Pan & Scan
Taking a wider ratio (2.35:1 or 1.85:1) and showing you the same height but not as much width to fit it in the 1.33:1 ratio generates a "Pan & Scan" video. This method looses information off the side of the
image and can sometimes be very deceiving because you could miss a lot
of support material that you need to enjoy the movie. Some films are pan
& scan safe by which most of the action is located in a 1.33:1 window
within the widescreen image. It is always best, in my opinion, to view a
movie in the director's preferred ratio if at all possible. There is much to be
gained by viewing a movie in its intended format.
Note: This doesn't show anything about how it would be seen on a particular display device, only what information would be seen. For information about how a particular ratio could be viewed on a display device see the Widescreen/Standard TV section.
Below is the Original letterbox image. Below that is the Pan & Scan image. Notice how much has to be cut in order to fit it to a Standard TV screen.