Will New Technologies Kill the Anamorphic Lens?

Sections: Movies, Projectors, Video

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For many home theater aficionados — including 26 of the 29 projects up for the 2011 Electronic Lifestyles awards — the height of awesometopia is a media room with an anamorphic lens equipped front projection system. You know, just like what they use in the big time movie theaters. What with the popcorns, and the ringing cell phones, and the barely-making-an-attempt-at-whispering conversations going on all around you and that mystery thing that gets stuck to your shoe. As I happen to have such a system, I thought I would first explain why they are so slathered in awesome.

And then explain why I think this bit of technology might be headed towards extinction — as in, I wouldn’t go rushing out and buying stock in Panamorph; sorry guys, love your product, but don’t see it being around if trends continue.

Now, I realize that the concept of how an anamorphic lens system functions has been covered many, MANY times out there. But for the benefit of my tech-shy readership (hi mom and dad!), or for anyone who wants a refresher, or for just an excuse to show you three different screen shots from the new Empire Strikes Back Blu-ray, here is a description with visual play-by-play of exactly how the anamorphic projection process works.

There are three steps. Sadly, none of them involve cutting holes in boxes nor making your significant other open said box…

Step 1: Original, unaltered widescreen video:

unaltered widescreen video


Click here to see the anamorphic process in action (and more AT-ATs) and read why these separate lens systems might be going the way of the dodo.

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