Originally Posted by stanger89
Art, I agree completely. I think that "better" way is what I like to call "CIH+IMAX". Basically a 16:9 screen that's as wide as your scope screen would be, but for which you only use the full height for IMAX films.
I think you and I both agree that CIH not only work well, but works 'correctly' (based on cinemas historical precident) for pretty much any film. The only real exception is the IMAX/large format films.
Problem with "CIH+IMAX" is the dramatically increased cost/complexity vs just standard CIH. Frankly being a "lenser" who won't do CIH without a lens (until scope projectors come out
), I don't even know how you do CIH+IMAX in any sort of automated way without moving into some seriously big iron hardware.
You end up needing 4-way automated masking ($$$), a good lens ($$$), and a good projector with automated 1.33x or greater zoom. To do this really well that basically forces you into a DPI Titan, ISCO III and 4-way masking.
I still think you overestimate on this.
You don't need to spend outrageous sums of money. I did the 4 way automated masking for around $5,000, which (as I understand it) is even less than a new ISCO 3 anamorphic lens just by itself.
Sure it doesn't have an automated memory zoom like I think you can get with a mega-expensive projector. But, jeez, it takes a mere 15 seconds
to hit one button to change the screen size, and another two buttons to zoom and shift the image into place. It would be strange to me that someone might be enthusiastic enough about the ability to do a "CIH + IMAX" set up, but would not be willing to wait the occasional 15 seconds here and there to get such a benefit. Or to save the $70,000 (or whatever it is) for a DPI Titan set up. I assure you, it's worth it.
As for an Anamorphic lens, if you are stuck on that idea sure I guess that adds expense. But it seems to me (unless I'm missing something) you could still add a lens to the type of set up I'm talking about.
(QUICK OT DISCUSSION):
Originally Posted by stanger89
OT-ish but have we ever had a discussion here about how to make the room disappear? That's one thing I'd really like to do in my HT but I'm not really sure how to start. Especially to balance making it disappear and aesthetics.
That's a subject I love because I grappled with it for so long...and I got results that I'm incredibly happy with. I'm sure folks here have some great ideas and approaches they have used. But if it's any help I'll give an account of my scenario and approach:
I had extreme aesthetic pressures on my HT design. It's not a dedicated theater; it's on our main floor, the front living room of our house, the first room you see when you walk into our house! My wife didn't give a damn about home theater so wasn't on board for the renovation. She's extremely tentative about decor changes and warned "I don't want anything that looks weird...and don't ruin the decor of the house!" She was so afraid it would look terrible she refused to look at pre-renderings, pretty much refused to be involved, and a lot of the times didn't even look at the room as she walked by it during construction, in case she saw something that freaked her out.
It was not a fun build with that kind of pressure.
But I ended up with something that even my wife had to admit worked
and looks great. Now she actually has pride in the room.
As it was a main floor room, and one I wanted to hang out in during daytime, I couldn't and didn't want to make it into a bat cave. But my high-performance-desiring AVSforum side demanded it have as close to a bat-cave level of performance when actually watching movies.
The way I solved it was to look at how to make a room transform, as easily as possible, into a non-reflective environment. I figured it would be very difficult to transform the ceiling between light in the day time to dark for movies, so that part went permanently dark: We built a bulk-head over the whole screen/seating area covered in dark brown felt (a classy look as it turned out). I figured for the walls I could go with a much lighter color, to keep the room lighter and more cheery. And I could use strategically placed velvet curtains that would pull along the walls to cover them when I watched a movie. That was a HUGE factor in allowing me to have the day-time aesthetics I wanted and the movie-watching performance as well.
I did a darker carpet for non-reflection, but the light walls, when uncovered, keep the room from feeling dark.
The screen wall was a big challenge. For quite a while I was going to have brown velvet curtains cover up the screen. My wife (who, strangely, doesn't care for curtains) thought it would look "dumb" like I'm trying to hide whole wall for some reason. Her one bit of input was to say since it was going to have a big screen...just show the big screen. And that changed my thinking around. I knew I wanted the image masked, and the whole wall to be be black material if possible, so that's what I ended up with. I was nervous about how it would work out. It was the part that I thought had the potential to look most "odd" or unsettling in a main floor room.
The end result worked out fantastic. What sells the look, I think, is trying for as clean, deliberate, coherent as possible. So I built a bulk head just over the screen that houses the electronic side-masking track. It's covered with Fidelio black velvet. Hanging down from there are the side masks (they go all the way to the floor) which are done in the same Fidelio fabric. I used the same fabric, attached to boards, as a sort of "stage" that comes out a couple feet from the screen. Then the L/C/R speakers sit on that "stage" part and are, as described before, covered in velvet.
The Fidelio velvet is particularly dark, but also luxurious (doesn't look cheap).
The sheer blackness of the velvet really does the job at making everything blend together - joints, jutting angle and what have you are hard to take in so it just looks really smooth. It has a clean, built-in look.
So, that's how I personally did it. I got the whole front of my room disappearing when I watch a movie, and most of the rest of the room (via the dark brown velvet curtains) mostly disappearing, while having a nice inviting look for non-movie-viewing hours.
Not having done this before it was nerve-wracking whether it was going to work, so I'm happy it did, and can just now enjoy the room.