1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion

Posted by: nickbuol

1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 02:24 PM

So in my theater build, I was set for the longest time on a 2.35:1 screen width to height ratio. These are for the really wide (scope) movies that are just pure awesome... Well, anyway, I was talking to a guy at work, and he has the more traditional 1.78:1 ratio (regular HDTV format)and likes it a lot. I really like the look/feel of the wider 2.35:1 format for the room. Seems more theater like than a giant living room TV feel

I had a 104" 1.78:1 in my previous theater, and the bars at the top and the bottom always drove me nuts. I tried making a masking system, and it was great in design, but a pain in construction and usability. My new projector has motorized screen shift, zoom, and focus with memory presets, so it can really do whatever I want without an expensive lens system (I know the benefits, but I also know the costs of using a lens).

So here is the question. In order to get the 2.35:1 screen to the size that I want (width limited in the room) I would have a viewable screen size of about 52" tall by 122" wide. That comes to a 133" diagonal image. With my projector, it is basically "zooming" to make the image fit that size, and letting the black "bars" at the top project off of the screen on to a black background/wall. Viewing HDTV on this screen would yield a 106" diagonal image with black bars on the sides. We rarely watched TV in our theater, so the primary use would be movies and less HDTV format than others might watch.

OR, for the same width (since that is my limit), I could get an extra 16" in height on the HDTV (1.78:1) format and end up with a 140" 1.78:1 image, and still the same 52" x 122" (133" diag) image of the 2.35:1.

The problem comes back to needing to mask off the screen. I can't use curtains since I will be going with an acoustically transparent wall for the screen with the speakers behind it. So I would need to make some rigid panels if I wanted to block off the extra screen height (or width for that matter).

Thoughts? Practical experience?
Posted by: Murph

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 02:58 PM

I went with 2.4:1 because I knew I would primarily watching movies.

However, I didn't vote as there is no longer any easy answer. I have watched movies that I discovered were filmed in 1.78:1 (Avatar) and I have a lot of concert videos and they seem even more random. Plus, there are a bunch of movies shot in 1.85:1.

In the end, I think it just comes down to whether you like horizontal bars or vertical bars. There seems to be no escaping the bars.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 03:15 PM

That is my problem. It thought is was clear cut... Now I am not so sure.
Posted by: RickF

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 03:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Murph
There seems to be no escaping the bars.


Sounds like my younger days Murph.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 03:26 PM

Yeah, I'm with Murph. The bars will be there for some portion of your viewing experience.

I wondered the same thing - aspect ratio - when I did my HT back in 2006. At that time, there were a lot more movies in 1.85:1 than there were in 2.35:1, and I watched a fair amount of HDTV off of DirecTV, so I was (am) happy that I went with a 1.85:1 screen. Remember, there's some really good TV programming out there - Palladia, NatGeo, HBO, Showtime, etc - so I wonder if you may end up watching more TV than you think. I know that I've enjoyed True Blood and Dexter in the HT a lot more than I did when I watched them on my 42" TV upstairs.

Still, there's a part of me that wonders what a 2.35:1 screen would be like.

I think that you can make a case that either screen is correct.

Glad to be of help! crazy
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 03:28 PM

I'm a big fan of the wider screen. More cinematic. I haven't watched a narrower image on one of these 2.35:1 screens yet, so I don't know how the bars would affect anything. There is a store locally that has a 2.40:1 screen where I could check this out, which I probably should do one of these days.

I also plan on going with an AT 2.35:1 screen one of these days, but because of space limitations it would be either a 9 or 10 foot wide screen. I'm thinking just leaving the bars uncovered, unless it's too distracting, which I doubt it would be, but you never know for sure.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 03:37 PM

Originally Posted By: RickF
Originally Posted By: Murph
There seems to be no escaping the bars.


Sounds like my younger days Murph.

::Like:: grin
Posted by: avjunkee

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 04:01 PM

Most people generally perceive the taller 1.78 image as feeling "bigger" despite the 2.35 image being wider. Going 1.78 gives you the most flexibility and best of both worlds (in terms of acheiving max image size regardless of content ratio), but it sounds like the top/bottom bars might bother you too much. Also, some don't like having a 1.78 movie "feel" bigger than a 2.35 one so they go with a 2.35 screen in order to get a smaller 1.78 image.
Posted by: Nick B

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 04:02 PM

Nick,

Here are some nice links on your question that may help.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1001579

http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=112329

http://www.seymourav.com/screensfixed.asp

The AVS link suggests to put the speakers in the 16:9 area of your 2:35 screen or perhaps even have a motorized sled of something that moves the main speakers depending on the aspect ratio, among other suggestions.

The Seymour company mentions a AT masking panel called Millibel. When I stumbled upon these links last summer I remember reading that there are affordable AT masking options. So maybe the mains can be placed behind the masking????? Or maybe they are suggesting that you want the masking to be as AT as possible so that there is minimal coloration when the speaker is placed behind the screen in the 16:9 area, but close to the edge of it. If you click on the "store" link on the Seymour website you can see the pricing for the screens and masking is quite reasonable at $1500 to $2000.

I too would like to have a super wide 2:35 screen that goes slightly into my peripheral vision, for that extra immersion into the movie. It seems that the only way that the audio would work with this wide of a screen is with an AT screen. Please keep us informed as to what you end up doing, so that we can see some real-world options.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 04:12 PM

Originally Posted By: avjunkee
Also, some don't like having a 1.78 movie "feel" bigger than a 2.35 one so they go with a 2.35 screen in order to get a smaller 1.78 image.


Actually, I'd go 2.35:1 in order to get a bigger 2.35:1 image. %#@*&! the 1.78 image.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 04:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick B
...quite reasonable at $1500 to $2000.




Nah... Too rich for my blood. I went with a nice screen last time. Cost me a bit of dollars despite being more economical than a lot of other options. It was out-done by the casual DIYer. I have seen screens costing 20% of what I paid that were just as good because they were DIY. I am going to be building the whole false wall and the whole thing will be AT, so it will be a DIY screen for me. I want it to look clean from edge to edge. Once you add in a motorized masking system (which is super cool) it ends up adding "depth" to the front of the clean screen wall.

Maybe I could just create a few additional AT panels (in black of course) and stick them up over top of the screen areas that I want to mask. They wouldn't be "clean" since they would sit on top of the wall/screen, but they would be a lot cheaper than some motorized setup.

I am also blessed with a system that does "inky blacks" so maybe the masking won't even be a problem. That is one of the really nice things about getting away from LCD technology.

The "best of both worlds" from a flexibility point of view would seem to be the huge 1.78:1 screen, but as mentioned already, there is a proven psychological effect of a movie being "less impressive" than a TV show with a 1.78:1 screen since the projected amount of image is reduced.

Crap, keep voting people. I've read a ton over at AVS and there seems to be no right/wrong way depending on who you talk to. Then again, hearing about people making "sleds" to move their speakers around is a bit excessive.
Posted by: Nick B

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 05:14 PM

Originally Posted By: nickbuol

The problem comes back to needing to mask off the screen. I can't use curtains since I will be going with an acoustically transparent wall for the screen with the speakers behind it. So I would need to make some rigid panels if I wanted to block off the extra screen height (or width for that matter).


So you don't think that the speakers in the 16:9 area of the screen will be fine? Perhaps also doing width speakers would help. Then you may need to get a new receiver to do this if you don't have one already.

Also, what about making curtains out of speaker black grill material.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 07:16 PM

I think that they will work in the magical 16:9 window that is often referenced over at AVS. My concern is that if the material is too thick (I wonder if something could be created like you mention with the speaker grill material could be done and look nice) that you can get sound waves bouncing around between the false screen wall and the real wall behind the speakers (even with acoustical treatment of the whole wall).

I also really don't want to do anything about wide speakers. I've invested so much in equipment (including more speakers, new projector, new receiver) that I can't see going that route financially or within the plan of what I've already wired up, etc... If I could keep the whole front acoustically transparent, then I can place the speakers beside the screen (like people would do if they didn't have an AT screen) for the wider front sound stage.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 08:04 PM

I can't see the sides of my screen when the lights are out if I'm watching 1.78, but it is a grey screen. Masking systems are fine if all you plan to do is use the HT for movie nights. But if you bounce around from TV, to movie and channels surf, I wouldn't bother with it much. I love the 2.35 experience, but you pay for it. The zoom / lens memory option seam like a PITA to me. I have yet to hear of a projector that gets it right. With an HE lens, it makes life pretty simple. Well, that is if you use an external VP anyway. My vote is for CIH, but only if you swing the VP and lens, which is pretty spendy.
Posted by: Nick B

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 10:12 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
I love the 2.35 experience, but you pay for it. The zoom / lens memory option seam like a PITA to me. I have yet to hear of a projector that gets it right. ... My vote is for CIH, but only if you swing the VP and lens, which is pretty spendy.


The problem is, it is really difficult to know how much to spend on an anamorphic lens. There are entry level options for $1000, or so, midrange for $2000 to $3000, and then they go up into ridiculous prices. If one was to have a $2000 to $4000 projector, what would be a reasonable price to spend on a lens to go with it? There doesn't seem to be professional reviews for anamorphic lenses. Yet some print magazines like "Home Theater" will review a set of $60,000 speakers once or twice a year.
Posted by: grunt

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 10:30 PM

If you are width constrained IMO you should go with a 1.78:1 screen.

Since you are width constrained a 1.78:1 screen will give you the same size 2.35:1 image as the largest 2.35:1 screen you can fit. It will also give you the largest 1.78:1 image you can get, and also likely the largest 1.33:1 image you can get. Even if you donít watch HDTV now you may decide to later or like you already mentioned you may want it for movies like Avatar or even the recent Batman movie which switches between ratios.

Whichever ratio you choose you will have bars unless you have a dark room and grey screen. As far as masking, if your projector has auto zoom and other adjustment features then for a 2.35:1 image you only need to mask the top or the bottom of the screen and not both since you can move the image up or down. If you mask the top of the screen it likely wonít affect your speakers and isnít that hard to build. Itís likely curtains would even work since your speakers arenít going to be at the top of the screen unless you are using dual over/under center speakers.

Even if you donít want to deal with masking and unmasking the screen if you get a 1.78:1 you can mask the top down to a 2.35:1 and just leave the masking in place. Then some day if you wish you had gotten the 1.78:1 remove the masking and you have one without the need to buy another screen.

Unless you are height constrained, plan on always using a lens or plan on only watching 2.35:1 or similar ratios and just canít deal with masking there is no good reason I can think of not to get a 1.78:1 screen.
Posted by: INANE

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 11:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Murph
In the end, I think it just comes down to whether you like horizontal bars or vertical bars. There seems to be no escaping the bars.


I vote for this
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 11:27 PM

I love my 2.35 120" wide screen, I don't even worry about masking the sides when watching HD stuff over DirecTV, forget the side black bars are there, especially with a projector that has good blacks. Watching cinemascope movies full screen is just awesome. Heck, I'm still using a Z2 and manually adjust the zoom. Just not a big fan of getting a smaller cinemascope image with top/bottom black bars on a 1.78 screen. Bigger is better, yeah, that is what she said. lol
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/15/12 11:36 PM

Yeah, the projector has the full lens memory, and I figured that if I went with a 1.78:1 screen, I would mask just the bottom and shift the whole image "up"...

The width limitation is about 11 feet wide, and the height limitation is a 7'9" ceiling (with 2 rows of seats, the image should be fairly "high" to be easier to see in the second row. Obviously, once factoring in a front stage, and such, that ceiling height is lower, then factoring how high the screen should be from the ground, it limits the real screen height to something around 70" (factoring in 5" above the screen and 1'6" below it (where the stage would be)... I think that it would appear as a "wall of screen"... Could be cool, could be obnoxious. LOL

So the 1.78:1 would be the same width, but 17" taller than the 2.35:1. The 2.35:1 would be a little less "holy crap" than the 1.78:1... grin

Posted by: michael_d

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/16/12 11:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Nick B
Originally Posted By: michael_d
I love the 2.35 experience, but you pay for it. The zoom / lens memory option seam like a PITA to me. I have yet to hear of a projector that gets it right. ... My vote is for CIH, but only if you swing the VP and lens, which is pretty spendy.


The problem is, it is really difficult to know how much to spend on an anamorphic lens. There are entry level options for $1000, or so, midrange for $2000 to $3000, and then they go up into ridiculous prices. If one was to have a $2000 to $4000 projector, what would be a reasonable price to spend on a lens to go with it? There doesn't seem to be professional reviews for anamorphic lenses. Yet some print magazines like "Home Theater" will review a set of $60,000 speakers once or twice a year.


Prismasonic is the best bang for the buck. They have a new lens out that is supposedly every bit as good as the Isco III. It is 3000, whereas the Isco runs about 8000. If you want the ability to expand the image with a lens instead of moving it into and away from the projector, you'll need one like I have that has knobs that rotates the elements to expand the image. It is an older Prismasonic 1400FE model. If you get serious about going with a HE lens, let me know. I've been eye-balling the new Prismasonic lens and if I do buy one, my lens will obviously go up for sale.
Posted by: Bayne

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/16/12 12:39 PM

I went through this debat with myself as well. I found that masking systems--both manual and automated--added extra cost and extra fiddling around when you simply wanted to sit and watch something. What about variable aspect movies like The Dark Knight and Tron: Legacy? What happens when you want to audition a concert shot in 16x9 then switch to Star Wars? The extra set-up gets old quickly. I decided to just go with a 1:78 screen because as much a I love cinemascope films, the vast majority of stuff I watch will be 16x9. Video games, TV on Blu-ray, the ocasional sporting event. I found that by going with a projector with excellent black levels (JVC RS25) the black bars almost dissappeared and the extra-big size of my favourite TV series like Doctor Who, Battlestar galactice, Spartacus and Deadwood looked amazing. Good luck trying to spot the black bars in 1:85 films on my Carada screen.
Posted by: Murph

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/16/12 12:58 PM

and you can't argue with someone who quotes Doctor Who. It's a rule.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/16/12 01:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Bayne
... as much a I love cinemascope films, the vast majority of stuff I watch will be 16x9. Video games, TV on Blu-ray, the ocasional sporting event.

Good point; I had forgotten about video games and sports.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/16/12 01:14 PM

For me, I'll watch all of the 1.85:1 content upstairs on the TV and all of the 2.35:1 content downstairs on the wide screen. Win/Win.
Posted by: Murph

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/16/12 01:25 PM

Here are some great tools to help visualize the effects of screen sizes vs. aspect ratios. They are intended to demonstrate and calculate the size of automated masking systems but they are also great for both visualizing the effects of both choices and for calculating resulting screen sizes.

If you choose a native 2.35:1 screen.

If you choose a natve 16:9 screen
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/16/12 01:54 PM

Those are GREAT aspect ratio calculators, Murph. Thank you very much for posting the links.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/16/12 02:37 PM

Here's a really good read on CIH.....

http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/2798
Posted by: grunt

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/16/12 02:57 PM

Nick, something you might want to try if you havenít already is to get a couple different colours of painters tape and using the calculators Murph linked to tape off the screen sizes for the aspect ratios on the wall to get a better idea of what the visual impact of them will be for various seating positions. When I did this it made the decision on both screen size and aspect ratio much easier.

Also something I noticed when moving from a 56Ē rear projection HDTV on a 12í x 8í wall to a 134Ē screen on a 13.5í x 10í wall is that the grey bars in any position arenít as distracting on the larger screen because even with complete blackout it still lights up the room like a lighthouse so light reflected off the ceiling and walls is much more noticeable than on the dark parts of the screen. Plus with a screen that fills a huge part of your field of vision the image is both big and bright enough to wash out most of the grey bars. I havenít even bothered with a masking system because of this which is significant since I actually made masking for my HDTV because the grey bars over and under the image were so distracting in the otherwise pitch black room in my apartment. Note that this can actually create a valid argument for going with a smaller screen than the max your screen wall can fit if total blackout and total immersion were your goal.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/16/12 04:13 PM

LOL. I go out to Carada's site every time I need to find out a popular screen size/ratio combination. I will mess with those links at home.

Murph, good call on the tape. I've taped off a screen area in the past (not this theater build) but the 2 different colors makes a lot of sense.

Also, I should say that in my previous 2 versions, I had no masking outside of the masking that I tried for about a week. The LCD panels never block all of the light, so the top and bottom bars on my 16:9 (1.78:1) screen were very visible. Now with an LCOS projector know for its dark blacks, maybe it isn't as big of a deal as I am thinking that it will be. Screen placement may end up being the biggest factor. With the 1.78:1 screen, I need to make sure that I can get it off the ground enough to be visible from the 2nd row of seats, while not too high that it is painful to watch from the front row (the whole eye-level/screen placement calculator deal)...

I do like the looks of the 2.35:1 or even 2.40:1 screen in a LIT room (you walk in and it is just super cool looking), but then again, the theater will really shine when the room is dark.

I've seen that article on HighDefDigest, and it does cover the issues, even the "IMAX Enhanced" movies like Transformers and Dark Knight that switch ratios...

I do also like the concept of getting a 1.78:1 screen, but mask it off as 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 with something cheap. Then if I decide it isn't worth messing with, I just toss out the masking. If I decide that it is worth it, then I build a better masking system.

I don't know. I went from 2.35 being a MUST HAVE, to now wondering if I should go back to 1.78:1 like I had before...

I think that I need to pick up some green and blue painter's tape and mark them up...
Posted by: Murph

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/17/12 12:10 PM

Actually, Grunt suggested the tape here.

You must have been reading my other thread on "growing old gracefully and how to keep skid marks to a minimum."
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/17/12 12:13 PM

Doh. You are right (of course). Sorry Grunt. I think that my mind was remembering only some of the following:
Quote:
...get a couple different colours of painters tape and using the calculators Murph linked to tape off the screen sizes for the aspect ratios on the wall...


The source just faded away. Getting too old. I am, after all, no longer going to be a "30-something" in 6 months...
Posted by: Nick B

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/17/12 04:17 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
Originally Posted By: Nick B
Originally Posted By: michael_d
I love the 2.35 experience, but you pay for it. The zoom / lens memory option seam like a PITA to me. I have yet to hear of a projector that gets it right. ... My vote is for CIH, but only if you swing the VP and lens, which is pretty spendy.


The problem is, it is really difficult to know how much to spend on an anamorphic lens. There are entry level options for $1000, or so, midrange for $2000 to $3000, and then they go up into ridiculous prices. If one was to have a $2000 to $4000 projector, what would be a reasonable price to spend on a lens to go with it? There doesn't seem to be professional reviews for anamorphic lenses. Yet some print magazines like "Home Theater" will review a set of $60,000 speakers once or twice a year.


Prismasonic is the best bang for the buck. They have a new lens out that is supposedly every bit as good as the Isco III. It is 3000, whereas the Isco runs about 8000. If you want the ability to expand the image with a lens instead of moving it into and away from the projector, you'll need one like I have that has knobs that rotates the elements to expand the image. It is an older Prismasonic 1400FE model. If you get serious about going with a HE lens, let me know. I've been eye-balling the new Prismasonic lens and if I do buy one, my lens will obviously go up for sale.


I take it back. There is at least one professional review that I found.

http://hometheaterreview.com/panamorph-fvx200j-anamorphic-lens-system-reviewed/

Panamorph has a lens kit designed to work with JVC projectors and Epson, also for $3000. This is a fixed lens kit and I think I saw a sliding kit added about $7000 to the price, which is waaaayyy too much. I bet that even if you left it in place the slight reduction in resolution in a 16:9 image wouldn't be that noticeable since the area that it takes up in comparison to the 2.35:1 image is quite a bit smaller.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/17/12 05:04 PM

$3000 for a lens on top of a $3000 street price projector is a bit crazy for me. I wish that I could have something like that, but I'd rather get a $5000 projector and pocket the extra $1000. (again, even that would be a stretch for me - pun intended)...

I know, the lens method yields great results, just saying that it is too spendy for me.

Originally Posted By: Home Theater Review
Before the Panamorph and the FVX200J's arrival, a true anamorphic home theater would've cost you close to $20,000 for a kickoff, but can now be had for less than $10,000. I demo'ed a system at this year's CEDIA using JVC's newest sub $3,000 D-ILA ($2,999) and a FVX200J being projected onto a 97-inch 2:35 SI Black Diamond screen. Total cost? Around $7,500. That's a tremendous value, not to mention one of the finer video demos I saw at CEDIA this year.


"Great value" sure is subjective. I would love to be in a financial situation to say that $7500 for the projector system is a "great value"... I've got enough tied up in the system already. With the 7.2 Axiom/SVS combination, the Onkyo receiver, Panny Blu-Ray, soundproofing, acoustical treatments, seating, screen, etc... I hate to actually add of the costs...
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/17/12 11:17 PM

OK. I didn't tape anything up yet, but just some numbers for people.

These would be the extreme maximum sizes that would still allow for a small frame around the screen...

Using the maximum width I would realistically use (potential for another 2 feet wider in 2.35:1, but I fear that it will be too low for the 2nd row)

1.78:1 - 123" wide, 141" diagonal, and 69" tall
2.35:1 - 123" wide, 133" diagonal, and 52.5" tall

If somehow I could go that extra two feet wider for 2.35:1, I would get:
147" wide, 160" diagonal, and 62.5" tall

I also don't think that it will work well with the projector getting too dim and such.

Keep in mind that my previous theater had a 1.78:1 format screen that would turn out to be the exact same 1.78:1 image on the 133" diagonal 2.35:1 screen mentioned above (same height).

OF course, I start getting into fL (foot-lambert)issues at either of those big sizes (due to zooming and not using an anamorphic lens. Maybe something around a 128" diag 1.78:1 to get enough brightness...

So many variables.
Posted by: Nick B

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/18/12 10:25 AM

Originally Posted By: nickbuol
$3000 for a lens on top of a $3000 street price projector is a bit crazy for me. I wish that I could have something like that, but I'd rather get a $5000 projector and pocket the extra $1000. (again, even that would be a stretch for me - pun intended)...

I know, the lens method yields great results, just saying that it is too spendy for me.

Originally Posted By: Home Theater Review
Before the Panamorph and the FVX200J's arrival, a true anamorphic home theater would've cost you close to $20,000 for a kickoff, but can now be had for less than $10,000. I demo'ed a system at this year's CEDIA using JVC's newest sub $3,000 D-ILA ($2,999) and a FVX200J being projected onto a 97-inch 2:35 SI Black Diamond screen. Total cost? Around $7,500. That's a tremendous value, not to mention one of the finer video demos I saw at CEDIA this year.


"Great value" sure is subjective. I would love to be in a financial situation to say that $7500 for the projector system is a "great value"... I've got enough tied up in the system already. With the 7.2 Axiom/SVS combination, the Onkyo receiver, Panny Blu-Ray, soundproofing, acoustical treatments, seating, screen, etc... I hate to actually add of the costs...


But, like you have already said, you don't want to spend $1500 on a screen. You can look for something less expensive or even go the DIY route.

I really understand why he is saying that this is such a bargain. When the JVC LCOS projector first came out it got such great reviews everywhere because of its contrast and black levels, without having an dynamic iris and it was around $8000. The performance has gotten even better since then and the prices have continued to fall, where you can now get that same performance or maybe even slightly better at $3000. Also five years ago there was an anamorphic lens option that was designed to work with the JVC (I don't remember which lens) that was $7000 to $9000, just for the lens. Now you can have the JVC projector with an anamorphic lens for $6000 total. That is a bargain to me. I don't know if I'll be able to get that kind of money together, either, but it is a dream of mine. To me having a superwide screen anamorphic lens setup is what home theater is all about. I'm perfectly happy with my M22's, VP150 and QS8's and my Onkyo 805 for the audio portion and wouldn't mind putting everything else into an the video (well I would like to upgrade the the VP150 to a VP160, but could wait to do this if or when I get a projector setup first). I just need to make sure when I finally (hopefully) get a dedicated room that the dimensions stay small enough that I don't have to go with larger front speakers and a larger subwoofer. This also helps keep the screen size smaller, which helps with the budget as well.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/18/12 11:57 AM

I've seen some people make DIY anamorphic lenses. Pretty darn impressive. I am just not sure that I could tackle something like that, despite everything else I've fixed, made, built, etc in my life. My other fear with a lens system is that it is yet one more complexity variable for my family. They are going to struggle with hitting a button on the remote to do a memory preset for zoom, shift, focus, and that is just hitting a button, not manually sliding a lens into place or back out.

There are definite economies of scale (but instead of being cheaper for more, it gets more expensive pretty quickly) to smaller vs. larger rooms.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/18/12 12:09 PM

The lens method is expensive. You can always buy used.

As far as screen size considerations, I tend to go about that differently than the industry standard. I find that I get eye strain if the image is too tall. Width does not effect me much at all. So I suggest you shoot an image on your wall and watch it for a few days. Zoom in, zoom out and screw around with the image size for a while. When you find your 1.78 image size that is comfortable to you, stick with that height. If you wish to go 2.35, again, stick with that height and make it wider. If the 2.35 screen size will not fit, then you should probably stick with 1.78.
Posted by: Nick B

Re: 1.78 or 2.35 screen size? Your opinion - 02/18/12 04:02 PM

Originally Posted By: nickbuol
My other fear with a lens system is that it is yet one more complexity variable for my family. They are going to struggle with hitting a button on the remote to do a memory preset for zoom, shift, focus, and that is just hitting a button, not manually sliding a lens into place or back out.


This is what I like about the fixed Panamorph lens, when I first read it. All that you have to do is push the zoom buttons on the projector to get the right size. Just like cycling through the zoom, stretch, etc. modes on an HDTV. So there is no need have to worry about having the family move the anamorphic lens in and out of place. But truthfully, by wife never even realizes to cycle through the aspect ratio buttons and just watches it as is. I walk in and immediately notice that it doesn't look right right, find the correct aspect ratio for her and tell her "doesn't that look better". She rolls her eyes at me and sarcastically says "yes". So truthfully, my wife wouldn't mess with any of that stuff, even if things are strangely stretched and/or 1/3 of the image was not on the screen. But, I would prefer having that ease of use. If I go this route I would probably just do some cheap and simple curtains to slide and cover the black bars on the side of the 16:9 image.

So if there is a 2.35:1 movie you push the stretch button and walk over and slide the curtains out of the way.