Monday, December 12, 2011

Media Player Classic

I have once again adopted a PC into my HT for its end user control-ability. The program I use is called Media Player - Home Cinema Classic and this program not only allows streaming of HD sources [MKV files], it also allows custom scaling including both vertical stretch and horizontal squeeze at the same time. You can make these adjustments on the fly or preset the program.

The frame in the following three shots is a screen capture taken from a 16:9 [1920 x 1080] HD video camera. The first image is how it looks when presented on my Constant Image Height system with pillars at the sides.

By applying both Vertical Stretch and Horizontal Squeeze, it is possible to change the Aspect Ratio whilst projecting through the anamorphic lens and still maintain correct geometry. The 2nd image is approximately 2.00:1. Whilst it gains width, it loses some height in the process. The image looks better on screen than these shots show.

The 3rd image is an extreme example where I am able to 'fill my screen' by applying 33.3% vertical stretch allowing the Aussiemorphic Lens MK5 to optically restore the geometry.

The challenge when modifying program like this is the risk of losing the top of bottom of the subject matter [the tops of heads can sometimes be clipped]. To work around this, the Media Player allows vertical panning of the image as well as image resizing. This function is very handy for CIH with an anamorphic lens and would also be useful for someone wanting a CIH system that does not require the use of an anamorphic lens. There are two methods that don't use an Anamorphic Lens. They are known as "Zooming" and "Shrink". Both throw away 25% of the vertical resolution but are certainly workable with 1080 projectors with this program.

The basic controls are mostly found on the the numeric key pad:

Vertical Stretch = 8
Vertical Shrink = 2
Horizontal Shrink = 4
Horizontal Stretch = 6
Image Shift up = CTRL+8
Image Shift down = CTRL+2
Image Enlarge = 9
Image Shrink = 1
Size Reset = 5
Pause/Resume = Space Bar
Exit full screen = ESC



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