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4:3 or 16:9 most versatile?  

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new crt projector and am now pondering the best choice of screen proportion. It seems to me that using a 4:3 screen will give me the maximum image size available when viewing either format. If my thinking is correct, I can use the full width for either aspect ratio, with the 4:3 image being taller than the 16:9. Is this the way it works, or is there something I'm not taking into account?
post #2 of 6
Well, I personally think that 4:3 screens detract from the movie theater feel and, rather, make it look like a big TV set. The 16:9 screen (or other aspects like 2.35:1) really make the room look/feel better. I'll let others in the CRT space handle the technical details, just thought I'd pipe in regarding estetic(sp?) opinions.

post #3 of 6
I would use a screen that matches the native aspect ratio of your projector. For instance, I have a Sony 1252Q, which has 4x3 CRTs. If I used a 16x9 screen, it would work fine for 16x9 material. However, if I wanted to watch a 4x3 program, I would have to squeeze the image down to fit inside the 16x9 screen. i would be using a small square in the center of my CRT and I would never be using the full CRT.

This being said, many people only use their projector for 16x9 programs such as DVD and HDTV and feel the 16x9 screen is much more appealing. You just have to decide what you will be watching and go from there!
post #4 of 6

I had a 4:3 screen, and changed over to a 16:9 screen.

Some people don't like looking at the larger black bars of a 4:3 screen with widescreen material, but personally it has never bugged me because usually the room is totally dark and the unused screen blends into the surrounding blackness.

I changed over to a 16:9 screen because the bulk of my movie collection is widescreen material and HDTV is 16:9 format, also bacause I couldn't fit a larger 4:3 scree in the room, and if I could, the rear-most seating would not be able to see the bottom of the larger 4:3 screen.

post #5 of 6
I suggest getting a 16:9 screen, and will be doing the same for my own system (with a 4:3 native RGB projector) later this year (or next?).

Why? Because the 16:9 sources are so excellent (HDTV signal, upscaled DVD), and the 4:3 sources are so poor (NTSC, old VCR tapes, etc.). If you have a 16:9 setup, your wide images will be larger, and your 4:3 images smaller. I find a large poor quality image rather ofensive, however a small poor quality image can look much better.

Of course your decision depends on your personal preferences! And also, what your sources will be. I found that seeing actual setups in showrooms and one in a friend's home to be invaluable in my own decision.

Good luck!
post #6 of 6
I have been using a widescreen screen in my theater since 1991. First a 1.85 and now a 1.78 (60x107). When I ordered the 1.85 fixed, perforated screen from Stewart, they made me sign a hold harmless agreement because they had never made a 1.85 screen so small (48x89) and wanted to make sure I could not return it.

When working with a 3 Gun CRT PJ, you can adjust the width and height of the image across the screen very easily. My pJ at the time was the Panasonic PT101Y which had two inputs (RGB and S-Video), each with seperate H & W adjustments. I set the S-Video for LTBX 1.85 with the black bars scanning off the top and bottom of the screen. I then set the RGB to 4x3 "stretched."

When you have a 16x9 screen, you have three choices:

1. Barn Door 4x3 - 4x3 image is centered in the 16x9 screen with black bars on the left and right of the image.
2. Zoom 4x3 - you enlarge the 4x3 image to fit onto the 16x9 frame and loose the top and bottom of the 4x3 image. Sometimes called Full mode.
3. Stretched 4x3. You center the 4x3 image in the 16x9 frame than expand the width of the image. Center 1/3 of screen stays pretty much the same bu the left 1/3 and the Right 1/3 are distorted some.

The benefit to #3 is that the more of the CRT face you use, the longer the CRT will last. Many installers subtrack 10% from the Green Gun to Screen Center measurement to get the PJ closer to the screen for more light output and to also use more of the face of the CRT's (you expand the image in both the H & W).

I have been watching #3 for 9 years. Initally it is hard to adjust to but after a week or so, you get used to it and after a while, you don't even notice it unless there is circular shape on the extreme L & R side of the screen.

It is better than #2 because losing the top and bottom gives you some really funny images, especially in closeups which are the staple of Hollywood. #1 can cause premature CRT burn in.

But when I switch on HDTV and there are no black bars (Hate em with a passion), what a picture! Also Anamorphic DVD's are outstanding.


[This message has been edited by LeeAntin (edited February 21, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by LeeAntin (edited February 21, 2000).]
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