Pan and scan

Pan and scan is a method of adjusting widescreen film images so that they can be shown in fullscreen proportions of a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio television screen, often cropping off the sides of the original widescreen image to focus on the composition's most important aspects.

A 2.35:1 image panned and scanned to 1.33:1. Nearly half of the original image has been cropped.

Some film directors and enthusiasts disapprove of pan and scan cropping, because it can remove up to 43% of the original image on 2.35:1 films or up to 48% on earlier 2.55:1 presentations, changing the director or cinematographer's original vision and intentions. The most extreme examples remove up to 52% of the original picture on 2.76:1 presentations.

The vertical equivalent is known as "tilt and scan" or "reverse pan and scan". The method was most common in the days of VHS, before widescreen home media such as Laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray.