Definition of pan and scan in English:

pan and scan


  • A technique for narrowing the aspect ratio of a widescreen film to fit the squarer shape of a television screen by continuously selecting the most significant portion of the original picture, rather than just the middle portion.

    • ‘Here is a good example of a movie that works infinitely better in widescreen than in pan and scan.’
    • ‘In the 1980s, movie buffs became more and more dissatisfied with the pan and scan process for viewing films on television.’
    • ‘The disc gives you a choice between pan and scan and a non-anamorphic widescreen transfer.’
    • ‘It is presented in 1.85: 1 letterbox on the widescreen side, and pan and scan on the flip side.’
    • ‘Even in art house showings, the film was always in the pan and scan rather than the wide-screen release that I kept reading about.’
    • ‘I am glad to get this movie in a widescreen edition: any type of pan and scan would not have done the visuals justice.’
    • ‘This edition includes both a pan and scan and a widescreen print of the film on the same disc.’
    • ‘The picture is presented in both pan and scan full screen and widescreen 1.85: 1 aspect ratio enhanced for widescreen TVs.’
    • ‘Until about 1990, most people were generally satisfied watching films that were panned and scanned.’
    • ‘I know many videophiles will be aghast, but my concern in changing ratios stems from butchering widescreen to pan and scan.’