Originally Posted by Mark_H
I think I disagree... With constant height there is a completely consistent feeling between aspect ratios; the content remains consistent, eg actors are always similar sizes no matter what; just the width of the image changes.
With variable height what you end up doing is creating a clash between aspect ratios that inevitably leaves you unsatisfied with one or the other; typically 2.35:1 loses it's impact because the image is now so much "less" than 1.78:1 when in fact 2.35:1 should be the format that has the wow factor...
To add another opinion to the mix, I'd disagree with your disagreement :-) (Fully respectful of the fact it's down to personal criteria).
Using a screen that covers most of my wall, I vary the image size (with remote controlled masking/zooming) to exactly the size I desire depending on the movie, which virtually by definition makes me satisfied with every aspect ratio and image size I watch. If I want a 1:85:1 movie to be more immersive, I simply enlarge it and make it that way; same goes for any scope films. I almost always project scope films wider than any 1:85:1 content, so the feeling of expanding width for scope remains. But I never feel like I'm forced to watch 1:85:1 at one size due to a fixed screen ratio set up, and can blow it up much larger when desired than if I stuck with CIH (I love to expand the 1:85:1 screen size for movies like War Of The Worlds, Avatar, any of the aspect ration changing films like the Batman flicks, IMAX movies, etc). Any aspect ratio, even 4:3, can get a "wow" factor, which is helpful for more epic films done in 4:3 (e.g. King Kong...)
I also use an A-lens and run it CIH when I want, but I could never give up the flexibility described above to go back to any fixed image size screen. YMMV, of coures...