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Discussion Starter #1
This is a quote from a forum member that I thought deserved a thread of it's own.


" Remember, HT prices are falling and technology is improving very quickly. The market for this product will probably not exist in 2 years. Most of us will probably use 16:9 projectors in our next upgrade. At that time, we'll have enough brightness and pixels that we just won't be motivated to add a bulky option like this lens."


I'm not so sure.


First of all, it's not a bulky option. It's very easy to mount and has a huge amount of flexibility to it's mounting options. I personally am going to devise another bracket of some sort to mount the rail to the flat of the wall that my Pj sticks through. It will be a 90 degree affair that will enable me to slide the whole Panamorph lens off and cover the thin bracket rail and G11 lens with a picture. Yes, for those who already have their setups complete, there will be some installation issues to work around, but hey, these are some smart people here on AVS, they'll figure it out. Many already have.


That aside, I think it's important to realize that the benefits we see now with the 16:9 Pannie on a 4:3 projector will also apply to viewing 2.35 material through a 16:9 Pannie on a 16:9 projector.


Example:


I'm viewing 16:9 material through the Pannie on my 4:3 G11. All is perfect.


I cannot stress enough how nice it is to not have the light spill below(or above)the screen. All other benefits aside, this is a huge plus for having this lens.


Now, I put on 2.35 material using the same setup and again have light spill outside the image. Wouldn't having a 16:9 projector viewing 2.35 material through the 16:9 Pannie give the same benefit as in viewing 16:9 material on a 4:3 proector?


Put simply, with a 16:9 projector, you're still going to have light spill and loss of lines of resolution issues with 2.35 material as you do with 4:3 projectors.


Through the many DVDs I've watched so far with my 4:3 G11, I could really, really see having the 2.35 Panamorph for 2.35 material(which there seems to be more of than 16:9 these days). And if I were to buy a 16:9 projector, the lens would stay and I would use it for 2.35 DVDs. Best of both worlds. :)


WHEN the current Panamorph issues are resolved, I'll be getting in line for the 2.35 I believe. Unfortunately, I'm guessing we'll not see another bargain like the $600 price of the 16:9 lens. :(


So no, I don't believe this product will be obsolete anytime soon. If anything, I think it will only get better with more product options as they become more popular.


My two cents.


Chris
 

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Chris - I both agree and disagree with your views on the future of the Panamorph.


I agree that those of us here at the Forum are always looking for ways to squeeze extra performance out of our projectors. For us adding an after market lens like the panny or Isco makes sense. We will gladly put up with the extra size, weight, set-up and cost of these lens to obtain the best possible picture.


However, we are the exception, and a small part of the total "home theater" market.

We are hobbysts, early adopters, geeks, what ever we want to call ourselves. The vast majority of the public is still watching movies on direct view sets or RPTV's.


IMHO these "average" consumers will never have any interest in an anamorphic lens. To them the hassle will not be worth it. Once they buy a one box, "plug and play" projector for the same price as a 60" RPTV, that will be good enough.


Therefor anamorphic lenses will appeal to a very specific, and much smaller segment of the home theater market. This makes the future market for the Panamorph very questionable, (not to mention the company may not survive).


Remember the Sony Betamax? The picture was better than VHS, but the American consumer was more interested in features and lower price than picture quality. If you could manufacture and sell an anamorphic lens for $500 -$750 maybe. At $2,400 it's doomed to fail.


My two cents. Reed.
 

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If Alan is out there I wish he would explain how he uses the ISCO II and Panamorph for 2.35:1 material. Enquiring minds would like to know. Just how are these two set up to do this?


Cheers,


Grant
 

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I have this setup up and running, I have switched my Plus U3-1080 to run at 1024x567 and with the ISCO II it's all set for 2.35:1. With a HTPC and YXY it is fairly easy to do. Effectively all you need to do is resize the overlay to match the ratio you want. It works very well. With DScaler (for external sources) it is even easier, you just set the display screen ratio to 2.35:1 and then the source ratio. DScaler does verything for you.



Jeff
 

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Chris:


That's me you're quoting. I think Reed summed up nicely where I'm coming from. I expect to see DLP and maybe even LCD projectors in 2-3 years that have more pixels, much higher contrast, more brightness and limited or no light spill by that time.


Yes, the Panny could be used with a 16:9 projector to achieve the same affect with 2:35 material that it can with a 4:3 projector and 16:9 material. The point is this, though. If you have a lot more pixels, twice the brightness of, say, the Sharp, more contrast and less or no light spill, is it really worth the trouble? Remember the big benefit of the Panamorph is that it increases pixel utilization and eliminates pixal usage for "black bars". But if you have a lot more pixels and the projector does a much better job of making the black bar pixels actually black, the degree of improvement from the use of the lens could drop drastically.


This belief that projectors are going to be much better in 3 years is not pie in the sky. The archimedes color wheel as I recall will at least double the light utilization of the DLP. That means today's 800 lumen DLP could theoretically jump to 1600.


Twelve degree mirrors will have a marked improvement on contrast. Thumper has shown that relatively simple modifications get rid of light spill. And then there's this whole new generation of LCOS now coming out. The LCD people have made very big strides in a very short time. Who's to say there won't be big improvements there as well?


The vast majority of users want to plop the ol' projector down, point it at the screen, plug it in and watch movies. That's where the industry is headed and that's why the Panamorph is only going to be of interest to a few tweakers in several years.


The other issue is that the material itself is being driven towards the 16:9 aspect ratio and we may well see less and less 2.35 material.


So that was my thinking when I made the statement you quoted.


BTW, I DID try to buy one of these lenses. I just decided I don't need it bad enough to put up with all this Cygnus nonsense. So I'm selling my prebuy spot for just what I paid for it, $868, if anyone is interested. Send me a private message.


Dan
 

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While there is a price sensitivity to the success of any performance enhancing gear, anamorphic lenses have a large potential in a market that has, and will continue to have, explosive growth. The performance enhancement market for audio equipment is evidence of the voracity with which consumers will pursue minor-to-moderate improvements of their equipment. Such gear spans a wide economic range with subjective increments in performance gain. There will eventually be an economy anamorphic device, but it will sacrifice some level of performance, aesthetics, or durability to exist.


Regardless, the applicability and benefits (improved brightness and resolution) of anamorphic devices to most source and displayed aspect ratios is clear. The overall configuration and source material dictate both the ease of use (critical to mass appeal) and overall effectiveness. Assuming the use of an anamorphic device with a 33% distortion factor, we can create two XY grids, with X being source AR and Y being display AR, to illustrate the effects.


The first grid assumes that the anamorphic device is always in front of the display device. This can simplify use, but sacrifices resolution at ARs that are equal to, or thinner than, the display device's AR. In this configuration, only those to the right of the grid diagonal provide an improvement in vertical performance without sacrificing horizontal performance. This is the configuration that I chose for various reasons (Panamorph image shift and insufficient projector zoom come to mind). Ease of use was not a consideration because my configuration is so convoluted that a simple to use component would be an eye-sore :D


The second grid assumes that the anamorphic device is removed for source ARs that are equal to, or thinner than, the display device's AR. This maximizes resolution at all ARs, but can sacrifice some simplicity in use. This grid is the same as the one described above except that the diagonal indicates neither gain nor loss in performance (since the source and display ARs match).
 

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Quote:
Regardless, the applicability and benefits (improved brightness and resolution) of anamorphic devices to most source and displayed aspect ratios is clear.
Yes, with current technology. Not so much with the technology we already know is coming. As the degree of possible improvement drops, the interest will drop as well IMO.

Quote:
Ease of use was not a consideration because my configuration is so convoluted that a simple to use component would be an eye-sore.
Spoken like a true and serious HT junkie! :D


Don't get me wrong. If Cygnus could get their act together, they could sell a lot of these over the next several years for $1500 or so. $2500? I don't think so, not with the price of projectors falling rapidly.


Dan
 

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Dan posted in;
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8&pagenumber=2


by mcg1969

If someone doesn't want to go with this C.O.D. plan, send me a PM. I'd consider covering your costs (initial prebuy price now, plus C.O.D. later), and take on all the risk myself, in exchange for your spot in line. Depends on what your prebuy price was, though.I've already put myself on the ISCO II prebuy as well, but I figure that I can sell off whichever one doesn't suit me.



__________________

Michael



Cheers

John
 

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I guess it depends on your point of view, but 2:35 is very important to me because about 65% of my discs are 2:35 and no 2:35 projector is planned or ever expected.

If we ever get a 1920 x 1080 dlp with 2000 ansi then I want to use that in my 2:35 images as well.

No Hollywood director or any other director is going to shoot in only 16:9 no matter what people think. Aspect ratio is artistic intent and it has absolutely nothing to do with what the display industry is doing. Otherwise we would have only ever got 4:3 for years as that was our Tv shape (sic).


Lets face facts no main stream films use narrower than 1:85:1 so a 1:78:1 projector is indeed wasting pixels and brightness.

As can be seen with 35mm film and Digital Cinema Anamorphic lenses are paramount to doing cinemascope.

As far as I am concerned unless we see native 2:35 projectors Anamorphic lenses have a far bigger part in a dedicated projection home theater than just a few years thats for sure.

with the ISCO2 normally at $1999 and the Panamorph at $2495 you can get 1:78 now or 2:35 when you upgrade to a native 1:78 projector.



DavidW
 

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Thanks, John, someone beat me to it. And I am not being deluged by others wanting the same "great" deal. Tells you something, I think.


Fortunately, I expect I'll be able to get a chargeback. I only put this up here in case someone wanted to take a gamble and it would also be better for Cygnus to have my position transferred rather than charged back.


BTW, the ISCO II group buy is going to establish a lower price for these lenses IMO. One of the biggest flaws in Cygnus's thinking is that they're going to sell many of these lenses for $2500.


Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:
Originally posted by DanHouck
Chris:


I expect to see DLP and maybe even LCD projectors in 2-3 years that have more pixels, much higher contrast, more brightness and limited or no light spill by that time.


Yes, the Panny could be used with a 16:9 projector to achieve the same affect with 2:35 material that it can with a 4:3 projector and 16:9 material. The point is this, though. If you have a lot more pixels, twice the brightness of, say, the Sharp, more contrast and less or no light spill, is it really worth the trouble? Remember the big benefit of the Panamorph is that it increases pixel utilization and eliminates pixal usage for "black bars". But if you have a lot more pixels and the projector does a much better job of making the black bar pixels actually black, the degree of improvement from the use of the lens could drop drastically.


This belief that projectors are going to be much better in 3 years is not pie in the sky. The archimedes color wheel as I recall will at least double the light utilization of the DLP. That means today's 800 lumen DLP could theoretically jump to 1600.


Twelve degree mirrors will have a marked improvement on contrast. Thumper has shown that relatively simple modifications get rid of light spill. And then there's this whole new generation of LCOS now coming out. The LCD people have made very big strides in a very short time. Who's to say there won't be big improvements there as well?


The vast majority of users want to plop the ol' projector down, point it at the screen, plug it in and watch movies. That's where the industry is headed and that's why the Panamorph is only going to be of interest to a few tweakers in several years.


The other issue is that the material itself is being driven towards the 16:9 aspect ratio and we may well see less and less 2.35 material.


So that was my thinking when I made the statement you quoted.



Dan
Dan, I understand your thinking, but the future will always have newer and better things on the horizon and I don't believe you'll hear anyone saying "my 16:9 projector has all the pixel density and brightness I could ever want" anytime soon.


My thoughts and comments are coming not from the "what if", but from the "what now", and I think the "what now" has to include what we now have readily available to purchase, or to what we know we will have readily available to buy soon.


Even as the projector market changes for the better, an anmorphic solution to that projector market can and will change with it, IMO.


Even in the used market, say 5 to 7 years, a person could pick up a nice 16:9 projector, put a Pannie to it and have a great set up.


Chris
 

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I think there are two basic topics to this thread.


1. Will there be a need/use for anamorphic lenses in the future.

2. Will the Cygnus/Panamorph product be the lens.


Yes, there will always be a use for and market for an anamorphic lens. That market will be a small percentage of the home theater market, but it will exist now and into the future.


It is very doubtful that Cygnus and the Panamorph will survive. Why? Competition. For $1,000 +/- you can buy an anamorphic lens from ISCO. This is from a well established, reputable company. Unless you are forced to use the Panamorph because of your current set-up, why would you spend $2,500 and not $1,000? Obviously I am not talking about the people who got in at the prebuy price of $600 or so.


The biggest market for the Panamorph is those who, because of their setup, can not use the ISCO. As more people buy new projectors, we will just pick projectors, screens and set ups that work with the ISCO.


If both products cost around the same amount then the consumer could decide based on performance or individual needs. At 2.5 times the price, not many people will be picking the Panny if they have a choice.


Reed.
 

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Reed

If I am not wrong the ISCO2 is $1999 not $995 normally.

If you compare the rrp it is $1999 (ISCO) vs $2495 (P752) and then whatever discounted price you can get. If you are comparing retails against retails it is more representitive. Otherwise you could have compared $995 (ISCO) vs $600 (P752) on the prebuys. Makes no sense otherwise. That is unless ISCO now has the ISCO2 at $995 at any stage you may want to buy in the future.

If that is the case why worry about a Prebuy at AVS ????


DavidW
 

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I was just going to make the same point that David did. I also think that the $2495 current retail price for the Panamorph is intentionally set so high that no one will actually try to buy one right now. If all of the problems miraculously get solved, I think the Panamorph will be priced competitively with the ISCO. It doesn't seems as if the costs to build the two of them should be that different apart from the fact that ISCO is a bigger company and may benefit from being able to share tooling with its other products.


- Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In all actuality, what prompted me to post these thoughts was in watching DVDs through my anamorphic lens. The improvement for me is so satisfying that it made me think of how this all would work with a 16:9 projector, based on Dan's comments.


I wasn't so much trying to guess the future of an anamorphic lens solution as I was in trying to to state a thought that an anamorphic solution won't be obsolete anytime soon. Did that make any sense at all. :D


I do know what I see today though, and what I see with this anamorphic lens is very good. I like it, and if I had a 16:9 Pj, I'd want an anamorphic lens for 2.35 material.


"At 2.5 times the price, not many people will be picking the Panny if they have a choice."


Reed, I can see your point, but........


1. I don't know of anyone who's actually paid $2500 for the lens yet. Street prices eventually are likely to be a little more in line with the ISCO, don't you think?


2. It may be a bad analogy, but the same "At 2.5 times the price, not many people will be picking the Panny if they have a choice" could be said of the Sony G90. Who's to say it's 2.5 or 3.5 times better than a properly set up G15 or similar? Well, a lot of people do. The kind of people who will pay the bucks for the extra nit in performance. There's more of these kinds of buyers out there than we realize.


Based on what I've seen posted so far with the ISCO vs. Panamorph, the Pannie is the better product for a higher percentage of people. Again, based on what I've read. I've never seen the ISCO lens.


Chris
 

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Hey Chris,


I think you're right about the applicability of these lenses for a while, esp. with DILA. When the next panel trickles down to us @ 2000X1500 or so, it too will be 4:3. Of course, full pixel utilisation will be less critical, but light spill will remain a factor.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, mrbadog, and I don't know about anyone else, but I seriously don't see myself selling my G11 anytime soon. I fully intend to keep it in use for a long time to come. Replace a bulb every couple of years, no big deal. As long as the eletronics inside go the distance, I'll be extremely satisfied with it for many years.


Well.........that is until I go to CES in January and see the G90 again. :mad: :D


Chris
 

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Chris Satterlee

I agree I think the street price will be pretty close between the two. Its a little hard to compare at this stage because the Panamorph is eventually going to be sold to retailers so the $2495 price is not the street price. Just as the $1999 is not the street price for the ISCO2.

I think my Panamorph is great and I do not think I will be not be running it even when I can get a 1920x1080 Dlp. I am about to change to a 16:9 Dlp and the screen will change from a 16:9 grayhawk to a 2:35 grayhawk.


DavidW
 

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Discussion Starter #19
David,


Does that mean you're going to be selling your 16:9 Greyhawk?


Chris
 

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This is an interesting thread. :)


Chris, my point is that as resolution, contrast and improvement of problems like light spill move forward, the degree of improvement possible with an add on lens, any lens, is going to drop significantly. And when that happens, the market for said lens also will drop. That doesn't mean that some people who strive for perfection will not continue to buy them but that group will be, as Reed points out, pretty small.


No doubt Panamorph, with manufacturing improvements to cut defects and cost, is a superior product. Right now, though, it is in the hands of underfunded company(s) with, at best, problematic management. The best chance of survival of Panamorph is for it to be picked up by a company that has the resources to make it into a viable product and sell it at an attractive price point.


As for lens prices, they are going to fall. The Isco group buy shows clearly the profit point is far lower than $1995. Isco isn't selling lenses at a loss, unlike Cygnus. When projector prices fall as they have been doing, it puts pressure on the accessories as well. FPTV for consumer HT is a relatively new area that is now entering that phase, characterized by entry of mass-market electronic suppliers, when choices/competition multiply rapidly, technologly advances rapidly, and prices fall drastically.


Three years from now, we're going to be looking at vastly improved products (over the $6-10K stuff now) selling in the $3-$5K price range. I expect the major players to be DLP with better color wheels and mirrors, LCD with better contrast/black level, and LCOS with better resolution and elimination of the bulb heat/cost problem.


There will be a place for the Panamorph if it ends up in the hands of a competent company that can manufacture it and sell it for a reasonable price. This isn't Cygnus/ViSR IMO.


When I can buy said lens and know it will be delivered, know that if something happens and it arrives broken it will be promptly replaced, and know that if problems surface down-line there's a real company behind the product, then I'll buy a Panamorph. Those conditions are not met by the current players.


Dan
 
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