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post #1 of 12 Old 05-24-2019, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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2.37 Screen

An argument for 2.37 (a thought process kicked off by my reading through the Panamorph DCR thread in which Panamorph recommends a 2.40:1 screen).

1) Widescreen aspect ratios are variable, mostly ranging from 2.35:1 to 2.39:1.
2) Modern digital cinema widescreen is 2.39:1 (well, 2.3869, as the digital cinema standard for 'Scope is 2048 X 858)
3) But there's no guarantee that the theatrical 2.39:1 will arrive on Blu Ray at precisely that ratio, and in fact even here there is some variability
4) The scaling involved in widescreen projection doesn't know or care what the ratio is on your content (apart from some fancy systems that detect the black bars): it is expanding the content by 33%. This yields, in HD, a widescreen pixel count of 2560 X 1080, or 2.37:1
5) A framing pattern meant to perfect fill the 16:9 image would yield, after anamorphic projection, a widescreen image with an aspect ratio of 2.37:1

This all points, for someone a little OCD like me, to a 2.37 screen being the "right" answer. It also leads me to wish some standards body could convince the home video publishers to standardize on 2.37 as the AR for home entertainment widescreen.

Thoughts? Am I wildly off base here?
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-24-2019, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by dschulz View Post
An argument for 2.37 (a thought process kicked off by my reading through the Panamorph DCR thread in which Panamorph recommends a 2.40:1 screen).

1) Widescreen aspect ratios are variable, mostly ranging from 2.35:1 to 2.39:1.
2) Modern digital cinema widescreen is 2.39:1 (well, 2.3869, as the digital cinema standard for 'Scope is 2048 X 858)
3) But there's no guarantee that the theatrical 2.39:1 will arrive on Blu Ray at precisely that ratio, and in fact even here there is some variability
4) The scaling involved in widescreen projection doesn't know or care what the ratio is on your content (apart from some fancy systems that detect the black bars): it is expanding the content by 33%. This yields, in HD, a widescreen pixel count of 2560 X 1080, or 2.37:1
5) A framing pattern meant to perfect fill the 16:9 image would yield, after anamorphic projection, a widescreen image with an aspect ratio of 2.37:1

This all points, for someone a little OCD like me, to a 2.37 screen being the "right" answer. It also leads me to wish some standards body could convince the home video publishers to standardize on 2.37 as the AR for home entertainment widescreen.

Thoughts? Am I wildly off base here?
You're not off base, but the reality is that the differences between 2.35:1 and 2.40:1 is a few inches. Blu Ray's that list either of those ratios can actually be somewhere in between. I personally would buy the screen that you like and just plan on a bit of overscan.

I alternate between razor thin letterbox bars or an inch of overscan on my 2.35:1 screen. Neither is noticeable unless you are inches from the screen.

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post #3 of 12 Old 05-25-2019, 06:20 AM
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If anything the home video providers and the entire motion picture industry not to mention the rest of the non-motion picture industry most of us also consume in high quantities at home with our projector setups could care less. ARs IMO are becoming a free form art of directors to play with, as they like. The only concern is that 16:9 is the container it will eventually be forced to fit into for the home market and they will fill it as large as they can without cutting anything off. We are all thankful they stopped doing that.

I know no one is fond of my method of presentation here in this forum, but as a long time user of 4way masking and tinkering to get that illusive perfect fit and never being happy with the compromises losing a few inches here and there, entailed. I am so happy with my self masking technique and having everything and every pixel in my presentation every time. Not having to think about is it 2.00, 2.35, 2.39, 2.40, 2.76, or some new one or will it change 30 times during the movie. Forgetting about all that and letting the movie just be the size and shape it wants to be is quite freeing. I haven’t thought about a gray bar in 2 years and my friends and family have never thought about them.

The biggest thing I like about the free form approach is there is no rectangle to start with on the screen wall. It allows the movie to dictate what it is and it doesn’t have to fit into any mold.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-25-2019, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeahrens View Post
You're not off base, but the reality is that the differences between 2.35:1 and 2.40:1 is a few inches. Blu Ray's that list either of those ratios can actually be somewhere in between. I personally would buy the screen that you like and just plan on a bit of overscan.

I alternate between razor thin letterbox bars or an inch of overscan on my 2.35:1 screen. Neither is noticeable unless you are inches from the screen.
What matters is that you are not scaling the resolution to fit your preferred aspect ratio. As long as you are not doing any pixel manipulation the picture will be as sharp and clear as your display is capable.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-25-2019, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
If anything the home video providers and the entire motion picture industry not to mention the rest of the non-motion picture industry most of us also consume in high quantities at home with our projector setups could care less. ARs IMO are becoming a free form art of directors to play with, as they like. The only concern is that 16:9 is the container it will eventually be forced to fit into for the home market and they will fill it as large as they can without cutting anything off. We are all thankful they stopped doing that.

I know no one is fond of my method of presentation here in this forum, but as a long time user of 4way masking and tinkering to get that illusive perfect fit and never being happy with the compromises losing a few inches here and there, entailed. I am so happy with my self masking technique and having everything and every pixel in my presentation every time. Not having to think about is it 2.00, 2.35, 2.39, 2.40, 2.76, or some new one or will it change 30 times during the movie. Forgetting about all that and letting the movie just be the size and shape it wants to be is quite freeing. I haven’t thought about a gray bar in 2 years and my friends and family have never thought about them.

The biggest thing I like about the free form approach is there is no rectangle to start with on the screen wall. It allows the movie to dictate what it is and it doesn’t have to fit into any mold.
I like your approach because it doesn't involve scaling the image to a different aspect ratio and thus preserving sharpness.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-25-2019, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by darksets View Post
I like your approach because it doesn't involve scaling the image to a different aspect ratio and thus preserving sharpness.
Thanks. Yes I allow everything in its native mapping and just size it to the size I feel is appropriate. I feel there is something to be said for simplicity in most cases.

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post #7 of 12 Old 05-25-2019, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post

The biggest thing I like about the free form approach is there is no rectangle to start with on the screen wall. It allows the movie to dictate what it is and it doesn’t have to fit into any mold.
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What matters is that you are not scaling the resolution to fit your preferred aspect ratio. As long as you are not doing any pixel manipulation the picture will be as sharp and clear as your display is capable.
I understand the appeal of this approach, especially the part about not doing any pixel manipulation. I prefer the CIH approach, for reasons abundantly documented elsewhere in this subforum having to do with Hollywood's historical approach to grandeur and epic filmmaking (achieved by making the image wider, not taller, from Cinerama through CinemaScope, Panavision and Super Panavision). A properly framed and masked image on a screen that leaves no unlit screen area is to me a minimum requirement for Film Done Right (a requirement that is, alas, met rarely today even in premium cinemas).

As to the pixel manipulation; I would argue that anamorphic lenses (for both capture and projection) are pixel manipulation in analogue form, and so using scaling + anamorphics to achieve bright, high-resolution widescreen images is very, very true to the spirit of Hollywood epic filmmaking.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-25-2019, 08:14 PM
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I have a 2.35:1 screen. I can only think of maybe 2 times where a movie fit perfect. There are always very small black bars on top and bottom. Never bothers me.

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-25-2019, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dschulz View Post
I understand the appeal of this approach, especially the part about not doing any pixel manipulation. I prefer the CIH approach, for reasons abundantly documented elsewhere in this subforum having to do with Hollywood's historical approach to grandeur and epic filmmaking (achieved by making the image wider, not taller, from Cinerama through CinemaScope, Panavision and Super Panavision). A properly framed and masked image on a screen that leaves no unlit screen area is to me a minimum requirement for Film Done Right (a requirement that is, alas, met rarely today even in premium cinemas).

As to the pixel manipulation; I would argue that anamorphic lenses (for both capture and projection) are pixel manipulation in analogue form, and so using scaling + anamorphics to achieve bright, high-resolution widescreen images is very, very true to the spirit of Hollywood epic filmmaking.
I totally agree a system of masking every bit of the screen that is not image is the best we can aspire to do. I also agree given the old standard of presentation going between scope and flat in a CIH method is the right way to do it. You brought up the thread that even these ages old standards vary and inch or so here and there and the way we expand them is a constant 33% so it is not a perfect world with an A-lens or with the zoom method. I don’t really have any problem with scaling digital or analog and I’m always amazed at just how good a projector jumps between different resolutions or how something like keystone adjustment that we all know not to use, but when you do use it the result is pretty darn good. I did a full on scaling method of CIH+IMAX for a few months and no one I had viewing with me seemed to notice any difference. But of course the less we alter anything it is just logical the better the outcome.

In a perfect world I would have the latest and greatest 4way masking system money can buy, and I say 4way because I believe the IMAX1.89 movement will keep growing and there is already enough expanders out there that I like to watch to warrant a screen sized to them even though they are impossible to mask in real time as they keep changing. I also feel classics shot in Academy AR were intended to at least have a taller presentation than CIH allows. There was no CIH in the days of these movies so all I have to go by is the designs of the movie palaces where they played the screen sizes and the seating distances. Then there is the new world of entertainment that was never made to be shown in a theater. It started in the 50s with TV and there is this huge archive of media over 70 years. The old stuff is classic but was very poor quality when it was made and hasn’t got any better. The recent stuff is every bit as good as what the motion picture industry is producing and it comes in a variety of new AR and is debatable as to how it should be presented. So great 4way masking would be useful. I want it all but know I can’t afford it all. So I make compromises. For me the goal of perfect masking didn’t hold the importance of perfect presentation for me. Like you said even premier theaters are doing a poor job of it, and movie makers are making AR changing movies that can’t be masked even if we wanted to. I did my own study and discovered it is mostly us OCD types that are concerned with it. The rest of the world doesn’t notice when Dunkirk flipped back and forth dozens of times. I thought long and hard and picked my poison.

Bud
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-25-2019, 10:29 PM
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I have a 2.35:1 screen. I can only think of maybe 2 times where a movie fit perfect. There are always very small black bars on top and bottom. Never bothers me.
I asked one of the screen manufacturers about why they build their screens in 2.35 when the standard scope ratio has been 2.39 since the 1970s. the answer was it was a compromise to make the 16:9 look bigger than if they built to 2.4 or 2.39. So even the die hard CIH customers still want more oomph for their 16x9... phooey.
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-26-2019, 08:05 AM
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I asked one of the screen manufacturers about why they build their screens in 2.35 when the standard scope ratio has been 2.39 since the 1970s. the answer was it was a compromise to make the 16:9 look bigger than if they built to 2.4 or 2.39. So even the die hard CIH customers still want more oomph for their 16x9... phooey.
1” of oomph .5” top and bottom isn’t much oomph.

I could see it if lots were asking for 2.00:1 screens for that reason.

It has a lot to do with individuals tolerance for immersion and also where they would like their seating vs the size screen any given room will support. If you have a lot of width and depth to the room I can see some folks making the compromise to give away a little height to scope in favor of a taller image for say sports viewing.

If there wasn’t IMAX I could easily be very happy with a 2.00:1 AR screen or even if I had low ceilings and deal with IMAX as best I could with a 2.00:1 screen.

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post #12 of 12 Old 05-28-2019, 06:00 PM
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Well, I don't know why so many make such a fuss over masking. I say just get the screen that best fits your room (GO BIG! lol). I went with a 130" 2.35:1 screen because I have 3 towers across the front. Having a screen/TV up in the air like this has never bothered me. Been doing it for over 20 years, never had a sore neck.
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