owners of Philips Cinema 21:9 TVs and Philips BD players, please help - AVS Forum
2.35:1 Constant Image Height Chat > owners of Philips Cinema 21:9 TVs and Philips BD players, please help
Count Alucard's Avatar Count Alucard 07:59 AM 07-13-2012
(if there'd been a better section to post this in, please let me know)

I'm currently considering buying a TV from the Philips Cinema 21:9 series, and would be grateful to anyone who could help me with precise answers to the following five questions:

1. In the manual, on p. 20, for the model

Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum Series Smart LED TV with Ambilight Spectra 3 and Multi-view 147 cm (58") Ultra wide Full HD 3D Max 58PFL9956H,

it reads:

Picture format

[...]

• Unscaled
Expert mode for HD or PC input. Pixel for pixel display. Blackbars may appear with pictures from a PC.

(http://download.p4c.philips.com/files/5/58pfl9956h_12/58pfl9956h_12_dfu_eng.pdf)


Does this mean, that particular model allows for a native rendering of content fed in 720p over HDMI? (i.e., the resultant image would be windowboxed = much smaller, with black bars on all four sides)

2. How's the Ambilight for 16:9 or even 4:3 content? Since in those modes, there's a huge gap on the sides between the active picture and the casing edge where the colored Ambilight begins, what sensation does that evoke? Is it distracting, maybe even very annoying, or does it feel as natural as when watching 21:9 content?

3. Will any unusual aspect ratio work, especially, are SmileBox BDs (How the West Was Won, Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich, ...) supported, i.e. will the image be scaled correctly, without cropping anything? (see attachment for how a 2.37:1 screen – the Philips Cinema 21:9 TVs' actual format, despite the misleading "21:9" in the name – would, for example, properly represent a SmileBox image)

4. Does anybody know whether there's a version larger than 58'' in the works for European markets? (I do know about the Vizio XVT3D710CM 71'' 3D CinemaWide RAZOR LED Smart TV, but because of half-res 3D and for other reasons that one's not an option for me – also, that one's probably a bitch to get in Europe, anyway.) Maybe there was a recent tradeshow announcement or something?

5. I'm aware there are some BD players by Philips that feature some sort of "auto subtitle shift"*, but does it check out in real-world use with 21:9 (or thereabouts) content, i.e., is the shifting responsive enough? Are the fonts retained / is readability kept intact? And, most importantly, what about BDs that have [parts of the] subtitles placed in both the lower and the upper bar, will those be displayed correctly as well? If so, what do I have to look for (logo, marketing term) to be sure the support for shifting any kind of black-bar subs is there? (It doesn't matter what region the player is sold in.)

Thanks a great bunch
Count Alucard

*:
By the way, has this changed between recent models? I seem to recall reading about one only being able to move subtitles manually. If that's accurate, did pushing the subs in the lower black bar up also automatically bring down the ones placed in the upper image section, or were those then pushed out of the picture frame even further?


SmileBox image on a 2.37_1 screen, file size compressed.jpg 76k .jpg file
Attached: SmileBox image on a 2.37_1 screen, file size compressed.jpg (75.7 KB) 

Josh Z's Avatar Josh Z 10:48 AM 07-13-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Alucard View Post

5. I'm aware there are some BD players by Philips that feature some sort of "auto subtitle shift"*, but does it check out in real-world use with 21:9 (or thereabouts) content, i.e., is the shifting responsive enough? Are the fonts retained / is readability kept intact? And, most importantly, what about BDs that have [parts of the] subtitles placed in both the lower and the upper bar, will those be displayed correctly as well? If so, what do I have to look for (logo, marketing term) to be sure the support for shifting any kind of black-bar subs is there? (It doesn't matter what region the player is sold in.)

I can't answer your questions about the TV, but I had (still have, boxed in a closet, actually) a Philips BD player with the Cinema 21:9 mode. This allows you to manually move the subtitles up or down using the arrow buttons on the remote. Other than the position, the feature doesn't otherwise alter the font of the subtitles.

You can move the subtitles as far up or down as you'd like.

Discs with subtitles in both the lower and upper letterbox bars are pretty rare, but it does happen (the 'Day Watch' Blu-ray, for example). Unfortunately, the subtitles are all tied together as one file. If you move the lower subtitles up into the movie image, it will push the upper subtitles higher off the screen. There's no way to "pinch" them so that some move up and some move down. It's all or nothing in whatever direction you choose. Like I said, though, this is pretty rare.

Only Philips players sold in international markets have this feature. The "Philips" electronics sold in North America are really just rebadged Funai products. If you live in North America, you'll want to import a Philips player from Hong Kong, which is Region A coded just like the U.S. (Or you can PM me, and I'll sell you mine for a song.)
CAVX's Avatar CAVX 03:29 AM 07-14-2012
Smiley Box is the biggest (saddest) joke to played on the fans of widescreen. In the case of the Phillips TV, it will simply scale the image to fit its screen, which results in the removal of about 25% vertically. Because the "smile" letter boxing is curved, you may still see some of the center of the "smile". This also means you will lose the height of the tallest parts of the image.

As Josh stated, the 21:9 mode only allows subtitles to be moved and this is because the BD format as it stands is still 16:9 based. Bring on Folded Space and we might actually get to use this mode.
Josh Z's Avatar Josh Z 06:54 AM 07-14-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

Smiley Box is the biggest (saddest) joke to played on the fans of widescreen.

Do you not understand what Cinerama was? Cinerama doesn't really fit on a traditional flat screen no matter what you do.
Quote:
Because the "smile" letter boxing is curved, you may still see some of the center of the "smile". This also means you will lose the height of the tallest parts of the image.

Here's a simulation of what Smilebox looks like zoomed on a scope screen:

170

You don't lose anything too important, IMO.

From highest point to lowest, Smilebox measures about 1.95:1. With an external video processor, you can adjust the zoom to fit it on the screen like this:

169
Count Alucard's Avatar Count Alucard 10:34 AM 07-14-2012
Thanks for both of your replies – and what a bummer with regards to their contents!

Josh Z,

what model do you have, and when did you purchase it? I just perused the user manual to the

Philips 7000 Series Blu-ray Disc Player CinemaPerfect HD Smart TV Plus 3D BDP7700/12,

and in it, there isn't made any mention to "Cinema 21:9" (or "21:9", for that matter), anymore; instead, all that I could find with regards to subtitle placement are these two instances (on p. 11, left column, and on p. 19, right column, respectively):

• [Subtitle shift]: Change the subtitle position on the screen. Press ↑↓ to change the subtitle position.

• [Auto subtitle shift]: Enable or disable subtitle shift. If enabled, the subtitle position is changed automatically to fit the TV screen (this feature works with some Philips TVs only).

(http://download.p4c.philips.com/files/b/bdp7700_12/bdp7700_12_dfu_aen.pdf)


So maybe things have changed? In a way, so that the player software wouldn't "compress" the character layout, but just move the whole "package" alternatively up and down according to what's required, perhaps? Even then, tough, questions concerning responsiveness and reliability would remain in play.

Also, such a method obviously still wouldn't work for BDs where subs not only are placed in both bars, but appear at the same time as such – not sure whether there are any titles out there that do that, however, or is Dnevnoy dozor / Day Watch such an example? (would require very poor judgement to implement subtitles like that, as one cannot read something in different places at the same time, but you never know with people...)

CAVX,

dang, do you know that first-hand, shouldn't the thing recognize the exact point where image information begins and scale accordingly? (Or will it even crop other wide aspect ratios that are close to but not precisely 2.37:1?) Even if it "de-SmileBoxes" a film by default, I reckon it would still be possible to turn off auto format detection and set the display to the fixed [and pixel-matching] 16:9, correct? (The picture then shrinks slightly, so that you get additional screen-wide black bars at the top and bottom, but all the image information will be preserved.)

If you experienced the SmileBox cropping yourself and therefore have access to a Philips Cinema 21:9 TV set, could you also address the other issues raised?

To both, Josh Z and CAVX:

While I also have my own opinion of SmileBox (which is only an option in Warner's BD edition of How the West Was Won, i.e., no one is forced to watch it that way there), please, let's keep to the thread's topics. Thanks.

Josh Z's Avatar Josh Z 02:48 PM 07-14-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Alucard View Post

what model do you have, and when did you purchase it? I just perused the user manual to the
Philips 7000 Series Blu-ray Disc Player CinemaPerfect HD Smart TV Plus 3D BDP7700/12,
and in it, there isn't made any mention to "Cinema 21:9" (or "21:9", for that matter), anymore; instead, all that I could find with regards to subtitle placement are these two instances (on p. 11, left column, and on p. 19, right column, respectively):

The model I have is the BDP7300. This unit only has manual subtitle adjustment, no automated feature. That may have changed in later models, but I don't see how the player could know where the studio authored its subtitles to know whether it needs to move them or not. You don't want it to move subtitles on discs where they're already in the movie image, or else they'll be moved up to the middle of the screen on top of people's faces.

I should also point out that the Philips subtitle position resets back to the default when you eject the disc. In contrast, the subtitle setting in OPPO players is "sticky." Each implementation has its merits. Neither is necessarily better or worse than the other.
Quote:
In a way, so that the player software wouldn't "compress" the character layout, but just move the whole "package" alternatively up and down according to what's required, perhaps?

This is what happens in both Philips and OPPO players, yes.
Quote:
Also, such a method obviously still wouldn't work for BDs where subs not only are placed in both bars, but appear at the same time as such – not sure whether there are any titles out there that do that, however, or is Dnevnoy dozor / Day Watch such an example? (would require very poor judgement to implement subtitles like that, as one cannot read something in different places at the same time, but you never know with people...)

In Day Watch, the majority of subtitles are at the bottom of the screen, half in the picture and half in the lower letterbox bar. But there's at least one scene where they appear at the top of the screen instead. This was probably done because somebody thought the subtitles at the bottom were covering up important picture information in that scene. Honestly, it's not a big deal, and you're not missing anything important if you can't see the upper subtitles.

I have at least one DVD with subtitles simultaneously at the top and bottom of the screen. Dialogue is at the bottom, but translations of on-screen text are at the top. This was more annoying. Again, this is a very rare scenario.



Quote:
dang, do you know that first-hand, shouldn't the thing recognize the exact point where image information begins and scale accordingly?

I think you're asking a lot from the TV to do that. The scaling chips in these TVs aren't that powerful or intelligent. They basically just have simple zoom modes. You either set them for 16:9 or set them for scope.

Keep in mind that Blu-rays are all natively encoded as a 16:9 video file. They do not have aspect ratio flags that will tell the TV whether the image is letterboxed or not. The TV has no way of knowing. The sort of processing you describe where the TV intelligently analyzes the image to search for black bars requires a lot of horsepower.
CAVX's Avatar CAVX 03:13 AM 07-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Alucard View Post

CAVX,
dang, do you know that first-hand, shouldn't the thing recognize the exact point where image information begins and scale accordingly?

No it does not know the difference between a row of black pixels and ones that display colour. Whilst the Scaling might use complex algorthims, the math behind it is quite simple - 1080 x 0.75 = 810 and 810 x 1.3333333 = 1080*. Anything inside the 135 pixels top and 135 pixels below [including active picture] is cropped regardless.

[* = rounded]
Quote:
(Or will it even crop other wide aspect ratios that are close to but not precisely 2.37:1?) Even if it "de-SmileBoxes" a film by default, I reckon it would still be possible to turn off auto format detection and set the display to the fixed [and pixel-matching] 16:9, correct? (The picture then shrinks slightly, so that you get additional screen-wide black bars at the top and bottom, but all the image information will be preserved.)
If you experienced the SmileBox cropping yourself and therefore have access to a Philips Cinema 21:9 TV set, could you also address the other issues raised?

Not on the samples I have seen. The 21:9 TV fills the screen by applying both 1.33x VS to both the V and H directions. It does offer varying stretch modes which is no different to the progressive stretch found on some 16:9 TVs. This is not going to address the fine issue of 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 against the standard bi-cubic scaling used. In the end the pixel count that Josh posted is still correct where 2.35:1 has 816 vertical lines (8 top and 8 bottom are cropped) and 2.40 which uses 800 vertical pixels. Slivers of black bars are still present to fill in the gaps of 5 top and 5 bottom.
Quote:
To both, Josh Z and CAVX:
While I also have my own opinion of SmileBox (which is only an option in Warner's BD edition of How the West Was Won, i.e., no one is forced to watch it that way there), please, let's keep to the thread's topics. Thanks.[/size]

I have only seen screen caps from this title and all were smiley box and why was not impressed.
Count Alucard's Avatar Count Alucard 02:36 PM 07-16-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

The model I have is the BDP7300. This unit only has manual subtitle adjustment, no automated feature. That may have changed in later models, but I don't see how the player could know where the studio authored its subtitles to know whether it needs to move them or not. You don't want it to move subtitles on discs where they're already in the movie image, or else they'll be moved up to the middle of the screen on top of people's faces.

Yeah, true, but something seems to have been added, then, in newer models, but, again, the question remains whether or not it's worth anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

I think you're asking a lot from the TV to do that. The scaling chips in these TVs aren't that powerful or intelligent. They basically just have simple zoom modes. You either set them for 16:9 or set them for scope.

Keep in mind that Blu-rays are all natively encoded as a 16:9 video file. They do not have aspect ratio flags that will tell the TV whether the image is letterboxed or not. The TV has no way of knowing. The sort of processing you describe where the TV intelligently analyzes the image to search for black bars requires a lot of horsepower.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

No it does not know the difference between a row of black pixels and ones that display colour.

Even if it only does one kind of scaling (1080 × ¾ ↔ 810 × 1⅓), how does it know when to scale, then, if the BDs aren't flagged and the TV doesn't employ some kind of black-bar pixel pattern detection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

Whilst the Scaling might use complex algorthims, the math behind it is quite simple - 1080 x 0.75 = 810 and 810 x 1.3333333 = 1080*. Anything inside the 135 pixels top and 135 pixels below [including active picture] is cropped regardless.

[* = rounded]
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

Not on the samples I have seen. The 21:9 TV fills the screen by applying both 1.33x VS to both the V and H directions. It does offer varying stretch modes which is no different to the progressive stretch found on some 16:9 TVs. This is not going to address the fine issue of 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 against the standard bi-cubic scaling used. In the end the pixel count that Josh posted is still correct where 2.35:1 has 816 vertical lines (8 top and 8 bottom are cropped) and 2.40 which uses 800 vertical pixels. Slivers of black bars are still present to fill in the gaps of 5 top and 5 bottom.

So, with the TV only knowing one real scaling / stretching / zooming mode, contents with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and 2.40:1, respectively, will both be presented ever so slightly letterboxed (in addition to bulky pillarboxing in the case of the former) and 2.35:1 is shown cropped, right? But what about "in-betweeners", then, what happens to films that are somewhere in the middle, like stuff in Super Panavision 70 / Todd-AO (2.20:1) or the rather exotically framed Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) at 2.00:1?

The Sound of Music (1965), a Todd-AO (2.20:1) production, for example, scaled to height, would [correctly] look like this (with black bars on the sides):

253

Now, if scaled to width, 62 pixel lines total go MIA (with 31 rows each lost at the bottom and top):

273

(while this is not a shot where it seems to matter, >7⅟₁₀% of image information is cropped)

Is that really what this TV does when confronted with more unusual sources? Granted, my no-pixel-left-behind mentality might be unhealthy (and arguably somewhat conflicting, considering we're talking up-scaling here), but why release a wider TV, when the sucker doesn't even preserve what it sets out to make taller?
stanger89's Avatar stanger89 07:42 AM 07-17-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Alucard View Post

But what about "in-betweeners", then, what happens to films that are somewhere in the middle, like stuff in Super Panavision 70 / Todd-AO (2.20:1) or the rather exotically framed Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) at 2.00:1?
The Sound of Music (1965), a Todd-AO (2.20:1) production, for example, scaled to height, would [correctly] look like this (with black bars on the sides):
253
Now, if scaled to width, 62 pixel lines total go MIA (with 31 rows each lost at the bottom and top):
273
(while this is not a shot where it seems to matter, >7⅟₁₀% of image information is cropped)
Is that really what this TV does when confronted with more unusual sources? Granted, my no-pixel-left-behind mentality might be unhealthy (and arguably somewhat conflicting, considering we're talking up-scaling here), but why release a wider TV, when the sucker doesn't even preserve what it sets out to make taller?

You need something like a Lumagen that can do custom crop/pillarboxing.
Josh Z's Avatar Josh Z 02:37 PM 07-17-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Alucard View Post

Even if it only does one kind of scaling (1080 × ¾ ↔ 810 × 1⅓), how does it know when to scale, then, if the BDs aren't flagged and the TV doesn't employ some kind of black-bar pixel pattern detection?

You push the Aspect Ratio button on the remote. The TV doesn't know what you're watching. It just receives a 16:9 video signal. You have to tell it when you want it to zoom.
Quote:
But what about "in-betweeners", then, what happens to films that are somewhere in the middle, like stuff in Super Panavision 70 / Todd-AO (2.20:1) or the rather exotically framed Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) at 2.00:1?

If this is something that concerns you, you need an outboard video processor with full aspect ratio control, such as the Lumagen models that stranger89 mentioned.

Even on a video processor, you will still need to manually set the zoom for each disc. You're not going to find 100% full automation on a consumer product.
Ben14's Avatar Ben14 04:06 PM 07-17-2012
Smilebox is one of those useless features. Ambilight should be about the same regardless of aspect I would think.
Count Alucard's Avatar Count Alucard 10:31 AM 07-18-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

You push the Aspect Ratio button on the remote. The TV doesn't know what you're watching. It just receives a 16:9 video signal. You have to tell it when you want it to zoom.

In the manual, on p. 20, for the model mentioned in the first post, it reads:

Picture format

[...]

• Auto zoom
Automatically zooms the picture in to fill the screen as much as possible without distortion. Black bars may be visible. Not fit for PC input.

(http://download.p4c.philips.com/files/5/58pfl9956h_12/58pfl9956h_12_dfu_eng.pdf)


So, that's not what I'm looking for, then? Does it zoom in to height (retaining the correct proportions?), but not employ the engine dedicated to full-width scaling in the process? (By the way, why shouldn't it be "fit for PC input"?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

You need something like a Lumagen that can do custom crop/pillarboxing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

If this is something that concerns you, you need an outboard video processor with full aspect ratio control, such as the Lumagen models that stranger89 mentioned.

... which costs about as much as the TV itself... – and re-complicates what should've gotten easier and more convenient. Still, it's a solution, so thanks for pointing that out. (I would imagine that's what some of you guys use in your CIH-projection setups, right?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Even on a video processor, you will still need to manually set the zoom for each disc. You're not going to find 100% full automation on a consumer product.

Am I right in assuming that the

Panasonic PT-AE7000 / PT-AT5000E 16:9 Full HD 3D Home Cinema Projector

could do just that, i.e., switching zoom levels on the fly and knowing by itself when to do so?

I thought I saw some YouTube video a while back where that was demonstrated by example of the IMAX scenes in the The Dark Knight (2008). It seemed to work reasonably well – although with some delay. (Yeah, I know, there's no image rendering involved, but it does detect the black bars automatically.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben14 View Post

Ambilight should be about the same regardless of aspect I would think.

Did you witness that yourself with content in 16:9 or even [close to] 4:3? Let's take this shot from The Wizard of Oz (1939):

253

One would assume the Ambilight portion on the left to gleam yellow-ish in accordance with the on-screen action. Now, with the normally continuous on-screen–Ambilight "glow" interrupted by large patches of black, isn't that distracting, irritating to the eyes, thereby making one feel uneasy / queasy / vexed?
stanger89's Avatar stanger89 10:48 AM 07-18-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Alucard View Post

... which costs about as much as the TV itself... – and re-complicates what should've gotten easier and more convenient. Still, it's a solution, so thanks for pointing that out. (I would imagine that's what some of you guys use in your CIH-projection setups, right?)

It doesn't need to complicate things, if you've got a good programmable remote it can be pretty seamless, though you do have to hit a button to do the change.
Quote:
Am I right in assuming that the
Panasonic PT-AE7000 / PT-AT5000E 16:9 Full HD 3D Home Cinema Projector
could do just that, i.e., switching zoom levels on the fly and knowing by itself when to do so?

My understanding is that while it can detect and auto switch, it's still just a fixed 1.33x zoom/crop, it's not dynamic based on the actual picture. It just detects bars and assumes scope and switches into scope mode.
Josh Z's Avatar Josh Z 11:11 AM 07-18-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben14 View Post

Smilebox is one of those useless features.

Again, I have to ask whether you guys who say this know what Cinerama was or how Cinerama movies were photographed. Cinerama was designed and intended to be projected onto a curved screen. It does not fit onto a regular flat screen without compromise.

You might as well say that letterboxing is a useless feature.
CAVX's Avatar CAVX 01:01 AM 07-19-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Again, I have to ask whether you guys who say this know what Cinerama was or how Cinerama movies were photographed. Cinerama was designed and intended to be projected onto a curved screen. It does not fit onto a regular flat screen without compromise.
You might as well say that letterboxing is a useless feature.

I think the comments stem from the fact that a Cinerama curved screen is actually CIH. It doesn't get taller at the edges like the smile box transfer does.
CAVX's Avatar CAVX 01:08 AM 07-19-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Alucard View Post


So, with the TV only knowing one real scaling / stretching / zooming mode, contents with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and 2.40:1, respectively, will both be presented ever so slightly letterboxed (in addition to bulky pillarboxing in the case of the former) and 2.35:1 is shown cropped, right? But what about "in-betweeners", then, what happens to films that are somewhere in the middle, like stuff in Super Panavision 70 / Todd-AO (2.20:1) or the rather exotically framed Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) at 2.00:1?

TBH, I've never played 1.85:1, 2.0:1 or 2.20:1 on one of these TVs. The point is that the best format we have today just letterboxes these ARs, so the TV should just deal with them like it does for any letter box. In the case of 1.85:1, it should (if mapping 1:1) have side pillars and slivers of black top and bottom. BD is still based on CIW once the AR exceeds the native AR of 1.78:1. Until a technology like Folded Space is passed by the SMPTE, the manufactures of these TVs really can't do anything about that.
Josh Z's Avatar Josh Z 08:46 AM 07-19-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

I think the comments stem from the fact that a Cinerama curved screen is actually CIH. It doesn't get taller at the edges like the smile box transfer does.

How else do you propose simulating the appearance of a curved image on a flat screen?

When you sit in front of a curved screen, the sides of the screen closest to you will occupy more of your field of vision and will seem taller than the center, which is further away. Cinerama screens had a 146-degree curve, which is much steeper than other curved cinema screens.

The flat letterboxed transfer of How the West Was Won has serious geometric distortion in objects on screen, because the three cameras were all pointing in different directions. For example, when Jimmy Stewart paddles his canoe from the left side of the screen to the right, the boat sharply bends at each of the image join lines. That is rectified in the Smilebox transfer.
CAVX's Avatar CAVX 05:49 PM 07-19-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

How else do you propose simulating the appearance of a curved image on a flat screen?

You can't and this is nothing more than a gimmicky attempt at doing so. Reducing the centre does not make it a 3D space (which technically all curved screens are) and therefore forced perspective (which generally fools us in flat 2D images) does not work here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

When you sit in front of a curved screen, the sides of the screen closest to you will occupy more of your field of vision and will seem taller than the center, which is further away. Cinerama screens had a 146-degree curve, which is much steeper than other curved cinema screens.

Because it was supposed to provide a wrap around visual experience like OMNI MAX (domes) do. Curved CinemaScope screens are used primarily to correct pincushion caused by the anamorphic lens. When I watch images on my curved screen, the geometry of the images on screen are straight even though the screen itself is not. Parts of the image at the edges are not taller than they are in the centre.

A system using 3 projectors (traditionally designed to project onto flat screens) should have produced 3 barreled images that would have been masked as part of their alignment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

The flat letterboxed transfer of How the West Was Won has serious geometric distortion in objects on screen, because the three cameras were all pointing in different directions. For example, when Jimmy Stewart paddles his canoe from the left side of the screen to the right, the boat sharply bends at each of the image join lines. That is rectified in the Smilebox transfer.

I don't think I have seen the BD transfer of this title, so I can't really comment, but I am sure even the cinematic presentation of that film showed the same issues you just mentioned. It would be a bi-product of using three 2D images on a curved screen.
Josh Z's Avatar Josh Z 10:52 AM 07-20-2012
Mark, if you haven't actually watched and compared both the letterbox and Smilebox transfers of the same movie (and HTWWW is currently the only Smilebox disc available, to my knowledge), then you really can't appreciate the benefits that Smilebox brings to the presentation of a Cinerama movie on a flat screen.

It's a compromise, yes, but it's a better compromise for those movies than the alternative.
CAVX's Avatar CAVX 04:52 PM 07-20-2012
What is the alternative?

What AR would the Cinerama system be?
Count Alucard's Avatar Count Alucard 07:02 AM 07-22-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

What is the alternative?

What AR would the Cinerama system be?

Camera aspect ratio:
2.59:1

Presentation aspect ratio:
2.65:1 (intentionally cropped / masked vertically to hide anomalies)

Film's aspect ratio on disc 1 of Warner's 2008 BD edition (SmileBox version is on disc 2):
2.89:1 (negatives scanned from perforation to perforation, revealing usually intentionally left-off horizontal image information)

So, if you object to SmileBox (which, again, was just a very nice extra provided by Warner for people willing and [infrastructure-wise] able to experience it that way), just watch it "flat" (= non-SmileBoxed). To have the correct framing there, simply mask the sides accordingly – just keep in mind you'll still have distortions which SmileBox corrects [to a degree].

Here you can educate yourself on SmileBox and Cinerama itself:

Widescreen Museum – The Cinerama Wing, p. 1 (p. 2, p. 3, p. 4, p. 5, p. 6)

Cinerama Specifications at a Glance

Official Cinerama Specification Sheet

Cinerama Adventure – The SmileBox Process

Dave Strohmaier: post #30 of 42 (2008-09-11) of thread "How the West Was Won BD with 'SmileBox' transfer"

Dave Strohmaier: post #32 of 42 (2008-09-12) of thread "How the West Was Won BD with 'SmileBox' transfer"

If you want to catch a glimpse at a Cinerama camera in action, see CINERAMA 2012 (Uploaded by MichaelJCahill on Jan 15, 2012).

But, now, please, create a different thread if you want to keep discussing this.

To recapitulate:

1. open

2. in progress-ish (one unspecified opinion so far) – see last paragraph of post #12 for a more detailed description of what I mean

3. still kinda open, since it still isn't clear what auto zoom does with formats such as 2.00:1, 2.20:1 and SmileBox and how it does what it does

4. open

5. done for older players; open for current-gen, auto-subtitle-shift models
New Design's Avatar New Design 05:21 PM 07-22-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Alucard View Post

(if there'd been a better section to post this in, please let me know)
I'm currently considering buying a TV from the Philips Cinema 21:9 series, and would be grateful to anyone who could help me with precise answers to the following five questions:
1. In the manual, on p. 20, for the model
Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum Series Smart LED TV with Ambilight Spectra 3 and Multi-view 147 cm (58") Ultra wide Full HD 3D Max 58PFL9956H,
it reads:
Picture format
[...]
• Unscaled
Expert mode for HD or PC input. Pixel for pixel display. Blackbars may appear with pictures from a PC.
(http://download.p4c.philips.com/files/5/58pfl9956h_12/58pfl9956h_12_dfu_eng.pdf)

Does this mean, that particular model allows for a native rendering of content fed in 720p over HDMI? (i.e., the resultant image would be windowboxed = much smaller, with black bars on all four sides)

Yes - (I own this TV at my place in London.)

2. How's the Ambilight for 16:9 or even 4:3 content? Since in those modes, there's a huge gap on the sides between the active picture and the casing edge where the colored Ambilight begins, what sensation does that evoke? Is it distracting, maybe even very annoying, or does it feel as natural as when watching 21:9 content?

It doesn't look that great for 16:9 or 4:3 and in my opinion you get mixed results if you don't hang it on your wall. It was cool when I first got it and had my friends round to show them. Then I never used it again.



3. Will any unusual aspect ratio work, especially, are SmileBox BDs (How the West Was Won, Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich, ...) supported, i.e. will the image be scaled correctly, without cropping anything? (see attachment for how a 2.37:1 screen – the Philips Cinema 21:9 TVs' actual format, despite the misleading "21:9" in the name – would, for example, properly represent a SmileBox image)

Some have a small border still but you can zoom to create a full screen. In the aspects you list, the difference is small enough no to notice the impact of zooming - i.e no visible distortion or loss of picture.

4. Does anybody know whether there's a version larger than 58'' in the works for European markets? (I do know about the Vizio XVT3D710CM 71'' 3D CinemaWide RAZOR LED Smart TV, but because of half-res 3D and for other reasons that one's not an option for me – also, that one's probably a bitch to get in Europe, anyway.) Maybe there was a recent tradeshow announcement or something?

Not in Europe. The original 56" panel I believe was made by Sharp but I can't find much evidence of it any more. The latest are made by AUO. They make a 71" but I don't believe there are any European brands who use it. They have discontinued it now - I'm buying up as many panels as I can find. TCL in China were meant to be adopters of the 71" panel but again, I never saw it. Their 58" 21:9 goes for around $4000 and is comparable to the Philips.

5. I'm aware there are some BD players by Philips that feature some sort of "auto subtitle shift"*, but does it check out in real-world use with 21:9 (or thereabouts) content, i.e., is the shifting responsive enough? Are the fonts retained / is readability kept intact? And, most importantly, what about BDs that have [parts of the] subtitles placed in both the lower and the upper bar, will those be displayed correctly as well? If so, what do I have to look for (logo, marketing term) to be sure the support for shifting any kind of black-bar subs is there? (It doesn't matter what region the player is sold in.)

It's a feature on the TV. It never worked well for me but it was ok on some movies. It's annoying because I love foreign movies. Some places I stream from show versions where the subtitles are on the picture instead of the border. Also, check out the software the buy from Panamorph was talking about - look interesting for this challenge.

Thanks a great bunch
Count Alucard
*:
By the way, has this changed between recent models? I seem to recall reading about one only being able to move subtitles manually. If that's accurate, did pushing the subs in the lower black bar up also automatically bring down the ones placed in the upper image section, or were those then pushed out of the picture frame even further?

SmileBox image on a 2.37_1 screen, file size compressed.jpg 76k .jpg file

Count Alucard's Avatar Count Alucard 05:44 AM 07-23-2012
Hey, thanks, New Design!

1. Re-reading point 1, maybe my wording was not as clear as could be, so just to double-check we're talking about the same thing here, it will be possible to have 720p look like this, right?:



You might think I'm stupid to even want that, but I sit so close when watching BDs that TV (even at 1080i) just looks horrible. So instead of constantly moving my seating back and forth, I thought to myself "let the TV do the moving"...

2. I'd get it for someone who cannot watch movies in a pitch-black room (beats me why not), so I'm glad to hear "spaced out" Ambilight at least doesn't ruin the experience.

3. So, will it be possible to have 2.20:1 content displayed with sidebars (as seen in the first picture here), or will I just have to use the normal 16:9 mode to not lose any image information?

4. That's disappointing (maybe we'll hear something at the IFA later in the summer, though), but I'm excited to see what you will come up with. As I already asked in your thread, where do you plan to sell your TVs?

5. So, will it just push up subtitles for scope films on BD, no matter what? That is, will subs already placed wholly inside the active picture be pushed further towards the center? And will it therefore just bump subs placed in the upper black bars off the top edge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Design View Post

Also, check out the software the buy from Panamorph was talking about - look interesting for this challenge.

I don't follow. Have you got a link for that?
CAVX's Avatar CAVX 06:28 AM 07-23-2012
It is called Folded Space and uses the normally wasted black bars to store (folded) pixels that increase real picture detail. There is a thread on this already. So just quickly, is not about upscaling a 2K transfer, rather creating new transfers with 2.5K (for 2560 x 1080) that fold the extra pixels for compatibility with 1920 x 1080 displays. This is why I suggested being sure it can run a native 2560 x 1080 input.

Folded Space can also deliver true anamorphic content, so has us A-Lens users drooling for some demo software.
Count Alucard's Avatar Count Alucard 08:25 AM 07-23-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

It is called Folded Space and uses the normally wasted black bars to store (folded) pixels that increase real picture detail. There is a thread on this already. So just quickly, is not about upscaling a 2K transfer, rather creating new transfers with 2.5K (for 2560 x 1080) that fold the extra pixels for compatibility with 1920 x 1080 displays. This is why I suggested being sure it can run a native 2560 x 1080 input.

Folded Space can also deliver true anamorphic content, so has us A-Lens users drooling for some demo software.

Ah, OK, I see. Thanks. It was included in a paragraph about subtitles, so I thought it had to do with that. I wonder how much extra space Folded Space BDs take up. Anyway, I think that tech would be best reserved for the next generation standard, which I wish was already here and looked like this:

2× 3840/6000×2160 px at 60 [progressive] fps with deep color and 11.2 lossless sound

("2×" because of 3D and "6000 px" for extra wide films à la Ben-Hur (1959), encoded via Folded Space[-like technology], as well as dual-monitor and PiP applications)

Just give us that, dear AV industry, and I think we'll finally have a standard deserving of the term "future-proof".
CAVX's Avatar CAVX 07:29 AM 07-28-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Alucard View Post

Ah, OK, I see. Thanks. It was included in a paragraph about subtitles, so I thought it had to do with that.

The subtitle issue will be moot once Folded Space comes out simply because the will use all the available pixels, so the ST will have to be stored in the picture.
Quote:
I wonder how much extra space Folded Space BDs take up. Anyway, I think that tech would be best reserved for the next generation standard, which I wish was already here and looked like this:
2× 3840/6000×2160 px at 60 [progressive] fps with deep color and 11.2 lossless sound
("2×" because of 3D and "6000 px" for extra wide films à la Ben-Hur (1959), encoded via Folded Space[-like technology], as well as dual-monitor and PiP applications)
Just give us that, dear AV industry, and I think we'll finally have a standard deserving of the term "future-proof".

At this time, Folded Space is based on 2560 x 1080 or 2.37:1. Films like BEN HUR will still have black bars even with this new tech because they are not based on 2.37:1.

As for space on a disc, it will be all about compression and how much they need. The thing is that every title transferred this way will use 1080 vertical pixels for active image and not be limited to about 810 for Scope, so with that 33% greater rez, maybe, (just speculating now) a little extra compression will go unnoticed with the increase in real picture information. The trick will be knowing how this affects 2560 x 1080 mode. Will that chew more data? Probably yes, because that would actually be 33% more pixels than the current 1920 x 1080 LB encode and the picture will actually have 78% more active pixels than a standard 1920 x 1080 LB transfer. You've got to get even a little excited about that.
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