Originally Posted by sage11x
Scott's on point on the HT5550-- My only experience is the limited time I got with it at the BenQ launch event in NY-- but I can ask.
As for BenQ US not knowing about incoming firmware-- that's simply not accurate from what I've seen. One of the really positive things I've noticed in my dealings with BenQ is the company appears to have excellent internal communications. I've often asked questions or given feedback and received answers mere hours later which means BenQ has a very open line between those that design and engineer the product and those that market the product.
As for the A lens mode-- I never owned a W1070 but I can tell you none of the other models I've reviewed from them have had a anamorphic mode. The HT2050 had a mode that was confused as an anamorphic mode but it actually isn't. The 'letterbox' aspect is not actually intended for an A lens and it's a poor fit as it actually clips off the top and bottom edges of the picture. From the manual:
Scales a picture to fit the projector’s native
resolution in its horizontal width and resizes the
picture height to the 3/4 of the projection width.
This makes a picture greater than the screen height.
The top and bottom edges of the displayed picture
are cropped. This suits the contents which are
produced in letter box format (with black bars on
the top and bottom).
I believe @dreamer
discussed this at length in his review of the HT2050A
There's obviously some confusion here - this is the same quoted information you'll find in the W1070 manual. The first part of the description is generically referring to the full 16:9 image being resized. You will lose content top and bottom in all cases - but the letterbox image is a special case with black bars top and bottom that you intend to lose.
The Letterbox mode "suits the contents which are produced in letter box format". It stretches the letterbox image vertically to fill the screen while leaving the horizontal width as is (which is want you require for a horizontal expansion lens like the earlier, non vertical compression Panamorph's). Now, the BenQ doesn't do this 100% accurately as dreamer correctly stated in his review (1.28 versus 1.33), but it's close. On a 2.35 screen 45" tall, it leaves black bars of .65" top and bottom, but it doesn't lose any content. Adjusting the image slightly larger to spill over onto a velvet frame can remove these thin black bars if you choose.
It really is not correct stating that "The 'letterbox' aspect is not actually intended for an A lens and it's a poor fit as it actually clips off the top and bottom edges of the picture." The point of providing this mode is to accommodate an A-lens with horizontal expansion of the image. It has been around for years on the W1070 and now, we see exists on the 2050. I would guess possibly other earlier units as well. We have been taking advantage of this feature for years.
So, this is what some of us are looking for from BenQ on the HT3550 and HT5550; call it what you like, but an aspect mode that vertically stretches the image (letterbox with black bars) so that the black bars are removed, and our existing A-lens setups will expand the image horizontally to fit our scope screens.
If yourself or Scotty can follow up with BenQ maybe they can be convinced to provide the feature once again. I will say that I have sent two emails to BenQ support asking about this missing aspect setting over the past couple months - but sadly they have not replied to either.