Curved vs Flat 2.35 Screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 01-18-2013, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Curved vs Flat Screen

The plan is to upgrade my current media room for a constant height setup. On the short list: a JVC DLA-RS56 video projector and a Da-Lite Cinema Contour® 52" x 122" (133" dia.) 2.35:1 screen with HD Progressive 1.1 Perf screen material or a similar Screen Innovations with Gamma Maestro WeaveHD screen material. Downloaded the RS56 manual and could not find any reference to a curved screen.

Added: My viewing is split about 65/35 between 1.78 content (OTA, PBS Satellite, 1.85 movies) and 2.35 Blu-ray movies.

Questions:

I assume the optics are designed to project onto a flat screen, will I have focus problems if I use a curved screen?

Is it better to zoom for 2.35 content (Blu-ray) or use a lens in front of the projector for horizontal stretch?

If better to use a lens, what do you folks recommend?


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post #2 of 30 Old 01-18-2013, 12:25 PM
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This has come up a couple of times lately: A curved screen is only needed if you have an A Lens in place and even then only if the throw is short which might cause pincushion that the curved screen will compensate for. If you don't intend to use a lens then there is no need to buy a curved screen as it will then cause other problems such that the middle of the picture will go off the top and bottom of the curved screen since the image is projected 'flat' without the lens.

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post #3 of 30 Old 01-27-2013, 12:27 PM
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There are only a few reasons to use a curved screen. Some think there are only one, there is a second very important one however.
1) Most common, to reduce or eliminate the pincushion artifact that comes from using an anamorphic lens. You have to be casreful here as teh opposite issue is that with a curved screen you get barrel distortion if you do not have a lens, or the lens is out of the lightpath.
2) To reduce or control screen uniformity with relatively wide screens that have some directionality (gain), e.g a Stewart ST130 or Firehawk.
3) Because you like to look of it. Not really a technical reason but I guess it is a reason.

Using a lens is better than zooming, IMO. But it comes at a price.

When sizing curved screens I recommend consulting with someone that knows what they are doing with Anamorphic and curves. Wendell, email me at scott at techht.com and I can help you.

Best,
Scott
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post #4 of 30 Old 01-28-2013, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

When sizing curved screens I recommend consulting with someone that knows what they are doing with Anamorphic and curves.

Thanks Scott. I understand the need for a curved screen using anamorphic lens in a short throw setup. What I can not find is info on using a curved screen without a anamorphic lens. I have downloaded several projector user manuals and not a single one makes reference to a curved screen. It seems all of them are designed to use a flat screen so it seems to me that if you use a curved screen without a anamorphic lens for normal 1.78 content there is going to be a focus problem.

My room is more than 27' deep so I will not be forced to use a short throw therefore I could use a 2.35 flat screen and anamorphic lens. I just like the looks of a curved screen, had a small one from 1985 to 2004 that was used with my Kloss Novabeam Model One A. That said I would not compromise focus for my 1.78 viewing.
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post #5 of 30 Old 01-28-2013, 11:35 AM
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I haven't seen focus be an issue. Remember most people using curved screens and anamorphic lenses move the lens out of the light path when not viewing 2.35. SO they end up with curve and no lens.

If you want it because you like the look of it, the only thing to remember it you will have barrel distortion. If you have a long throw it won't be bad but you will get it. If the PJ is ceiling mounted near the top of the screen, the bottom of the image will curve (smiley face) a little due to the curve intercepting the light beam "early" on the sides.
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post #6 of 30 Old 01-28-2013, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

I haven't seen focus be an issue.

Going to stick with a flat screen, have been using a 106" (1.78) flat screen for 8 years. I do intend to get a new projector, anamorphic lens with a slide and 2.35 screen. I will contact you when my selection has been narrowed down.
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post #7 of 30 Old 01-28-2013, 01:27 PM
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OK, let me know if I can help. In any case, in your situation, barring any preferences otherwise, I'd recommend a flat screen.
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post #8 of 30 Old 01-29-2013, 07:00 AM
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Scott (or anyone), what would deter your from putting in a curved screen? Cost aside, I think the biggest issue I've heard is that it affects contrast (since the screen can reflect onto itself), but how significant is that?

Essentially I've got a 110" wide, well actually I think it's more like 105" by the time you take the moulding into account, screen that I built the frame for and put SMX material (from that first run way back) on. I've been looking at what I can do in to "improve" my theater and a curved screen would eliminate the pincushion (does it reduce geometric distortion too?), but it would look pretty awesome too. That and I could get one slightly larger than what I have now. Just debating my next moves...

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #9 of 30 Old 01-29-2013, 07:13 AM
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SMX says it's not a factor on their curved screen material (cross reflections causing loss or CR). If the screen has any directionality then I'd agree. If not, then I'm not sure. It would be very difficult to measure.

I only prescribe a curved screen for short throws with A-lenses or gain screens generally speaking. If you have a long throw (high TR), and a near unity gain screen, then I'd stay flat. Not sure how getting a curve will allow you to go bigger. It shouldn't.
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post #10 of 30 Old 01-29-2013, 08:45 AM
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Sorry, the curve wouldn't allow me to go bigger, I just have a bit of room left in general so I could go bigger, and if I get a new screen, question becomes, do I curve it, for the pincushion correction and cool-factor, or just stick with flat, looks like curved isn't "that" much more expensive (at least not with a Seymour AV which is likely what I'd go with).

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post #11 of 30 Old 01-30-2013, 05:53 PM
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Curved would definitely help with geometry/PC, but a torus would be needed for corner to corner perfection. I seriously considering going curved myself.
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post #12 of 30 Old 01-30-2013, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Sorry, the curve wouldn't allow me to go bigger, I just have a bit of room left in general so I could go bigger, and if I get a new screen, question becomes, do I curve it, for the pincushion correction and cool-factor, or just stick with flat, looks like curved isn't "that" much more expensive (at least not with a Seymour AV which is likely what I'd go with).
Careful. I don't remember for sure but I don't think they will let you prescribe the curve radius. I'm almost positive you can't with SE, not sure if Chris will do Seymour to a specific radius or not. And too much curve (too short of a radius) will make things worse, not better. Contact me off-line if you decide to get one and I'll help with screen and curve specs.
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post #13 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 07:12 AM
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Sorry I hadn't gotten back to your PM, but I plugged my numbers into Bob's curve spreadsheet and came up with like 39' 3" radius or something, which is awfully close to the 40' radius Seymour sells. I'd obviously have to double check my measurements first anyway. That and I've got some other projects to finish first so it's sort of all wishful thinking at this point anyway.

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post #14 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

There are only a few reasons to use a curved screen. Some think there are only one, there is a second very important one however.
1) Most common, to reduce or eliminate the pincushion artifact that comes from using an anamorphic lens. You have to be casreful here as teh opposite issue is that with a curved screen you get barrel distortion if you do not have a lens, or the lens is out of the lightpath.
2) To reduce or control screen uniformity with relatively wide screens that have some directionality (gain), e.g a Stewart ST130 or Firehawk.
3) Because you like to look of it. Not really a technical reason but I guess it is a reason.

Using a lens is better than zooming, IMO. But it comes at a price.

When sizing curved screens I recommend consulting with someone that knows what they are doing with Anamorphic and curves. Wendell, email me at scott at techht.com and I can help you.

Best,
Scott

Yep, 100% agree on 3) Scott biggrin.gif
There is something about knowing when using an a-lens and your set-up (short throw) ditctates the best visual presentation to you/guests, you did the needed items to make that happen.
Plus, it is a converation item when new people come over.
IMG_0251.JPG


I'd add item 4) improve light control with curved screen (less light spillage onto side walls)
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post #15 of 30 Old 02-01-2013, 07:54 AM
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Very happy with my curved AT screen. Gain is below 1.0, so I can't see any washout. Side walls are close, so the curve helps keep light off the side walls.

I over exposed the picture so that you can see the subs better.

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post #16 of 30 Old 02-06-2013, 12:48 PM
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How does having a A-lens compare to having the Video Processor scaling to 2.35:1?
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post #17 of 30 Old 02-06-2013, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by avsform1 View Post

How does having a A-lens compare to having the Video Processor scaling to 2.35:1?

A video processor doesn't scale to 2.35:1. It does the vertical stretch which is needed if using a lens (though it can be done in the projector in many cases also). A video processor can be used the 'shrink' 16:9 content to fit on a 2.35:1 screen once you've zoomed to fill the screen*. This means that 16:9 is displayed at reduced resolution (1400 x 800 approx) so you don't need to adjust the projector's zoom, but it is a compromise.

Using a lens to view 2.35:1 content and then moving the lens out of the way for 16:9 means you can use all the 1920 x 1080 pixels for both aspect ratios (this means that 2.35:1 content is scaled so it does depend on how well the scaling is done for best results as well as how good the lens is).

*In this case the projector is zoomed so that 2.35:1 content fills the 2.35:1 screen (1920 x 800 pixels approx) then the different aspect ratios are achieved by scaling within this (reduced) resolution, so at no time are all 1920 x 1080 pixels used.

Zooming: Been there, done that, bought the lens...
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post #18 of 30 Old 02-08-2013, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avsform1 View Post

How does having a A-lens compare to having the Video Processor scaling to 2.35:1?

Are you asking about using NLS (non lineal stretch) on a Lumagen compared to using an A-lens? If so, some people use this to stretch 16:9 images to fill their scope screen. NLS is not used on scope images.

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post #19 of 30 Old 02-09-2013, 12:28 AM
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Apart from looking very cool, IMHO, I would add that the decreased light reflections from the side walls actually contributes to a better contrast image.

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post #20 of 30 Old 02-09-2013, 02:09 AM
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Apart from looking very cool, IMHO, I would add that the decreased light reflections from the side walls actually contributes to a better contrast image.

If you can have a room with a permanently installed projector screen, then surely you can decorate the side walls a dark colour (and ceiling since the curved screen makes no difference to the reflection on this surface). It never ceases to amaze me the number of 'dedicated' rooms I see photos of that look lighter than some living rooms, as if decor is above the function of the room. I refer to these rooms as 'not-very-dedicated rooms' wink.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

Also, IMHO it isn't very cool if the image bulges over the middle top and bottom of the screen either, since a non lensed image will not line up with the screen (unless you want to go down the route of using artefact inducing/resolution losing JVC pincushion electronic scaling).

Zooming: Been there, done that, bought the lens...
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post #21 of 30 Old 02-09-2013, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

Are you asking about using NLS (non lineal stretch) on a Lumagen compared to using an A-lens? If so, some people use this to stretch 16:9 images to fill their scope screen. NLS is not used on scope images.

Before anyone runs away with this being an idea solution since it's in a Lumagen and therefore must be good wink.gif you should realise how this works to fill a scope screen:

1. Zoom the image so that a 2.35:1 image fills the 2.35 screen and the 200 or so rows of pixels are projected off the top and bottom of the screen (the black bars).

2. Change the output resolution of the Lumagen such that for 16:9 viewing this content is shown within the now zoomed screen height, therefore 16:9 is now shown at approx 1400 x 800 resolution. In other words it is a rectangle surrounded on 4 sides with black borders, the top and bottom pair being projected off the top and bottom of the screen as per 1 above.

3. Use the NLS setting so that the 16:9 content is now electronically stretched from 1400 x 800 so that the 2.35:1 screen is now filled. You now have an image that is stretched at the sides (like when a TV stretches 4:3 to fill a 16:9 screen) but importantly, you have also reduced the resolution as well, so are viewing 16:9 content shrunk and stretched to 2.35:1 at 1920 x 800 pixels.

However, if you have a Lumagen you have another option (apart from just watching it in 16:9 with side masks which suits me fine tongue.gif ):

1. As per 1 above.

2. Set up a memory in the Lumagen so that the masking is adjusted so that the top and bottom of the image is cropped off to fit the 2.35:1 screen. You then at least see what is left of the cropped image at 1:1 pixel mapping, so less artefacts than the process described above. Of course parts of the image will be cut off and it might mean people's heads and subtitles being cut off. This is a similar effect as watching a 16:9 film using an A Lens and vertical stretch (except the vertical stretch involves scaling).

Note that neither of these solutions will help those wanting to use a curved screen without an A Lens, just those who insist on viewing everything at 2.35:1 on their 2.35:1 screens. Personally, I found that the recent addition of some simple black velvet side masks means that I no longer feel the need to fill my 2.35:1 screen for everything, despite having a Lumagen. smile.gif

Zooming: Been there, done that, bought the lens...
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post #22 of 30 Old 02-09-2013, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
If you can have a room with a permanently installed projector screen, then surely you can decorate the side walls a dark colour (and ceiling since the curved screen makes no difference to the reflection on this surface). It never ceases to amaze me the number of 'dedicated' rooms I see photos of that look lighter than some living rooms, as if decor is above the function of the room. I refer to these rooms as 'not-very-dedicated rooms' wink.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

Unfortunately, some people have significant others that don't approve of said darkening of walls.
Quote:
Also, IMHO it isn't very cool if the image bulges over the middle top and bottom of the screen either, since a non lensed image will not line up with the screen (unless you want to go down the route of using artefact inducing/resolution losing JVC pincushion electronic scaling).

It's been stated in this thread and many others that a curved screen is only recommended if you have an A-lens, which I do. Otherwise, yes, you will get barrel distortion. I love the scope setup, so getting an A-lens is a no-brainer for me (again, for reasons stated in other threads). The next logical step for me since I have a short throw is a curved screen. I love it so much, that I would tell people to get an A-lens just for the simple fact that it's "needed" in order to have a curved screen.

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post #23 of 30 Old 02-09-2013, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by blastermaster View Post

Unfortunately, some people have significant others that don't approve of said darkening of walls.


Oh I'm sure, but it seems such a shame if it's a 'dedicated' room, so it's not like it's the main living room. Always seems a missed opportunity to me (and if I get a dedicate room in the future it will be dark walled and ceiling for sure, otherwise I might as well carry on with my living room set up).
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It's been stated in this thread and many others that a curved screen is only recommended if you have an A-lens, which I do. Otherwise, yes, you will get barrel distortion. I love the scope setup, so getting an A-lens is a no-brainer for me (again, for reasons stated in other threads). The next logical step for me since I have a short throw is a curved screen. I love it so much, that I would tell people to get an A-lens just for the simple fact that it's "needed" in order to have a curved screen.

However, the OP was talking about a curved screen and then whether a lens is needed, so IMHVO putting the cart before the horse since a curved screen is a solution to a problem, not a solution that causes a problem.

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Oh I'm sure, but it seems such a shame if it's a 'dedicated' room, so it's not like it's the main living room. Always seems a missed opportunity to me (and if I get a dedicate room in the future it will be dark walled and ceiling for sure, otherwise I might as well carry on with my living room set up).

I was lucky enough that when I suggested I would be a)drywalling over the windows, and b)painting the room black/charcoal, my wife didn't raise any complaints - she understands how 'into' this room I am. It's usually friends or family "you're going to paint the room black????" and give me the look. I'm sure you all know the look I'm talking about;

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I was lucky enough that when I suggested I would be a)drywalling over the windows, and b)painting the room black/charcoal, my wife didn't raise any complaints - she understands how 'into' this room I am. It's usually friends or family "you're going to paint the room black????" and give me the look. I'm sure you all know the look I'm talking about;

biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif I've seen that before when I set up my temporary black cloth 'tent' over my screen area, but since the image looks so much better that way I can live with 'the look'.

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post #26 of 30 Old 02-17-2013, 08:52 AM
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funny thing is that, since I built my curved screen a couple months ago, I haven't used my A-lens with it cause I have to cut into the wall and build a sled to use it right with the speaker enclosures et al that I built. The A-lens definately improves the picture, I've just been too lazy to do the build.

I don't notice any parts of the screen being out of focus. I don't notice any barrel distortion either. My frame is covered with velvet, but I don't even run the 16:9 image onto it. The image comes about an inch shy of the borders. It probably helps that I am using a new to me projector with way better contrast than my old one. Maybe once the newness of the projector wears off I will start looking for new ways to improve the picture.

As an aside, I watched the Matrix trilogy this weekend and enjoyed it so much cause the picture quality was soooo much better with the new JVC. It was almost like seeing the movie for the first time.
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post #27 of 30 Old 03-15-2013, 07:46 PM
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When members are saying short throw... what is considered a short throw?
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post #28 of 30 Old 03-16-2013, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
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When members are saying short throw... what is considered a short throw?

Generally less that 1.5X the 16:9 image width.

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post #29 of 30 Old 03-16-2013, 10:06 AM
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Thanks John,

So 12'5" throw on a 103" 2.35:1 screen with the CineVista should be good to go?
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post #30 of 30 Old 03-16-2013, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avsform1 View Post

Thanks John,

So 12'5" throw on a 103" 2.35:1 screen with the CineVista should be good to go?

Yes smile.gif

John Schuermann, Filmmaker / Film Composer
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