Panamorph Demo Theater (PDT) Walkthrough

(This guide opens in a separate tab from the PDT. To re-open the PDT click here. To move this page to a separate window just drag the browser tab to a different part of your screen.)


The PDT is designed to let you go through multiple “what if” scenarios for the design, setup and use of your UltraWide home theater with or without an anamorphic lens. To be clear, once your theater is installed you will not be thinking about “PROJECTOR SETUP” and you will not need to choose a “CONTENT SAMPLE”. Also realize that in actual use you will only be choosing one of the three projector display modes from your remote for any content you watch if you are using an anamorphic lens OR you will be choosing a memory zoom setting from your remote if you are just using the zoom method (ie no anamorphic lens).


  • If a lens option button is grayed out then you must change the zoom/shift/focus choice to enable it. Select No Lens will enable both zoom/shift/focus options.
  • The UltraWide Movie, TV (16:9) Content and Menus buttons can be clicked again to provide other examples.
  • The 16:9 FRAME ON/OFF button (upper right corner) overlays a 16:9 frame onto the 2.4:1 screen frame to give you a reference for different screen/display formats.
  • All high performance home theater projectors now have Panamorph modes. However, please refer to your projector user manual for the exact name of these modes since they can vary. Your home theater installer will likely just program these modes into your universal remote on a single button to cycle through “UltraWide“, “TV” and “Off” modes.
  • Total light on Screen and Total pixels on Screen simulate actual use of anamorphic lenses and changes in projector output due to zoom settings.
  • The delays in changes to zoom/shift/focus are simulated based on average times of actual projectors to make these changes using their “memory zoom” or “lens memory” feature. Buttons are disabled during these changes.
  • The PDT works smoothest on a desktop/laptop with Google Chrome. Safari provides all the features but the dynamic transitions are not as smooth/realistic.
  • While the PDT allows for many different experiments to visualize how anamorphic lenses, content and projector zoom impacts a theater, the four basic scenarios below will take you through using all the features:



This one is easy. If you love movies then you know that 70% of the most popular movies are made in the UltraWide 2.4:1 aspect ratio. That’s why you chose a 2.4:1 screen. You want these movies to fill your 2.4:1 screen as the biggest and best experience in your theater and that means they should be the brightest and most detailed.

  1. Install the projector zoomed out to Fill Screen Width.
  2. Install the Paladin
  3. Select a content sample from UltraWide Movies.
  4. Select the UltraWide mode.

Installation note: For best use of the Paladin your 2.4:1 screen diagonal should be 0.6 X your projector distance to screen or less with a maximum ratio of 0.75. If you have to go with a larger ratio (up to 0.85) then the next best solution is the Phoenix lens. You can also use the screen calculator for these parameters:

  1. Install the projector zoomed in to Fill Screen Height.
  2. Install the Phoenix
  3. Select a content sample from UltraWide Movies.
  4. Select the UltraWide mode.

Remember that at high ratios of screen diagonal to projector distance the Phoenix lens ideally requires Electronic Convergence Correction in the projector, which is currently available only in projector models from Epson, JVC and Sony. Please also note that the Phoenix throw distance should be between about 14’ and 20’.



While only 30% of popular movies are filmed in aspect ratios other than around 2.4:1, you still want to know how to watch these and perhaps even sports or weekly TV programming on your UltraWide 2.4:1 screen. The trick is, what is “best” is something only you can decide for the amount of TV (16:9) content you watch. Here are the options.

 “I think the best way to watch TV (16:9) content is by completely filling my 2.4:1 screen using the full performance of my projector.”

  1. Follow the “best” UltraWide (2.4:1) guidance above for your theater installation.
  2. Select a 16:9 Content sample.
  3. OPTION ONE: Select the UltraWide mode. This will fill your 2.4:1 screen with maximum performance but to make the 16:9 content fit the screen the top and bottom 12.5% will be cut off.
  4. OPTION TWO: Select the Off mode. This will also fill your 2.4:1 screen with maximum performance but the 16:9 content will appear stretched horizontally to make the entire image fit without being cut off.

“I think the best way to watch 16:9 content is so it is properly formatted in the center of my 2.4:1 screen with black areas on the sides and the same brightness and resolution per unit area (ie same quality) as UltraWide 2.4:1 content.”

  1. Follow the “best” UltraWide (2.4:1) guidance above for your theater installation.
  2. Select a 16:9 Content sample.
  3. OPTION THREE (since this is actually the exact same theater installation as for options ONE and TWO): Select the TV mode.

 “I think that the best way to watch 16:9 content is so it is properly formatted in the center of my 2.4:1 screen with black areas on the side. BUT, I also want to use the full performance of my projector to make that smaller 16:9 image.”

  1. Remove the anamorphic lens (select No Lens). This can be automated by using a motorized, remote controlled transport to move the lens out of the projector beam. Alternatively, removing the lens from the attachment plate with the two thumb screws.
  2. If the anamorphic lens you removed is the Paladin then adjust the zoom / shift / focus to zoom the image down to Fill Screen Height (this is already the setting if you removed the Phoenix lens). Many projectors have “lens memory” settings these days so your installer can program the projector to make these mechanical adjustments automatic by just pushing a button (perhaps even the same button on a universal remove that moves the lens away).
  3. Select the Off mode.



Ok, so you’ve decided on a 2.4:1 screen because your home theater is primarily for movies. Do you really need an anamorphic lens? The simple answer is no. If you are not that concerned about performance for UltraWide 2.4:1 movies as the largest content in your theater then you can simply zoom up the letterbox 2.4:1 movies to fill your 2.4:1 screen (assuming your projector has this range of zoom in your theater) while projecting black bars onto the wall above and below the screen. This means 2.4:1 movies will have the lowest resolution and brightness of everything you watch. On a 4K projector you’ll only be getting 3K, Here’s a good way to see how this works.

  1. Start with Fill Screen Height and select Test Pattern for the content. Choose the Off mode. You won’t use any of the projector’s anamorphic modes for this method.
  2. Now select Fill Screen Width and watch the pattern grow with the black bar areas moving off the top and bottom of the screen, leaving just the central 2.4:1 part of the test pattern to fill the 2.4:1 screen.
  3. Select any UltraWide Movie content. That’s it! You’re now filling the entire 2.4:1 screen with the 2.4:1 movie without an anamorphic lens. The black bars are still there above and below the screen but they’re really difficult to see. Naturally you’ll see that the “Total light on screen” and “Total pixels on screen” are nowhere near the maximum. That’s because the rest of it is being used to block the light to create the black bars on the wall.
  4. To watch 16:9 content: Select 16:9 Content then select Fill Screen Height. The projector will now change to the original programmed settings.



Most menus from a Blu-ray movie or from any of your devices use a full 16:9 frame. If you’re watching a 2.4:1 movie on your 2.4:1 screen and you bring up a menu then the top and bottom of that menu will either be cutoff (if using an anamorphic lens) or they will be projected onto the wall above and below the screen (if using the zoom method). So, to see the full menu …

  1. Select Menus (again, you can click the button to cycle through different samples).
  2. If you are using an anamorphic lens and you are watching a 2.4:1 movie: Select either the Off or TV mode. This will instantly show all of the menu on the screen. When you are done with the menu just re-select the UltraWide mode to instantly return to the proper format.
  3. If you are using the zoom method and you are watching a 2.4:1 movie: Select Fill Screen Height. This simulates pressing your projector’s memory zoom button to mechanically shrink the image so the menu will fit onto the screen. When you are done with the menu then select Fill Screen Width to simulate engaging the projector’s memory zoom feature returning to the original setting.
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