I’m editing this opening post 2/11/19 to simply start off with what I’m doing now in term of PIA presentation. Below will be the original postings with edits. I want anyone finding this to find a simple to follow post and if they want to learn more then can dig in.
I am about budget and flexibility along with the best presentation that suits my needs. This will apply to anyone wanting to use more expensive projectors with powered and programmable zoom, focus and lens shifts also.
I’m using a Viewsonic 1080p, Pro7827HD that I bought new for $499. My screen is a DIY painted wall that is a simple neutral gray .5-.6 gain, no boarders I call a stealth screen wall. My room is small about 10’ from the screen to the back wall. Single row seating for 4 people eyes to screen distance of 8’. My ceiling is black and my walls a very dark gray. No windows and 99% light proof for any outside light making it in. Sound is high quality but a simple 5.2 with 2 12” subs. The projector is ceiling mounted with a special rig DIY.
For my PIA presentation to work I needed a good deal of zoom and vertical image shift way more than the projector had built in and more than almost all budget entry level projectors have, so I built an inclined slide to hold the projector mounting that allows me to zoom and shift at the same time by moving the projector. More about that.
PIA is simply put being able to have full control over how large and immersive you want the viewing experience. We are at a point in time where IMAX1.89 movies are becoming the new most immersive movies we will watch and for many years Scope held that distinction. People have preference in how close they like to sit when they go to a movie theater, and with a single row without PIA there is no adjusting the immersion. So with my above specs my largest image I can show is 110” 16:9 the smallest is 65” 16:9. That range reflects every row of seats in both IMAX and a conventional scope theater I may want to ever sit in. I covered my own likes as well as my guests. It allows CIH+IMAX as well as many others methods of presentation anyone may care to follow. I also use the ability to reduce the size of poor movies or older movie I may have on DVD or by way of TV or streaming. A DVD scaled up to 110” might look awful but around 80” will look good.
A benefit of the slide zoom I do is as the image gets smaller it gets brighter. I use that ability for sports viewing where I might want to turn on some lights in the room.
I have eliminated all masking and just let the dark chip 3 self mask on the dark screen. The freedom to change size in less than 10 seconds outweighs no masking for me.
Below is a more detailed explanation.
We all know what CIH looks like for the benefit of the newcomers I made a picture that depicts both CIA (constant image area) and the system I use that I call PIA (Personal Image Area) both these systems use a 16:9 projectors and a 16:9 screen.
The image shows a red, green & blue rectangles and they are scope, 16:9 and 4:3 respectively and are what is the classic CIA setup. I didn’t include CIH & CIW as we all know what that looks like
If your beliefs are area and immersion relate to AR and some AR have more importance than others and also the human field of view stops in height at some point but because it is close to 180 degrees right to left that says there would be never a screen wide enough to run out of FOV in that direction Then CIH should be your screen of choice.
If you come to the conclusion as I have that there are practical limits to FOV and also perhaps we watch with both FOV and also eye movement to some small amount instead of a fixed center gaze. Then maybe CIA or PIA should be in your thought process. The only difference is the screen you would purchase. Any projector that can be used for CIH will also work for CIA and PIA (given enough zoom adjustment) and at any time you don’t feel want this setup you can revert back to CIH. In fact a person with wife, kids or friends could run their system for themselves as CIH day to day but the other people might desire something different and you could indulge them with their wishes for group movie night.
So what is PIA? The best way to explain it is I don’t like to move furniture. When I go to the local cinema I go in and pick my seat. The selection is sometimes made for myself and sometimes it is made with the people I’m with. For myself it depends on what I’m seeing and my expectations of the movie I will be seeing. Sometimes I want max immersion sometimes I don’t. At home your seating distance never changes and the selection is done with the zoom lever. I have one row of seating and some people have 2 or even 3 rows and the extra screen area could benefit there also making compromises, but my explanation of the colored rectangles here is just for me in my perfect seat.
Red = scope movies of the highest quality BD and of cinematic status judged by myself to deserve the best my screen can offer. Example Ben Hur on BD
Green= 16:9 movies of highest quality and cinematic status that demand immersion. Example Avatar on BD, Planet Earth (PBS).
Blue= 4:3 classics movies of highest quality and cinematic status painstakingly remaster. Example Citizen Kane, Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind.
Purple= scope movies that don’t rise to the highest quality (poor transfers) or movies that in no way demand immersion to benefit the viewing experience. Example Deliverance DVD transfer and Mom’s night out and a 1000 other similar movies you be the judge. Making them bigger doesn’t make them better.
White= General TV viewing, poor transferred 16:9 movies and 16:9 movies that fall into the Mom’s Night Out category. Example. The 40 year old virgin comes to mind.
Yellow= Old 4:3 TV content, poor transferred 4:3 movies of old. Example 1950’s TV series Bat Masterson and movies like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Original King Kong, DVD, Family movies copied from super 8 or VHS.
Orange= Then there is orange the whole frame pushing the level of immersion to the max or even past. When would you ever use all the real estate? Well you could use it for an in your face viewing of high quality IMAX movie or for a special showing of IMAX like content such as a movie like Avatar or even The planet earth series. Maybe to give your kids a super immersive version of the animated features they love to watch. Or for events where others might be viewing from seats deeper in the room than your theater seats, like a super bowl party.
These are not exact sizes I’m only showing them as points of reference, where different circumstances dictate different levels of immersion or in terms of a commercial theater a different seat. At any time you can put a black masking at the upper and lower red line and you have CIH again and without moving that masking you can benefit from downsizing the lesser content.
If masking is important to you and it is sometimes important to me you will need to sort out some sort of 2 way or 4 way masking system to go along with it. but some masking system is needed in all the different viewing plans anyway.
I posted this in the CIH forum as it contains all the aspects of a CIH setup except the look of the 2.35:1 hanging on the wall and most people tell me CIH has little to do with style and all about image presentation. This one screen selection embodies CIH, CIW, CIA And lets not forget CIH+Imax, all into one idea called PIA (personal image area) it is not about the shape of the screen it is about how you manage the area.
(On edit) 6/14/16
Anyone coming here and reading this thread for the first time, I laid out my concept and it wasn’t taken as a free option for someone trying to decide what size and AR screen to buy that is having questions about CIH vs the other methods of presentation. Many strongly felt this is a direct assault on the system they believe to be best and that is CIH. I would like to apologies in advance for all the back and forth that takes place in the next 100 or so posts in the thread. There is a lot of great information and advice intermixed in the mixture of back and forth, pros and cons and I would hope you wade thru it because there is all the historical good information about why many feel CIH is the best system and it is worth taking a look at.
I will try and make some updated and edits to this first post to highlight the main points on both sides when I get time and save you from looking thru all the posts unless you want to.
Here is my first edit as it shows a major manufacture of screens solution for masking a PIA setup. If I had a lot of money I would without a doubt buy this system but it can also be done on a poor man’s budget just not in such a fast and cool way. The video points out quickly everything I do with my setup and why however and I think it is an interesting view. Well worth the 6 minutes to watch it.
On Edit 2. 7/19/2016
I just viewed two movies in the same day not exactly back to back as there was an intermission between for dinner but close enough to feel if the first movies presentation had any effect on the second movies appeal or if I was insulting ether movies cinematography by the presentation of the other. More importantly was I getting the best movie going experience for me out of each movie viewing.
The two movies were both recent released movies within the last couple years and as such both movies in terms of video quality were perfect BD copies. No dust or fuzzy edges like a film transfer might have just perfect pixel structure we have grown to love.
Like most families we watch a variety of movies types that suit different tastes and not all movies are intended to be as immersive as others. The two movies we watched were Remember (2015) 1.85:1 Drama starring Christopher Plummer & About Last Night (2014) Comedy 2.35:1 Starring Kevin Hart.
I watched both trailers and had a good idea about the cinematic quality of both movies and it was clear to see the director of Remember chose 1.85:1 because it lent itself to the type of movie he was making best. It was wonderfully shot making use of the extra height the frame provided. I was not quite sure why the director shot About Last Night in scope other than a couple clips showing the immensity of a major league ballpark for about 2 minutes or the numerous bed sequences shot from the side that better framed the bodies in bed. The majority of the movie the sides were filled whatever happened to be on the set or street images where we saw people passing in and out of the frame, kind of a distraction more than adding to the visual I thought. At any rate I watched them both close to CIH and the feeling of being cheated by the presentation was there. Quite similar to what is often expressed by those in favor of scope when comparing Ben Hur being smaller than the 40 year old virgin if watched in CIW and I would agree even to the point of that combination being worse than my two movies even though reversed.
In my mind there was nothing in the zany comedy remake About Last Night that needed the full field of vision scope provides and in making it that large for me it distracted from the humor of the movie. The gigantic adult images seemed less funny and more pornographic for me being so huge. On the other hand, the cinematography of Remember was such that it left you wanting more in terms of scale.
All in all, it was a great contrary comparison of what I normally hear as to How scope AR by its very nature is used to command the biggest screen size available. For me it is not always the case. I will watch Remember again it will be taller than CIH would allow and about 50% of the way to Imax size and if I watch About Last Night again it will be diminished some maybe 75% of CIH size. For me both of these movies clearly point out why I like PIA as a presentation method.
On Edit 9/2/2016 Problem with the word (Perfect) in the title.
From the first day I posted this thread the name PIA raised a lot of concern in the forum. Below is a copy of a post I added today in the body of the thread explaining or trying to explain my using the word perfect to describe this concept. I hope this helps those that understand perfect to mean something different.
There is presentation and there is immersion and they are two different things plain and simple.
Presentation is constant in any given commercial theater and is the wish of the director of the movie to be done correctly. He wants the best presentation possible. He wants a flawless screen and an accurate projector system. He wants a true sound system. He wants the guy in the first row and the last row to be able to see the image and hear the sound clearly.
We know commercial theaters cram people in to rows too close or too far and stick seats in the corners because buildings are rectangles and ideal seating is more of a cone shape. We are not talking about those seats as none of us have those kinds of seats in our home theater. In terms of immersion and PIA as it pertains to this thread we are talking about the seats all of us would be ok with getting at the world premiere of a long awaited block buster. We are not Shelden Cooper pinging the room for the ultimate sweet audio spot to sit. We are talking about seats we would enjoy sitting in not perfect but by far good enough. Perfect never happens in a commercial theater unless we happen to be quite lucky, like getting a hole in one in golf it requires skill but also some luck. So in a 100 row theater maybe rows 30 to 60 back and side to side plus or minus 10 seats are where PIA lives. Possibly even more subtle changes if you like.
I know audiophiles that tweak sound down to infinitesimal levels. I watch them do this and wonder if they really can tell the changes they are making but I accept they can even though I can’t. Videophiles do the same thing they bring in professional adjusters and equipment and tune every aspect of their projector to match the screen and the room to perfection. To some of us that seems extreme and we wonder if they can really see a difference compared to adjusting by eye but I accept they can even though maybe I can’t.
We all know and never question that different people like to adjust the audio level of their systems. We have big subwoofers and rows of horns and some movies we tune it all down and don’t require the chest pounding subs we are seeking out the quiet voices coming from the actors on the screen. Some movies and concerts we want the room to shake. Then there are the slight changes we make to the volume controls. “Honey can you turn it up one click.” “How’s that Babe.” “Oh that’s Perfect!” That is adjusting sound immersion to a single persons perfect. Have you ever left the theater and overheard someone saying great movie but it was just too loud? Or you left the Block Buster disappointed it was toned back because the people in the next theater were complaining about the bass and you felt you didn’t get your money’s worth. We have no control over sound immersion in a commercial theater we do at home.
Visual immersion is a bit different we have some control over that in the theater and regardless with what I will be told many people have a preference for seating distance and given an empty theater will pick different seats according to their likes. Some people like less visual immersion and always like it less and I believe it is true most people will always migrate to the same seats in a theater as their belief is their tastes don’t change. One reason for a PIA setup would be to accommodate guests that have a need for lesser visual immersion. I myself have found with time I have grown to like a higher level than I used to and I might not want to turn off my less movie watching friends by seating them too close, just like I might not want to give them a heart attack by driving the subs too hard.
The director of the movie may have a preference for how loud we hear his movies and he may know the theater will accommodate a wide range of visual levels of immersion but I think they also understand people will want to adjust those things. Have you ever been setting at a red light and had a kid pull up next to you with the bass so loud that your car was shaking. A case could be made that the young man next to you was playing it at a level that the artist intended it to be heard at during his concert and therefore proper presentation dictates he have that in his car.
Here is where I’m at with this. I realize video immersion plays a big role in my enjoyment of some media. Given my free will I like to change that level of immersion no different than adjusting the level of my sound system. Yes mood plays a part and so does the nature of the content. I get a great deal more pleasure and excitement filling or even overfilling my vision with a movie like Avatar than a scope movie of a bunch of people’s zany antics and bathroom humor. Just like Steve likes to push up his couch and watch rollercoaster movies I like to pull back the projector and watch planet earth.
That’s what this is about giving only one person control over one attribute of their visual presentation and having the ability to make it their personal “Personal Image Area”.
On Edit: September 6, 2016
Extra Extra Read all about it!
The name has changed. I repeat the name has changed. Come one come all to the new PIA thread. From this day forward anyone that wishes to follow my system of image presentation is to refer to it as PIA as short for Personal Image Area. That’s right after hundreds and hundreds of concerned complaints about the name of the system being to bombastic for the masses the “P” in PIA is going from Perfect To Personal.
I had always explained that a system that contained every form of everyone’s Personal Perfect would have to be perfect for all. That lofty logic was a bit much for many to accept and I have to admit some people can only see perfect in their narrow range of personal perfect and of course that might not include all others perfects. In conclusion the summation of all things perfect to individuals cannot equal a perfect to the masses. Or so it seems.
By decree of the masses and thru the OP’s wishes “Personal” is the better word and Personal it shall be from this point forward. Personal is a word without repute it places PIA not above or below any other method anyone wishes to use in their home theaters or media rooms. As has been stated 1000 times if it has been stated once no one cares what another does in the privacy of their home theater. Under that statement of personal freedom to chose PIA will be. All those looking to find answers to your personal presentation needs feel free to think outside the box of structure and extract what you can from this thread knowing you will be going against long standing convention and will be doing this only, and I can’t overstate this ONLY for your intense personal presentation pleasures.
We are to be a system of inclusion of all the other systems of presentation. And as such no other system should be lessened. The second poster to this thread hit the nail on the head. He said (paraphrasing) You put out there what you do and how you do it and if someone wants to gain insight into what might works for them then that is a good thing.
If someone finds this thread and is drawn into thoughts that maybe they have a personal way they would like to operate their presentation please post here and hopefully a like minded will share meaningful communications with you.
Just as the Personal computer opened the world up to freedom of how you use your computer over the ridged world of mainframes. Personal image presentation in the name of PIA will do that for home theater.
On Edit 9-13-2016
The ongoing debate will go on for years pertaining to the AR of 2.35:1 as being the gold standard of presentations. No one should debate the intent of the motion picture industry in their selection of AR’s over the years or their decision on the system of presentation they want to use in commercial theaters. It is their industry and we buy and view their products as we see fit to do.
It is quite a bargain when you think about it a company spends 100 of millions of dollars to create a movie and allows us to buy it and own it for just a few dollars. Of course that is made possible by economy of scale because millions of people all want to own a copy of the movie.
No one is to debate that the industry has the right to present the movie in any method they want and we sometimes complain as we might not agree it is for them to what they like.
The question arises if we at home on a personal level can gain an improved enjoyment out of a movie by showing it at a different size relative to the last movie we showed. In other words do all movies we personally watch need to be the exact same height or more correctly occupy the same amount of our vertical field of vision (FOV). The widely accepted viewpoint is that there is a comfortable up and down point to our vision as well as a comfortable side to side point. Those that are proponents of CIH feel two reasons for this method of presentation as being best. The first is it is the method the motion picture industry chose to use in commercial theaters and our home theaters want or should want to closely emulate whatever happens in a commercial theater. I can’t argue that point as it is valid and if that is important to you then that is what you should do. The second point is that along with being the gold standard of AR’s 2.35:1 is also a near perfect match with human FOV. If that is the case then there is nothing left to think about, if the scope ratio is the pleasant point of vision both up and down and right and left and is the FOV most of us have then CIH is the perfect method of presentation and also the perfect AR and a huge mistake was made 20 years ago when the TV standard and projectors were set to 16:9. Just for the record I don’t think 16:9 is anymore the perfect AR for human FOV than scope and I hope to explain my thoughts here.
The supporters of CIH will tell you there is a few simple tests that prove 2.35 is close to our FOV. The most common is the finger test. It goes something like this. Stand or sit in a fixed location and stare straight ahead at a spot on a blackboard. Now with your arms out to your side move your arms in slowly from behind out of your FOV until the point you very first can detect the motion of your hand and fingers. Mark that point on the blackboard with chalk for both sides. Now repeat it above and below and mark those points as well. now using the up and down points for horizontal lines and the right and left points for vertical lines make a rectangle. What you will find is you drew a long skinny rectangle much longer than 16:9 without even measuring and even longer than a 2.35:1 AR. The next experiment they won’t tell you to try is the above test but with some level of acuity added in. instead of just seeing motion maybe try and detect a 1” tall letter is it an A or a B type of thing. When that test is tried the AR produced gets shorter and becomes closer to 2.35:1.
Then there is the test with allowing eye movement first to the extremes and then to what you feel is comfortable again with acuity. When I do these tests I find I have a rectangle closer to 16:9 maybe even taller. I suggest each person try their own experiments with this. The next test would be with eye and head movement but I think we all agree for movie watching most of us don’t want to move our heads like at a tennis match. But you do have to take head movement into the calculations and what you will find with the level gaze test is your FOV is roughly the same side to side but not up and down. With eyes level we have greater FOV down than up. For some reason we like our monitors slightly below eye level at work because of this but we like our HT projector screen slightly above center. Part of that is conditioning from going to movies where the screen was higher so all could see over the head in front and most theater seats allow for an upward angle of view by reclining.
So do we view fixed gaze or with comfortable eye movement. If you are honest with yourself, you will know daily life has our eyes moving nonstop. It is hard for instance to look at one word on this page and try and read the word two lines above. Here is a study done showing how a group of people viewed a movie with eye movement.
There is much more reading on the subject if you want to search. Here is a report done by NASA in 1964 on the limits of vision and the degree of acuity and it shows mapping of each eye and the combined vision of both eyes. http://vision.arc.nasa.gov/personnel...4vision/17.htm
if you scroll down about one quarter you will find what NASA thinks the FOV with eyes fixed within a useful range of acuity. The image is 17-13 Binocular Visual Fields With Head and Eyes Fixed. I will try and copy that information and post a photo below with a common AR superimposed.
It was based on this information and my own preference on two things that lead me to this system of personal presentation first is personal immersion and the second is personal acuity. If the image is good and it is a type of image I might want to have a heightened sense of immersion like I am not just Viewing but rather I’m involved in it then I set my level of personal immersive view high. If the image lacks the detail my acuity requires or is an image I don’t care to feel like I’m in a heighten state of immersion then I go the other direction and set my level low. In knowing my limitations are both height and width limited just not at a AR of 2.35:1 and knowing my projectors native source is 16:9 I can and you can develop a system that works best.
Just for fun I’m attaching an image that has been shown around lately called Dots. It will point out how our eyes are required to move around on even a small image to see detail. There are 12 black dots in the image try viewing them all at once.
On edit 12/6/2016
It has been brought to my attention that the controversy over running a CIH single row home theater with an adjustability factor for immersion actually has limits suggested by the commercial theater standards organizations. The way they recommend how many rows the theater should have based around screen size involves a lot of angles factoring in immersion side to side and keeping the screen height the same for all AR with some guidelines for vertical image size and placement and such gets a little complicated. But SMPTE and CEDIA to mention a couple also have boiled it down in terms of screen height as related to acceptable human variability. These theaters must provide seating within a range based on screen height and in doing such everyone will have a good seat. Maybe not the seat you prefer but a good seat for someone in the populist. As a home theater can’t have 10 or more rows of seats the solution I pose as PIA allows one row of seats to replicate a SMPTA / CEDIA in terms of multi rows. It is after all up to the viewer to select the row of seats he wants to sit in.
So here it is and the limiting factor you should use when designing your PIA presentation theater.
Where X is the height of your screen at any given time, the recommended seating distance / zoom range should be.
(3X +/- 1X)
So a range between 2X and 4X where 2X is the most immersive and 4X the least immersive. Of course at home you don’t move your seat or select a different seat you simply do it with the reverse method of zooming in or out.
This is important as in selecting equipment you need allow zoom capabilities for CIH zoom method if that is what you are doing and then additional zoom to control immersion within the range of
(3X +/- 1X).