Ok I've had my bit of experimental fun.
What I did was download this image (http://www.supercars.net/gallery/119513/1998/851501.jpg
)** and created all other images from this original
See this link* for group shot of various images derived from this image. These are not screen captures, rather images that were used for the observations. I suggest one creates their own images in the same format from the image at the above link** as I have done. Do not use these images from the group shot as they are highly compressed. Unfortunately Photobucket only allows me up to 1meg file sizes, If there is anywhere that can host these 4 images without cost (biggest is around 2meg) so you guys can project, view and compare them please let me know.
Rather than post images of the results, I feel it would be better for one to see the results for themselves on their own equipment. I'm using an Lcos projector with a high fill factor, I'm sure one using an LCD would have different results.
The images have explanations. The images where scaled have been enlarged in both directions(which is ideal unlike VE) by approx 58% which is a lot more than would happen when zooming a 810 pixel height to the height of 1080 pixels. With a smaller proportionate zoom/expansion in both directions the results will be even better.
The 1st image is 1024 x 680, this will be scaled by the projector to 1629 x 1080.
The 2nd image is a nearest neighbour scaling taking 1024 x 680 and scaling it to 1628 x 1080( this is crude digital scaling) using a PC and an photo editing program. This image will bypass the projectors scaling.
The 3rd image is the original(1024 x 680) overlayed on a 1920 x 1080 canvas, I'm sure this overlaying process is not doing the image any favours. This too will by pass the scaling, the active image area needs to be zoomed the same full height as the preceding two and brightness upped by approx 25%. Refocus.
Let the comparisons begin!this is Scaling vs Zooming add an A-Lens and the scaled image will be a bit softer.no matter how good the lens I doubt it will be 100% transparent. Observe from the optimal viewing distance/angle.
Image 1 and 3 are where the focus should be.
Image 2(NN) compared with zoomed image 3 will show that NN scaling and Optical zooming to the same size result in quite dissimilar quality images.
The 4th image is a bit of fun the original 1024 x 680 image has been vertically compressed by 25%, observe the image quality with the vertical compression, then enable the projectors vertical expansion and observe the result.
I agree that not all zoom set-ups are going to be superior to using an A-Lens set up and vice versa.
I also agree that intelligent scaling can be very close to the original image and if the image needs to be made larger than optical enlarging will allow due to the panel features(pixel gaps/panel noise etc) becoming evident to the viewer, then scaling is the answer. Perhaps one day we will have advanced detail synthesis scaling, I think Toshiba demonstrated this using the CELL but it was no match for resolution and detail captured by a higher source.
I also feel that for optimal image quality using current HD, the least manipulation of the original image source digitally(no disproportionate scaling).and the least analogue manipulation once the image has left the panel(least amount of glass possible etc) no matter how good the add on lens it will affect MTF and filter the light( no 100% transmission)..and viewed at 55 pixels per degree if one has 20/20 vision..that's 1.5 screen widths away. Not enough immersion for many.and that's fine.with 1920 x1080 we can't have both, go bigger or sit closer and the perceived image quality will suffer. 4k we will be able to do both.
I found this interesting.http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post18440269
So, as per DCI specs, Flat is 1998x1080, and Scope is 2048x858: in order to present both ARs correctly, you need to have either a motorized zoom lens, an additional 1.26x wide converter lens, or a 1.25x anamorphic (which is actually not allowed by DCI, but many theatres use one anyway).
The question is why is this not allowed by DCI.
Anyway guys observe, draw your own conclusions............and have fun!