Many movie enthusiasts want to incorporate an anamorphic lens along with a widescreen (2.35:1 or 2.4:1) into their Home Theater systems. Most popular movies that have been are filmed in a wider aspect ratio using anamorphic lenses, so it makes sense when watching these movies to utilize the same type of lens to project them in order to get the best image quality.
Many movies appear letterboxed viewed on a 16:9 aspect screen. Letterboxing refers to the practice of projecting a film that was shot using a widescreen aspect ratio (using an anamorphic lens) to a standard-width format, which results in black bars above and below the image.
When used with a stationary anamorphic lens, the VW315ES has several Aspect modes, including V Stretch and Squeeze, which can properly display both widescreen and 16x9 content on a 2.35:1 screen.
Letterbox zooming can be used to zoom black bars off the screen, so movies completely fill a full cinema-formatted screen. This keeps those black bars off the screen by projecting them on the wall above and below the screen, but the approach sacrifices resolution. After all, a 4K projector should be using the entire 4K for a full-screen movie experience, not the 3K performance that happens when letterbox zooming is utilized.
Since about 25% of the total picture area wasted generating the black bars, some of the projector light output is not used to light up the screen. Anamorphic lenses can improve the brightness and visual performance of home theater movie experiences by projecting all the pixels from your image onto your screen.
There are two ways that an anamorphic lens is used in conjunction with the projector. In the past, the anamorphic lens had to physically move in and out of the light path. Another option would be when the lens is engaged, the projector switches into one of its Aspect modes, which stretches letterbox content vertically before it is projected to fill the screen top to bottom. As the image passes through the anamorphic lens, it is stretched to fill the screen's entire width.
The Sony Home Theater projectors include several different Aspect modes that zoom, squeeze and stretch a 16:9 image when projected onto a widescreen. Not having to move the lens in and out of the light path simplifies installation and increases reliability since no mechanical adjustments are needed post-install.
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