Originally Posted by Talimore
Just make a large 110" ish 16:9 and use two panels that I can store above and below the screen (when not in use) and then just move them down when I desire the higher resolution of 2.35 .
I just need a lot of help finding a projector that cost around 800-900 that will give me both resolutions and will fit with only 11 foot distance from the screen but be able to project the full wall (I want the entire thing covered, which is around a 104" 2.35 as you mentioned.)
Now I put a lot of research into 2.35 but Im lacking some info on which movies support it. I have a ton of blu-rays I would love to watch in the format and dont I need an additional lens.
You do not need a lens to watch 2.35 material. When you see people using masking panels on the left and right sides (like in my theater) they have whats is called a CIH theater (constant image height). What that means is the height of your image never changes, only the width.
There are two ways of achieving CIH. I'll use my theater for example. My screen with the masking panels ON is 83" wide and and 47" tall (16:9 or 1.78:1) with the masking panels OFF its 110" wide and 47" tall (2.35:1) All of these numbers are approx. The way I do CIH is called the "poor mans CIH" or the "zoom method"
Lets say the projector is set to watch 16:9 I pop a movie in that is in 2.35 the projector plays the move just fine, but there are black bars (space with no picture) at the top and bottom of my screen, with the zoom method, its as simple as i remove the masking panels, and use the zoom feature on my projector to zoom the image in, until the black bars are being projected off of the screen. To make this work, you must make sure that your projector has sufficient zoom AND lens **** capabilities.
The major draw backs to this method are that you are increasing the pixel size by zooming in (which may or may not be an issue), and also you are "wasting" part of your projectors display by projecting "nothing" outside of the screen area, which is a potential loss of lumens.
The plus side, is its cheap and doesn't need a curved screen to avoid pincushioning. (more on that later)
The second method is the use of an anamorphic lens. In this case what happens, is a video processor stretches the 2.35 image to use the entire display chip (all projectors display chips are native 16:9) So the image makes everything look tall and skinny, and then you put an anamorphic lens in front of the projector that corrects the image so that it displays correctly at 2.35.
The disadvantages of this method are most notably cost. A good lens will cost more than what you've budgeted for your projector. And secondly using a lens like that can cause whats know as a pincushion effect. As shown here
The combat that, some folks will use a curved screen.
The advantages to this method are the ability to use the projectors entire display and its most generally agreed the best picture quality with this method. (not that the zoom method creates a poor image)
In my setup i have to manual zoom and shift my lens. A couple years ago Panasonic came out with a projector that can auto sense 2.35 images and "remember" your zoom and shift settings, and it will do them automatically for you.
imho, your situation the realistic options I see are
A: If you plan on watching MOSTLY (I mean like 90% or greater) 2.35 material Max out the largest 2.35 screen you can fit and just deal with having a smaller than you could have 16:9 screen when its masked down.
Advantages: True cinematic feel with the 2.35 screen.
Disavantages: You'll limit your projector options, not all projectors will have the zoom and shift capabilities you'll need to do this. With a DIY screen you'll be manually removing masking panels to switch between formats.
B: If you are going to watch equal to or more 16:9 stuff (EI HDTV, Counsel gaming ETC) Go with a slightly over sized 16:9 screen and like you said if you wish make masking panels for your screen.
Advantages: Lots of projector options, almost any projector should work, Simplicity. Literally point and shoot. One setup focus in and you're done.
Disadvantages: A smaller 2.35 image than whats possible. You lose some of the cinematic "feel"
Again, if its at all possible to buy your PJ and make a temporary setup, that's ideal. Then you can make your decision confidently.
Hope I helped more than confused!