What's new

Is there such a thing as anamorphic HD video? (1 Viewer)

Josh Pounds

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 31, 1999
The title pretty much says it all.

The point I guess would be to make 2.35:1 AR movies have higher resolution. It would take full advantage of the HD standard resolution and vertically compress it.

If there isn't anything like this -- why not?

Rocky F

Second Unit
Jun 13, 2002
I'm not sure I understand the question, and I probably don't have the knowledge to answer it if I did, but HD is natively 16X9. The only use of anamorphic enhancement is to take a native NTSC 4x3 format, DVD, and allow 16x9 monitors to display it using all of its resolution. But HD is ATSC native 16x9, so any enhancement is not necessary. Now it's true that you are losing some of your available resolution on black bars with 2.35:1 movies, but if it's HD you're more than making up for it just with increased resolution. Somebody more knowledgable than me may come along and correct me and answer your question better, but it seems to me that you're comparing apples to oranges here.


Second Unit
Jan 9, 2003
I think what he's getting at is similar to what anamorphic does now, but with AR's narrower than 16X9... if, for example, you have a front projector that you can change the lenses on, you could send a higher resolution "full screen" stretched out 16X9 version of a 2.35:1 film to it, and your lens could then distort that picture appropriately to great a 2.35:1 image, which would be of a higher quality than a version which uses a portion of the resolution to draw black bars.

I don't think it would be practical since 99% of HD material is going to be watched on HD TV's or HD projectors without extra lenses, but I suppose computer monitor resolution will get higher and some day be able to take advantage of the higher resolution the disks might be able to offer.


Stunt Coordinator
May 16, 2003
I think you're right, Rocky (though I'm certainly not more knowledgable), but it could be that someone wants to maximize resolution and eliminate the black bars by doing such a squeeze for 2.35:1 material. A Panamorph lens does just such a thing now for front projectors, I believe. If it's projecting HD-level stuff, I imagine the resulting 2.35:1 movie would show even better than just displayed normally in the 16:9 manner.

Or is my ignorance just showing again. . . .



Senior HTF Member
Feb 18, 2004
Real Name
I am certaily in favour of anamorphic 4:3 and 7:3 modes for "squeezing" Academy Ratio and Cinemascope material into the 16:9 HD frame; on the other hand the HD ratio was specifically chosen to be the geometrical mean of the two ratios, resulting in a minimum of lost resolution, and while it might just barely be possible to do with direct-view CRTs, and projectors would just need a pair of extra lenses, it would mean an actual loss of resolution on fixed-pixel displays [since the image would have to be "scaled back" to letterbox or windowbox format rather than being encoded natively, implying some degredation of quality].

Rich Malloy

Senior HTF Member
Apr 9, 2000
Well, I misunderstood the topic until I read a few posts, so my intended comment is a tad off-point. What the hell... I'll make it anyway:

There are anamorphic lenses for HD-Video cameras, and the function is apparently analogous to a film camera (squeezing the cinemascope frame onto a squarer - 16x9? - bit of, er, "film", which is then "unsquoze" by the projector lens). At any rate, if you look at the special features of New Line's DVD of "Dancer in the Dark", there's discussion of how von Trier had anamorphic lenses fashioned to use on the HD-video cameras they were shooting with. I wish I could remember more of the details!

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Latest member
Recent bookmarks