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Product Spotlight: Panamorph
Widescreen conversion lens
Compiled by Denise Harrison

PanamorphThe Panamorph lens optically compresses the vertical dimension of standard (4:3) format projection images to provide the widescreen (16:9) format of HDTV and the highest quality DVD movies.

Standard letterbox images have a dark band at the top and bottom of the image. These dark bands are created by turning off the appropriate pixels so that they absorb light from the projected lamp. This increases heat inside the projector while also producing a feint gray area above and below the image (since these pixels can not be turned totally off). By placing the Panamorph lens in front of the projector, it will significantly reduce these problems by using 33% more pixels to form the widescreen image, says the company. Stewart's Panamorph increases brightness by 32% and resolution by 33% over letterbox movies. The lens' vertical image compression results in an average of 32% more lumens per square meter (lux) versus a standard image of the same width. A bonus effect is how the Panamorph decreases the moiré effect in micro-perforated screens.

The Panamorph lens allows 1.33:1 projectors to directly show enhanced, anamorphic DVD movies with no black bars, no additional components or electronics. A 16:9 projector can also be configured into a Cinemascope (2.35:1) aspect ratio.






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