Originally Posted by javanpohl
Arguing over what the future will hold is moot.
Not when someone brings up "times are changing" implying that the future will hold a significant number of IMAX filmed movies in the future.
My point simply is if a director wants to create a "big" film today, they use IMAX technology. Sure, there's only three completed movies done this way. (There was a time when you could only say the same for Cinemascope.) Regardless of how many have been made or will be made (three in the pipeline, btw), THAT is our largest screen format. For these movies either shot entirely in IMAX or partially, your objective of increasing the screen size for the portions of the film or the film itself that the director wanted to be bigger, will not only be lost, but will take a step backward on a CIH setup.
The "objection" to displaying IMAX larger is one of practicality. I think most here simply cannot justify the added complexity for 3 movies.
Let's make it very clear what's required to do these IMAX films "correctly". IMAX is intended for a closer viewing ratio than most movies, but lets keep things simple and just say it's supposed to be as wide as scope, but taller.
In order to do this, given that you can't get IMAX content in HD at anything taller than 1.78:1, you need a 16:9 screen as wide (or wider) than your scope screen.
You then need horizontal masking to mask your "IMAX" screen down to 2.35:1 for scope content. This is all relatively simple at this point.
The problem comes when you throw in 16:9, non-IMAX movies. IMAX is designed to be special, larger than anything else (taller than scope), this includes regular 16:9, it should be taller and wider than 16:9. So now you need horizontal masking to mask your scope height down to 16:9 size.
But this adds more issues. You need some way to make the image the right size now, perhaps the simplest solution is shrinking the image down to ~1440x810, but you need a video processor or one of a very few projectors with this capability. And of course you're tossing a good bit of your source resolution to do this.
The "optimum" way to do this would require 4-way masking, a quality Anamorphic lens, quality video processing, and a projector with a 1.33x+ zoom capability to zoom from CIH w/ lens to IMAX.
What I have described is what I call "CIH+IMAX", essentially your standard CIH setup, but with a 16x9 screen and 4 way masking (and a suitable projector).
Cost, complexity no object, this is how I would set up a theater to handle "everything". It would retain the proper relation of "standard" Academy ratio-scope content in the CIH configuration, and have the capability to open up for those special large format films.
Now there's one obvious/glaring issue with this approach. There's only a handful of films that use it, only one of which uses it whole run time, and it's a relatively massive increase in cost and complexity for that very small gain.
And lets not forget that it's not like these large format films are clearly 16:9, they were all shown, approved by their creators for scope display in scope theaters.
The question that keeps getting posed is: "do you think scope films SHOULD BE bigger?" Personally, I'm kind of split on that. "Yes", in general, but considering the limitations of the current technology, then "no." Now, if you pose the question: "do you think the IMAX scenes on some (yeah, I said "some", which is NOT an exaggeration, btw) modern day films SHOULD BE larger than their scope counterparts?" I would respond with a resounding "HELL YES!"
To which I pose the question, how much $$$ or complexity are you willing to deal with to get those few minutes of IMAX footage displayed "correctly", or are you willing to sacrifice all scope content in order to achieve it?
...It's all relative.
It is, if you look at the intent as it has evolved over time, all formats have been the same same height but expanded horizontally (from academy to scope), with the exception of a handful of unique cases like IMAX which went either both ways or up.
Unfortunately it's very hard to maintain all of that at home with current equipment. Rich's setup is probably one of the closest to achieving it, and he put a lot of work into it to get it there.
When it comes to home theater, I'm much more concerned with taking care of the few current films that take advantage of modern day technology then the thousands of other films that don't, didn't, or couldn't. That's why I have a 3D tv and 7.1 sound.
But in reality, you're not even taking care of them if you're using CIW, because those 3-4 films are meant to be taller than scope, taller and wider than 1.85:1 films, but they aren't in a CIW setup. Instead you're bringing everything down, scope and
IMAX films, in presentation/scale relative to regular old HDTV.