Originally Posted by Ruined
Although used I have seen some great deals on them.
$3000 is the great deal used price, that's about the lowest I've seen an ISCO lately. I wouldn't consider putting a prism based lens in front of a 4K projector, even if their optics are up to the challenge (like a Panamorph DC1 or UH480) they're not adjustable/focusable, so you can't get them dialed in perfect unless you happen to have exactly the right throw.
Personally unless one is height limited (generally far less common than width limited) I don't see the purpose of CIH.
Because Star Wars
is supposed to be bigger than 40 Year Old Virgin
The premier home formats are all 16:9 and you can get the same effect via masking - plus if not height limited you get a smaller picture for 1.85:1, 1.66:1,.1.37:1 with CIH.
Except you don't get the same effect. If you setup your theater for a nice, comfortable 16:9 image, then scope films are only 56% as big as their supposed to be. Before I went CIH, putting in an epic scope film was always a let down because instead of being the biggest, most majestic, most immersive thing shown, they were the smallest, least impressive, least immersive. The Star Destroyer flying over your head at the opening of Star Wars
is supposed to be massive, even overwhelming, you don't get that in a CIW setup, instead it's cropped down into a little window on your screen, smaller than the talking heads on the news or a silly sitcom.
Scope in a CIH setup is perceptually 77% larger than it is in a CIW setup.
CIH also prevents proper reproduction of varying aspect ratio movies and may require subtitle repositioning in some cases.
"Proper" is interesting in that phrase, because for the vast majority of those movies, and the vast majority of the folks who watched those movies (ie not in an IMAX) they were shown CIH, and most of them are CIH safe on disc as well, so you can watch them CIH just like you saw them in the theater. That said, if you're really interested in maintaining the "proper" presentation of those films, then they should be larger and wider than your regular 16:9 content, something a CIW setup doesn't do. If you want to do that, you want to think about a CIH+IMAX setup, which is a 16:9 screen, semi-permantently masked to scope, and only opened up of those handful of IMAX films.