Sunday, January 22, 2006

iDVD '06 supports auto pan and scan on 16:9 DVDs

I finally got the chance to play around with iDVD in iLife '06. The new widescreen support is welcome, but this new feature comes with another uncommon but interesting feature too. The widescreen DVDs created by iDVD support the automatic pan and scan functionality built into all standalone DVD players.

For the five years I have owned my Panasonic RP91, I have left its automatic 4:3 pan and scan feature active. Despite this, I have never once come across a commercial DVD that allowed this mode for playback of its anamorphic 16:9 widescreen movie content... until now. For reasons outlined in the auto pan and scan description linked above, the studios almost never enable this feature for anamorphic movies, so I find it curious that Apple has chosen to do so, especially since it appears that Apple has made this feature mandatory on all widescreen discs produced by iDVD '06.