About Whywidescreen.com

Widescreen Advocate wants to be an invaluable information resource for those who want to be involved in a grassroots education effort to spread the word that widescreen/OAR is the only proper way to watch movies at home.

Another area we will be looking into is how the advancement of high speed internet has affected the widescreen format. You will discover which high speed ISP’s offer the highest quality signals which are appropriate for streaming movies and videos to your widescreen monitor or TV.

The heart of WA is our download section. This is where you’ll find our own Why Widescreen? and member created resources. The Why Widescreen? campaign includes several different flyers and brochures, some very basic and others more technical. All will explain the advantages of widescreen. These resources can be easily printed out and distributed, so use them to pass on the truth about widescreen. Future offerings are being developed.

  • You may also want to see our news section to keep track of the latest happenings on the widescreen vs. fullscreen front.
  • Are you interested in how dual release titles compare in sales? Then check out our dvd sales & stats.
  • Need some online resources to help explain the advantages of widescreen to your friends and family? Check out what is widesceen?
  • Check out our brand new oar watchdog to see if any of your favorite films are on the dreaded full screen only list.
  • Visit our studio & retailer watchdog to let big business know how you really feel about your favorite format.
  • Want some proof that a few dedicated people really can make a difference? Check out the victories page.

What is Widescreen?

If you are already familliar with the basic concepts of widescreen and pan & scan, you should skip to our Advanced Widescreen/OAR Primer.

For those of you who just want the widescreen basics, keep reading.

Have you ever wondered while watching a film on TV, VHS, or DVD why it begins with this disclaimer:

“This film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit your screen.”

If you’ve ever pondered what this disclaimer means, I’ll interpret for you:

“This film has been reduced in size, and up to 43% of what was shown in the theater has been cut out, just so that the image will fill up your square television screen.” – The preceeding statement is only true if you have a regular television. It is not at all accurate if you have a widescreen television set!

This process of “reformatting” a film is called “Pan & Scan.” Some also refer to it as “Full Screen”. The term “Widescreen”, or “Letterbox” simply refers to the original unaltered film as it was shown in the theater. There are several other ways that films are transferred to video, but we will examine the one that is used most often, and that is Pan & Scan.