pan and scan

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Alternative forms[edit]


pan and scan (not comparable)

  1. (film) Formatted to fit within proportions of a 1.33:1 or 1.78:1 aspect ratio television screen, with sides of the original widescreen image (especially 2.35:1 aspect ratio) cropped off.
    Paul disdained pan and scan DVD releases, always holding out for the widescreen special editions.


pan and scan (plural pan and scans)

  1. (uncountable, film) The method or practice of adjusting widescreen film images, especially 2.35:1 or 2.39:1 aspect ratio, so that they can be shown within the proportions of a 1.33:1 or 1.78:1 aspect ratio television screen, by cropping off sides of the original widescreen image, as opposed to letterboxing.
    Alicia hated the person who had invented pan and scan, since the heightened panning effect aggravated her nausea when watching action movies.
  2. (film) A movie recording employing this technology.
    In the discount bin by the door sat a pile of pan and scans, mostly comedies, that no one would touch.


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pan and scan (third-person singular simple present pans and scans, present participle panning and scanning, simple past and past participle panned and scanned)

  1. (film) To adjust widescreen film images so that they can be shown with standard television aspect ratios by cropping the original image, i.e. using pan and scan methods.
  2. (film) To crop out (a character or object) when performing the pan and scan process, resulting in the deletion of a character or object.
    On the fullscreen version of Star Wars Episode II, only Anakin and Obi-Wan appear in the scene because Padmé was panned and scanned out.

Related terms[edit]