Anamorphic widescreen

Anamorphic widescreen (also called Full height anamorphic) is a process by which a comparatively wide widescreen image is horizontally compressed to fit into a storage medium (photographic film or MPEG-2 Standard Definition frame, for example) with a narrower aspect ratio, reducing the horizontal resolution of the image while keeping its full original vertical resolution. Compatible play-back equipment (a projector with modified lens, or a digital video player or set-top box) can then expand the horizontal dimension to show the original widescreen image. This is typically used to allow one to store widescreen images on a medium that was originally intended for a narrower ratio, while using as much of the frame – and therefore recording as much detail – as possible.[1]

The technique comes from cinema, when a film would be framed and recorded as widescreen but the picture would be "squashed together" using a special concave lens to fit into non-widescreen 1.37:1 aspect ratio film. This film can then be printed and manipulated like any other 1.37:1 film stock, although the images on it will appear to be squashed horizontally (or elongated vertically). An anamorphic lens on the projector in the cinema (a convex lens) corrects the picture by performing the opposite distortion, returning it to its original width and its widescreen aspect ratio.

The optical scaling of the lens to a film medium is considered more desirable than the digital counterpart, due to the amount of non-proportional pixel-decimated scaling that is applied to the width of an image to achieve (something of a misnomer) a so-called "rectangular" pixel widescreen image. The legacy ITU Rec. 601 4:3 image size is used for its compatibility with the original video bandwidth that was available for professional video devices that used fixed clock rates of a SMPTE 259M serial digital interface. One would produce a higher-quality upscaled 16:9 widescreen image by using either a 1:1 SD progressive frame size of 640×360 or for ITU Rec. 601 and SMPTE 259M compatibility a letterboxed frame size of 480i or 576i. Similar operations are performed electronically to allow widescreen material to be stored on formats or broadcast on systems that assume a non-widescreen aspect ratio, such as DVD or standard definition digital television broadcasting.


Many commercial films (especially epics – usually with the CinemaScope 2.35:1 optical sound or the older 4-track mag sound 2.55:1 aspect ratio) are recorded on standard 35 mm ~4:3 aspect ratio film[1], using an anamorphic lens to horizontally compress all footage into a ~4:3 frame. Another anamorphic lens on the movie theatre projector corrects (optically decompresses) the picture (see anamorphic format for details). Other movies (often with aspect ratios of 1.85:1 in the USA or 1.66:1 in Europe) are made using the simpler matte technique, which involves both filming and projecting without any expensive special lenses. The movie is produced in 1.375 format, and then the resulting image is simply cropped in post-production (or perhaps in the theater's projector) to fit the desired aspect ratio of 1.85:1 or 1.66:1 or whatever is desired. Besides costing less, the main advantage of the matte technique is that it leaves the studio with "real" footage (the areas that are cropped for the theatrical release) which can be used in preference to pan-and-scan when producing 4:3 DVD releases, for example.

The anamorphic encoding on DVD is related to the anamorphic filming technique (like CinemaScope) only by name. For instance, Star Wars (1977) was filmed in 2.39:1 ratio using an anamorphic camera lens, and shown in theaters using the corresponding projector lens. Since it is a widescreen film, when encoded on a widescreen-format DVD the studio would almost certainly use the anamorphic encoding process. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed in 1.85:1 ratio without using an anamorphic lens on the camera, and similarly was shown in theaters without the need for the decompression lens. However, since it is also a widescreen film, when encoded on a widescreen-format DVD the studio would probably use the anamorphic encoding process.

It does not matter whether the filming was done using the anamorphic lens technique: as long as the source footage is intended to be widescreen, the digital anamorphic encoding procedure is appropriate for the DVD release. As a sidenote, if a purely non-widescreen version of the analog-anamorphic Star Wars were to be released on DVD, the only options would be pan-and-scan or hardcoded 4:3 letterboxing (with the black letterboxes actually encoded as part of the DVD data). If you were to release a purely non-widescreen version of Monty Python, you would have those options, as well as the additional option of an "open-matte" release, where the film footage that was never visible in theaters (due to use of the matte technique in post-production or in the theatrical projectors) is "restored" to the purely non-widescreen DVD release.


During the 90's, a handful of Laserdiscs were released with anamorphic transfers. 4 were released in the USA as promotional items with Toshiba 16/9 TV sets (Unforgiven, Free Willy, The Fugitive, Grumpy Old Men), 12 were released commercially in Japan (marketed as SQUEEZE LD) as derived products from the MUSE/Hi-Vision releases. 3 were commercially released in Germany PAL+ format (Schlafes Bruder, Showgirls, Mikrokosmos).

Video was stretched vertically to fill the whole 4/3 picture of a Laserdisc (and add more information where black bars would be at the top and bottom) then either un-squeezed horizontally on a 16/9 TV set or using an anamorphic lens on a 4/3 video projector.

DVD Video

A DVD labeled as "Widescreen Anamorphic" contains video that has the same frame size in pixels as traditional fullscreen video, but uses wider pixels. The shape of the pixels is called pixel aspect ratio and is encoded in the video stream for a DVD player to correctly identify the proportions of the video. If an anamorphic DVD video is played on standard 4:3 television without adjustment, the image will look horizontally squeezed.


Pre-2001 MGM Anamorphic DVD packaging sample.
Pre-2003 Universal Anamorphic DVD packaging sample. Now used by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Although currently there is no labeling standard, DVDs with content originally produced in an aspect ratio wider than 1.33:1 are typically labeled "Anamorphic Widescreen," "Enhanced for 16:9 televisions," "Enhanced for widescreen televisions," or similar. If not so labeled, the DVD is intended for a 4:3 display ("fullscreen"), and will be letterboxed or panned and scanned.

There has been no clear standardization for companies to follow regarding the advertisement of anamorphically enhanced widescreen DVDs. Some companies, such as Universal and Disney, include the aspect ratio of the movie.

Blu-ray video

Unlike DVD, Blu-ray supports SMPTE HD resolutions of 720p and 1080i/p with a display aspect ratio of 16:9 and a pixel aspect ratio of 1:1, so widescreen video is scaled non-anamorphically (this is referred to as "square" pixels).

Blu-ray also supports anamorphic wide-screen, both at the DVD-Video/D-1 resolutions of 720×480 (NTSC) and 720×576 (PAL), and at the higher resolution of 1440×1080 (source aspect ratio of 4:3, hence a pixel aspect ratio of 4:3 = 16:9 / 4:3 when used as anamorphic 16:9). See Blu-ray Disc: Technical specifications for details.


Major digital television channels in Europe (for example, the five major UK terrestrial TV channels of BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5), as well as Australia, carry anamorphic widescreen programming in standard definition. In almost all cases, 4:3 programming is also transmitted on the same channel. The SCART switching signal can be used by a set-top-box to signal the television which kind of programming (4:3 or anamorphic) is currently being received, so that the television can change modes appropriately. The user can often elect to display widescreen programming in a 4:3 letterbox format instead of pan and scan if they do not have a widescreen television.

TV stations and TV networks can also include Active Format Description (AFD) just as DVDs can. Many ATSC tuners (integrated or set-top box) can be set to respond to this, or to apply a user setting. This can sometimes be set on a per-channel basis, and often on a per-input basis, and usually easily with a button on the remote control. Unfortunately, tuners often fail to allow this on SDTV (480i-mode) channels, so that viewers are forced to view a small picture instead of cropping the unnecessary sides (which are outside of the safe area anyhow), or zooming to eliminate the windowboxing that may be causing a very tiny picture, or stretching/compressing to eliminate other format-conversion errors. The shrunken pictures are especially troublesome for smaller TV sets.

Many modern HDTV sets have the capability to detect black areas in any video signal, and to smoothly re-scale the picture independently in both directions (horizontal and vertical) so that it fills the screen. However, some sets are 16:10 (1.6:1) like some computer monitors, and will not crop the left and right edges of the picture, meaning that all programming looks slightly (though usually imperceptibly) tall and thin.

ATSC allows two anamorphic widescreen SDTV formats (interlaced and progressive scan) which are 704×480 (10% wider than 640×480); this is narrower than the 720×480 of DVD due to 16 pixels being consumed by overscan (nominal analogue blanking) – see overscan: analog to digital resolution issues. The format can also be used for fullscreen programming, and in this case it is anamorphic with pixels slightly taller (10:11, or 0.91:1) than their width.

See also


1. ^ The standard 1932 Academy ratio changed the true aspect ratio of the image data to 1.375 when they made space for audio tracks, however, this is close enough to 4:3 that the difference is often glossed over.


  1. ^ "Full height anamorphic". Oxford Reference. Retrieved April 22, 2018.

External links

Anamorphic format

Anamorphic format is the cinematography technique of shooting a widescreen picture on standard 35 mm film or other visual recording media with a non-widescreen native aspect ratio. It also refers to the projection format in which a distorted image is "stretched" by an anamorphic projection lens to recreate the original aspect ratio on the viewing screen. (It should not be confused with anamorphic widescreen, a different video encoding concept that uses similar principles but different means.) The word anamorphic and its derivatives stem from the Greek words meaning "formed again". As a camera format, anamorphic format is losing popularity in comparison to "flat" (or "spherical") formats such as Super 35 mm film shot using spherical lenses; however, because most film movie projectors use anamorphic projection format, spherical format negatives are commonly converted into anamorphic prints for projection.

In the years since digital cinema cameras and projectors have become commonplace, anamorphic has experienced a considerable resurgence of popularity, due in large part to the higher base ISO sensitivity of digital sensors, which facilitates shooting at smaller apertures.

Animal Planet (European TV channel)

The Pan-European Animal Planet is a feed of Animal Planet, which broadcasts to several countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The channel is broadcast in English, Czech, Hungarian and Russian. The HD feed also carries a Turkish audio track. Turkey has its own SD feed. The channel also carries DVB subtitle tracks in Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Macedonian, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian and Swedish.

There used to be a separate feed for Romania, but the channel closed down in 2013.

Many regions in Europe that previously received the pan-European version of the channel, now receive a localised version.

Animal Planet (Dutch TV channel) for The Netherlands and Flanders.

Animal Planet Germany for Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

Animal Planet Poland

Animal Planet Russia

Animal Planet Turkey

Animal Planet (UK TV channel) for the UK & IrelandUkraine and the Baltic countries still get the pan-European feed in Russian and English.


FHA may refer to:

Fair Housing Act, part of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1968

Farmers Home Administration

Federal Housing Administration, a United States government agency

Filamentous haemagglutinin adhesin

Forced hot air

Forkhead-associated domain

Functional hazard analysis

Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea

SS Führungshauptamt, the operational headquarters of the SS in Nazi Germany

Full Height Anamorphic (anamorphic widescreen), a video technique used to store a 16:9 picture in a 4:3 frame

the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood, later renamed the World Transformation Movement

Film genre

A film genre is a motion-picture category based (for example) on similarities either in the narrative elements or in the emotional response to the film (namely: serious, comic, etc.). Most theories of film genre are borrowed from literary-genre criticism. Each film genre is associated with "conventions, iconography, settings, narratives, characters and actors".

Standard genre characters vary according to the film genre; for film noir, standard characters are the femme fatale and the "hardboiled" detective; a Western film may portray the schoolmarm and the gunfighter. Some actors acquire a reputation linked to a single genre, such as John Wayne (the Western) or Fred Astaire (the musical). A film's genre will influence the use of filmmaking styles and techniques, such as the use of flashbacks and low-key lighting in film noir, tight framing in horror films, fonts that look like rough-hewn logs for the titles of Western films, or the "scrawled" title-font and credits of Se7en (1995), a film about a serial killer. As well, genres have associated film-scoring conventions, such as lush string orchestras for romantic melodramas or electronic music for science-fiction films.The basic genres include fiction and documentary, from which subgenres have emerged, such as docufiction and docudrama. Other examples of subgenres include the courtroom- and trial-focused drama known as the legal drama, which is a subtype of drama. Types of fiction which may seem unrelated can also be combined to form hybrid subgenres, such as the melding of horror and comedy in the Evil Dead films. Other popular combinations include the romantic comedy and the action comedy film. Alan Williams distinguishes three main genre categories: narrative, avant-garde and documentary. Genre movies are "commercial feature films which, through repetition and variation, tell familiar stories with familiar characters and familiar situations". Genre affects how films are broadcast on television, advertised, and organized in video rental stores.Films can also be classified by the setting, theme, topic, mood, format, target audience or budget. The setting is the environment where the story and action take place (e.g., a war film, a Western film, or a space-opera film). The theme or topic refers to the issues or concepts that the film revolves around (e.g., science-fiction film, sports film, or crime film). The mood is the emotional tone of the film (e.g., comedy film, horror film, or tearjerker film). Format refers to the way the film was shot (e.g., 35 mm, 16 mm or 8 mm) or the manner of presentation (e.g.: anamorphic widescreen). Additional ways of categorizing film genres may involve the target audience (e.g., children's film, teen film or women's film) or by type of production (e.g., B movie, big-budget blockbuster or low-budget film, such as amateur film). Genre does not just refer to the type of film or its category; spectator expectations about a film, and institutional discourses that create generic structures also play a key role.

Genres are not fixed; they change and evolve over time, and some genres may largely disappear (for example, the melodrama).

Flash of Genius (film)

Flash of Genius is a 2008 American biographical film directed by Marc Abraham. Philip Railsback wrote the screenplay, based on a 1993 New Yorker article by John Seabrook. It focuses on Robert Kearns and his legal battle against the Ford Motor Company after they developed an intermittent windshield wiper based on ideas the inventor had patented.

The film's title comes from the phrase "flash of genius", which is patent law terminology that was in effect from 1941 to 1952. It held that the inventive act must come into the mind of an inventor as a kind of epiphany, and not as the result of tinkering.

The film opened on 1,098 screens in the US on October 3, 2008, and earned US$2,251,075 on its opening weekend, ranking #11. It remained in theaters for only three weeks, and eventually grossed US$4,442,377 domestically and US$183,673 in foreign markets, for a total worldwide box office of US$4,626,050. The film was released on DVD on February 17, 2009. The DVD is in anamorphic widescreen format with audio tracks in English and Spanish and subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. Bonus features include "commentary by the director (Marc Abraham)" and "deleted scenes".

Ghost Whisperer

Ghost Whisperer is an American supernatural television series, which ran on CBS from September 23, 2005, to May 21, 2010.The series follows the life of Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt), who has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. While trying to live a normal life as possible—she is married and owns an antique store—Melinda helps earthbound spirits resolve their problems and cross over into the light, or the spirit world. Her tasks are difficult and at times she struggles with people who push her away and do not believe in her gift. In addition, the ghosts are mysterious and sometimes menacing at first, and Melinda must use the clues available to her to understand the spirits' needs and help them. The show was created by John Gray and was produced by Sander/Moses Productions, executive producer, and Jennifer Love Hewitt in association with ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios.On May 18, 2010, CBS canceled the show after five seasons.

Henri Chrétien

Henri Jacques Chrétien (1 February 1879, Paris – 6 February 1956, Washington, D.C.) was a French astronomer and an inventor.

Born in Paris, France, his most famous inventions are:

- the anamorphic widescreen process, using an anamorphic lens system called Hypergonar, that resulted in the CinemaScope widescreen technique, and

- the co-invention, with George Willis Ritchey, of the Ritchey–Chrétien telescope, an improved type of astronomical telescope, employing a system now used in virtually all large research telescopes.

He spent part of his early astronomical career at the Nice Observatory, which was close to his house, the Villa Paradou. The Villa was built by famous French architect Charles Garnier who also built the Opera of Paris. In 1995, the abandoned villa was acquired by the artist Rainer Maria Latzke, who restored it and added new murals to the existing frescoes.

Chrétien was one of the founders of the Institut d'optique théorique et appliquée and professor at the French "grande école" SupOptique (École supérieure d'optique).


NPO 2 (formerly Nederland 2 Dutch pronunciation: [ˌneːdərlɑnt ˈtʋeː] until 2014) is a Dutch television channel, sister channel of NPO 1 and NPO 3. It was established on 1 October 1964 at 20:00, initially with a 2.5 hours schedule until 22:30.

NPO 2 tends to broadcast arts, culture, politics, news, current affairs, documentaries and religious programmes. In the mornings, NPO 2 simulcasts NPO 1's news bulletins with sign language.


Panavision is an American motion picture equipment company specializing in cameras and lenses, based in Woodland Hills, California. Formed by Robert Gottschalk as a small partnership to create anamorphic projection lenses during the widescreen boom in the 1950s, Panavision expanded its product lines to meet the demands of modern filmmakers. The company introduced its first products in 1954. Originally a provider of CinemaScope accessories, the company's line of anamorphic widescreen lenses soon became the industry leader. In 1972, Panavision helped revolutionize filmmaking with the lightweight Panaflex 35 mm movie camera. The company has introduced other groundbreaking cameras such as the Millennium XL (1999) and the digital video Genesis (2004).

Panavision operates exclusively as a rental facility—the company owns its entire inventory, unlike most of its competitors.

Panavision cameras

Panavision has been a manufacturer of cameras for the motion picture industry since the 1950s, beginning with anamorphic widescreen lenses. The lightweight Panaflex is credited with revolutionizing filmmaking. Other influential cameras include the Millennium XL and the digital video Genesis.


The pillarbox effect occurs in widescreen video displays when black bars (mattes or masking) are placed on the sides of the image. It becomes necessary when film or video that was not originally designed for widescreen is shown on a widescreen display, or a narrower widescreen image is displayed within a wider aspect ratio, such as a 16:9 image in a 2.39:1 frame (common in cinemas). The original material is shrunk and placed in the middle of the widescreen frame.

Some older arcade games that had a tall vertical and short horizontal are displayed in pillarbox even on 4:3 televisions. Some early sound films made 1928–1931, such as City Lights, were filmed in an even narrower format to make room for the sound-on-film track on then-standard film stock. These will appear pillarboxed even on 4:3 screens.Pillarboxing is the vertical equivalent of letterboxing and is sometimes called reverse letterboxing. Its name is derived from its resemblance to pillar box-style mailboxes used in the UK and the Commonwealth of Nations. The four-direction equivalent is called windowboxing, caused when programming is both letterboxed and pillarboxed.

In order to use the entire screen area of a widescreen display (which is already significantly less than a fullscreen of equal diagonal measurement), and to prevent a reverse screen burn-in on plasma displays, the simplest alternative to pillarboxing is to crop the top and bottom. However, this results in the loss of some of the image within what the producer assumed would be the safe area. This overscan may or may not bother the viewer, but it often cuts-off the channel banner or other on-screen displays. Likewise, the vertical equivalent of pan and scan is called "tilt and scan" or "reverse pan and scan". This moves the cropped "window" up and down, however it is rarely done. A third option is to stretch the video to fill the screen, but this is often considered ugly, as it severely distorts everything on the screen.

Because certain screen resolutions can be used for both fullscreen and widescreen (anamorphic), widescreen signaling (such as the Active Format Descriptor) must be used to tell the display device which to use, or the viewer must set it manually, in order to prevent unnecessary pillarboxing or stretching on widescreen displays.

Princes et Princesses

Princes et Princesses (Princes and Princesses) is a 2000 compilation movie by French animator Michel Ocelot.

The movie consists of six episodes of the 1989 French silhouette animation television series Ciné si.

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

The Incredible Shrinking Woman is a 1981 American science-fiction comedy film directed by Joel Schumacher (in his directing debut), written by Jane Wagner and starring Lily Tomlin, Charles Grodin, Ned Beatty, John Glover, and Elizabeth Wilson. This film is a take-off on the 1957 science-fiction classic film The Incredible Shrinking Man, and credited as based on Richard Matheson's 1956 novel, The Shrinking Man. The original music score was composed by Suzanne Ciani.

The film was released in pan-and-scan on VHS by Universal on July 13, 1994. On November 4, 2009, an unmastered low-quality DVD release (manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media) in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen was offered under the Universal Vault Series banner. It was later released by Shout! Factory as a "Collector's Edition" Blu-ray on November 14, 2017, with an updated transfer, and includes interviews and a deleted scene with Edith Ann, who is also played by Lily Tomlin.

Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection

The Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection is a series of two-disc DVD sets, released by Warner Home Video. Originally planned as an uncensored, chronological set, the issued Spotlight Collection sets wound up including selected Tom and Jerry shorts on each volume. Volume one was released on October 19, 2004, volume two on October 25, 2005, and the third and final volume on September 11, 2007.

Turtles Forever

Turtles Forever (also known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever or TMNT: Turtles Forever) is a 2009 American television film produced by 4Kids Entertainment. A crossover film featuring three different incarnations of the Turtles, it was produced in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

An edited version of the movie was released on July 11, 2009 worldwide on TV. The film was then released on July 29, 2009 in New Zealand, Australia and Canada. In other countries, the film aired on The CW as part of their Saturday morning The CW4Kids lineup on November 21, as part of a 25th anniversary celebration which featured a top-10 episode countdown preceding the film's television premiere. In the United States, an uncut version aired from October 31 to November 14 in a form where three weekly 26 minute episodes were shown in a half-hour slot per week.

The uncut version of the film later appeared on the CW4Kids's website on November 16, which includes 8 minutes of footage cut from the original version that aired on TV. The edited version was released on non-anamorphic widescreen DVD on November 21, 2009 from Nickelodeon/Paramount Pictures home entertainment. The uncut anamorphic widescreen version was later released in 2011 on DVD in the PAL DVD regions (2 and 4). There are currently no plans for an American release of the uncut anamorphic version on home media. On August 24, 2010, Nickelodeon aired the movie on its channel for the first time, then aired it again on August 29, 2010.


WYIN, virtual channel 56 (UHF digital channel 17), is a secondary Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station serving Chicago, Illinois, United States that is licensed to Gary, Indiana. Owned by Northwest Indiana Public Broadcasting, Inc., it is a sister station to National Public Radio (NPR) member WLPR-FM (89.1 MHz). The two stations share studios on Indiana Place (Mississippi Street) in Merrillville; WYIN's transmitter is located near Lake Dalecarlia (due south of Cedar Lake). WYIN is one of two PBS member stations serving the Chicago television market, alongside Chicago-licensed WTTW (channel 11).


Widescreen images are images that are displayed within a set of aspect ratios (relationship of image width to height) used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film.

For television, the original screen ratio for broadcasts was in fullscreen 4:3 (1.33:1). Largely between the 1990s and early 2000s, at varying paces in different nations, 16:9 (1.78:1) widescreen TV displays came into increasingly common use. They are typically used in conjunction with high-definition television (HDTV) receivers, or Standard-Definition (SD) DVD players and other digital television sources.

With computer displays, aspect ratios wider than 4:3 are also referred to as widescreen. Widescreen computer displays were previously of 16:10 aspect ratio, but now are usually 16:9.

Motion picture film formats
Film gauges
Film formats
Aspect ratio standards
Video framing

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.