Scaler - Does this exist - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-01-2020, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Scaler - Does this exist

2 questions for the gurus:

Is there a scaler that supports: A fixed horizontal expansion A lens pointed at a 2.4:1 screen on a 16:9 projector. Such that you never have to use lens memory or slide the lens. Meaning that the scaler will do the vertical stretch when it sees scope movies coming through... and then it will drop the vertical stretch and add horizontal compression when it sees 16:9 come through.

Second question: Does it exist at a cost a mere mortal can afford?

If I have done my thinking correctly that will allow scope content to fill the screen correctly without lost lights... and 16:9 content would play with bars on the left and right.

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post #2 of 10 Old 02-02-2020, 05:04 AM
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If I understand your question, the Oppo 203 UHD Blu Ray player does what you want. It can automagically scale everything to fit on a 2.40:1 screen without any intervention (aside from memorizing what movies have Variable Aspect Ratio.)

But that's not a lens ... it's an AR setting... A simple thing for any new UHD player to support but the UHD player makers are Sloooow to figure this out. The technology behind supporting a 2.40:1 AR setting is the same that has been used by DVD players and displays for years to support 4:3 and 16:9 automatically.

The Oppo is out of production and IS expensive but so are other Video Processors in general.

I just zoom mine manually... for me it's just part of the thrill of setting up a movie. If I host a movie I like to know ahead of time what the movie is and then I will even tweak the black level for the movie in question.

I don't use a Animorphic lens. I just zoom to fit and if the movie isn't 2.40:1 then I draw curtains on the sides to mask.

Last edited by Brian Hampton; 02-02-2020 at 05:09 AM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-02-2020, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post
If I understand your question, the Oppo 203 UHD Blu Ray player does what you want. It can automagically scale everything to fit on a 2.40:1 screen without any intervention (aside from memorizing what movies have Variable Aspect Ratio.)

But that's not a lens ... it's an AR setting... A simple thing for any new UHD player to support but the UHD player makers are Sloooow to figure this out. The technology behind supporting a 2.40:1 AR setting is the same that has been used by DVD players and displays for years to support 4:3 and 16:9 automatically.

The Oppo is out of production and IS expensive but so are other Video Processors in general.

I just zoom mine manually... for me it's just part of the thrill of setting up a movie. If I host a movie I like to know ahead of time what the movie is and then I will even tweak the black level for the movie in question.

I don't use a Animorphic lens. I just zoom to fit and if the movie isn't 2.40:1 then I draw curtains on the sides to mask.
I am really looking for a scaler that will let me keep an A-Len permanently in place in from of my projector. The Lumagen will do it... but it seems super expensive just to use as a scaler.

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post #4 of 10 Old 02-03-2020, 10:03 AM
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I am really looking for a scaler that will let me keep an A-Len permanently in place in from of my projector. The Lumagen will do it... but it seems super expensive just to use as a scaler.
If your projector is 4k and you need to process 4k video, your options are either the Lumagen Radiance Pro, which is very expensive, or an OPPO 203, which is out of production and also very expensive to acquire today, though probably less so than the Lumagen. Either one will do what you describe.

The Lumagen has auto black bar detection, meaning that it will analyze the image and engage the proper scaling to fit it on your screen CIH without you pressing any buttons. (However, note that the switch is not really fast enough to deal with Variable Aspect Ratio movies like The Dark Knight.) It also has much more granular scaling to deal with even oddball aspect ratios like 2.0:1 and 2.2:1.

The OPPO 203 requires you to manually change the zoom setting for each aspect ratio. It also only basically has two settings: 16:9 or 21:9. So it's not as convenient for those oddball ratios.

The upcoming MadVR Envy promises aspect ratio controls comparable to the Lumagen Radiance Pro, including auto black bar detection, but it will also be priced comparably to the Radiance Pro.

If your projector is only 1080p, there are older scalers (mostly Lumagen) and OPPO players that can probably be acquired cheaper. Only the Radiance Pro model has the auto black bar detection, however.

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post #5 of 10 Old 02-07-2020, 11:12 AM
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Not to hijack the thread- but on a related note would you lose pixels if using the oppo vs lumagen for scaling- Not sure if I’m stating that correctly
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-07-2020, 12:01 PM
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Not to hijack the thread- but on a related note would you lose pixels if using the oppo vs lumagen for scaling- Not sure if I’m stating that correctly
When watching 16:9 content on a 2.35:1 screen, the only way to keep all of the original resolution is to use the projector's optical zoom to shrink the image into the center of the screen, then zoom it back up again later for scope movies.

The other options are:

- Add an anamorphic lens ($$$). For scope content, the projector or other scaler will stretch the image vertically and cut off the letterbox bars. You actually gain pixel resolution (though not real picture detail) and brightness on these movies. For 16:9 content, you will lose 25% horizontal resolution because the scaler has to throw away pixels to squeeze the image into the center of the panel. Most people find that this isn't too noticeable, especially with 4k material.

- Zoom the projector to fill the width of the screen permanently (no anamorphic lens). Scope movies will fill the screen with no change in resolution and the letterbox bars will simply spill over onto your walls. However, 16:9 content has to be scaled down 25% in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. Again, you might not notice this with 4k source material, though it might be noticeable with 1080p or lesser resolutions.

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post #7 of 10 Old 02-07-2020, 12:34 PM
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So from a scaler perspective the oppo would be equivalent to the Lumagen?
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-07-2020, 02:46 PM
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So from a scaler perspective the oppo would be equivalent to the Lumagen?
If the content's aspect ratio is exactly 16:9, yes. The Lumagen also has steps to scale in-between ratios such as 2.0:1 or 2.20:1, which you'll find on a lot of streaming shows and movies these days. OPPO does not.

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post #9 of 10 Old 02-07-2020, 02:48 PM
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Great to know. You just save me over 5k.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-10-2020, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
When watching 16:9 content on a 2.35:1 screen, the only way to keep all of the original resolution is to use the projector's optical zoom to shrink the image into the center of the screen, then zoom it back up again later for scope movies.

The other options are:

- Add an anamorphic lens ($$$). For scope content, the projector or other scaler will stretch the image vertically and cut off the letterbox bars. You actually gain pixel resolution (though not real picture detail) and brightness on these movies. For 16:9 content, you will lose 25% horizontal resolution because the scaler has to throw away pixels to squeeze the image into the center of the panel. Most people find that this isn't too noticeable, especially with 4k material.

- Zoom the projector to fill the width of the screen permanently (no anamorphic lens). Scope movies will fill the screen with no change in resolution and the letterbox bars will simply spill over onto your walls. However, 16:9 content has to be scaled down 25% in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. Again, you might not notice this with 4k source material, though it might be noticeable with 1080p or lesser resolutions.

The 'classic' method of using an a-lens is to have a scaler in your projector (or other device) that is used along side a sled. When watching 16:9 content the lens is moved out of the light beam and the projector fills the 2.4:1 screen with content top to bottom and there are black bars on the side of the image (as that the projector isnt throwing a beam that wide). This way you get the full light output of the projector along with all its resolution.

When you watch scope material you would slide the lens into the light path. This will 'expand' the beam of light to cover the screen top to bottom and left to right. The issue is that the image is then stretched wide. The scaler corrects this by expanding the image vertically and chopping off the black bars digitally.

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