Viewing 2.35:1 & 1.85:1 movies using a constant screen height
This is my first post to this forum. I am ready to upgrade my old Mitubishi 63" big screen television to an overhead projector and fixed on-wall screen.
I would really like to be able to watch both 2.35:1 Cinemascope movies and 1.85:1 Widescreen movies and HDTV using a constant screen height.
In other words, I would like to start with an anamorphic wall-mounted screen such as Stewart's CineCurve that starts at 2.35:1 and masks the sides when watching content in smaller aspect ratios.
What projectors are available today that can accomplish this? The only one I have seen is Runco with their CineWide technology. Can I accomplish the same thing with say the new Sony VPL-VW50 "Pearl" with an anamorhic lense attachment?
Are there other screen companies that produce screens that can accomplish this other than Stewart?
Sorry, no concrete answers for you on the ratio question (I'm a plasma guy at the moment) but there are several knowledgable folks around these parts. On ewill surface soon I'm sure. Just stoppin' by to say welcome to the forum.
So, I broke into the palace
With a sponge and a rusty spanner
She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"
At least three projector companies currently market an anamorphic lens assembly that both stretches vertically and horizontally--Runco/Vidikron, Sim2, and Digital Projection Systems. For all I know, more of them might exist at this point. Prismasonic offers an aftermarket kit that accomplishes the same thing. You might check hout their website for general information about the anamorphic option for 2.35 in a 1.78 setting and their specific products (google it). If bought a la carte, an anamorphic lens would need some unit--whether the projector, a DVD player, or a scaler--that would be able to stretch images vertically to the screen height, before the lens stretched it horizontally. Obviously, if the projector isn't capable, and you want to include TV in the mix, an external scaler would be unavoidable. A good dealer would set you straight about suitable projectors, lenses, and screens. I personally don't know of any company besides Stewart with a curved 2.35 screen. Another good resource for this entire topic is the front-projection forum at AVS, which has a bunch of dedicated anamorphic contributors. I haven't visited in a long time.
Thanks for the good info everyone! I did more research and went over to the AVS forum. They have a huge thread dealing with this very issue. It looks like I can buy an anamorphic lense attachment from a company called Panamorph for around $1,000. Also looks like many good projectors offer the vertical stretch option in the onboard software.
Carada has a 136" 2.35:1 screen available for under $1,000! Has anyone had experience with Carada before? Would the Classic Cinema White material with a 1.0 gain or the Brilliant White material with a 1.4 gain be better for a LCD projector like the Sony "Pearl" with 900 ANSI Lumens of output? The room with be completely blacked out, so no worries about light control.
Also looks like I can just use curtains on the side of the screen that can move back and forth to mask the unused portion of the 2.35:1 screen when watching smaller aspect ratio content. This will save alot of money on a screen masking system.
Any opinions on buying an outboard scaler like the DVDO and a cheaper projector, or should I just buy a more expensive projector with the software onboard?
Thanks again for your help. This is SO much cheaper than going with a Runco/Vidikron setup!
The Sony Pearl is SXRD, or LCoS, not LCD. If you bought it, along with the Panamorph lense and a relatively affordable scaler like a DVDO iScan (which would certainly help with the display of your sources in other respects), the total expense would still be a lot less than the Runco package that you mentioned initially. Given a fully darkened room, I wouldn't think that you'd need a high-gain screen with it either. Setups with this degree of precision and difficulty, however, are very difficult to accomplish in the abstract. Unless you have experience or a lot of patience and skill, you would do well to get an installer involved. The only other alternative is to follow the AVS thread for people in situations like yours, asking detailed questions, and to consult a web dealer, like Projector Central, so that you don't make aesthetic or practical mistakes that you'll have to eat.