 25, 2005

Screen Formats Explained

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Clint DeBoer of Audioholics presents an article where he talks about Anamprphic, Letterbox, and Pan & Scan display formats. In the article he covers history of each format and why it made into our lives. Here are few notable excerpts from the article:

What letterboxing did was allow the entire width of the film to be shown. What it did not do was efficiently accomplish this task. By introducing black bars at the top and bottom, VHS effectively eliminated 1/3 of its precious 280 lines of resolution. Oh they were still there, but they were taken up by black bars. Now we had only about 160 or so lines of resolution on which to watch our movies. At the time, this was all that was possible. And honestly, it was a good solution given the consumer format limitations at the time.
DVDs provided the same ability to watch widescreen presentations on our 4:3 standard definition televisions, but with one very important change. The DVD spec allowed the picture to be “pre-squished” into what we now call anamorphic (or sometimes dubbed “widescreen”) video.
Clint DeBoer has done a great job putting it all together in a simple and understandable format in popular language.

Read the full article at

Posted by Mike at 12:26 AM

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