Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99
I just don't see the point of a low-cost lens vs doing CIH without a lens. You end up having to advise users to do things that are normally advised against in the projector world. e.g. use multi-zone convergence correction to dial out chromatic abberation (bad because it softens the image and/or produces artifacts), and scale down 16:9 content to avoid having to remove the lens.
I've been happy using a fat border of black velvet to hide black bars when zoomed for 2.35:1. I don't expect you to agree because of the business you're in, so I'll try not to turn this into a another lens vs zooming thread.
I appreciate you setting down your thoughts. Hopefully you will appreciate what I have to say even if you don't fully agree.
RE: multi-zone convergence. While I cannot speak to every single projector out there since I have not tested them all, I can say that the Epson and Sony models we tried it on had literally zero visible impact to the picture sharpness or overall quality. In fact, in our tests using this feature only improved the picture, whether or not the CineVista was in place. In our tests we used HTPC generated single pixel wide text, etc, to specifically look for any visible softening. In these tests, the only difference we saw was that the color fringing disappeared when ECC was engaged. I have put out a challenge to anyone on the Forum to reproduce our test and post their results, since I think it is perfectly natural to be skeptical of manufacturer claims.
When you say "in the projector world," it would help to know how exactly that is defined. If you are talking about the AVS (type) projector world, where people concern themselves with such things as chromatic aberration, scaling artifacts, and the visible effects of having an automatic iris control your contrast, etc, I agree with you. However, after literally 28 years in the business of dealing with the general public and trying to explain such basic concepts as what an aspect ratio is (and why they would care about it), I have come to realize that 97% of the public could not care less about aspect ratios, automatic irises, chromatic aberration, scaling artifacts, and the like. As purists (and I count myself as one), we may not like this, but that is the case. However, they do want to eliminate the black bars from the movies they watch, and they do like the fact that by using the anamorphic process they also get an 80% larger image.
"How do I eliminate the black bars from the movies I rent" is one of the top questions received by the editors at Sound and Vision magazine. A recent poll conducted by the CEA found that one of the top complaints people had with their new HDTVs is "I thought I was buying a widescreen television. Why do I still have black bars at the top and bottom of my movies?" I have personally taught classes on "The History of Widescreen Movies" to rooms full of people who are literally in the home theater industry,
both dealers and manufacturer's reps alike, who when I ask the question, "who here knows why there are black bars at the top and bottom of most of the DVDs you own or rent," maybe
3% of the crowd puts their hands up.
My point here is simply this: that the vast majority of the consumer base we are targeting the CineVista at are not the types of folks who would ever put black velvet onto their walls, nor would they like that the movie menu is projected onto the wall when they first load in their new 2.40:1 Blu-ray. One of the things that the market place proves over and over again is that simplicity will always win out over complexity. Putting velvet onto the walls and taking the time to set up (and explain) the zoom settings necessary for 'Scope - plus the time it takes for the average "zoom" projector to change modes - is the opposite of "simple." With a fixed lens like the CineVista, all a consumer needs to do is push a single button on the remote to change aspect ratios (if they even care to do so). No black velvet, no menus projected onto walls, and no waiting for the zoom mode to do its thing.
After working with the folks at Panamorph over the last 6 years, I have found that the vast majority of end users simply leave the lens in place all the time - even if they have a motorized transport. And those people do not scale down the 16:9 content either - they simply watch the 16:9 content stretched out to 2.35:1. (Honest - this is based on hundreds of tech support calls and end user surveys.) While those of us like you and I would find such a "desecration" of the image unacceptable, the truth of the matter is that most of the rest of humanity does not care about these things. And I am not about to tell them that their preferred way of watching movies or television is "wrong." They just want the black bars to go away and for the picture to fill the entire screen.
What we are doing with the CineVista is bringing a true widescreen experience to the mass audience at a reasonable price, one that actually gets rid of the black bars rather than just project them onto the wall. We also do this while at the same time giving consumers a much simpler and "true to the director's intent" experience than they would get by simply hacking off the sides of the image like folks do when they zoom on their 16:9 flat panels (which is how most people "solve" the black bar problem). For people who DO care about chromatic aberration and reduced resolution for 16:9 sources, we still offer the 480 and DC1 systems with either manual or motorized sled systems. It's not as if those products are going away