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1.78 or 1.85 screen for 16:9 projector?  

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am trying to decide on the appropriate screen aspect ratio for a 16:9 projector. The projector will be used mainly for watching DVDs. HDTV may be an issue in the future. The aspect ratio of most current DVDs seems to be split approximately 50/50 between 1.85 and 2.35.

If I were to fit the image of the projector so that it fills a 1.85 screen, then there would be black bars on the top and bottom of the screen when viewing 2.35 movies. If the projector were not zoomed in, 1.78 material would fill the screen with about a 2% overscan on the top and bottom. The 1.78 material could be zoomed in to eliminate the overscan, but then there would be narrow black bars on both sides of the screen.

If I were to use a 1.78 screen, then I would have to either accept narrow black bars on the top and bottom of the screen or zoom out the picture slightly for 1.85 material to fill the screen which would produce about a 2% overscan on each side of the screen. The black bars on the top and bottom of the screen will be even larger for 2.35 material than with the 1.85 screen.

I am leaning towards the 1.85 screen since an overscan of about 2% top and bottom for 1.33 and 1.78 material seems to be a fair compromise to remove the black bars on the top and bottom of the screen when viewing 1.85 material.

Opinions please.
post #2 of 10
One question you might want to check out is the location of on screen menus you need to use. Sometimes these are located at the very top. With the 1.85:1 screen, you might lose some parts of these menus. Also, some DVD's are recorded in 16:9 so you would also lose some of that information. I think if you were to go with a 1.85:1 screen, you would want to go with a wide frame, such as the Stewart Deluxe Screenwall with the Velux coating, so that this overscanning on the top and bottom would be mostly absorbed. If you went with a small frame, you might find that the overscan spills over onto your wall (although not a problem if the wall is black). Just something to be aware of.

Thanks!
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Jason, that is a good point about the wider frame with velour covering to ensure that the overscan is absorbed. On a 1.85 screen that is 54" x 100", only about 1" of the top and bottom of a 1.78 image would be missing. Does this seem like a fair trade-off for avoiding black bars at the top and bottom of 1.85 material?.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Any other comments?
post #5 of 10
Would be interested in the outcome of this. As you know, Scott, I'm in the market for a screen and projector as well. I was going to go with a 1.78 screen with dark masking on the sides, top, and bottom. When watching other content, I was planning on having a dark mask for the top (either a curtain or black pull down blind) and using the lens shift feature of the PLV-60 to move the image down the screen. I plan on having a 80" wide screen. Using this technique the image will always be 80" (zoom appropriately).

Has anyone else done this sort of thing.

Ray
post #6 of 10
I have a 107x60 (1.78) screen. If I knew then what I know now, I would have done 107x58 or 100x54 (both 1.85). Most movies are either 1.85 or 2.35 aspect ratio. For those that are 1.78, the 11/8" you will lose top and bottom will never be missed. And, The black bars on 2.35 movies will be that much thinner.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
FAR64, that is exactly why I am leaning towards a 1.85 screen.
post #8 of 10
I would go for the 1.78:1 screen for several reasons...

1. It fits the active area of your projector's output.
2. HDTV (the future of television) is a 16:9 format.
3. Many, many widescreen movies that are listed as 1.85:1 are actually framed at 1.78:1. (Shrek, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Cats & Dogs, Starship Troopers, The Gift, etc.) The list goes on and on, these were simply the ones that came to mind without looking.

Honestly, 1.78:1 is so close to 1.85:1 that you may as well match your projector's output instead of always having some light spill above and below the screen.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I suppose if I get a 1.78 screen, I can always zoom out 1.85 material to fit the screen while only losing a slight amount of information on each side of the picture.
post #10 of 10
2% overscan on all four sides of a 1.78:1 screen will render 1.85:1 images without any black bars. Most RPTVs have ~5% overscan which is why they typically show all 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 films without any letterbox bars.
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AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Screens › 1.78 or 1.85 screen for 16:9 projector?