downside to vertically masking 16:9 to get 2.35:1 ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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What is the downside to vertically masking (top and bottom) a 16:9 screen and showing a 2.35:1 movie on it? Is the light shining on the black masking noticeable or distracting?

I like the idea of a 2.35:1 screen but feel I would be losing some image size during 1.78 content by side masking it. If my screen is the fullest width I can realistically place on my wall, wouldn't I be better off with the greater height of a 1.78 screen and masking to show 2.35 content? As well I would save the cost and hassle of an anamorphic lens.

So what is the downside to vertically masking a 16:9 screen ?

p.s. I watch almost zero 4:3 content and could care less about black bars for the rare few times I would watch it.
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post #2 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBP View Post

What is the downside to vertically masking (top and bottom) a 16:9 screen and showing a 2.35:1 movie on it? Is the light shining on the black masking noticeable or distracting?

2.35:1 is smaller than 16:9 then, you're "losing" size by masking vertically to fit 2.35:1 on a 16:9 screen.

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I like the idea of a 2.35:1 screen but feel I would be losing some image size during 1.78 content by side masking it.

IMO you're not losing any size by masking the sides of a scope screen for 16:9, that's the way it's supposed to be, 2.35:1 bigger/wider than 1.78:1.

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If my screen is the fullest width I can realistically place on my wall, wouldn't I be better off with the greater height of a 1.78 screen and masking to show 2.35 content?

That's up to you, but IMO I'd rather have a 2.35:1 CIH screen than a vertically larger 1.78:1 screen, there's just something not right about 1.78:1 being bigger than 2.35:1.

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As well I would save the cost and hassle of an anamorphic lens.

Cost I'll give you, but I don't see CIH being any more hassle than normal, in fact, as far as masking goes, two-way masking is much simpler than the 4-way required to completely mask a 1.78:1 screen.

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So what is the downside to vertically masking a 16:9 screen ?

Smaller 2.35:1, less cinematic...

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #3 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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That doesn't make sense to me. If a 1.78 screen and a 2.35 screen are the same width, then the 1.78 will have more surface area and thus be bigger. If I mask the 1.78 to the 2.35 ratio, then it will be the same size of a 2.35 screen of the same width would it not? I want to maximize the width of the screen on my wall regardless of whether it's 1.78 or 2.35...so regardless of which I get, they would be the same width.

My question is what the downside to vertically masking in a constant image width (ciw) application? If the light shining on the masking is not noticeable, it just seems to me to be an easier and better solution. I don't see what I'm missing here.
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post #4 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 06:43 PM
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I'll answer it this way, the only reason to use a lens with a CIW setup, is to increase the brightness and pixel fill factor for 2.35:1 content.

Now, the whole idea of CIH is that all aspect ratios should be the same height, that the wider ARs should be larger/wider. Most people who get a lens do so because they want to get the cinematic effect of having 2.35:1 content be the largest. Very few people get a lens for a CIW setup.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #5 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I am asking what the downside is to a constant image WIDTH setup with masking is. I know what CIH is and I want to know why if people are going to get (for example) a 120" wide 2.35 screen, why they wouldn't get a 120" wide 1.78 screen and mask it to 2.35 when needed giving you the same image size. Is there a downside to doing this?
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post #6 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 06:59 PM
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I believed I answered that in my first response, the downside is that the 1.78:1 and 2.35:1 images are not in the correct proportions in relation to each other, ie the 2.35:1 image is smaller than the 1.78:1 image. I'd rather have a CIH setup than a CIW setup, even if I'm width limited.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #7 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

2.35:1 is smaller than 16:9 then, you're "losing" size by masking vertically to fit 2.35:1 on a 16:9 screen.



IMO you're not losing any size by masking the sides of a scope screen for 16:9, that's the way it's supposed to be, 2.35:1 bigger/wider than 1.78:1.



That's up to you, but IMO I'd rather have a 2.35:1 CIH screen than a vertically larger 1.78:1 screen, there's just something not right about 1.78:1 being bigger than 2.35:1.



Cost I'll give you, but I don't see CIH being any more hassle than normal, in fact, as far as masking goes, two-way masking is much simpler than the 4-way required to completely mask a 1.78:1 screen.



Smaller 2.35:1, less cinematic...

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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

I believed I answered that in my first response, the downside is that the 1.78:1 and 2.35:1 images are not in the correct proportions in relation to each other, ie the 2.35:1 image is smaller than the 1.78:1 image. I'd rather have a CIH setup than a CIW setup, even if I'm width limited.

dude you are very frustrating and obviously didn't read my post or don't understand english. If both screens are THE SAME WIDTH (do you know what width is?), then if you mask a 1.78 screen to the 2.35 ratio, they would be the same size.
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post #8 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBP View Post

I am asking what the downside is to a constant image WIDTH setup with masking is. I know what CIH is and I want to know why if people are going to get (for example) a 120" wide 2.35 screen, why they wouldn't get a 120" wide 1.78 screen and mask it to 2.35 when needed giving you the same image size. Is there a downside to doing this?

CIH is about forcing the 2.35 images to be wider than 1.78 images because most likely the director wanted to show a wider angle of view.

The downside to CIW is it makes the 2.35 image smaller than 1.78, contrary to the director's intent. That is the only downside, but it's a big one.
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post #9 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBP View Post

dude you are very frustrating and obviously didn't read my post or don't understand english. If both screens are THE SAME WIDTH (do you know what width is?), then if you mask a 1.78 screen to the 2.35 ratio, they would be the same size.

How do you define size? Is it width or area? Most people here equate area with size.
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post #10 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Holy crap you guys obviously don't know how to read or don't understand english. I refuse to re-post for the 4th time to explain my question.
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post #11 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBP View Post

...I want to know why if people are going to get (for example) a 120" wide 2.35 screen, why they wouldn't get a 120" wide 1.78 screen and mask it to 2.35 when needed giving you the same image size.

You seem to be asking "Why opt for a smaller (area) 2.35:1 CIH setup, when you could fit a larger (area) 1.78:1 setup of the same width?"

Again, the answer is because we want all content to be the same height, for 2.35:1 content to be the largest content displayed. We don't believe we're losing anything by showing 1.78:1 content at the same height as 2.35:1. Properly setup (ie proper viewing distance of around 3x height or so) all aspect ratios are a pleasing size with a CIH setup.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #12 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RBP View Post

Holy crap you guys obviously don't know how to read or don't understand english. I refuse to re-post for the 4th time to explain my question.

... and while you're at it maybe you should also switch to decaf .....
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post #13 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBP View Post

I am asking what the downside is to a constant image WIDTH setup with masking is. I know what CIH is and I want to know why if people are going to get (for example) a 120" wide 2.35 screen, why they wouldn't get a 120" wide 1.78 screen and mask it to 2.35 when needed giving you the same image size. Is there a downside to doing this?

This really all comes down to the available height you have for your 1.78 screen. Assuming that you cannot expand the width of your 120 ins wide screen any further ( due to space constraints in the room) for 2.35 films then obviously 120 ins is going to be the width of your 2.35 films. Now you have a choice (and I believe this is the intent of your question), you can either show your 1.78 films at the same height as the 2.35 (by zooming in the projector lens) or you can go to a much higher picture for your 1.78 films (if you have sufficient screen/room height to do it). If you decide to go for a 1.78 picture ,which has the same 120 ins width as your 2.35 films, there is nothing wrong with that. The CIH enthusiasts don't like it because they wan't 2.35 films to look more impactive than 1.78, not vic versa. But logically, what you propose does in fact give you the biggest picture (for your particular set up)that you can get for both 2.35 and 1.78, and maybe that is what you want. This of course will require vertical masking for your 2.35 presentation, which is no problem since by using black velvet covered panels the light spill of the the black bars is totally absorbed, and its certainly a lot cheaper than an anamorphic lens set up. It all comes down to your personal preference, there is nothing wrong with what you are proposing. Some people might say its the best way to go.
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post #14 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBP View Post

Holy crap you guys obviously don't know how to read or don't understand english. I refuse to re-post for the 4th time to explain my question.

I'll give it another shot.

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Originally Posted by RBP View Post

I like the idea of a 2.35:1 screen but feel I would be losing some image size during 1.78 content by side masking it.

That's correct - 1.78 would be the same height but smaller width and area so you will indeed be losing some image size.

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Originally Posted by RBP View Post

If my screen is the fullest width I can realistically place on my wall, wouldn't I be better off with the greater height of a 1.78 screen and masking to show 2.35 content?

Here's the thing - most of the participants here in the CIH forum don't believe you'll be better off with a shorter 2.35 image that has the same width as the 1.78 image. But you seem to have already decided on CIW in order to maximize screen area for both 1.78 and 2.35.

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Originally Posted by RBP View Post

As well I would save the cost and hassle of an anamorphic lens.

I certainly agree that a CIH system involves more cost/complexity than CIW.

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Originally Posted by RBP View Post

So what is the downside to vertically masking a 16:9 screen ?

I admit I'm a bit confused by the final question. Downside compared to what? Not masking a 16:9 screen? Side masking a 2.35 screen?

If it's the former, the downside to masking it adds additional cost/effort to implement.

If it's the latter, then you're really asking about the pros/cons of CIW vs CIH. I think that's been directly addressed in previous responses.

If you're still unsatisfied by this response, then I will have to concede that I've reach the limit of my english skills and it ain't getting no better. I really hope someone can provide an answer to your satisfaction. I certainly would be curious to learn what I'm not comprehending.
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post #15 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by taffman View Post

This really all comes down to the available height you have for your 1.78 screen. Assuming that you cannot expand the width of your 120 ins wide screen any further ( due to space constraints in the room) for 2.35 films then obviously 120 ins is going to be the width of your 2.35 films. Now you have a choice (and I believe this is the intent of your question), you can either show your 1.78 films at the same height as the 2.35 (by zooming in the projector lens) or you can go to a much higher picture for your 1.78 films (if you have sufficient screen/room height to do it). If you decide to go for a 1.78 picture ,which has the same 120 ins width as your 2.35 films, there is nothing wrong with that. The CIH enthusiasts don't like it because they wan't 2.35 films to look more impactive than 1.78, not vic versa. But logically, what you propose does in fact give you the biggest picture (for your particular set up)that you can get for both 2.35 and 1.78, and maybe that is what you want. This of course will require vertical masking for your 2.35 presentation, which is no problem since by using black velvet covered panels the light spill of the the black bars is totally absorbed, and its certainly a lot cheaper than an anamorphic lens set up. It all comes down to your personal preference, there is nothing wrong with what you are proposing. Some people might say its the best way to go.

Finally...someone got it. Thanks.
So you mean to tell me that everyone who does CIH does it to make their 2.35 movies more impactful than their 1.78 content? Why wouldn't everyone want to maximize the image size of both ratio content? I am assuming everyone is limited more often by width than by height for their screen choice. So I just don't get the argument for sacrificing the extra height from a 1.78 screen.
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post #16 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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ilsiu: Here's the thing - most of the participants here in the CIH forum don't believe you'll be better off with a shorter 2.35 image that has the same width as the 1.78 image. But you seem to have already decided on CIW in order to maximize screen area for both 1.78 and 2.35.

What I am assuming is everyone has a maximum width of screen their room can handle as opposed to a maximum height their room can handle. What I don't get is that given the maximum width....why they choose a 2.35 screen over a masked 1.78 screen. To me it seems that this gives the viewer the largest image in both ratio formats.
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post #17 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBP View Post

ilsiu: Here's the thing - most of the participants here in the CIH forum don't believe you'll be better off with a shorter 2.35 image that has the same width as the 1.78 image. But you seem to have already decided on CIW in order to maximize screen area for both 1.78 and 2.35.

What I am assuming is everyone has a maximum width of screen their room can handle as opposed to a maximum height their room can handle. What I don't get is that given the maximum width....why they choose a 2.35 screen over a mased 1.78 screen. To me it seems that this gives the viewer the largest image in both ratio formats.

Because to us, proportion is more important than size. We want the 2.35 screen to be wider than 1.78, whether it means expanding the 2.35 or shrinking the 1.78.

As Taffman said, it all comes down to personal preference. A projector allows us great freedom in selecting image size. My suggestion would be to try CIH out to see if you feel there's any benefit. It doesn't cost you anything and you can always go back to the way it was if you don't like it.
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post #18 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 09:01 PM
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peope in this forum, which you are posting in, prefer wider images. I am going to go with the max screen I want for 1.78(118" at around 14' seating), and then blow that view up by having a 148" scope screen. Some room limitations, which apparently you have, will not allow a CIH screen so you have to get just as big a screen as you can for CIW purposes. The thing is, when you watch a scope movie on a 1.78 screen it will feel small, but what people in this forum(you know the Constant image height forum) want is more than a small scope film, they want it larger and more dramatic when they choose to watch a scope film. If you watch mostly scope films you would want a CIH screen, if mostly HDTV, sports, or 1.85 movies then you would want a 1.78 screen. It all boils down to fitting the screen to what you'll be using it most for.

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post #19 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBP View Post

ilsiu: Here's the thing - most of the participants here in the CIH forum don't believe you'll be better off with a shorter 2.35 image that has the same width as the 1.78 image. But you seem to have already decided on CIW in order to maximize screen area for both 1.78 and 2.35.

What I am assuming is everyone has a maximum width of screen their room can handle as opposed to a maximum height their room can handle. What I don't get is that given the maximum width....why they choose a 2.35 screen over a mased 1.78 screen. To me it seems that this gives the viewer the largest image in both ratio formats.


You know what they say about assumptions.

In my room with my 2.35:1 screen (and because of other design considerations) I'm maxing out both height and width. Ultimately, though, I strongly desired to have the 2.35:1 source material appear bigger and more impressive than 1.78:1 source material instead of the inverse.

Additionally, if you max out the available wall space with a 16x9 screen and don't want the hassle of a lens, then the 2.35:1 material is only going to be taking advantage of a portion of the available pixels (and thereby brightness) of your projector. This is the other big driving factor for CIH w/ lens.

If I got a 16x9 screen at the maximum width for my room the end result would be much dimmer than I'd be happy with. By constraining 16x9 source material to the center portion of my scope screen I also maximize the brightness for that material (I move the lens out of the path and re-zoom to fit). This was an important consideration for HD football broadcasts, which frequently occur during parts of the day when other ambient light sometimes becomes a factor in my room. Overall for my room I'm optimizing the quality of the presentation for both types of source material, at least with the priorities that I apply to my judgment. YMMV.
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post #20 of 73 Old 02-28-2008, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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So what I gather from this and another thread I found is that CIH fans simply want their 2.35 to be more impactful than 1.78 regardless of the actual image area. They would simply like their 2.35 to appear bigger than 1.78 rather than both aspect ratios as big as they can be for a room.

Other than this innate preference of one aspect ratio's appearance in relation to the other...are there any disadvantages to CIW?

Are all rooms not limited by some dimension (width or height)? I just figured most people had a width contraint rather than a height constraint i.e. put their screen on the short wall in a rectangular room.

As for the projector and its brightness etc., I'm picking that out after I figure out how big a screen it has to fill up.
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post #21 of 73 Old 02-29-2008, 05:41 AM
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There are no real disadvantages to CIW. CIW gives you a 16:9 picture more impactful than a 2.35 picture. CIH gives you a 2.35 picture more impactful than a 16:9 picture, you sacrifice the impact of the 16:9 to make the 2.35 look bigger. Take your pick. As I said, if you have sufficient height in your room you can go to the maximum screen width you can accomodate, and using CIW you will get the most possible impactful picture in both formats- without any anamorphic lens or lens sleds. Just make sure you have top and bottom masking for the 2.35 films, which you can DIY for less than $300.00.
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post #22 of 73 Old 02-29-2008, 06:07 AM
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I am assuming everyone is limited more often by width than by height for their screen choice.

Which is a very bad assumption, at least for those that want to optimize their HT experience.

And you are in the 2.35 Constant Image Height forum, so I certainly wouldn't be looking for agreement over your CIW arguments here.

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CIW gives you a 16:9 picture more impactful than a 2.35 picture.

1.85 was never intended to be more impactful (not really a word, btw) than 2.40:1. To say that is to ignore 56 years of motion picture presentation history. I would suggest you might want to visit this site: http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/ for an in depth look at widescreen and the history of film presentation.

After all, this is the Home Theater forum

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post #23 of 73 Old 02-29-2008, 07:05 AM
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RBP,
One thing no one has mentioned and you seem to have missed is that it is harder to watch, [the eye and brain has less fatigue watching wider but not too tall ] too tall an image at what most people have for seating distances in their home theaters. It also requires TALL ceilings or HIGH risers to be able to see the whole over tall 16:9 screen from all seats.

also as mentioned above the dimness factor increases with size.
and until you actually see someones 2.35:1 setup it is just hard to understand the impact difference.
Also using an anamorphic lens and 2.35:1 screen you use all the pixel panel to project your image and non to project black bars top and bottom.

There are certainly many who feel like you do and prefer constant width and that is fine if you can meet the above problems, but remember this is the constant Height forum not width.

To me this is like someone who like LARGE TV's coming on the projector forum and saying I don't get you guys a Large TV is great why do you bother with Projectors and screens etc.
It is a question of personal prefference, but you really need to see them in person to compare them.

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post #24 of 73 Old 02-29-2008, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taffman View Post

There are no real disadvantages to CIW. CIW gives you a 16:9 picture more impactful than a 2.35 picture. CIH gives you a 2.35 picture more impactful than a 16:9 picture, you sacrifice the impact of the 16:9 to make the 2.35 look bigger.

IMO, properly setup (optimal seating distance) 16:9 is not sacrificed in a CIH setup, all AR are a comfortable, satisfying size.

Quote:
and using CIW you will get the most possible impactful picture in both formats- without any anamorphic lens or lens sleds.

Constant Area will actually get you the most impact out of all ARs, but it's the most complicated to pull off.

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Just make sure you have top and bottom masking for the 2.35 films, which you can DIY for less than $300.00.

I went CIH with a lens for only about twice that (including the screen).

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RBP,
One thing no one has mentioned and you seem to have missed is that it is harder to watch, [the eye and brain has less fatigue watching wider but not too tall ] too tall an image at what most people have for seating distances in their home theaters. It also requires TALL ceilings or HIGH risers to be able to see the whole over tall 16:9 screen from all seats.

I tried to touch on that, but not directly, CIH results in (IMO) all ARs having a natural, satifying presentation, all are satisfyingly large, but the wider ARs have more impact, as intended (as Vern noted, movies have been made wider over time, not shorter).

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There are certainly many who feel like you do and prefer constant width and that is fine if you can meet the above problems, but remember this is the constant Height forum not width.

Heck, the vast, vast majority of people run 16:9 happily. We here are just not satisfied with your "standard" presentation.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #25 of 73 Old 02-29-2008, 08:04 AM
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If you just want the biggest screen size possible for the most formats, you've got the right idea. People here are more interested in replicating the theatrical experience as it's designed to be experienced as closely as possible (with the inherent assumption that there's a good reason it was designed that way, not just because movie theater designers didn't know how to make taller ceilings...)

Oh, I applaud you on your effort to insult the majority of the forum within your first dozen posts. Nicely played...
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post #26 of 73 Old 02-29-2008, 08:41 AM
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Smaller 2.35:1, less cinematic...

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That's up to you, but IMO I'd rather have a 2.35:1 CIH screen than a vertically larger 1.78:1 screen, there's just something not right about 1.78:1 being bigger than 2.35:1.

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CIH is about forcing the 2.35 images to be wider than 1.78 images because most likely the director wanted to show a wider angle of view.

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Oh, I applaud you on your effort to insult the majority of the forum within your first dozen posts. Nicely played...

You either get it or you don't....
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post #27 of 73 Old 02-29-2008, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh, I applaud you on your effort to insult the majority of the forum within your first dozen posts. Nicely played...

I'm not defending one setup over another...I'm trying to figure out why people have the setups they do and figure out what the best setup is for me. Many replies here simply defended CIH without explaining the whys and the why nots which is really not helpful in a forum like this. What I got were people defending the 2.35 aspect ratio as superior to 1.78 -- well no kidding. It took until Taffman did a little explaining that things started to make more sense. The other posts after that helped as well and I found another couple of threads discussing the same topic that helped.

So for the record, I am considering CIH just as intently as CIW and want the best movie viewing experience based on the room and all the other variables I'm dealing with. What I don't need are people simply defending their own decisions as though there is no merit to any other options. The arguments finally presented here and in other threads have cleared things up quite well.

thanks all.
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post #28 of 73 Old 02-29-2008, 09:15 AM
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Thinking about it more, I've come to the conclusion that there is exactly 1 scenario where I'd be happy with a 16x9 screen of my current CIH width... IMAX movies. The production intent is to optimize a freakishly large horizontal and vertical enveloping presentation. If I consider the hundreds of titles in my DVD / HD-DVD / Blu-ray library, the number of IMAX titles can be counted on 1 hand... so for me that's not enough to be a driving factor in room/equipment design. IMHO.

Kevin
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post #29 of 73 Old 02-29-2008, 09:23 AM
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I'm not defending one setup over another...I'm trying to figure out why people have the setups they do and figure out what the best setup is for me. Many replies here simply defended CIH without explaining the whys and the why nots which is really not helpful in a forum like this. What I got were people defending the 2.35 aspect ratio as superior to 1.78 -- well no kidding. It took until Taffman did a little explaining that things started to make more sense. The other posts after that helped as well and I found another couple of threads discussing the same topic that helped.

So for the record, I am considering CIH just as intently as CIW and want the best movie viewing experience based on the room and all the other variables I'm dealing with. What I don't need are people simply defending their own decisions as though there is no merit to any other options. The arguments finally presented here and in other threads have cleared things up quite well.

thanks all.

Holy crap you obviously don't know how to read or understand English. You didn't insult anyone by defending one setup over another. It had something to do with the manner in which you said it...

You got a number of responses before Taffman's that explained it just fine. You were too busy assuming no one understood your question to realize that you just weren't understanding their answers.
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post #30 of 73 Old 02-29-2008, 09:30 AM
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I'd like to give a go at explaining the preference for CIH over a regular Constant Image Width set up, in terms of RBP's questions. I think someone
new to CIH height can hear people say they simply prefer their CinemaScope
images wider than 16:9 images, but not really "get" or feel the reason why
this would be such a big deal.

As people have pointed out, the issue is about the relative impact of
one film aspect ratio/image size vs another. That's the very important element to keep in mind.

It's understandable to think "Well, if I have 120" of width to work with, why wouldn't I buy a 16:9 screen? My 2:35:1 CinemaScope movies will be as big as I can have them in my room, and so will my 16:9 images. In buying the 16:9 screen I'll be maximising the impact of both aspect ratios, insofar as both aspect ratios will be as big as I can possibly get them in my room."

Yes, that's true. When looked at "individually" given the 120" width restriction, you maximized the visual impact of both aspect ratios.

But that does not take into account RELATIVE IMPACT: that is, what happens psychologically when you view images of varying sizes.

You might have a projection screen that seems pretty big. But spend a while over at a friend's house who has a much bigger screen and when you come home suddenly your screen is going to feel pretty small. Same as if you watch the image on your wall at 100" diagonal, then for a few movies zoom the image to a much larger 120" diagonal, when you zoom back down to your 100" diagonal what seemed "big" before will now seem smaller in comparison with the images you just watched and hence have the feeling
of having less visual impact because it feels smaller on comparison. By this you should see that the impact of an image is not so simple as it's sheer size; the impact of an image, whatever it's size, will be affected when you compare it to an image of another size.

This is an unavoidable phenomena and it is the crux of why people go CIH.

When you buy a screen of a fixed aspect ratio, be it a regular 16:9 screen or a 2:35:1 screen, you are choosing to maximise the relative visual impact of one aspect ratio over another. With a 16:9 screen you will be maximising the relative visual impact of 16:9/1:85:1 images over CinemaScope 2:40:1/2:35:1 image. Everytime you go from a 16:9 image to a CinemaScope image, the CinemaScope image will look (and be) smaller - the comparison to the 16:9 image will rob the CinemaScope image of impact - just as if you'd been used to watching a big screen and reduced your screen size.

The same will happen if you choose a 2:35:1 screen. It will maximise the relative impact of wide CinemaScope movies, but 16:9/1:85:1 movies will appear smaller on the screen and hence have less relative impact than the
2:35:1 movies.

So it's about choosing which movie format you think should have the most cinematic impact over the other. Traditionally, cinemascope had, and is supposed to, have the "greater" impact so far as producing a wider, grander vista for the eyes. Which is why so many epics used the format, to give that feeling of size, sweep and grandeur. CIH devotees feel this is the way to go: they like the CinemaScope movies to have the most impact - Ben Hur and Lord Of The Rings should feel more Special Event than The 40 Year Old Virgin.

So remember: the Comparison of image size that naturally happens when you are switching aspect ratios will affect the viewing experience.
If you have a 120" wide 2:35:1 image it will feel really big and wide and cinematic. But if you go from that to watching a 120" wide 16:9 image that is much bigger, the 2:35:1 images will not "feel" so big anymore because of the comparison. What once was impressive is now made less impressive, what once felt huge no longer feels huge, because you've introduced the constant comparison with an even bigger (16:9 image). Whereas if you have a 120" wide 2:35:1 image and move to a narrower 16:9 image the 2:35:1 image will always maintain it's impact, it will continue to feel grand and impressive.

So the issue of visual impact is not strictly about image size alone - about making every image as big as possible. How our brains interpret the feeling of "size" and "impact" is very influenced by comparisons that will make one image, which could have felt "big" look "small" if we go comparing to another image.

Lovers of CinemaScope images and CIH devotees in general understand this phenomenon and use CIH set ups to keep the visual impact of CinemaScope films greater and more "majestic" in comparison to narrower aspect ratios.

Add to that: 2:35:1 shaped screens just look cooler than run-of-the-mill 16:9 screens, and the expansion of an image from 16:9 to super-wide CinemaScope is a very impressive experience as well. In a hobby that is so much about psychological effects, such experiences shouldn't be discounted.

Cheers,

Rich H


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