Sunday, July 29, 2007

Just Go Scope

More and more people are wanting the cinema experience at home and a front projector is the logical choice for that BIG SCREEN image and the cinema feel. CinemaScope is the choice for most blockbusters for the cinema, and with CIH coming to the home, the decision for many now is whether or not to go CIH straight off, or letter box that image first.

The owner of this system decided that letter boxing was out and ventured down the CIH path for his first projection system buying everything "CIH ready" straight off.

From The Back Of The Room
The screen is from Oz Theatre Screens and is 2.37:1 at 2560mm x 1080mm. The speakers are from the Australian speaker company KRIX and the projector is a BenQ PE8720 with a CAVX Aussiemorphic Lens.

Lens In Place
The Benq provides the needed vertical stretch for "scaling" the incoming signal, and the lens simply sits in the light path allowing full panel, geometry correct images through optical horizontal expansion.

Lens Removed
Naturally, not everything is "Scope", so the owner has opted for the moveable lens solution using a sled for 1.78:1 and 1.33:1. The true beauty of this Constant Image Height system is that all three Aspect Ratios are presented at the same height recreating the cinema experience in the home...


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Thursday, July 26, 2007

CEDIA 2007 - Is CIH Becoming Mainstream?

Out of the select number of screen manufactures that attended this year's [2007] CEDIA Expo at the Gold Coast Convention Centre, 3 had "scope" screens on display and 2 were actively running video [with anamorphic lenses, 720 and 1080 projection with Blu-Ray as a source]. I was very impressed.

The Panamorph UH380
This was the first time I have been able to see the Panamorph UH380 in action as well as having the opportunity to take (I actually took two) another look at the Runco CineWide system. The display running with the Panamorph UH380 belonged to Stewart Screens. I must say that I was impressed with what I saw today. It would have been better if they could have better controlled the light, but none the less, the Sim 2 with Blu-Ray as a source looked very good with the Panamorph UH380 lens.

A Front Shot Of The Panamorph UH380
The UH380 is well constructed and finished. The lens was attached to the motorized transport [M380?] which sported a SIM2 logo. It looked like they were also using the Panamorph mounting plate. The screen was Micro-perf with an elegant roll down side masking system.

BENQ W10000

Even though they were using a VP50 for "scaling", the Sim2 was chosen as it was one a few projectors that directly "scales" the image for CIH. The other projector on display that can do this is the BenQ W10000 [above] which I tested with a 1080p feed over HDMI - very impressive picture quality too.

Boys And Their Toys
Out side of the Runco Display, was this D-Box game station where the operator gets to feel every bump and slam of the game.

But Here Is Where It Got Serious
This room was purpose constructed by Wavetrain Acoustics and used special acoustic materials [panels and treatments] and even though they admitted they had a problem with EQ, the room (speakers were Triad) sounded very good. It played loud and clean with plenty of sensation enhancement thanks to a massive D-box assembly under the rear four seats. The front two each had their own D-Box system.

D-Box software is written by motion experts to best describe the feeling and motion one should experience to match the on screen action. Whilst I really enjoyed the shakes, I am not sure if the side motion [like a speed lean] was required for the film [Alien Verses Predator] we were watching. The system gives a whole new meaning to "sense-surround".

Unfortunately, I was not able to capture a good screen shot from the room, but this is the screen that they used in the room with 3 step variable masking.

Like the Stewart, this Screen Research was also curved, though these shots do not show that here...

A Neat Finishing Touch

I want the door on my cinema to feature letters like this too...


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