What Happens when the "Smile" Meets the "Curve"?

Technically-oriented discussion of classic films on everything from 35mm to Blu-Ray
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Great Hierophant
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What Happens when the "Smile" Meets the "Curve"?

Unread post by Great Hierophant » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:50 pm

Flicker Alley has been using the "smilebox" form of letterboxing to present Cinerama films in as close to their original aspect ratio and with the least amount of geometric distortion as possible. The simlebox process is intended to be shown on a flat rectangle, as most televisions these days use. However, in the past two or three years, curved televisions have become affordable. In the United States, they can even be found at Wal-mart for under a grand.

But suppose you want to watch one of your expensive Flicker Alley Cinerama Blu-rays or How the West Was Won from WB on your new curved TV screen? Is the effect of a curved aspect ratio going to look a little odd on a curved TV? The smilebox curve is a bit more convex than the curve of a 16:9 LCD screen TV. Might the middle of the Cinerama image look a bit too squashed and the edges look too stretched? Or is the curve of the TV so modest that the impact is really not prominent. I would really love to know the subjective view of anyone who has had the experience.

David Strohmaier, the chief restoration director at Cinerama states that the smilebox works well on both flat and curved screens here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8bZI_dMOBU#t=706.4" target="_blank (at about 11:30). He was referring to a theater screen which seems to have a more pronounced curve than the TVs being manufactured by Samsung et. al.

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Re: What Happens when the "Smile" Meets the "Curve"?

Unread post by realist » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:59 am

You bring up a good point here. The "Smilebox" effect will be much more effective if you have a projector and a screen. Showing "How the West was Won" in "Smilebox" on a 8 foot screen you do get an approximation of what the Cinerama experience was all about. I say this, because I have attended a real 3 strip showing of this film in Los Angeles in 2012. One thing you won't have to put up on the Blu Ray with is those "join lines" between the panels. Just my two cents. Bill

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Jack Theakston
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Re: What Happens when the "Smile" Meets the "Curve"?

Unread post by Jack Theakston » Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:43 pm

The arc of the current curved TV screens is far more shallow than a Cinerama screen, so to rectify the image would be fairly minimal compared to the end product.
J. Theakston
"You get more out of life when you go out to a movie!"

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