- On August 13, 2018
While a 16:9 aspect-ratio screen might be OK for watching TV, epic films like Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or even Avengers: Infinity War, are often designed for a wider-than-wide screen with an aspect ratio ranging from 2.35 to 2.40:1. And one of the hallmarks of a luxury home cinema is a projection system that can replicate this wider aspect ratio used for maximum cinematic effect. (To learn more about cinematic aspect ratios, click here.)
Most home theater systems with a 2.35 or wider screen use a projector with an anamorphic lens that allows the projector to fill the extra-wide screen. The image is first stretched vertically (usually by the projector or a video processor) to remove the black bars—
—and then the anamorphic lens slides in front of the projector’s primary lens to stretch the image horizontally back to its proper aspect ratio, filling the wide screen.
For 16:9 content, the anamorphic lens slides out of the way and the vertical stretching is disengaged.
But when you’re switching between different movies, going from a movie to Kaleidescape’s onscreen interface, or viewing favorite scenes, having to adjust the projector or have a motorized lens slide in and out of place to accommodate the various aspect ratios can disrupt the movie-watching experience. To eliminate this, Kaleidescape developed a truly innovative feature called CinemaScape, which works in lockstep with the rich metadata embedded in films by the Kaleidescape Movie Guide team.
CinemaScape is designed so that the projector never has to change modes and the anamorphic lens can be left in place. The Kaleidescape player uses its video processing to present all the films in your library in their proper aspect ratio when projected through the lens, and even ensures that the subtitles that would normally be cut off with the black bars are repositioned so they remain visible. It also allows you to use the entire 2.35 or wider screen area to view the onscreen interface, displaying more movie covers and also showing title, actors, director, genre, release year, rating, and runtime in the Movie List without scrolling. And because the anamorphic lens constantly stays in place, the projector can be calibrated to maintain even brightness across all aspect ratios.
CinemaScape is available in three versions to work with a large variety of projection systems: Anamorphic, Letterbox, and Native Display.
Use this setting when you want the anamorphic lens to remain constantly in place. The Kaleidescape player will automatically adjust movies—whether 4:3, 16:9, or 2.35—and the onscreen display so the images retain the correct aspect ratio and shape. While Kaleidescape is the selected source, any scaling or stretching should be disabled in the projector or video processor.
Use this for systems where the projector can’t receive unscaled video with the anamorphic lens in place—for example, with projectors that automatically employ vertical stretching when the lens motor trigger is engaged. The Kaleidescape player will “window box” 4:3 and 16:9 images so they appear in the correct aspect ratio with the anamorphic lens and vertical stretching, and will send unaltered 2.35 images. The onscreen display is also displayed in 2.35. This mode can also be used with projectors that use optical lens zooming and shifting to fill a 2.35 screen without using an anamorphic lens system.
This is for projectors that have a native 2.35 aspect-ratio chip (such as the Digital Projection dVision Scope or the SIM2 Nero 235) and that use automatic aspect-ratio detection to fit the video signal to their extra-wide display chips. The player outputs movie content at its original aspect ratio, but sends the onscreen display as letterboxed 2.35 so that the projector will fill the entire screen.
CinemaScape is simple to use, but engaging it is slightly different depending on which Kaleidescape system you own.
Cinema One (2nd generation) and Alto owners use the onscreen interface to engage CinemaScape. Press the Menu button on the Kaleidescape remote when a movie isn’t playing, arrow over to highlight System, then select Settings. Once there, select Video, then Aspect Ratio, and then choose your desired CinemaScape mode. Once you’ve made your choice, highlight Apply, then Return, and then press OK. Confirm your selection by selecting Apply Changes, and finally click on “Keep new video settings.”
Strato and Premiere owners use the browser interface. The first step is to log into your Kaleidescape system with a computer. The default address on a PC is http://my-kaleidescape/, while the address on a Mac or iOS device is http://my-kaleidescape.local. You can also use the browser interface IP address (such as 192.168.1.163), which can be found in the onscreen display of any player in the system by going to System -> Status -> System Summary.
NOTE: In Co-Star paired systems, CinemaScape needs to be engaged in both of the paired players to fully function correctly.
Click on the Settings tab at the top, select Components in the tab below, and then click on the Settings tab at the bottom. This will bring up the Strato’s settings, which default to the Video tab. Scroll until you find the Select Screen Aspect Ratio option, choose your preferred CinemaScape mode, then scroll to the bottom and click OK.
Click on the Settings tab at the top, then select Components in the strip of options near the top of the screen.
Scroll down to the player for which you want to engage CinemaScape and click the settings tab.
Since Video is the default selection, you just need to scroll down to Select Screen Aspect Ratio and select your preferred version of CinemaScape. Then scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click OK.
If a single player’s output is being distributed to multiple zones, some of which need to use CinemaScape, you can use an advanced automation system such as Control4 to engage or disengage CinemaScape depending on the current zone’s needs. Kaleidescape includes a large library of discrete device-specific commands that can be used for automation tasks like this one.