Originally Posted by Dreamliner
The Panasonic has no such 16x9 limitation; at least not the AE7000 or AE8000 I owned.
AE7000/AE8000 native resolution is 1920x1080 or 16:9 AR (1080 lines of vertical resolution).
2.35:1 AR content is 800 or 810 vertical lines of resolution (depending on source of info).
An anamorphic lens will allow displaying 2.35:1 content at 1080 vertical lines of resolution, effectively shrinking the vertical pixel size by 33-35%. The content is squished by the PJ or pre-processor, and the lens un-squishes it. However, that comes at a price (pun intended). One must have the ability to correctly process the image before the PJ shoots it through the lens. One has to decide if a moveable lens or fixed lens will be used. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. The whole system will cost $$$ to implement properly. You have to ask yourself if the cost associated with money, inconvenience, and more equipment is worth a 25% greater vertical pixel density.
If it is important to someone to extract maximum resolution from a 2.35:1 image, why not simply purchase a 4K PJ with upscaling? It's probably cheaper and easier than setting up an anamorphic lens, and you'll get ~1600 lines of vertical resolution. The anamorphic lens route made sense pre-4K, when there were virtually no PJ's capable of true 2.35:1 output upscaled to 16:9 vertical resolution.
Granted, there are now "Ultra Wide" anamorphic lenses. If someone sits 4' or less from their screen or they have a GIANT screen (e.g. >150" wide) and it's bothering them that they only have 1600 vertical pixels instead of 2100, then I suppose I can understand spending $ on one of those. NOT! It's not possible to sit close enough to a 4K screen where someone would actually notice the difference unless they are so close their FOV prevents them from seeing the entire 'ultra wide' screen in the first place. Waste of $ IMHO.
So, back to the Panny. The Panny's native resolution is 16:9. However, when an incoming image is 2.35:1, the Panny does not zoom it to a 16:9 picture and chop off the sides. When it recognizes 2.35:1 content, instead it retains the aspect ratio internally by adding top and bottom bars (remember, the content is only 800 lines anyway, so no content is lost). When the PJ goes to shoot the image, it masks the top and bottom (black bar) portions. The effect is a 2.35:1 display with no visible bars and correctly presented 2.35:1 content.
What's cool about these Panny PJ's:
- Automatic detection of 16:9 or 2.35:1 content
- Automatic masking of 2.35:1 content
- Lens memory for 16:9 and 2.35:1 presentations
- Automatic changing of display image based on content AR (i.e. automatically implement lens memory) by combining above features
If you want higher resolution for 2.35:1 format display on the cheap, there are two simple solutions that don't require a fancy display, PJ, or anamorphic lens:
- Get a smaller screen and move your PJ closer to it (make the pixels smaller/denser)
- Move your seat further away from the screen (make your vision worse)