The only really issue re any of this is are you selecting an aspect ratio in the sony above normal that forces the panel into a mode where image is lost because the panel is not tall enough to handle it. One can zoom and put image off screen but then zoom to make the image smaller and shift it etc, so one is really changing the screen size to fit the entire image. Using 2.35 and feeding 1.78, you will cut off and lose forever the top and bottom of the fame. not a lot of it but some. what you gain in return is use of all the pixels instead 93% (about) of them. I think as dr. Milller says the image quality might be a little better using the full width. I run my setting at normal zoom and do not use the full panel width. ..But that doesn't make it right or wrong. Its a choice I have 2 college basketball games to watch starting at noon and then 2 NFL playoff games. I'll be watching about 12 hours straight today. I will be relishing the image which makes me feel like I am ewatching the game live but close up.The broadcasts are 1.78 and my aspect ratio on the sony (zoom) will be set to norml and the entire screen will be filled but I will not be lighting 7% of the pixels (3.5% either side) but I will not be losing any part of the image. That's it. Works for me.
Another little point ( for the sick testing people like me ) if you keep it in normal, and put up a single pixel on/off in 1080P , it can scale it "perfect" and resolve every on/off pixel ( even with or without RC ), that cant be done in 2.35 :1 zoom mode or 1.85:1 mode, both off them make "funny" patterns and do not resolve and show one pixel off then one pixel on - meaning the normal mode will put a sharpere and more defined picture without any overscan ( = not losing any real image information and sharpness - "just" 7 % light ). On the other hand, if someone needs every lumen/ ft-L they can find, they should probely use 2.35/1.85:1 mode like wolfgang M. did, because off his very big screen ( not sure he do anymore, because now he use a A-lens !?)
I prefer the normal mode to and in 2D most people will have "enought" ( exists the scenario at all ) light anyway, unless they have very big screens ( over 4 -5 m wide ) or/and ekstreme low gain´s ?
Pick your poison