Thanks to everyone for all the great info in this thread! I’ve followed it for months, and just bought a Qumi. (I like it in some ways, but I’m probably returning it, since the left side is permanently out of focus; which seems common, so I probably won’t get another one to try. I’ll wait a year and shop again!)
In any case, whether I keep it or not, I’m curious about the native aspect ratio. Supposedly it’s 1280x800 native. Regardless of what that translates to in rotated/diamond pixels, it should be 16:10 in shape—when connected, say, to a laptop at 1280x800.
But I can’t make my Qumi do anything but 16:9. Is that normal?EDIT -- Answer: yes, but you can change that setting under Installation 1—see below. Then you get FULL 16:10, although 4:3 signals still seem to be letterboxed.
* I always see a 16:9 image, surrounded by an “off black” 16:10 region that is visible in total darkness. Wasted bars at top/bottom, in other words (much larger than the normal thin “off black” margins at the left and right).
* The green Qumi startup screen is only 16:9 and has those same wasted bars.
* No matter whether I feed 720p from my laptop (1280x720) or the full 1280x800, I still see those bars; both resolutions fill exactly the same wall area.
* I tested the aspect ratio using a perfect circle drawn in Photoshop. When outputting 1280x720, the circle is perfect, proving the 16:9 image aspect as expected.
* But when I output 1280x800, the circle gets squashed down noticeable: the 16:10 image is being squashed into 16:9. The pixels are no longer square (er, I mean, the diamonds are no longer square). The image on the wall is no taller than it was with 1280x720.
* When I transmit a non-widescreen image (4:3 800x600, say), it still doesn’t go outside that 16:9 area. You’d think of the projector had 800 vertical pixels, it would use them to render 4:3 at full height.
* When I enable overscan on the Qumi, the top/bottom get cut off at the 16:9 border. Another indication that there is no image possible outside 16:9.
* In all of the above cases, I see those bars of slightly-lit area, showing what WOULD be 16:10 if those areas were ever used. I have never, in any situation, seen any imagery above or below the 16:9 region.
* All of these tests are from digital sources via HDMI: full-screen output from my MacBook Air (not letterboxed video content, which would confuse the issue, and not mirroring the internal display which would be confusing too). I’ve also tested from iPad, although the only real test there is the fact that 4:3 (and 3:4) outputs still don’t use the full vertical area of the projector.
So, my theory is that while some component(s) of the Qumi may technically have 1280x800 16:10 capability, the device is actually incapable of displaying 16:10. It always squashes 16:10 sources down to 16:9, wasting space at top/bottom and distorting circles into slight ovals. 40 pixels at the top and 40 at the bottom that never ever turn on. (Seldom an issue with video content, since that’s 16:9 anyway. But I play games and run presentations too, and would like to use 16:10 if it can be done.)
Has anyone seen the Qumi truly output a 16:10 aspect ratio? Has anyone seen those “slightly lit” bars at top/bottom actually display content? Do circles look perfectly round at (supposedly) native 1280x800?
Thanks in advance!