Re: Widescreen Format

Jessica Rosner (
Thu, 15 Feb 2001 13:11:41 -0800 (PST)

Well I thought someone else would get this one but I'll give it a stab
Both terms are used more or less interchangeably on video & DVD boxes
I think your monitors are probably find. They are actually giving you the
WHOLE PICTURE which does leave empty space at the top & bottom of the
screen. This is the proper way to format a windscreen picture . The AMOUNT
of the space will depend on the aspect ratio of the picture which can vary
between cinemascope, 1.85 or 1.66. All require at least some "letterboxing"
to get the COMPLETE original image on the screen. "Pan & SCAN" which is used
commonly for TV and video is when they basically chop off part of the
original image so it will "neatly" fit your screen. Many people resist
letterboxing as they somehow think something is missing or just find it
annoying. It is in fact the only way to see many films as they were intended
to be seen. Most popular films are available in "pan & scan " versions but
purists like Kino, Milestone, New Yorker etc, generally only release
letterboxed versions of widescreen films

Hope this helps

Jessica Rosner

> From: "Michelle Flinchbaugh" <>
> Reply-To:
> Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 11:05:58 -0800 (PST)
> To: Multiple recipients of list <>
> Subject: Widescreen Format
> I'm wondering if anyone can fill me in on widescreen format on DVD?
> Some people here are telling me that it's exactly the same as letterbox
> (which had been my assumption), but other people are telling me it's not.
> Apparently we're having trouble with the widescreen DVD's we've purchased
> playing, but not displaying on our monitors properly, with the top and
> bottom distorted and stretched lengthwise and lost off the screen.
> Michelle Flinchbaugh
> Acquisitions Librarian
> University of Maryland, Baltimore County
> Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery
> 1000 Hilltop Circle
> Baltimore, MD 21250
> Phone: 410 455 6754
> Fax: 410 455-1598
> E-mail: