The Bd will replicate the varying ARs? (groan) I was afraid of that. This is of course great news for anyone with a 16:9 display who doesn't use masking. But once again, I'll be penalized for having a constant height set-up. This will be the third release this year where I will have to watch the material letterboxed and projected smaller to account for a gimmicky AR feature (smilebox on HTWWW, Imax here) or due to a studio screw-up (the subtitles on The Professionals). Ironic that along with higher resolution, Blu-ray is also forcing me to watch the movies at a much smaller size. I really hope they make this a branching feature or else just a special release with it's own sku for those who can use it (and reluctantly I admit , the plug and play crowd makes up the vast majority of 'enthusiasts' using this tech so people like myself will be SOL yet again.).
Does it help to know that people watching on 1.4:1 IMAX screens will be in the same boat.
Actually, if they kept the IMAX scenes symmetrically matted top and bottom, then you would be able to watch it in 2.4:1 at the same resolution as any other 2.4:1 material presented in 16:9 video. I do not know if this was the case, though.
How in the world is this complaint relevant to HTWWW? The smilebox is an alternate presentation that could only be done the way it is being done. If you have your screen set up for 16:9, then you will be watching the maximum size smilebox presentation possible in your HT.
After watching the prologue, I wondered about this myself. The switching of AR is cumbersome IMO, I really wish they had just shot the whole movie in IMAX if it's so important to them. However, that Prologue looked so damn good I'm still glad this is what we're getting.