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Old 05-05-2010, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been thinking of going CIW with Avatar and with a few movies lately being made for IMAX, I was thinking this was the smart move? Using an anamorphic lens for the scope stuff.

And I was thinking Of pillar boxing the screen for HDTV and only using the full 16:9 screen with movies in that ratio. ATM I was thinking of going a CIW of 150" and use a motorized screen to mask horizontally and if needs be I could probably get a 4 way masking system.

What are peoples thoughts on CIW these days?

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Old 05-05-2010, 07:20 AM
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I find your post a little confusing...not sure exactly what your first paragraph means.

But if you are wondering if maybe going CIW is worth it for the fact some big movies are coming out with IMAX sized images or whatever, I personally don't think it's worth doing CIW for that reason.

If you like movies, and enjoy CIH (I presume you have a CIH set up), you are optimized for the vast majority of movies and the idea of changing to CIW for films you can count on one hand seems to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

That is, again, if CIH generally suits your needs.

Now, I say this as someone who uses 4-way masking. It happens to suit my needs but that is mostly because I'm not wedded to a desire for CIH. It certainly has come in very handy for Avatar and other similar films and I think it's the ultimate in flexibility, so long as you are ok with zooming your projector. But if you really like CIH to begin with and like to keep that CIH relationship for most movies, then I'm not sure going CIW is worth it just for a handful of movies that may be in a taller AR.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:41 AM
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Well first things first, going Constant Image Width, would kneecap all your scope films. That's a horrible idea IMO, but I don't think that's what you're saying. I guess I'm confused too... In general the scope aspect ratio is intended to be larger, wider, and more immersive than the 16:9 ratio (there are of course exceptions). In my experience and my movie collection, there are very very few 16:9 movies that should be the same width as scope films.

What it sounds like you're proposing (then again looking at your post, I'm not so sure) is what I've been calling "CIH+IMAX", basically a standard CIH setup but with a "full height" 16:9 screen instead of a scope screen. Something you operate as CIH for everything but IMAX content, for which you open up top bottom masks and reveal extra height not otherwise used.

That's a fine plan, and really the only way to "properly" display everything. But IMO one average movie and 1/10 of another don't justify the added cost/complexity, at least not for me.

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Old 05-05-2010, 12:41 PM
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I have a 133" 16:9 Da-lite Hi-Power screen that I have masked to 2.37:1 to achieve a CIH setup. I don't have a scaler or anamorphic lens, so I use the zoom method.

I am a huge proponent of the view that the best way to view Avatar is in 16:9. Having said that, as tempting as it might be, I have never removed my masking to view Avatar in 16:9 on my full screen. As cool as it might be (and as theatrically accurate), it's just not worth the time and effort just for one movie. Also, I, for one, refuse to blow this movie up to 2.35:1, chopping the top and bottom off the image, when the 16:9 ratio of Avatar is far superior

When you choose to go CIH, movies like Avatar are the exception to the rule that scope films should be bigger than 16:9. Avatar deserves to be watched in 16:9 on the largest screen possible. On a CIH setup, that would be smaller than 2.35:1, but the 16:9 aspect ratio is preferable for Avatar. It's a sacrifice in size, but on a CIH setup, the number of sacrifices like this you have to make are very, very few.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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You don't have to limit yourself to "CIH + IMAX", you just need a 1.78 screen that's the current width (or larger) of your 2.35 image now. For IMAX films, you open up the extra height. For everything else you project at the size you prefer in relation to 2.35, whether it be CIH or a little bigger (CIA, VIA).

I go 11.5ft wide for 2.35, same width but full 1.78 height for IMAX (Avatar, TDK, TF2), and then 1.78/1.85 are about 10ft wide. CIH would limit those to less than 9ft wide.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

I find your post a little confusing...not sure exactly what your first paragraph means.


Sorry, I reread it and it does not make much sense to me either. What I was trying to say was, I did not want to go CIH as such(Zooming the image and just masking the black bars). Meaning, I don't want to watch HDTV and other 16:9 content in the same width as the scope stuff, and when I watch movies in scope I did want to use a lens. But on a movie where 16:9 or IMAX is the format I was thinking it would be better to have the extra height on the screen.

BTW I enjoy watching in scope if I can.
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Well first things first, going Constant Image Width, would kneecap all your scope films. That's a horrible idea IMO, but I don't think that's what you're saying. I guess I'm confused too... In general the scope aspect ratio is intended to be larger, wider, and more immersive than the 16:9 ratio (there are of course exceptions). In my experience and my movie collection, there are very very few 16:9 movies that should be the same width as scope films.

What it sounds like you're proposing (then again looking at your post, I'm not so sure) is what I've been calling "CIH+IMAX", basically a standard CIH setup but with a "full height" 16:9 screen instead of a scope screen. Something you operate as CIH for everything but IMAX content, for which you open up top bottom masks and reveal extra height not otherwise used.

That's a fine plan, and really the only way to "properly" display everything. But IMO one average movie and 1/10 of another don't justify the added cost/complexity, at least not for me.

Yes, I am thinking of the "CIH+IMAX". I was just thinking that with all this 3D stuff comming out now it would be good to leave yourself that option if movies do start to follow Avatar and the other few movie that have chosen the 16:9 format.

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Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

I have a 133" 16:9 Da-lite Hi-Power screen that I have masked to 2.37:1 to achieve a CIH setup. I don't have a scaler or anamorphic lens, so I use the zoom method.

I am a huge proponent of the view that the best way to view Avatar is in 16:9. Having said that, as tempting as it might be, I have never removed my masking to view Avatar in 16:9 on my full screen. As cool as it might be (and as theatrically accurate), it's just not worth the time and effort just for one movie. Also, I, for one, refuse to blow this movie up to 2.35:1, chopping the top and bottom off the image, when the 16:9 ratio of Avatar is far superior

When you choose to go CIH, movies like Avatar are the exception to the rule that scope films should be bigger than 16:9. Avatar deserves to be watched in 16:9 on the largest screen possible. On a CIH setup, that would be smaller than 2.35:1, but the 16:9 aspect ratio is preferable for Avatar. It's a sacrifice in size, but on a CIH setup, the number of sacrifices like this you have to make are very, very few.

I agree, but I was thinking even if there are only a few that it could be worth the trouble to get the extra height.

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Originally Posted by LilGator View Post

You don't have to limit yourself to "CIH + IMAX", you just need a 1.78 screen that's the current width (or larger) of your 2.35 image now. For IMAX films, you open up the extra height. For everything else you project at the size you prefer in relation to 2.35, whether it be CIH or a little bigger (CIA, VIA).

I go 11.5ft wide for 2.35, same width but full 1.78 height for IMAX (Avatar, TDK, TF2), and then 1.78/1.85 are about 10ft wide. CIH would limit those to less than 9ft wide.

I think this may be the way to go, I was confusing myself.

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Old 05-05-2010, 09:42 PM
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The Avatar Blu-ray and DVD are 16:9. The movie was shot in 16:9. This is fact. So, today, 16:9 is the way to watch the movie. Having said that, it has been stated in other threads that the framing clearly had 2.20:1 in mind. The problem is that the 2.20:1 framing is not consistent throughout, so if you zoom to take advantage of a 2.35:1 screen, some scenes will look off.

So, today, 16:9 is the way to go. I am sure that by year's end we'll get a "special edition" version of the movie. Hopefully, it will have a 2.20:1 version included. I could care less about 3D.

By the way, I have a 2.35:1 10ft wide AT screen and I will never go back to having just a 16:9 screen. never. 16x9 material looks stunning (the sides are quite black because there is no light projected there), and 2:20 or 2:35:1 material looks even more stunning and fantastically engaging (using zoom on my Panny 4000u).

My 2 cents.

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Old 05-05-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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Where is this 2.20 craziness coming from? Avatar was not shot for, never intended to be seen framed to, and never will be released as 2.20!

It's a shame to have to show this movie at a lesser width than you watch any other 2.35 film, that's why a large 1.78 screen is an upgrade over a typical CIH setup for this film. With a 10ft wide 16:9 screen, you'd lose nothing in regards to the size of any other film you present on your setup currently, but you'd gain 75% more viewable area watching Avatar this way over pillarboxed on the CIH 2.35 10ft wide screen. Significant difference!

Whether or not this is worthwhile for 3 films is a good point. I like being future proof, and when The Dark Knight came out everyone told me it was just one film and wouldn't catch on. Then we had Transformers 2 with scenes shot in IMAX, and now we have Avatar. It's hard to imagine the IMAX trend dying anytime soon- and hopefully they make progress with those 70mm cameras! Of course all three of these films are eye candy, enjoyable flicks that I'll watch again and again, so it's worth the "effort" to me.

Also, who says 1.78 HDTV sports have to be the same height as 2.35 and 1.85 films? This is another use I have for the full screen width but taller approach- that sideline "live" feel for big sporting events.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:26 AM
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I think this whole thing is over blown. I do feel that if 3D becomes how films are made over the next decade and Avatar is the standard, then it won't be however.

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Old 05-06-2010, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGator View Post

It's a shame to have to show this movie at a lesser width than you watch any other 2.35 film, that's why a large 1.78 screen is an upgrade over a typical CIH setup for this film. With a 10ft wide 16:9 screen, you'd lose nothing in regards to the size of any other film you present on your setup currently, but you'd gain 75% more viewable area watching Avatar this way over pillarboxed on the CIH 2.35 10ft wide screen. Significant difference!

I just want to make this clear. This is precisely the reason for the questions/threads about the practicality of cropping Avatar started in this (CIH) forum. Given that the "ideal" scope-width 16:9 is not possible for those of us with CIH setups, the original question was how practical/reasonable is/was it to crop Avatar. It was never a question/debate about what the ideal way to what the movie was in general (like many posters tried to turn it into), it was what's the best compromise for a scope/CIH setup.

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Whether or not this is worthwhile for 3 films is a good point. I like being future proof, and when The Dark Knight came out everyone told me it was just one film and wouldn't catch on. Then we had Transformers 2 with scenes shot in IMAX, and now we have Avatar.

It's about 1 a year so far. And TF2 was released in scope on Blu-ray anyway (unless you bought the Walmart version).

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Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

I think this whole thing is over blown. I do feel that if 3D becomes how films are made over the next decade and Avatar is the standard, then it won't be however.

Art

Agreed. I think the problem is there are those who have at best an anti-lens agenda and have tried to use Avatar (especially) do disprove the theory of CIH, a theory on which 50 years of cinema is based.

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Originally Posted by fteixeira View Post

The problem is that the 2.20:1 framing is not consistent throughout, so if you zoom to take advantage of a 2.35:1 screen, some scenes will look off.

Has anyone come up with concrete evidence of that? The Blu-ray is clearly authored to be 2.35:1 center crop friendly (based on subtitle and BD-J placement). And while it's been far too long since I saw it in the theater (scope) to remember and compare, I didn't recall any offensive cropping when I watched it center-cropped.

The whole "head cropping" argument is crap IMO, any movie, in any ratio will crop people's heads at some point, and I don't recall any abnormal head cropping while watching Avatar center cropped.

But that's all way OT, I guess to the OP, either you believe in/agree with the theory of CIH or you don't. If you do, I see no reason Avatar really changes it, there are acceptions to everything, Avatar is one of them (though IMO it works just as well cropped to scope as TF2 or TDK do).

So it's basically a question of if it's worth the extra cost/complexity and projector limitations (you need a zoom-capable projector even if using a lens) to create a "CIH+IMAX" system, for like 1.2 movies so far.

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Old 05-06-2010, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fteixeira View Post

it has been stated in other threads that the framing clearly had 2.20:1 in mind.

Sorry, I have misspoken here. I should say that there is evidence (on other threads, websites, etc) that 2.20 is a good comprimise between 16:9 and 2.35. The problem is that different scenes seem to need different cropping to look right, so a one-size-crop-fits-all (which is what we are doing in our scope setups) doesn't work 100%. Cameron clearly had scope (or 2.20:1) in mind, since the movie was shown theatrically in many scope screens (non-3D), and is evidenced by some scenes with graphics and the subtitles. I have read that Cameron felt the 16.9 ratio with additional height was prefered for 3D because of the added "effect". I am not particularly interested in 3D, so I am hoping that we may get a 2.20 or 2.35 version with proper cropping. This would be the way I would prefer to see this movie at home.

This is my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Your opinion may differ.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

I just want to make this clear. This is precisely the reason for the questions/threads about the practicality of cropping Avatar started in this (CIH) forum. Given that the "ideal" scope-width 16:9 is not possible for those of us with CIH setups, the original question was how practical/reasonable is/was it to crop Avatar. It was never a question/debate about what the ideal way to what the movie was in general (like many posters tried to turn it into), it was what's the best compromise for a scope/CIH setup.

I'm not sure if you're aiming this at me, but I'm in agreement with you. If the same framing as the 2.39 theatrical presentation can be achieved on a CIH setup by vertically shifting and cropping, then it is definitely the best compromise for a 2.35 screen. Compromise is the key word there.

I do not believe a straight center crop is the best compromise, or even a good compromise. It just doesn't work- but that's not the point. Same with 2.20, it was never intended to be seen that way, and it was never shown that way!

If you don't have the capability to vertically shift your 2.35 crop, and thus cannot reproduce a similar framing to the theatrical presentation, then you're left with 16:9 pillarboxed as your only option that reproduces a framing actually shown in theaters.

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It's about 1 a year so far. And TF2 was released in scope on Blu-ray anyway (unless you bought the Walmart version).

Just The Dark Knight caused me to go for a taller screen, but there will be people who won't care even when there are a good handful of films that do this over the years. It's different for everyone.

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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Agreed. I think the problem is there are those who have at best an anti-lens agenda and have tried to use Avatar (especially) do disprove the theory of CIH, a theory on which 50 years of cinema is based.

Avatar in it's "highest and best" form is taller than a 2.35 CIH screen. This isn't anti-lens, it's just a fact. Samalmoe in another similar thread to this has a lens and utilizes a variable screen height setup to take advantage of taller films- so the concept itself isn't even anti-lens.

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Has anyone come up with concrete evidence of that? The Blu-ray is clearly authored to be 2.35:1 center crop friendly (based on subtitle and BD-J placement). And while it's been far too long since I saw it in the theater (scope) to remember and compare, I didn't recall any offensive cropping when I watched it center-cropped.

The whole "head cropping" argument is crap IMO, any movie, in any ratio will crop people's heads at some point, and I don't recall any abnormal head cropping while watching Avatar center cropped.

But that's all way OT, I guess to the OP, either you believe in/agree with the theory of CIH or you don't. If you do, I see no reason Avatar really changes it, there are acceptions to everything, Avatar is one of them (though IMO it works just as well cropped to scope as TF2 or TDK do).

So it's basically a question of if it's worth the extra cost/complexity and projector limitations (you need a zoom-capable projector even if using a lens) to create a "CIH+IMAX" system, for like 1.2 movies so far.

Keep in mind that if you're not restricting yourself to CIH for other formats projector limitations are less; you only need a zoom range of 1.2x to do CIA between 1.78 full height, 2.35 full width, and 1.78/1.85 constant area- my DLP has 1.5x and I don't even need that much range.

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Originally Posted by fteixeira View Post

Sorry, I have misspoken here. I should say that there is evidence (on other threads, websites, etc) that 2.20 is a good comprimise between 16:9 and 2.35. The problem is that different scenes seem to need different cropping to look right, so a one-size-crop-fits-all (which is what we are doing in our scope setups) doesn't work 100%. Cameron clearly had scope (or 2.20:1) in mind, since the movie was shown theatrically in many scope screens (non-3D), and is evidenced by some scenes with graphics and the subtitles. I have read that Cameron felt the 16.9 ratio with additional height was prefered for 3D because of the added "effect". I am not particularly interested in 3D, so I am hoping that we may get a 2.20 or 2.35 version with proper cropping. This would be the way I would prefer to see this movie at home.

This is my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Your opinion may differ.

What evidence is there besides Josh Z's notion that this is a "good compromise" because it fits the gui overlays that weren't adjusted for 2.39?

I'm not sure why it has to be repeated, but 2.20 was never shown in theaters- how is it a valid presentation of the film?

What prevents me from cropping my open matte Gladiator release down to 2.20 and then claiming because it "works" that the filmmakers had 2.20 "in mind" when they filmed it?

2.20 is BS.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGator View Post

Avatar in it's "highest and best" form is taller than a 2.35 CIH screen. This isn't anti-lens, it's just a fact.

It is a fact. But there are some who have used this to say "Ha, see, CIH doesn't work, " (not in so many words). Many of those some are the same ones who have a general anti-lens/anti-CIH tone on these boards.

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Keep in mind that if you're not restricting yourself to CIH for other formats projector limitations are less; you only need a zoom range of 1.2x to do CIA between 1.78 full height, 2.35 full width, and 1.78/1.85 constant area-

You need a 1.33x zoom range to do 16:9 the same width as 2.35:1 with a lens.

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my DLP has 1.5x and I don't even need that much range.

It's one of not many. My point is if you want to do "CIH+IMAX" (or any variable size system with a 16:9 screen as wide as your planned 2.35:1 one) you're limited by the same projector requirements as the zoom method. This knocks out a lot of DLPs.

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I'm not sure why it has to be repeated, but 2.20 was never shown in theaters- how is it a valid presentation of the film?

What prevents me from cropping my open matte Gladiator release down to 2.20 and then claiming because it "works" that the filmmakers had 2.20 "in mind" when they filmed it?

2.20 is BS.

This is exactly what my first paragraph was about. Everybody on this forum knows anything but 16:9 for Avatar is a compromise, the entire Avatar discussion was started to figure out what's the closest to "ideal" way to show Avatar in a CIH system, a system which can't show it in it's (to use your favorite quote) "highest and best". Yet a few interrupt any comment about cropping screaming bloody murder. It's not helping anyone. We all know it's not ideal. We don't need people playing games of "gotcha".

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Old 05-06-2010, 08:01 PM
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I thought watching the movie was enough of a contribution........changing my system for it....two letters N O

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Old 05-06-2010, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Agreed. I think the problem is there are those who have at best an anti-lens agenda and have tried to use Avatar (especially) do disprove the theory of CIH, a theory on which 50 years of cinema is based.

Well don't look at me. I have a CIH setup, and I love it. I just happen to think that 16:9 is THE best aspect ratio for Avatar. Any other cropped ratios look either too cramped, or the framing is very inconsistant. Avatar in 16:9 just WORKS.


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Has anyone come up with concrete evidence of that? The Blu-ray is clearly authored to be 2.35:1 center crop friendly (based on subtitle and BD-J placement). And while it's been far too long since I saw it in the theater (scope) to remember and compare, I didn't recall any offensive cropping when I watched it center-cropped.

The whole "head cropping" argument is crap IMO, any movie, in any ratio will crop people's heads at some point, and I don't recall any abnormal head cropping while watching Avatar center cropped.

Avatar looks pretty bad center-cropped overall. The framing is terrible.

If you really must watch Avatar on 2.35:1, the only way to get consistent, reasonable framing is to move the frame up from center so that the top of the frame is about halfway between the top of the 16:9 image and the top of a center cropped 2.35:1 image. The frame is far, FAR too cramped IMHO, but at least the framing is not nearly as bad as a plain center crop.

Either way, 16:9 is FAR superior for Avatar. And I love CIH, so there!

BTW, Josh Zyber is responsible for that 2.20:1 baloney. He had absolutely no authority to promote 2.20:1 as a legitimate aspect ratio for Avatar, yet he posted a loooooong blurb in his review on High Def Digest devoted to recommending watching Avatar in 2.20:1. I think Avatar was meant to be seen in 16:9, and it is Cameron's own preference. Some want to see it in 2.35:1 because that's the way they saw it in theaters. As much as I disagree, I can't really fault someone for wanting to duplicate that experience at home. But this 2.20:1 thing is a complete fabrication on Josh's part.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:41 AM
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Here's my two cents,and worth every penny...I'm 100% pro A-lens,I won't change projector and screen or lens every few years,like some of you guys. So I'll be getting horizontal masking/with" AT" 16:9 screen, when I get to it.I want my screen as wide as the room will allow for 2.35,then as tall as possible for I-Max or someday 3-D if they get it right for HT(I-Max with polarized glasses works for me).So I guess I'm CIW with a lens for 2.35,every format maxed-out.You scope guys don't get so defensive,you seem fanboy-ish about scope.I just want my cake and ice cream.I'm with the op!! I think.Whatever.....
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:21 AM
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sound like you're taking your ball and going home to me.

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Old 05-07-2010, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

Well don't look at me. I have a CIH setup, and I love it. I just happen to think that 16:9 is THE best aspect ratio for Avatar. Any other cropped ratios look either too cramped, or the framing is very inconsistant. Avatar in 16:9 just WORKS.




Avatar looks pretty bad center-cropped overall. The framing is terrible.

If you really must watch Avatar on 2.35:1, the only way to get consistent, reasonable framing is to move the frame up from center so that the top of the frame is about halfway between the top of the 16:9 image and the top of a center cropped 2.35:1 image. The frame is far, FAR too cramped IMHO, but at least the framing is not nearly as bad as a plain center crop.

Cameron probably would have liked to have known that before he released Avatar in scope to 1000's of cinemas worldwide.

In my opinion, pillarboxed Avatar is way, way too small on a CIH system, and it was never shown that way in the cinema.

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I think Avatar was meant to be seen in 16:9, and it is Cameron's own preference.

I agree, but only if you don't forget that it was mean to be seen in 16:9 at "scope width", if you're not doing that, you're not seeing it "how it was meant to be seen".

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Some want to see it in 2.35:1 because that's the way they saw it in theaters.

I wanted to (and did) see it in 2.35:1 at home, but not just because I saw it that way at the theater, but also because it's just way too small for that movie if you pillarbox.

And FWIW, I completely disagree that the scope crop of it is cramped or "horrible". IMO it looked like just about every other scope movie I've seen in terms of framing and cramped-ness, in other words, the framing seemed fine to me and it didn't seem cramped at all.

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Originally Posted by morevideoplz View Post

You scope guys don't get so defensive,you seem fanboy-ish about scope.

Not defensive, tired is the right word. Tired of the constant assault on CIH being bolox and lenses being snake oil for the rich by a few posters here. If you read, you'll find that even some of the strongest supporters here (like Mark and myself) agree there's merit to having a "full 16:9 height" screen masked down to CIH, we just don't think there's enough content to justify the system personally.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:55 PM
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I too would watch Avatar 2.35:1 rather than letter boxed 16:9 if I had a 2.35:1 screen.

Agree that a 16:9 screen as wide as the 2.35:1 screen of choice with horizontal masking provides the greatest versatility even for A-Lens uses.

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Old 05-09-2010, 05:45 AM
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I'd like to ignore Avatar, 2.20, and the A-lens/zoom discussion for a moment.

JapanDave has raised a fundamental question about IMAX format vs a wide screen format (such as Cinemascope...anyone for Cinerama?). It is clearly possible to have a wide format screen which will mask down to a lesser width image...say 1.66:1. It is also possible, with more $$$ applied to the problem, to have a masking wide format screen to mask top and bottom to acquire the IMAX impact.

The underlying problem with IMAX presentations is the height of the screen with respect to seating location (and a radical seating platform height). The aspect ratio itself can easily be achieved in pretty much any room, however, the vertical viewing angle cannot be achieved in pretty much all residential spaces due simply to the lack of floor to ceiling height. (The highest ceiling we've worked with in the past several years was 20').

While you can achieve the IMAX aspect ratio, easily, you cannot achieve the IMAX impact or effect, without very high ceilings. On the other hand, most rooms will easily tolerate a wide format screen. My general suggestion is to consider the tallest reasonable 1.78:1 format your room and seating distances will tolerate. Then take that height and calculate screen width for a 2.35 or 2.40 aspect.

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Old 05-09-2010, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

My general suggestion is to consider the tallest reasonable 1.78:1 format your room and seating distances will tolerate. Then take that height and calculate screen width for a 2.35 or 2.40 aspect.

I agree totally with your statement, however it appears to be Constant Image Height and what a select few here are arguing against. The idea would solve the "my 16:9 image is too small" dramas as well.

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Old 05-09-2010, 07:27 AM
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The only way you can solve the 16:9 is too small is generally a higher ceiling in order to get a bigger screen...but, now you're driving toward 2K/4K projection systems due to seating distances.

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Old 05-09-2010, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

. On the other hand, most rooms will easily tolerate a wide format screen. My general suggestion is to consider the tallest reasonable 1.78:1 format your room and seating distances will tolerate. Then take that height and calculate screen width for a 2.35 or 2.40 aspect.

Great post.

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Old 05-09-2010, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

...While you can achieve the IMAX aspect ratio, easily, you cannot achieve the IMAX impact or effect, without very high ceilings. On the other hand, most rooms will easily tolerate a wide format screen. My general suggestion is to consider the tallest reasonable 1.78:1 format your room and seating distances will tolerate. Then take that height and calculate screen width for a 2.35 or 2.40 aspect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

The only way you can solve the 16:9 is too small is generally a higher ceiling in order to get a bigger screen...but, now you're driving toward 2K/4K projection systems due to seating distances.

Clearly the best and only sane resolution to this question. I imagine it's also the approach most with a CIH set-up have used.

Glad you boiled it down so succinctly Dennis.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:04 AM
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Dennis,

While your post clearly offered some welcome insight into the dilemmas involved in choosing our system set ups, the more I considered what you wrote, the more I had issue with the by-the-numbers approach it seemed to exemplify. I understand you made a "general" recommendation, and clearly it's an approach used successfully by quite a number of CIH enthusiasts and installers. But I think that it's useful to look at reasons for there being exceptions to such a recommendation as well. So in the spirit of sharing reasons for differing approaches...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post


While you can achieve the IMAX aspect ratio, easily, you cannot achieve the IMAX impact or effect, without very high ceilings. On the other hand, most rooms will easily tolerate a wide format screen. My general suggestion is to consider the tallest reasonable 1.78:1 format your room and seating distances will tolerate. Then take that height and calculate screen width for a 2.35 or 2.40 aspect.

So this boils down to saying: If you can't replicate IMAX viewing angles, don't bother trying to give IMAX images more impact at home and just stick with a CIH system.

In the face of what really can be achieved via careful choice of screen size and masking, this seems a tad, well, defeated. And in my experience there is no reason to throw in the towel like that.

On the CIH approach recommended above, an IMAX AR film will have less relative impact than any scope film, and the same relative impact as, say, the 1:85:1 comedy film The 40 Year Old Virgin. Yet CIH devotees will often point out issues with 16:9 screens saying "the Lord Of The Rings should be presented with more visual impact/immersion than The 40 Year Old Virgin," hence a rational for CIH. By the same reasoning, though, it seems just as unfounded to decide that IMAX AR films, like Avatar, will be given no more visual size impact than a non-IMAX comedy like 40 Year Old Virgin. That seems "wrong" as well.

So...two issues:

1. The recommendation to set the CIH screen size by via the choosing as large a 16:9 image as you can get/tolerate.

While that tends to be the CIH mantra, a number of us have found this approach just didn't work. (For us). What I can tolerate in terms of image size varies with source quality and image content. From my seating distance of between 10 and 11 feet I can enjoy certain 16:9 content at
up to around 124" diagonal. But by no means all content. I find that image size overwhelming to watch for all material, and lesser source quality is exacerbated at that size.

And if I chose my scope screen size based on a 124" diagonal 16:9 image I'd have a 143" wide scope image. Given that I find a 124" wide scope image is hitting my comfort level width from my seating distance, a 143" wide image would be way, way to big for my comfort. And I can only imagine how awful lots of lower quality source content (including DVD or not top tier Blu-Ray transfers) would look at that size. No way would I want to be stuck with that image size for scope.

So I found I had different tolerance levels for image size of different ARs and source quality. The base-it-all-on-your-16:9-image just doesn't work for me.
And I'm not alone, which is one reason why Constant Image Area is a matter of discussion, and implementation, among some people.

2. Giving up on giving IMAX more impact.

This is were a by-the-numbers approach would have really robbed me of
the benefits I'm now enjoying in my system, IMAX AR films included.

First, you are no doubt aware viewing angles aren't the whole story. Actual changes in image size count. I can put a scope film on my 24" diag iMac screen and move my face closer to the screen to achieve a THX-recommended viewing angle. But that hardly makes the image suddenly appear really big. Rather, my brain just says "I'm closer to a small image." Because obviously our brains use a variety of cues to establish image size, not simply viewing angle.

So given that viewing angles don't tell the whole story about image impact, and we are left to do the best we can in any system, the fact a certain standard viewing angle can't be achieved shouldn't, in of itself, be a reason to abandon giving IMAX films more impact.
If you can make your IMAX image significantly bigger, that's going to increase it's impact.

Now, of course image impact can be very relative. My max 124" wide scope image seems huge to my friends with smaller rooms and smaller screens, while it will seem puny to someone with a much bigger room and scope screen. But within our rooms we are juggling the impact that occurs via relative image sizes. Scope will still have that "wow" feeling if your scope image is wider than your 16:9 image, whatever room size you are dealing with.

And the same principle applies to trying to achieve more impact for IMAX AR films. Even if you can't achieve a pure commercial IMAX viewing angle, if you can make your image significantly taller than your scope image, and significantly bigger than your regular 16:9 image, then you CAN get a gratifying degree of extra "WOW" and immersion for IMAX ARs.

For instance, last night I had a bunch of guests watching the UFC on my screen. We watched it at 16:9 105" diagonal - people were comfortable with that image size and I watch a fair amount of 16:9 content at that size too. These folks have also watched scope movie content on the system at around 122" wide. So that's pretty much a CIH experience. But then I put on some scenes from the Avatar Blu-Ray. I mentioned that since Avatar played at IMAX theaters I was going to expand the screen. I expanded the image size (4-way-masking) up to (if I remember) 124" diagonal. When the Avatar image came on at that size it had a "Holly sh#t" reaction from pretty much everyone (myself included). At a 10 to 11 foot viewing distance, the change in relative image sizes really did engender a similar type of "This is HUGE" vibe that made it subjectively feel like you've gone from a regular theater to an IMAX theater. My friend said it felt like you could fall into the image...just like it can feel at IMAX. Whether we had achieved actual commercial IMAX viewing angles or not (not), it sure gave an IMAX like impression. A very worthwhile home theater experience, IMO. (And I'd be amazed if anyone viewing the system wouldn't agree).

There is no way that effect could have been achieved if I'd stuck with a CIH size relationship for all content, given that any scope film would always be the same height yet far larger on the system than IMAX content.

It's immensely gratifying to be able to achieve this effect. But I would not have it if I followed a by-the-numbers approach were you set your constant screen height via a 16:9 image size, and if I'd abandoned giving IMAX images more impact simply because I couldn't achieve actual commercial IMAX viewing angles.

Cheers,
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:29 PM
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Rich ... I think you need another read at what I said...and, what I didn't say. What is your ceiling height, btw?

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Old 05-09-2010, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post


...There is no way that effect could have been achieved if I'd stuck with a CIH size relationship for all content, given that any scope film would always be the same height yet far larger on the system than IMAX content.

It's immensely gratifying to be able to achieve this effect. But I would not have it if I followed a by-the-numbers approach were you set your constant screen height via a 16:9 image size, and if I'd abandoned giving IMAX images more impact simply because I couldn't achieve actual commercial IMAX viewing angles.

Cheers,

I read what you write, but your rhetoric sounds more and more like a chicken and egg argument.

Using your 16:9 IMAX-Avatar example; this becomes the base screen size.

Your 124" diagonal is some 62" high. Open it up for 2.35:1 using the same 62" height and the crowd will still clap furiously.

Your 16:9 IMAX-Avatar experience is still intact and you can still use your 4 way masking.

Of course at some point your projector, lens, and seating distance come into play. Pick your chicken or pick your egg.

Cheers!
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Rich ... I think you need another read at what I said...and, what I didn't say. What is your ceiling height, btw?

I've looked it over several times and I don't see what I misinterpreted. So if I'm way off I need some help from you.

What I got from your post was that one can achieve an IMAX AR, but typically not the (commercially implemented) IMAX viewing angles, due to restrictions in ceiling heights. And that it's easier to achieve the correct viewing angles for CinemaScope/16:9 in the typical room. Hence the recommendation for a CIH set up from you.

At least, that's what this seemed to say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

My general suggestion is to consider the tallest reasonable 1.78:1 format your room and seating distances will tolerate. Then take that height and calculate screen width for a 2.35 or 2.40 aspect.

Is that not the standard recommendation for going CIH? Start with your toleration/desire for the right 16:9 image size, then calculate your scope image width based on that height.

If I've got all this right then what I wrote follows as a rejoinder.

I'm not sure how else your quote could be interpreted. So if I've got things wrong could you explain how and what you meant?

Much thanks.

About my ceiling: We actually brought it down a bit with a bulk head. Now it's 93" tall. My actual screen area is 130" wide by 67" tall, close to a 2:05:1 ratio. With my masking installed my current max width of viewable screen area is around 124" wide. Usable height depends on where I have my bottom mask sitting, right now it's around 61" tall or so.

I find CIH recommendations agreeable for most people. 4-way masking and zooming adds complexity that most people don't want to bother with, so I don't personally "recommend" it. I only give my own rational for using it when pertinent (I try to keep it pertinent). And I think it's good for an enthusiast community like this to be aware of other options, beyond CIW and CIH, should they wish to pursue other options (e.g. a more flexible system than the typical CIH/CIW system).
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by b curry View Post

Your 16:9 IMAX-Avatar experience is still intact....

But it's not, Avatar/IMAX isn't your run of the mill 16:9. I did basically what Dennis describes above (though I worked backwards), I built a scope screen as wide as I could go, and then placed my seating where 16:9 is a quite large, satisfying size.

That said, Avatar/IMAX just give the "IMAX experience" if it's not as wide as your widest AR. IMAX just isn't "right" pillarboxed. Of course that said, there's not enough IMAX content out there IMO for me to go to the extents Dennis mentioned to properly do IMAX.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b curry View Post

I read what you write, but your rhetoric sounds more and more like a chicken and egg argument.

Using your 16:9 IMAX-Avatar example; this becomes the base screen size.

Your 124" diagonal is some 62" high. Open it up for 2.35:1 using the same 62" height and the crowd will still clap furiously.

Your 16:9 IMAX-Avatar experience is still intact and you can still use your 4 way masking.

Of course at some point your projector, lens, and seating distance come into play. Pick your chicken or pick your egg.

Cheers!

But that entirely misses the points I made, which happen to be points often made by CIH enthusiasts as well.

The whole rational for CIH is the relative size relationships, right? Scope (it is argued) is supposed to be wider and more impressive/immersive than 1:85:1 movies. That's why a CIH makes scope the bigger, more impactful image.

Likewise, the IMAX images are supposed to be much greater in height than a CinemaScope image. What you suggest for the IMAX image is to still have the scope image much larger! What happened to preserving the "proper" image size relationships as we get in theaters?

Your suggestion is essentially the same as those who say "I don't get this CIH stuff; why don't you people just buy the widest 16:9 screen you can fit in your room. That way you have a scope image as big as you can have, AND when you open up the top masks your 16:9 image will be EVEN BIGGER and more impressive!"

That, of course, gets the whole rational for CIH and preserving cinematic size relationships all wrong doesn't it? Same for your suggestion, unfortunately.
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