Aspect Ratios and Anamorphic Lenses with John Schuermann - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 01-31-2014, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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John Schuermann, a consultant to Panamorph and active AVS member, demystifies aspect ratios, including what the term means, a brief history of aspect ratios in cinema and at home, how widescreen movies are horizontally squeezed on 35mm film frames using anamorphic lenses, how inverse lenses "unsqueeze" the image, how widescreen movies are stored on Blu-ray, the two ways to fill a 2.35:1 projection screen with Blu-ray movies, fixed versus sliding anamorphic lenses, answers to chat room questions, and more.

 

 

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post #2 of 40 Old 01-31-2014, 06:23 PM
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thanx for this video.

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post #3 of 40 Old 01-31-2014, 06:45 PM
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I wanted 2:35:1 screen with a lens on my Epson 6030ub. The cost of the lens was very high and I do most of my streaming with my HTPC which would have been a pain in the ass to get 2:35:1. I decided to go with 16x9 to save money and not have to pull teeth out with the HTPC.

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post #4 of 40 Old 01-31-2014, 07:05 PM
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My RS4810 with a 120" 2:35:1 screen is simply jaw dropping. Zooming is perfect. Bravo JVC smile.gif
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post #5 of 40 Old 01-31-2014, 09:14 PM
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myriadcorp I sent you a PM

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post #6 of 40 Old 01-31-2014, 10:14 PM
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I can't wait till next week's episode! really great interview, although I knew most of that stuff (pretty much learned it on this forum, anyway).

It's really exciting to think my existing 1080p 16:9 projector could get a substantial boost with anamorphically encoded Blurays one day. I guess I should wait until the new disc format for UHD comes out! Having Empire Strikes back in 4k / anamorphic / deep color would be really quite something, even if I do end up projecting it with my 2k projector for a while.

Brilliant synergy between anamorphically encoded Blurays with a-lenses, it just makes getting an a-lens that much more desirable, since you won't be able to benefit from that extra vertical rez unless you have a lens too. Really makes the case for buying a lens.
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post #7 of 40 Old 02-01-2014, 02:27 AM
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Scott, the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Blvd. does indeed have 3 projectors for its Cinerama presentations. In fact, John Sittig, the resident historian and technical director at the site, frequently schedules in mini Cinerama festivals with How the West Was Won and other favorites.
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post #8 of 40 Old 02-01-2014, 08:23 AM
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Great show. Looking forward to the next one.
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post #9 of 40 Old 02-01-2014, 08:52 AM
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Scott,

Thanks again for hosting John. Great information. I am a bit confused since I thought the JVC would actually electronically zoom the actual image on the LCD so that it is only projecting the 2.4:1 image onto the screen and not the black bars.

Based on this interview it sounds like the projector will only zoom with the lens so that the "black bars" will still show up but they will be outside the screen area. Since I was planning to purchase a Stewart Electriscreen I will have to make sure I specify enough black masking above and below to "soak up" the black bars that are not truly black.

Am I thinking about this correctly?


P.S.: These interviews are really tremendous and I certainly appreciate them.
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post #10 of 40 Old 02-01-2014, 09:31 AM
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gibroni,

It depends on how elegant you want your masking to be. If you are willing to manually put up masking panels you can definitely save some money but if you want an auto masking system you are looking at an expense that could be equal to a lens.
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post #11 of 40 Old 02-01-2014, 03:57 PM
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fantastic episode, very clear presentation, and really looking forward to next week's show! Thanks to the Home Theater Geek team, and John!
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post #12 of 40 Old 02-02-2014, 02:17 AM
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...regarding the opening of The Robe in New York...I seem to remember that all the downtown theaters blinked their lights at the same time wishing The Robe and the Roxy theater good luck...(those were the days!)...
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post #13 of 40 Old 02-02-2014, 04:52 AM
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Thank you John and Ralph for this Episode,

I like big picture all the Time, so i went in 2012 to the Widescreen Weekend wich Place every Year in the bradford Film Festival at the national Film Museum of GB.
There are only 3 cinemas in the World there you can still watch the glory CINERAMA in 3 Strip :
LA , Seattle and the NM in Bradford England !
And the legendary private Open air CINERAMA 20x 8' cinema of Mister John Mitchell in Australia !
He Save a copie of the Second CINERAMA Movie to HTWWW, the Long Lost " the wonderful World of Brothers Grimm " and give this to Museum !
I can't explain this... you have to See it live, but for me it was better than "the dark knight" wich i See in Berlin in Original IMAX, and that was also breathtaking.
Check Out www.in70mm.com i Love this Site !

Best regards dirk
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post #14 of 40 Old 02-02-2014, 02:11 PM
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Why did the BD group get rid of anamorphic encoding? It worked quite well for DVD.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklord700 View Post

Why did the BD group get rid of anamorphic encoding? It worked quite well for DVD.

Indeed, with 480p anamorphic DVDs you could easily take advantage of that extra vertical resolution if you simply ran your CRT at a higher resolution then used the analog controls to squeeze the vertical range of the electron guns back down. Some movies like that were just stunning. The Last Emperor I think had that, if I remember correctly. Actually, wait, if you think about it, you didn't even need to run it at a higher res, just 480p, then vertically squeeze back down. As long as you had enough pixel density on your monitor, you'd have some benefit in terms of vertical rez.
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post #16 of 40 Old 02-02-2014, 02:59 PM
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It seems like filmmakers are constantly searching for new ways to get people into the movie theater.

Why don't they try this technology: REDUCE THE PRICE!
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post #17 of 40 Old 02-02-2014, 03:07 PM
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Awesome episode. biggrin.gif

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post #18 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLBURNSIDE View Post

Indeed, with 480p anamorphic DVDs you could easily take advantage of that extra vertical resolution if you simply ran your CRT at a higher resolution then used the analog controls to squeeze the vertical range of the electron guns back down. .

I guess the BD group though that in the era of fixed pixel display, only projector with anamorphic lens can take advantage of anamorphic encoding so why bother.

But if you think deeply the technology to anamorphicaly encode and decode the picture costs practically nothing so this argument doesn't really hold water even if it only benefits a tiny fraction of the users.
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post #19 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 10:30 AM
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First, thanks for all of the positive comments! They are greatly appreciated smile.gif

I promised Scott I would post a link to the report on 2K / 4K Digital vs. 70mm and IMAX projection. The original link is not active on the Digital Cinema Society's website, but someone copied the report in its entirety on the Red User's Forum:

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?57068-Digital-Cinema-Symposium-4K-digital-vs-IMAX-15-70mm-shootout-DCS-report

Great takeaways:

The following observations on 2K, 4K, and 3D Large Screen Digital Projection are a DCS member content contribution from Howard Hall, the noted Underwater Filmmaker/Cinematographer/Photographer and Author after attending last month’s Galveston Digital Symposium:

On January 24 I joined 127 other Giant Screen professionals at the Moody Gardens Theater to see the debut of the Barco 4K 3D projector system and to view a split screen 4K projection versus IMAX 70mm projection comparison. The Moody Gardens giant screen is 72 feet by 53 feet.

The “shootout” between 70mm and 4K was most interesting. We saw two clips projected via split screen then we saw the clips projected alternately. The first 70mm clip from “Pulse” was printed in the traditional way via negative, interpositive, and duplicate negative. The second 70mm clip (from Wild Ocean) was made in the more modern way via 11K scan from negative, then a 4K down-conversion, then film-out to 70mm. The digital projections were made via 11K scan and then 4K down-conversion. The 4K file of Wild Ocean was the file used for the film-out.

Just comparing the two 70mm clips was enlightening. The “Pulse” clip was significantly better than the film-out version of Wild Ocean. Scanning and film-out of Wild Ocean had been necessary because so many different formats in addition to 70mm were used in original image capture (we saw only 70mm original capture examples). Andrew Orin from FotoKem who made the film prints, estimated that even the “Pulse” clip had degraded to between 5.5 and 6K via the printing process (assuming original camera negative is about 11K).

In my opinion the split screen comparison showed that 4K projection is equal to or better than 70mm projection in all respects save one. The digital images appeared as sharp or sharper, they appeared to have more contrast in addition to equal or better resolution, and the color saturation and fidelity was equal or better. These differences were minor and debatable when the two “Pulse” clips were compared. The differences were dramatic when Wild Ocean was up.

The only remaining advantage to the 70mm projection was that the 4K projection was 16x9 and did not fill the vertical axis of the screen. That the bottom of the 4K screen image was missing was of no consequence to me since audience heads occlude the 70mm image at the bottom and to me this may be viewed as a distraction. The top of the screen is another story however. Some of the experiential effect is lost with the 4K projection though I confess I did not miss it much. This was the only disadvantage to 4K digital capture and projection that I could see and was but one point when scored against the myriad disadvantages, both financial and logistical, of shooting and projection in 70mm.

When the audience was asked which image they liked best, the overwhelming response was that they preferred the digital projection. As an IMAX 70mm veteran, I found that quite astounding.


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post #20 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farsider3000 View Post

Scott,

Thanks again for hosting John. Great information. I am a bit confused since I thought the JVC would actually electronically zoom the actual image on the LCD so that it is only projecting the 2.4:1 image onto the screen and not the black bars.

Based on this interview it sounds like the projector will only zoom with the lens so that the "black bars" will still show up but they will be outside the screen area. Since I was planning to purchase a Stewart Electriscreen I will have to make sure I specify enough black masking above and below to "soak up" the black bars that are not truly black.

Am I thinking about this correctly?


P.S.: These interviews are really tremendous and I certainly appreciate them.

The JVC actually just zooms the black bars onto the wall. The only projectors I know of that self-mask the black bars are (very) high end units from DPI, Runco and Wolf. They use masking within the projector, just like what is done in commercial Digital Cinema.

Yes, you can mask your wall area or invest in an anamorphic lens, as the lens system eliminates the black bars and it is not an issue. You might weigh out the cost / benefit factor on both methods.

Thanks for your comments!

John Schuermann, Filmmaker / Film Composer
Home Theater Industry Consultant
JS Music and Sound
Panamorph
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post #21 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 10:39 AM
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All they need to do is enable anamorphic 4k material via Panamorph's vertical bar technique, and suddenly that last bullet item is no longer an issue, right?
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post #22 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklord700 View Post

Why did the BD group get rid of anamorphic encoding? It worked quite well for DVD.

The answer is actually pretty simple, and mundane. When DVD was announced and the specs settled upon, the whole video industry was aware that everything would be migrating to 16:9 in very short order. Therefore, support for 16:9 (actually, anamorphic 4:3) was built into the DVD spec.

At the time the Blu-ray specs were settled on, there was no plan to migrate to 21:9 on the drawing boards at all. There would have been no displays on the market that could take advantage of anamorphic 16:9 other than anamorphic projection, but the anamorphic market was just not big enough to warrant building in support for the tech.

This is something we will be addressing directly in the next show - our format for encoding 21:9 / 2.40:1, full 1920 x 1080 resolution onto Blu-ray discs that keeps the discs backwards compatible with existing Blu-ray players and 16:9 displays. Now keep this in mind: you will need either a 21:9 display (like the units demoed by Samsung, LG and Toshiba at CES) or an anamorphic lens equipped projection system to take advantage of the higher resolution. Standard HD 16:9 projectors and displays (including projectors using the zoom method) will not be able to take advantage of this greater resolution.

There is one exception to this on the 16:9 side, however. UltraHD / 4K displays and projectors would be able to extract the extra 33% of vertical resolution of of these encoded discs (assuming a correct scaling algorithm built into the display unit, as well as a decoder for our process).

More to come later this week, as anamorphic encoding is only part of the process (Deep Color is the other part).
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post #23 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklord700 View Post

I guess the BD group though that in the era of fixed pixel display, only projector with anamorphic lens can take advantage of anamorphic encoding so why bother.

But if you think deeply the technology to anamorphicaly encode and decode the picture costs practically nothing so this argument doesn't really hold water even if it only benefits a tiny fraction of the users.

This is true for the most part. Where the expense and difficulty comes in for the studios is that they need to create a master than includes extra vertical resolution to begin with. Since many Blu-ray masters start out as Digital Cinema masters, the resolution of a 2.40:1 movie on a 2K digital cinema master is not much better than Blu-ray - 2048 x 858, vs. 1920 x 810 on Blu-ray. So, in order to get enough additional vertical resolution to make the process worthwhile, you need a 4K or anamorphic 2K master.

In the process of my research and in my dealings with the studios, it was exciting to find out that films shot anamorphically have been archived in anamorphic (squeezed) format. This means most catalog titles will already have masters with additional vertical resolution.
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post #24 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLBURNSIDE View Post

All they need to do is enable anamorphic 4k material via Panamorph's vertical bar technique, and suddenly that last bullet item is no longer an issue, right?

Yes - our MFE technology is just as capable of encoding extra resolution into the black bars of 4K content as it is with 2K / HD technology. This is all being discussed.
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post #25 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 11:30 AM
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I'm looking to set up a projection system in my mostly-dedicated room. I keep going back and forth in my mind about whether to do CIH or not.

For reference, almost all of my viewing on this system (at least 90%) will be movies. And most of the movies I tend to watch are framed at 2.40:1. That right there makes the case for going with a CIH solution (in my case it would be zooming and not anamorphic lens).

But then I get to thinking about the content I do watch that is 16:9. I have determined that my screen will be 95" wide (or maybe 90"), and it will be acoustically transparent. This will give me a horizontal viewing angle in the low 40s degrees (viewing distance about 10 feet), which I've determined is about as wide as I want it to be. The problem is that a 2.40:1 screen that wide will only allow for a 16:9 image to be about 40" high (which means a diagonal measurement of about 81"). That seems a little small to me. Furthermore, it creates larger black bars on the sides than would be present on the top and bottom of a 16:9 screen projecting a 2.40:1 image. I could mask the sides, but then the sides of the screen would no longer be acoustically transparent, and I do intend for the left and right speakers to be behind the screen (right up against the edges).

So I've mostly settled on sticking with a 16:9 screen and making velvet-lined masks for the top and bottom. They won't be tall enough to interfere with sound transmission through the screen, and they will make the black bars disappear. My screen will be 95" wide regardless of whether it is 1.78:1 or 2.40:1. And my 16:9 images will be plenty large and won't have to be masked.

And then I see this show (which was excellent and informative btw), and it makes me rethink the whole thing again! Is there anything I haven't thought of, any reason to reconsider zooming to achieve a CIH setup with a 2.40:1 screen? It's driving me crazy.

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Nice episode! It's given me some more food for thought on my upcoming small HT build

My own build: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1514892/th...ted-ht-project
Panasonic PT-AT6000, Denon X4000, Focal 716-700CC-700SR, SVS PB-1000
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post #27 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post

The JVC actually just zooms the black bars onto the wall. The only projectors I know of that self-mask the black bars are (very) high end units from DPI, Runco and Wolf. They use masking within the projector, just like what is done in commercial Digital Cinema.

Yes, you can mask your wall area or invest in an anamorphic lens, as the lens system eliminates the black bars and it is not an issue. You might weigh out the cost / benefit factor on both methods.

Thanks for your comments!

John,

It's great to be able to speak with you through the forum, your expertise is noted and appreciated. I am leaning toward using a fixed lens like the UH480 or DC1 for my theater room. It has been constructed for two years with primary viewing on a 65" plasma. Now I am about to purchase a 2.4:1 screen and projector. The hidden screen will drop down in front of the plasma.

If I plan to move to 4k in 1-2 years, would you recommend the DC1 if I am seated 13.5ft from a 115" diagonal 2.4:1 screen or will the UH480 be able to resolve the full 4k resolution with no issues?

P.S. : Projector lens will be mounted 17.5ft from the screen and I will be using about 9-10 inches of lens shift on a JVC 4910 projector.
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post #28 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkeeler10 View Post

I'm looking to set up a projection system in my mostly-dedicated room. I keep going back and forth in my mind about whether to do CIH or not.

For reference, almost all of my viewing on this system (at least 90%) will be movies. And most of the movies I tend to watch are framed at 2.40:1. That right there makes the case for going with a CIH solution (in my case it would be zooming and not anamorphic lens).

But then I get to thinking about the content I do watch that is 16:9. I have determined that my screen will be 95" wide (or maybe 90"), and it will be acoustically transparent. This will give me a horizontal viewing angle in the low 40s degrees (viewing distance about 10 feet), which I've determined is about as wide as I want it to be. The problem is that a 2.40:1 screen that wide will only allow for a 16:9 image to be about 40" high (which means a diagonal measurement of about 81"). That seems a little small to me. Furthermore, it creates larger black bars on the sides than would be present on the top and bottom of a 16:9 screen projecting a 2.40:1 image. I could mask the sides, but then the sides of the screen would no longer be acoustically transparent, and I do intend for the left and right speakers to be behind the screen (right up against the edges).

So I've mostly settled on sticking with a 16:9 screen and making velvet-lined masks for the top and bottom. They won't be tall enough to interfere with sound transmission through the screen, and they will make the black bars disappear. My screen will be 95" wide regardless of whether it is 1.78:1 or 2.40:1. And my 16:9 images will be plenty large and won't have to be masked.

And then I see this show (which was excellent and informative btw), and it makes me rethink the whole thing again! Is there anything I haven't thought of, any reason to reconsider zooming to achieve a CIH setup with a 2.40:1 screen? It's driving me crazy.

Tough one! One answer is the one I think I quoted on the show (originates with Josh Zyber):

Wheel of Fortune should not be bigger than Star Wars!

wink.gif

I sit 14' back from a 16:9 size of 96" x 54" (equivalent to a 110" diagonal 16:9). My 2.35:1 size is 11 foot wide. This seems appropriate for my preferences. You are sitting closer so your system would be roughly equivalent. I would suggest marking it all off on the wall with masking tape and then sitting at your sweet spot to see what you think.

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post #29 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farsider3000 View Post

John,

It's great to be able to speak with you through the forum, your expertise is noted and appreciated. I am leaning toward using a fixed lens like the UH480 or DC1 for my theater room. It has been constructed for two years with primary viewing on a 65" plasma. Now I am about to purchase a 2.4:1 screen and projector. The hidden screen will drop down in front of the plasma.

My budget permits either purchase but no use in going for the DC1 if I will not be able to see a difference. If I plan to move to 4k in 1-2 years, would you recommend the DC1 if I am seated 13.5ft from a 115" 2.4:1 screen or will the UH480 be able to resolve the full 4k resolution with no issues?

P.S. : Projector lens will be mounted 17.5ft from the screen and I will be using about 9-10 inches of lens shift on a JVC 4910 projector.

The DC1 has premium optical coatings, a lockable tilt mechanism, an aesthetically more pleasing case, and a sealed optical path as upgrades over the UH480. It was designed with 4K in mind. However, this does not mean that the UH480 is not appropriate for 4K. It simply means that the DC1 will give superior contrast to the UH480, depending on the quality of the projector and the light controlled nature of the room (for example, if the projector is notably low in contrast and you have a white screen in a white room, the difference in contrast will be much less noticeable). If, however, your projector is a high contrast model (and it's hard to imagine a 4K projector that will not be) and you have appropriately blacked out your room, the DC1 is probably worth the upgrade. The sealed optics are kind of a big deal too, since the DC1 is the only anamorphic lens on the market that has this feature. Dust contamination inside the lens can deteriorate contrast over time.

That said, the UH480 resolves 4K just fine.

John Schuermann, Filmmaker / Film Composer
Home Theater Industry Consultant
JS Music and Sound
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post #30 of 40 Old 02-03-2014, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post

Tough one! One answer is the one I think I quoted on the show (originates with Josh Zyber):

Wheel of Fortune should not be bigger than Star Wars!

wink.gif

I sit 14' back from a 16:9 size of 96" x 54" (equivalent to a 110" diagonal 16:9). My 2.35:1 size is 11 foot wide. This seems appropriate for my preferences. You are sitting closer so your system would be roughly equivalent. I would suggest marking it all off on the wall with masking tape and then sitting at your sweet spot to see what you think.

Yeah, that's the other thing I have considered -- is a 109" 16:9 image too big from 10' away? Another wrinkle in the decision-making process.

I guess I will just have to buy the projector, throw a sheet up where I intend to have the screen, and play with it. My biggest annoyance with CIH is that I won't be able to mask the sides for 16:9 content. Perhaps with a really dark room and a projector with really low black levels (considering JVC) it would only be a minor annoyance.

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