Apple granted U.S patent: ‘Method and apparatus for nonlinear anamorphic scaling of video images’

Apple today was granted a United States Patent (#7,158,158): “Method and apparatus for nonlinear anamorphic scaling of video images.”

Methods and apparatuses for nonlinear scaling of video images. To match the aspect ratios of a video image and the target display area, at least one embodiment of the present invention scales the video image according to one or more nonlinear functions along the horizontal direction and/or the vertical direction. In one embodiment, the nonlinear functions are such that the original aspect ratio of the video image is preserved near the center region (or strip) of the image and the image is gradually stretched (or compressed) as it is mapped to the edges. In one example, the scaling is implemented by the texture mapping functionality of OpenGL using graphics hardware. In one embodiment of the present invention, the nonlinear mapping is constructed according to a polynomial mapping; and, the coefficients of the polynomial are adjustable by a user to trade off distortion between the image center and the image edges, giving the user control over the location and the amount of distortion.

The patent application was filed on March 12, 2003.

More info here.


  1. This is clear evidence of a new, home theater component — the Apple Cinema Display with HDMI. In additon to smaller models, Apple will offer 32- and 40-inch LCD models. Now, for a about a larger 50 or 55-inch model, think plasma. And a built-in tuner also seems likely.

  2. I had a panasonic widescreen TV 3 years ago that did this. It would convert 4:3 broadcasts into 16:9 by stretching the image at the edges. Was much better than having fat heads on all the actors (well, fatter than they already are).

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