Originally Posted by rexx2k
I'm not sure i actually comprehend that wiki article, i have been through it already. If someone could define 'anamorphic' in clearer terms, i'd appreciate it.
I wrote an article
on the subject years ago.
Essentially, the raw DVD image was intended to be displayed on a 4:3 display. It is stored in a 720 x 480 grid (if NTSC). By interpreting that grid with non-square pixels, it will fill an old-fashioned 4:3 screen perfectly, However, send that same image to a widescreen display and it will be "stretched" horizontally and will appear distorted.
Anamorphic encoding deals with this by storing an image designed to fill a 16x9 screen in a horizontally "squeezed" fashion; when the image is received by the widescreen display, it is stretched horizontally, restoring its correct proportions. However, to be displayed on a 4:3 device, an anamorphic image must be squeezed vertically if it is to have its correct proportions. Since 4:3 sets dominated back in the old days and some studio executives wanted their offerings to appear their best on common equipment, they encoded widescreen material in 4:3 letterboxed format. That way, it would suffer from scaling artifacts associated with "anamorphic downconversion," a fancy term for vertical scaling of anamorphic images to fit 4:3 screens.