Non-masked 4:3 on 16:9 screen? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-26-2001, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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A question here from someone who knows nothing about front projection systems, but is starting to get interested:

Let’s say you have a 16:9 screen, and use it for a mix of movies shown in the various widescreen formats, and also for older transfers and VHS tapes in 4:3 format. How objectionable is the stray light at the edges when viewing the 4:3 movies, if you don't have some kind of system for masking off the unused screen area?

I know that different people will have different tolerances, and hardcore types will always prefer masking. I’m just curious how many of you think it’s no big deal, and just live with some light bleed at the edges.

I'm trying to put together a display system for a bedroom, and there is just barely enough space to consider front projection as an alternative to a plasma screen or RPTV. It would sure beat having a big RPTV box in the room. However... it has to be an easy, no-hassle setup. Complex screen masking systems (even electric/mechanical ones) are not going to pass the Wife Approval test. It has to be almost as simple as turning on the TV. That's why I'm wondering about this...
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-27-2001, 08:44 AM
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I lived with 4x3 on a 16x9 screen for three years. I just recently set up a masking system for 4x3 and 2.35:1 films. It makes a nice improvement and I've been kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Yeah sure, you can live with it.

Depending on your screen the masks for the 4x3 can have a high WAF. I have a Stewart screen with a fixed mount frame. The screen material is snapped to the back of the frame so the frame sticks out 1.5 inches. It is therefore very easy to make two panels that you simply put in place for 4x3. You can store them behind the screen or anywhere conveniently out of the way and install them in about 30 seconds when you need them. Very simple.

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[This message has been edited by John Moschella (edited 06-27-2001).]

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post #3 of 7 Old 06-27-2001, 05:22 PM
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I'm struggling with the masking question myself. I'm not really bothered by 4:3 on the 16:9 screen (uh, er..wall). The picture quality of DSS or NTSC isn't good enough as it is, and masking wouldn't help much IMHO.

Scope movies are a whole different story. I think masking is a must there. I just haven't come up with a solution yet. Stewart wants almost three grand for a fixed screen with motorized horizontal masking. I'm leaning towards getting a fixed screen and doing my own masking system. I can do a lot of tinkering for the 2K$ difference.

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post #4 of 7 Old 06-27-2001, 06:29 PM
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I'm a newbie to front projection that is about to make the leap ASAP. This thread has triggered a series of questions I'd like help with before buying equipment that will pass the WAF test:

1. Do I really need a 16x9 screen for showing widescreen DVDs? I'll be getting an XGA projector (NEC LT-156 [1200 lumens] or Panasonic PT-L711XU [1600 lumens, 400:1 contrast and 4000 hours on the lamp in Save mode]. Both projectors supports 16x9. Don't they just show the 16x9 inside the 1024x768 resolution?

2. I'm going to need a motorized screen that "disappears" for the WAF. But it seems that masking is a good thing, especially because the WAF hates the black bars above and below letterboxed video. How can I do this short of going to the expense of the Stewart electric masking solution?

3. Do I need the Stewart microperf screen if my left and right speakers are maybe a couple of feet behind the screen in order to avoid the screen blocking the sound? I may be able to put the center speaker on the ceiling just in front of the screen.

4. If I go with a microperf screen, how far back will I have to sit in order to avoid seeing the holes?

5. Since I won't be able to control the ambient light very well and that I'll be going with a reasonably bright LCD projector, am I better off with a screen like the Grayhawk rather than a StudioTek 130?

Thanks any help you can provide.http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/confused.gif

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-28-2001, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by honcho:

1. Do I really need a 16x9 screen for showing widescreen DVDs?
No. But just think about how much viewing area you are going to loose when you watch a 2.35:1 movie. You'd be surprised at how many movies are 2.35:1. If movie watching via DVD is even remotely important, I would get a 16x9 screen.

Quote:

I'll be getting an XGA projector (NEC LT-156 [1200 lumens] or Panasonic PT-L711XU [1600 lumens, 400:1 contrast and 4000 hours on the lamp in Save mode]. Both projectors supports 16x9. Don't they just show the 16x9 inside the 1024x768 resolution?
Yes, so with an anamorphic disc you'll be using 1024x576.


Quote:

2. I'm going to need a motorized screen that "disappears" for the WAF. But it seems that masking is a good thing, especially because the WAF hates the black bars above and below letterboxed video. How can I do this short of going to the expense of the Stewart electric masking solution?
Sounds like your sold on Stewart, that's good. Get the snapper screen with the Al frame. This way you can make fixed panels covered with light absorbing material for side bars (4x3) and top bottom bars (2.35:1). I use velcro to attach the top/bottom bars and this way I adjust them so I can watch 2001 (2.2:1) and Ben-Hur (2.76:1).

Quote:

3. Do I need the Stewart microperf screen if my left and right speakers are maybe a couple of feet behind the screen in order to avoid the screen blocking the sound? I may be able to put the center speaker on the ceiling just in front of the screen.
I have my right left outside the screen, but I can assure you that if it was behind the screen I would not be able to hear it. So you'll need an acoutically transparent screen.


Quote:

5. Since I won't be able to control the ambient light very well and that I'll be going with a reasonably bright LCD projector, am I better off with a screen like the Grayhawk rather than a StudioTek 130?
I you have lots of lumens (which you should) and poor ambient light control then the Grayhawk is the way to go.

Good Luck

John Moschella




[This message has been edited by John Moschella (edited 06-28-2001).]

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post #6 of 7 Old 06-28-2001, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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WRT my question about the overscan... never mind.

While researching another topic with an archive search, I ran across a thread that mentions the lens cover masking trick ("cut a hole in the cap"). So yeah, it's like I thought. You just mask this at the projector if you find it annoying.

I started doing photography for a living 30 years ago, and then moved into computer graphics. It's nice to know that the knowledge I picked up while fiddling with old Kodak slide projectors isn’t completely wasted in the digital millennium. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

BTW, I asked this same question yesterday while talking to a DWIN Transvision sales person in a hi-fi/video store located in a supposedly high-tech area (Seattle). He had no idea if there was anything that could be done about the overscan light bleed.

<warning, small-scale rant coming here>

It's no wonder that people end up doing their initial research in local brick and mortar stores, and then end up buying online. I try to support the local businesses in the small town I live in. But I don't have much sympathy for the HT dealers in big city markets like Seattle, if they can't bother to educate themselves about a $10,000+ product they're trying to sell. These guys just don't get it. I might have paid a ton of money for a custom turn-key installation, just for the convenience factor. But not from someone who doesn't understand the hardware!
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-28-2001, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the replies, that helps! I test-drove a few projector setups at local dealers yesterday, and I think I could live with a non-masked screen.

However I did notice something else that bothered me. I didn't mind the not-completely-black edges next to 4:3 video, or letterbox masking in 16:9. What bothered me was the overscan or light bleed that fell completely off the 16:9 screen and lit up (at very low levels) the room below the screen. I was told this is due to the chip itself (in the DLP projectors I saw) being a 4:3 format. Is there any way to mask this excess light at the projector... maybe with a cardboard mask at the lens, or something?

Does an "anamorphic lens" at the projector fix this? I don't know anything about these (next research project!).

Will the new 16:9 chip DLP projectors not have this problem?

To Honcho..

Quote:
Do I need the Stewart microperf screen if my left and right speakers are maybe a couple of feet behind the screen in order to avoid the screen blocking the sound? I may be able to put the center speaker on the ceiling just in front of the screen.
I'm not an expert, but I'll repeat some advice I've heard here and elsewhere. You may want to avoid a microperf screen since you're using a solid state projector. Apparently you can get a sort of interference pattern between the perforations and the pixels. Even if that doesn't happen, the whole idea of using a perforated screen makes me nervous. A dealer I spoke to yesterday had a good idea though -- he recommended ordering a standard screen with an extra micro-perforated black area above the screen. Mount your center channels speaker so it fires through the black area, instead of the screen. This might not work for everyone, but I thought it was an interesting idea.
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