Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Hansel and Gretel live in HD

I just returned from Hansel and Gretel live in HD from the Metropolitan Opera. I watched it at Cineplex Odeon at Devonshire Mall in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The performance was quite good but the image quality was poor. Here is a list of image issues, roughly in order of decreasing importance.
  • The image was stretched horizontally, progressively more further away from the centre. The very centre might have been unstretched, but the left and right edges were stretched ridiculously.
  • The image only took up about three fifths of the screen vertically and horizontally
  • The image wasn't focused very well. In the centre, focus wasn't terrible but it wasn't good and I feel it reduced the effective resolution to the equivalent of standard definition TV. The left and right edges were severely out of focus. (I wonder if poor focus on the edges is related to the stretching mentioned earlier.)
  • There was trapezoidal distortion. The bottom of the screen was noticeably wider than the top.
  • Overall the image quality was unimpressive. I think the digital projector used is the same as what's used for commercials and trivia before movies. It's okay for that, but not for what I actually paid to see.
I didn't think image quality was bad last year at SilverCity also in Windsor. I also felt that the overall experience was worse compared to last year. There was no cart with popcorn, no employee speaking a bit before the performance, and the programs handed out were low quality photocopies. However, the price was higher. I don't think I'll be going again this year.

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