Daft question time: why CIH and not CIW?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Smurfin, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    I've been out of the projector market for a while, and shortly (hopefully) going to be jumping right back in once I get my dedicated room sorted. The last time I had a dedicated room (many many years ago when I had a Sanyo Z1 :eek: ), I was constantly irritated by the grey bars on scope material, and made some bodgit masking out of curtain poles and some black curtain material.

    I always loved the look of properly framed scope images (the cinema feel is somewhat diluted without it), but since those days scope screens have become widely available, along with anamorphic lenses, masking systems and zoom memory functions.

    However, there's something quite basic which I've never got. I understand the thinking of maximising the resolution with an anamorphic lense and also the replication of the cinema experience where the curtains draw back and keep on going, but going down this route in the home leaves you with a much smaller 16:9 image.

    Given that most dedicated rooms are driven by the ultimate room width, and therefore regardless of screen ratio, the width of that screen is fixed, I don't quite understand why people wouldn't get a 16:9 screen and mask horizontally rather than vertically?

    This surely also gives you the flexibility for movies where the subtitles sometimes appear in the black bars, whilst maximising the screen size for 1.78:1 presentations, HDTV, gaming etc?

    I know you get that "wow" factor with the masking drawing back, but that wow only lasts as long as it takes for the masking to do it's job. Am I missing something obvious here?
     
  2. pRot3us

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    For me the whole point of getting a CIH scope setup would be exactly to get that extra width wow factor. If setup properly for optimal seating position and screen size a scope movie would look wide (towards the edges of the scope of vision) but a 16:9 and thereby taller image with the same width would look too big IMO.

    However I do to a degree understand where you're coming from especially if watching a ~4:3 film on a scope screen.

    For me a perfect setup would be one like Rich H's, with semi-automated variable masking.

    See his thread here (post 4 in particular)

    The other thing to take note of is that black level performance of current projectors has come on leaps and bounds and may not cause as much annoyance as they did with your old PJ. I've been annoyed by grey bars with previous projectors too, but am very happy with my current machine :) (that doesn't mean I wouldn't love a setup like Rich's though)
     
  3. dovercat

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    My guess would be that increasing image height would mean increasing viewing distance, as image height is usually used in viewing distance recommendations. While increasing width just makes it more immersive without making you want to move your seat.
     
  4. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    That's often a misconception that people have, or the result they get if they set up there screen and seating distance purely with scope in mind, and haven't thought about seating distance or viewing angles for 16:9.

    If you set up your seating for 16:9, so that it's the right height and viewing angle for you, the scope image is as Dovercat says, the same height, only wider - just as designed way back in 1953. :)

    So if you were going for a 16:9 screen, you would set that up so that you were happy with the screen size etc. Then, when upgrading to scope, you get a 2.35:1 screen that is the same height as your 16:9 screen. Scope movies are then 77% larger than they would be on a 16:9 screen (SIW) of the same height. See the link in my sig.

    You don't have to use an A lens, you can zoom as well, so try that first and see how you get on. if you're happy with the result, don't look at a lens as you may get upgraditus and they can be a little expensive.

    Of course, it's not for everyone, and you may find you prefer a straightforward 16:9 set up, but I would try experimenting with scope before you buy a screen (use the wall) and see what you think.

    Gary
     
  5. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Ok, that makes sense to me, except alot of the time when I've seen dedicated rooms, the 16:9 image takes up most of the viewing wall anyway?

    I think I need to sketch out the different options to see which would work best. As a matter of interest, how do you get round scope movies with the subtitles in the black bars?
     
  6. s_inman

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    I bought my lens before I started building my room (it's an expensive risk if you decide not to go scope). Before deciding on my screen size I fired the projector on the wall and decided on a 110" diagonal scope screen, my viewing distance is around 9ft and to me it looks great! 1.85:1 material looks good and scope is even better.

    Some folks have told me my viewing distance is too close for my screen but to my eyes it's ok, I would strongly suggest trying it yourself :).

    Stuart.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  7. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    You don't need to fill the height - you fill the width with the scope image and sit close enough so the height is correct for your viewing preferences (between 2 to 4 screen heights is the usual range, with closer being more immersive). If your room is too small, then you might find going scope a bit tricky to work well. If you're not worried about 2.35 movies being smaller than 16:9, then stick with a 16:9 screen. Usually, most people that go for a scope set up much prefer it to 16:9.

    My last scope screen was only 8 feet wide, and I was using a 720 pj with an A lens. I sat at 3 times the screen height and watched mostly DVD. With HD you can sit closer if you want to, but see what feels most comfortable. Where do you usually sit in a commercial theatre?

    I don't watch many movies that have subtitles, but you can use players like those from Philips and Oppo, or a HTPC that will move the subtitles into the image area for you. Those that zoom say that quite often you can still read the subtitles under the screen anyway.

    How wide is your room?

    Gary
     
  8. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    A lot of people don't realise how close they sit in a commercial theatre and would probably find they sit somewhere similar to where you do if they measured it out. :)

    Even THX suggest a viewing distance of around 2.4 x image height with full HD material, so you're a little further back than they'd recommend, but it's a personal thing.

    Gary
     
  9. DrugstoreCowboy

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    I tried horizontal masking but scope movies were a real let down, it felt like I was being robbed of height rather than gaining width.
     
  10. scottrichardson

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    Well from a technic standpoint, when watching scope movies you ARE LOSING height since you are no longer getting 1080 vertical pixels, instead you're getting round 800 pixels.

    So ignoring image height vs seating distance, the most sensible method WOULD be top/bottom masking for your screen rather than horizontal.

    What we REALLY need is a scope format that retains the 1080 vertical lines, but expands upon the horizontal ones so we end up with 2538 x 1080 pixels.

    But as has been concluded, the reality is the complete opposite of what's technically happening. I'm a proud owner of a 130" 16x9 screen... and my seating position is around 2.5 times screen height which is perfect for 16 x 9. But scope movies feel a bit small, and not wide enough. I would give anything for my screen to be the height it is now, but scope width. It would be HUGE but sadly my JVC HD950 barely fills my 130" with enough light as it is. I think my next projector will be a Sim2 or something of similar capabilities so I can fill a much bigger screen. Just got to convince my wife to let me spend $30k on a projector... I'll let you know how I go haha.
     
  11. Smurfin

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    Thanks for the replies, some of which make sense and others...well I think it's case of approaching it from different ends!

    Am I right in thinking then, that if you are using the maximum width of the wall that the screen is on, and the viewing distance is correct for a 16:9 image, then you should go with horizontal masking? And if (when using the full width of the wall) the 16:9 image is too big (i.e. tall), then the optimum solution is CIH?

    My room hasn't been designed yet, but it's likely to be 3.5m x 5.5m, BUT with 2 rows of seating. Given this, and listening to everyone's comments, I wonder if a CIH setup would be more appropriate for me, as I can potentially use almost the entire width of the room without a 16:9 image swamping the front row viewers (although it would be awesome for 3D).
     
  12. scottrichardson

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    Yeah CIH would work best for you at that width. A screen of 3m wide would yield you a height of 128cm. Optimum seating distance is 2.4 x 128cm, which is 3m for the first row. Should provide a pretty immersive experience! More immersive than what my 130" 16x9 screen gives me considering I'm sitting around 4.2m back (which is nice for 16x9).
     
  13. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    It's starting to make more sense :)

    Aside from slightly higher resolution, what benefits do anamorphic lenses provide vs zooming? Aren't they at least a couple of grand? :eek:
     
  14. sammy the squid

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    Let me throw another idea into the hat, namely constant image area :)

    I had a cih setup previously where the scope image was 3.3m wide and the 16:9 around 2.7 wide.*

    Ciw wouldnt really work because of my seating distance and the way the speakers are setup so i did a few calculations and ended up ordering a seymour screen with 2 sets of velvet,magnetic masking panels.

    My scope image is now 3.6m wide (using a lens in scope mode) and the 16:9 image a tad over 3m. This suits me so im happy for now.

    My ultimate suggestion would be this though. You'll have an approx idea of where you'd like your seating..if you already have your pj, fire it up showing content from movies with different aspect ratios, and sit in both tiers of seating and see what you make of it. *Guidelines are marvellous, at guiding-but everyone has different taste and everyone has a different room!
     
  15. sammy the squid

    sammy the squid
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    Well in theory if you're using a lens, then as you've pointed out you're using all the pixels available-in theory this should give you a brighter image.

    On the flip side, if you arnt using a lens-the bigger your image goes, depending on the throw and type of pj, you may get a dimmer image and the image may start to identify pixel structure/blockiness depending on how much zoom you're utilising.

    A decent cylindrical lens whilst not cheap will also have its own side effects like introducing a bit of pin cushion/barrel distortion, depending on the throw ratio and image size you're projecting.*

    If you do go down the lens route, im sure you will, but really do your homework mate :)
     
  16. Normal Bias

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    I bought a scope screen (106" diagonal) which I used for CIH with a panasonic AE3000 to do the zooming. With this setup, 16:9 was too small (and with a corner TV I couldn't go any larger with the screen).

    With 3D now I find I need the biggest viewable area I can get. There also seems to be a lot of 16:9 3D material, so I have decided to go CIW, with the width being the widest I can fit in my room (height is also a factor)

    My current PJ has very little zoom range, and after much careful measuring, I plan to get one of these, as they do a 2.5m width which is hard to find:

    Screenint-Euroscreen S.r.l

    This is two screens in one housing, and you can have different material for each. The screens share the same centre, so no messing about with zoom or focus is needed.

    I plan to have a "lumi grey" 2.35 for films (or 2.4 if they can do it, as most scope films seem to have small top/bottom borders on my current screen) and a white 16:9 for 3D. It will be in the ceiling void replacing the one that's in there currently. :smashin:
     
  17. Peter Parker

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    When you zoom, the pixels or image source get 33% bigger - it's like moving your seating 33% closer. You can see the image get bigger and sometimes that can make the image look a little 'chunky' compared to using a lens where the pixel height remains the same - you're using all 1080 pixels rather than zooming up 817 of them to fill the same area. Depending on the pj, that may limit how close you can sit before the chunkyness, pixels or even screendoor become noticeable to you, so it depends on what you notice and the pj you use. There are plenty of JVC users with lenses as well btw so it's not limited to a particular technology.

    As has been mentioned, there are other things that can change, but for me, seeing things get 33% larger as I zoomed the image was a deal breaker, and the image the lens gave was better overall, so I stuck with a lens. I had been zooming up until then.

    Some people mention that scaling is a bad thing, which in theory it is, but you have to weigh up the pros and cons of what you see with either method and ideally you need to see the comparison to come to your own conclusion.

    Having said that, there are plenty of people out there who are happy with zooming so try that first.

    Gary
     
  18. scottrichardson

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    LOL, and there you go,.... someone just announced a 2560 x 1080 cinema scope TV set:

    CinemaWide - YouTube
     
  19. Smurfin

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    Well the Philips failed, so can't see this being successful
     
  20. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    I think Visio in the US were going to bring one out too, but I don't know if that happened either.

    Gary
     
  21. stainless-steel

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    The most important factor is your room, and your preference.

    I've just gone with a CIW setup, using an electric variable masking screen. I went for the maximum width that my room could accommodate at 2.35:1 without compromising the accoustics by pushing the speakers too far into the room's corners.

    At my seating distance, which is dictated by the room not the SMPTE, the pixel structure is invisible, and the image bright enough to make me wince if I don't close down the pj's iris.
    The screen also perfectly frames 4:3, 16:9, 1,85:1 and 2,35:1 without any black bars, or issues with subtitles, at the touch of a button.
    It's also 4k and super hi-vis compliant and supports all colour spaces. As a bonus it doesn't need a scaler, HTPC or new blu-ray player to shift subtitles.

    I was dead set on going for lens based scope set up, but I'm glad I didn't now. Be careful you don't end up with several thousand pounds worth of kit that's optimised solely for one aspect ratio - unless you heart's dead set on 2,35:1 at the expense of all others.

    I am playing devil's advocate to some extent, a (nother) CIH vs CIW thread would be pointless - but there are several ways to approach the issue of ARs, some more complicated and expensive than others, although they do give you an excuse to spend several grand on new kit if you want to.
     
  22. Smurfin

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    Just stood in the garage for 5 minutes trying to picture the cinema room. When you're physically in the room you realise how small distances are (for some reason I always find that spaces get bigger and bigger in your mind). And to be honest, I don't think I could possible fit the size of 16:9 screen that I would want anyway. Looks like I can go big, but it would need to be scope :thumbsup:

    Next question....anyone here bought any automated masking system e.g. carada masquerade? Love the look of it even if it is expensive.
     
  23. stainless-steel

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    140" Screenline Copernico tab tensioned. Last screen I'll buy.
     
  24. Smurfin

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    How big is the screen in relation to your seating position? And how far back are you?

    I want to avoid spending money wherever possible, so curious as to what the "several" approaches are? :)
     
  25. stainless-steel

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    The viewable width is about 9.5' and my head is around 17' from the screen. Not perfectly in line with the spec, but then I don't want the sofa three feet away from the back wall as it'd be a waste of space and I'm not dragging the furniture around to watch a film!

    At that distance 2,35:1 is as wide as I can get it and completely immersive. 16:9 is not too big by any stretch of the imagination. The first film I watched was Tron (don't say anything, I'm claiming Olivia Wilde as my motivation!) when the film switches from in immersive scope image to the 16:9 (IMAX?) sections the effect was stunning. Not that there are many films with that switch, but... No black bars and just one button to press.
     
  26. Peter Parker

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    With CIH you can use ordinary curtains (cheap), and you can get them automated too if you like. I used a simple Argos pull cord track and made the curtains to suit (£15 at the time). What I like about that, is that all aspect ratios are the same height and you just mask the sides accordingly. Simple and effective if that's the route you go, but not as cool or easy to use as the Carada or similar system.

    Beamax do a manual system here:

    1:2.35 aspect ratio fixed frame projection...


    Gary
     
  27. Pecker

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    I think Smurfin' original point has got lost in the mix.

    If you have a room that can fit in a 3m wide (maximum) screen then you won't be getting a larger 2.35:1 image by going CIH, you'll just be getting a smaller 16:9 image.

    Smurfin', in short, you're right.

    I'm CIW myself at the moment (domestic considerations, etc), but when I get my dedicated room back I'll certainly be going CIA 2.05:1.

    This is the aspect ratio used in most arthouse cinemas where they regularly show a variety of aspect ratios, as I suspect you do at home.

    As ever, whichever way you go, do as much testing and demoing as possible first to see what suits you, and listen to as many different opinions as possible so you make a fully informed decision.

    Good luck and happy viewing.

    Steve W
     
  28. Bert Coules

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    Hi Gary. Thanks for that link; very interesting.

    I'm just about to replace my temporary screen - which in the usual way of quick-fix lash-up solutions has served me well and faithfully for a good few years - with a DIY version of something very similar: CIH with independently-operated manual side masking. It would be interesting to see the full spec and prices of the Beamax model but I'm having no luck finding information: curiously, it doesn't seem to be listed anywhere on the manufacturer's website. I've tried various of their UK suppliers too, but in vain. Do you know of anywhere that gives the details?

    Bert
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  29. Peter Parker

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    Hi Bert,

    I think the guy in the video is Beamax's own Otto who posts here, so you could always try dropping him a PM and see what he has to say.

    As much as I like electric solutions, and they do look pretty slick, they often come at a premium. For the amount of aspect changes I would have to make when watching a movie, it used to take me just a few seconds to open or close the curtains to get the aspect masked correctly. That would usually be just the once per viewing, so the Beamax solution would suit me just fine too.

    If you find anything out, could you either post it here or drop me a PM please? I won't need one just yet, but it would be nice to know it was out there and available.

    Cheers

    Gary
     
  30. Rickyj @ Kalibrate

    Rickyj @ Kalibrate
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    What do you want to know. We have most of the info;)
     

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