woneill said:Hi cowanrg,
Using prisms to do the widescreen is how the cinemas do it for Panavision and Cinemascope. I bought one on ebay last week and am currently playing with it.
It is a big sucker, and very heavy. I am also playing with some front-surface mirrored fresnel prisms that have an equivalent effect.
As for the DVD thing, yup, with some of the $1K players you can possibly switch off some of the effects mentioned above, but I have been doing lots of work with DVD and digital video, and the sad truth is that most expensive progressive scan DVD players use little more than the cheap scan-doublers everybody has been buying from ebay.
i.e. They totally corrupt the 24fps progressive original by interlacing it and adding half-frames to build the frame rate up to 30fps. Then they pass that through a scan doubler chip which attempts to de-interlace the resulting mess. Not good!!!
They do this because it is impossible to guarantee that the player will be receiving a pure 24fps input - anything originated on tv will be 30fps interlaced. Anything from Europe will be modified from 25fps. Only original film footage is 24fps (usually...)
Thus, to get the best results, use a software DVD player on a PC that can adapt to its input format, or do what I do - rip the DVD and re-encode it at a more appropriate resolution and frame rate.
Believe it or not, a decent PC will blow away the best hardware players.