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Panorama Video Driver

The Panorama video driver is a software based Presentation Manager driver that interfaces between the OS/2 Presentation Manager video subsystem and your computer’s video BIOS. The video BIOS in your computer really does all the work. The Panorama video driver simply provides some basic services and translates between the OS/2 Presentation Manager “language” and the BIOS “language”. So Panorama doesn’t really control the hardware like other hardware drivers do. It relies on the system’s BIOS to setup and control the hardware.

This approach has both its benefits and its drawbacks. The benefit is that Panorama will work on every system that has a standard VESA BIOS version 2.0 or higher — which is almost every system in existence. The drawback is that it is restricted by the capabilities and limitations of that VESA BIOS.

One common limitation is video acceleration. Most VESA BIOS only support basic operations and do not support the advanced features of the video chipset such as acceleration.

Another common limitation is that older VESA BIOS only support a few standard resolutions and color depths. Newer VESA BIOS configure themselves to whatever display is plugged in. As a work around for this older BIOS limitation, the custom resolution module in Panorama patches the BIOS in order to force it to operate at different resolutions than it was designed to do. Needless to say, patching software (the BIOS) to do something it was not designed to do does not always work. In the case of custom resolutions, patching the BIOS works often enough to make doing it worthwhile. When patching the BIOS works, there is little restriction on the resolutions that Panorama can use. See the Panorama Limits section below.

Another limitation is the ability to use alternate video ports, or switch between various video ports. The BIOS must support these options independently from Panorama since there are no BIOS functions to control this.

Panorama Limits

Panorama will only work on systems with a VESA BIOS version 2.0 or higher.

The maximum theoretical resolution limit for Panorama is 65535x65535x32bpp. However, other factors outside of Panorama may significantly limit this.

The maximum resolution for the Custom Resolution module is 4095x4095x32bpp. This is due to 12 bits used to store the resolution in the EDID and the various BIOS mode tables.

The primary limiting factor for what resolutions Panorama will support is in the video hardware itself and the video BIOS that controls it. Panorama has been tested at resolutions up to 3840x2160x32bpp at 60Hz and works perfectly provided that the BIOS supports the desired resolution. Note that many older video hardware and video BIOS do not support vertical resolutions greater than 1080 or 1200. Please see the Handling Problems page for additional information and a list of some tested hardware.


Please read the readme before installing and using this software.

The old so-called widescreen enabler drivers are not compatible with Panorama. You must remove these drivers before installing Panorama. If you have previously used a wide screen enabler driver it is recommended that you set your screen resolution to a standard resolution such as 800×600, 1024×768, or 1280×1024 before removing it and installing Panorama. After you reboot with Panorama you can then choose the resolution you want.

Support and Submitting Tickets

Please read the Handling Problems page before submitting a ticket.

Reporting bugs and requesting new features is done through the ticket system. You can view existing tickets, add comments to them and create new tickets using the corresponding buttons at the top of every page. If you want to submit a new bug or request a feature, please use the Search function first to make sure there is no ticket for the same problem already created.

Make sure you attach a testlog log file to your ticket when you open it.

This entry last updated: by David Azarewicz