16:9 TV shows vs Cinemascope movies - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-26-2019, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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16:9 TV shows vs Cinemascope movies

Hello,

Wasn't sure where to put this thread, could not find a specific area.

I don't know if this is just my impression, but do TV shows look too large on a large screen? On my 106" screen a lot of TV looks oversized, while feature movies in Cinemascope look like they would look even better on an even larger screen. Pacific Rim (16:9) is ok(?), but TV shows in formats closer to cinemascope don't really have the same feel as a feature film.

Is this because of the different medium and the filming techniques?
It would make sense that TV producers would format their product for smaller diagonal displays, and movie producers for large cinema screens.
Do TV shows really look better on a smaller screen?

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post #2 of 20 Old 02-26-2019, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by noob00224 View Post
I don't know if this is just my impression, but do TV shows look too large on a large screen? On my 106" screen a lot of TV looks oversized, while feature movies in Cinemascope look like they would look even better on an even larger screen. Pacific Rim (16:9) is ok(?), but TV shows in formats closer to cinemascope don't really have the same feel as a feature film.

Is this because of the different medium and the filming techniques? Yes.
It would make sense that TV producers would format their product for smaller diagonal displays, and movie producers for large cinema screens. Of course.
Do TV shows really look better on a smaller screen?
Some do but many others don't. It doesn't bother us, but I did stop the wife from watching her "soap" on the big screen since it is bad enough on the 70" TV.

You should check out the CIH section since regular TV seems too large on your 106" screen...but I'll grant you some shows would probably be better served when watched on a TV. Some of the old 4:3 shows or TV movies blown up to fit 16:9 look terrible due to framing and the large talking heads. However, many shows really benefit by being enjoyed on the largest possible canvas...at least in my house. I picked the canvas which would give me the most given room limits... mainly a limit of only 132" of width to work with. Even with 70", 55", 47", 40" and 32" TVs scattered around the house, we all head to the big screen for all "quality" viewing of movies and TV shows.

...but at the end of the day, a person should pick the format that works for them since there is no wrong answer. In our case, we did the math http://displaywars.com/151,5-inch-16...3,5-inch-235x1 and 16:9 gave us the most "bang for our buck" given our tastes, use and room limits. It helps that it is the format that gives us the most "cinematic" feel regardless of the content watched from 2.35:1 to 2:1 to IMAX to plain old 16:9, and is as simple to use as a TV.
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-26-2019, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by noob00224 View Post
Hello,

Wasn't sure where to put this thread, could not find a specific area.

I don't know if this is just my impression, but do TV shows look too large on a large screen? On my 106" screen a lot of TV looks oversized, while feature movies in Cinemascope look like they would look even better on an even larger screen. Pacific Rim (16:9) is ok(?), but TV shows in formats closer to cinemascope don't really have the same feel as a feature film.

Is this because of the different medium and the filming techniques?
It would make sense that TV producers would format their product for smaller diagonal displays, and movie producers for large cinema screens.
Do TV shows really look better on a smaller screen?
It sounds like you'd be a good candidate for a CIH setup or at least a much larger 16:9 screen where you scale down some 16:9 content to what feels more appropriate to you and scale up scope content wider and then use the entire screen for IMAX. You would need a projector with the ability to zoom for various screen sizes though.
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-26-2019, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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It sounds like you'd be a good candidate for a CIH setup or at least a much larger 16:9 screen where you scale down some 16:9 content to what feels more appropriate to you and scale up scope content wider and then use the entire screen for IMAX. You would need a projector with the ability to zoom for various screen sizes though.
What is CIH?
I sit at about 320cm (10.5ft) from the screen (16:9/1080p). Htpc.

What I usually do with MPC HC is resize the image and remove the GUI (the software has a Minimal Preset which removes everything). But then I don't get 1:1 resolution (if the source is 1080p), the rest of the screen is still lit (black desktop background, but there is still some light), and the whole thing looks a bit weird.
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-26-2019, 09:54 AM
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CIH is Constant Image Height. You get a screen sized for the widest content you watch - typically 2.35:1 scope movies - and then instead of watching wide movies on a narrow screen with black bars on the top and bottom the wide content fills the whole screen and narrower content has black bars on the left and right. This solves the problem of having wide cinematic content displayed with much less immersion than an episode of Wheel of Fortune. There is a separate forum for discussing CIH setups: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/117-2...e-height-chat/
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-26-2019, 11:03 AM
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I thought about your question enough I started a thread about my ideas and my solution. I even named it PIA personal image area.

As Steve mentioned no one is right or wrong so I wanted a method that did it all. You are correct the cinematography used for TV many times is quite different than what the director of an IMAX movie would do even though the two are roughly the same aspect ratio.

When you go into a movie theater you can sit in any row you like and thus select how immersive you view. At home watching TV you figure out where you want your seat placed. When a screen gets huge a lot of rooms are not big enough to move your seat back as far as you might like for TV when it is just right for an IMAX movie. The solution is to zoom. Better high end projectors do this automatically with motors that zoom and focus and shift the image up and down. You can program a bunch of settings and just hit a button and change the size. Cheaper projectors have manual zoom and focus and some have manual shift. If your projector is hanging from the ceiling it is a pain to get up there and adjust things. I have such a cheap projector so I made a DIY slide that moves the projector to change the image size. It is on an incline as well so as the image gets smaller it gets lower and also brighter because the image is smaller. Something like a DVD doesn’t look that good compared to a BluRay. That’s another reason I like to make things smaller sometimes. My screen is max 110” 16:9 and we sit 8’ away. Regular TV we watch at about 75” and that’s still as big as the largest flat screens and the extra brightness allows for some lights on for TV.

Here is the thread I started on the subject. Feel free to post there anytime you want also.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/117-2...h-ciw-cia.html
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-27-2019, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I was looking at the Epson TW 9400 (5050 UB) and it seems to have different formats.

However, doesn't it have a native 16:9 format? How does it achieve 2.35:1, just cuts out the black bars? Does the resolution stay the same?
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-27-2019, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by noob00224 View Post
I was looking at the Epson TW 9400 (5050 UB) and it seems to have different formats.

However, doesn't it have a native 16:9 format? How does it achieve 2.35:1, just cuts out the black bars? Does the resolution stay the same?
There are no 2.35:1 projectors. They are all 16:9 or 17:9. 2.35:1 presentation is achieved one of two ways:

1) Zoom the image in so that the black bars go off the top and bottom fo the screen. The projector is still displaying the black bars but they just aren't falling on your display. The tradeoff is that you are "throwing away" some brightness because you are only using a portion of the projector's image.

2) The 2.35:1 image is stretched to fill the full 16:9 or 17:9 panel and then an anamorphic lens is used to compress it to fit on the screen. These lenses are extremely expensive ($6000+) but then you are using all of the projector's image so the image is ~30% brighter
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-27-2019, 03:36 PM
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Actually in today’s world you will find so many AR’s it will make your head spin. Much streaming “Prestige TV” is coming 2.0:1 some movies contain 2 or more ARs within the same movie TV switches constantly even commercials are 2.35 or 2.55 or wider most TV is still 16:9 most movies are 2.39 and 1.85. IMAX is 1.89. then you have old TV 1.33 or 4:3 and Academy movies 1.35. If you watch the movie Life of Pi the movie is scope and then when the fish jump out of the water they jump into the black bars. The Grand Budapest Hotel has 3 ARs that tell the story as what AR was in use during the time period of the movie switching dozens of times. Movies like The Dark Knight and Dunkirk switch between scope and IMAX.

The only thing you know for sure is a movie is packaged in a 16:9 container and the director uses as much or as little of that container as they want.
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post #10 of 20 Old 03-03-2019, 04:12 PM
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Actually in today’s world you will find so many AR’s it will make your head spin. Much streaming “Prestige TV” is coming 2.0:1 some movies contain 2 or more ARs within the same movie TV switches constantly even commercials are 2.35 or 2.55 or wider most TV is still 16:9 most movies are 2.39 and 1.85. IMAX is 1.89. then you have old TV 1.33 or 4:3 and Academy movies 1.35. If you watch the movie Life of Pi the movie is scope and then when the fish jump out of the water they jump into the black bars. The Grand Budapest Hotel has 3 ARs that tell the story as what AR was in use during the time period of the movie switching dozens of times. Movies like The Dark Knight and Dunkirk switch between scope and IMAX.

The only thing you know for sure is a movie is packaged in a 16:9 container and the director uses as much or as little of that container as they want.
And this seems to be gaining popularity with directors not named Christopher Nolan, too.

"First Man" switched back and forth between ratios as well.

It's actually a pretty effective method of separating different aspects of a story.

I don't understand why some opt for the scope screen. For this reason specifically.
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post #11 of 20 Old 03-03-2019, 08:16 PM
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And this seems to be gaining popularity with directors not named Christopher Nolan, too.

"First Man" switched back and forth between ratios as well.

It's actually a pretty effective method of separating different aspects of a story.

I don't understand why some opt for the scope screen. For this reason specifically.
That’s correct. First Man was shown in IMAX theaters as 1.43 during the lunar sequences and in IMAX1.89 theaters cropped to 1.89. The Bu-Ray version was cropped at 1.78 or 16:9 to fit TV, so that version is actually more immersive or shows more material than the IMAX1.89 version. Dunkirk was cut exactly the same way.

The intended way of watching it is every bit as wide as you would watch scope.

People with scope screens have two options they can make it small and fit it in or they can zoom it to be correct for the scope parts and then let it play off the screen when it expands. Both methods are not acceptable for me.

Avatar played in scope and also in IMAX the director liked the taller AR so that’s what went on the BD release. It was not marketed as IMAX but I feel that’s how it should be shown at home. Starting soon BD will be released as IMAX Enhanced and will have the taller AR.
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post #12 of 20 Old 03-08-2019, 09:50 PM
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And this seems to be gaining popularity with directors not named Christopher Nolan, too.

"First Man" switched back and forth between ratios as well.

It's actually a pretty effective method of separating different aspects of a story.

I don't understand why some opt for the scope screen. For this reason specifically.
Because we don't like the black bars on the rest of the movie. i watch Interstellar, The Dark Knight, and some others on my scope screen. I watched Dunkirk on my 16:9 screen since a majority of that film was 1.78:1. I watched Fallout on my scope screen. It's not worth watching on the 1.78:1 screen for just a couple of taller shots. And you would never know something is being cropped.
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Because we don't like the black bars on the rest of the movie. i watch Interstellar, The Dark Knight, and some others on my scope screen. I watched Dunkirk on my 16:9 screen since a majority of that film was 1.78:1. I watched Fallout on my scope screen. It's not worth watching on the 1.78:1 screen for just a couple of taller shots. And you would never know something is being cropped.
That’s a good way to do it if are really worried about the gray bars. It should be pointed out though if you have a 130” scope screen and you overshoot the IMAX parts onto the boarders you need 9” wide boarders on the top and bottom to catch the overspill.

I personally think I would be more distracted waiting for it to happen and trying to see what I was missing no matter how faint it might be. Or if my boarder wasn’t big enough seeing it spill on the back wall.

In the case of The New movie out First Man there is not very many minutes of IMAX maybe five or something. But the director explained it pretty well that it was saved intentionally for the moon shots as an effect. Here is a good read along with a video of why it was shot that way.

https://www.polygon.com/2018/10/14/1...e-moon-landing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=hJCg_tq16Wg

What is really a shame is we can get a little more than 1.89 at home with 1.77 it would be really wonderful to show it at home full screen width at 1.43 like the director teases us with if happen to live close enough to a real IMAX theater. It is a shame so few people ever get to see these movies as intended.

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To each his own, but I deplore movies with changing aspect ratios. Here's what I think is a shame. I think it's a shame that certain directors insist on not sticking with a single aspect ratio. I don't care what their intent. I don't care how well they explain said intent. I don't like changing aspect ratios during movies. At home I always watch such films at 2.37:1 via my anamorphic lens.

I also don't care for IMAX showings. They're more expensive and every damn one I've been to had the sound up way too loud. My tinnitus started not long after going to see Dunkirk. My ears haven't stopped ringing since. I walked out of that showing after the first 20 minutes. I should have walked out after the first 10 minutes. It was the loudest environment I've ever subjected myself to and I clearly wasn't alone. As I was walking out of the showing there were a number of people I saw pressing their hands up against their ears. The management there said it was supposed to be that loud and so did Nolan when checking online. Totally my bad. I should have known what to expect. Nolan loves to make his audience's ears bleed.

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post #15 of 20 Old 03-09-2019, 08:47 AM
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That’s a good way to do it if are really worried about the gray bars. It should be pointed out though if you have a 130” scope screen and you overshoot the IMAX parts onto the boarders you need 9” wide boarders on the top and bottom to catch the overspill.

I personally think I would be more distracted waiting for it to happen and trying to see what I was missing no matter how faint it might be. Or if my boarder wasn’t big enough seeing it spill on the back wall.

In the case of The New movie out First Man there is not very many minutes of IMAX maybe five or something. But the director explained it pretty well that it was saved intentionally for the moon shots as an effect. Here is a good read along with a video of why it was shot that way.

https://www.polygon.com/2018/10/14/1...e-moon-landing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=hJCg_tq16Wg

What is really a shame is we can get a little more than 1.89 at home with 1.77 it would be really wonderful to show it at home full screen width at 1.43 like the director teases us with if happen to live close enough to a real IMAX theater. It is a shame so few people ever get to see these movies as intended.
Many projectors with multiple user memory settings have a " mask " feature. I had one set up I called " 2.35:1 mask " that blanked out the black bar area so no image would be shown there. Just the scope image would be shown. When i got my Panamorph DCR lens, it became a non issue.
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post #16 of 20 Old 03-09-2019, 08:58 AM
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^^ And I like the changing aspect ratios, but as you said to each their own.

I see it more and more on TV from Truck Night in America to Westworld and even cartoons like Teen Titans Go, but I use a large 16:9 format and the drop to scope isn't as as great of a change going from 151.5" of flat to 143.5" of scope. I know that the director is going for a different "feel" when the aspect ratio changes and that even a "meh" movie like the recent Ghostbusters pops more with the transition from scope to "IMAX" during the action scenes.

...but last night during four hours of Leaving Neverland (scope) I ended up stopping the show during a transition from the scope presentation to old 4:3 footage, and asked the wife what she thought about the smaller content in the already smaller scope box. We agreed that it would have been better if the old 4:3 had expanded rather than decreased to fit the 143.5" scope box which for us is 4:3 of 123.79" vs 93.65". The drop from scope 143.5" to 4:3 of 93.65" is a cliff compared to the gently sloping hill that 151.5" is to 143.5" (16:9) or even a transition to 4:3 of 123.79".

While I can see the merits of a scope screen especially when many home have more width to work with than height, or where seating/personal preference/etc. come into play, it would never work for us given the diversity of aspect ratios that we encounter every day. Between Amazon, Netflix, hundreds of cable channels and the 50/50 split of commercial movies, along with IMAX/changing aspect ratio movies, for us...and maybe only us, 16:9 is the best "box". It does every thing well and everything from scope to 4:3 is represented as large as possible given my current home/equipment.

On commercial cinemas...IMAX/scope/etc., I refuse to go. It is just a "let down" vs the comfort of my own home/bathroom/snacks/fellow watchers/sound and even image quality even with my simple equipment/room (no spotlight exit signs, movement in front of me, no cell phone lights). Even with the occasional boredom of the last few years of retirement and a "new-ish" theater within a few miles, we are never tempted to drop in for a movie "day".

At the end, it would be sad for us to have to look at/for the aspect ratio of content prior to watching just to make sure it fits our "box"...but I'll admit, my purchase decision is often swayed towards buying a changing aspect ratio movie just for the "uniqueness" of the presentation rather than catching it for free..ish within a year via Netflix, Amazon or premium cable channels. I actually believe it is cool when a director makes the choice to be different with their art...but it is not a "cliff" transition for us. I noticed when the first Avengers movie came out people complained about the 1:85:1 aspect ratio which seemed odd, but I realize for many on the forum it is a cliff transition come movie night. If I had limited myself to a 143.5" scope screen the drop to a flat blockbuster would've been a cliff drop to 114.61" instead of a "mild" transition from 143.5" to 151.5". (I know that some manipulate the 16:9 to fill the scope so no cliff just odd framing.)

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post #17 of 20 Old 03-10-2019, 06:50 AM
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To each his own, but I deplore movies with changing aspect ratios. Here's what I think is a shame. I think it's a shame that certain directors insist on not sticking with a single aspect ratio. I don't care what their intent. I don't care how well they explain said intent. I don't like changing aspect ratios during movies. At home I always watch such films at 2.37:1 via my anamorphic lens.

I also don't care for IMAX showings. They're more expensive and every damn one I've been to had the sound up way too loud. My tinnitus started not long after going to see Dunkirk. My ears haven't stopped ringing since. I walked out of that showing after the first 20 minutes. I should have walked out after the first 10 minutes. It was the loudest environment I've ever subjected myself to and I clearly wasn't alone. As I was walking out of the showing there were a number of people I saw pressing their hands up against their ears. The management there said it was supposed to be that loud and so did Nolan when checking online. Totally my bad. I should have known what to expect. Nolan loves to make his audience's ears bleed.
There are a lot of things we all deplore about commercial movies. I remember my uncle a WW2 veteran that was in the thick of things in Europe and part of the greatest generation deciding to take my aunt to a movie. They hadn’t been to a movie in at least 20 years and they went to see Summer of 42 (1971). They only made it half way into the movie when they walked out. I remember him complaining about the filthy language and raunchy subject matter. It was their first R rated encounter having grown up in the golden days of cinema. They lived into their late 80’s and never went to the movies again. The movie drew rave reviews in general, won Oscars and all.

I have a sister that detests overly immersive video and often complains of too high of audio in commercial theaters. She can adjust to the immersion by sitting in the back. I also have seen many complain a movie isn’t loud enough when the cut back on the subs in the Cineplex because people in the next theater are complaining. All they can do in a group setting is try and keep the majority of the people happy and if you are on one end or the other of the curve then you have to not go or deal with it.

That’s the beauty of home cinema. You have control of it all and the reason so many of us find it hard to enter a commercial theater even IMAX because we feel we will once again find ourselves wishing we hadn’t.

Convention tells us we should view a movie at home as the director intended. Most people believe that until it doesn’t suit them. People despise the practice of pan n scan when movies are transferred to video for home use, but then despise IMAX because it doesn’t fit their scope screens and crop it down. Sound level is no different If Nolan truly wants you to leave with your ears bleeding and that’s his intent then he’s a director you should pass on. I’m always told how wrong it is that I provide variable image sizing like you would get if you sat in different rows in a theater because it doesn’t hold to CIH standards. That’s just the beauty of home theater to find what works and avoid what doesn’t work for you or your guests. As long as there have been TV sets moms have been telling their kids to turn it down. If we weren’t supposed to adjust it they wouldn’t give us a knob.

If I zoom up a scope movie and let the ends fall off the screen and disappear into the masking it’s a very bad practice but if I take IMAX and chop the top and bottom off it is better.

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post #18 of 20 Old 03-10-2019, 08:14 AM
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To each his own ...
This is the best advice for projection screen aspect ratio selection. It's obvious whenever these discussions come up that different people are more sensitive to different things than others. Every setup has a different set of pros and cons so each person just has to understand them all and figure out which setup has the pros that are most important to them and the cons they can most easily tolerate.
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post #19 of 20 Old 03-11-2019, 12:08 PM
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Because we don't like the black bars on the rest of the movie. i watch Interstellar, The Dark Knight, and some others on my scope screen. I watched Dunkirk on my 16:9 screen since a majority of that film was 1.78:1. I watched Fallout on my scope screen. It's not worth watching on the 1.78:1 screen for just a couple of taller shots. And you would never know something is being cropped.
Most of us also watch sports on TV, Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, and maybe play some video games.

A 16:9 screen is a no-brainer, and I have no desire to add a second screen to my room.

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post #20 of 20 Old 03-11-2019, 03:52 PM
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Most of us also watch sports on TV, Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, and maybe play some video games.

A 16:9 screen is a no-brainer, and I have no desire to add a second screen to my room.
Ironically, I have a 2nd 16:9 screen, but watch zero sports on TV, Netflix, Amazon, Youtube and play no video games.

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