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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried a search on this subject without luck. Maybe I'm not using the correct terminology. Sorry if this is well-trod territory but there are a few questions I feel I must lay to rest so I can start visualizing a suitable solution.


Although 1.78:1 will undoubtedly dominate as HDTV availability expands, screen shots and set-up pics on this great site have convinced me that there's just something extra movie-magical about a room with the widest commonly used aspect ratio (2.35:1) fixed screen in it (even when it's waiting there blank with the projector turned off. LOL!).


I know that projecting 2.35:1 source material on it is ideal but my questions concern any unforseen problems that may arise when I project material of other aspect ratios on such a screen. And I'd want the black bars, top, bottom or sides, when applicable, to disappear into masking material as much as possible.


So I guess I ought to start planning the logistics required to best use a fixed 2.35:1 screen or painted wall and then plan ways to mask it in from the sides for narrower material, 1.85, 1.78 and 1.33. Or am I missing something critical here?


- Would a projector (to be determined) with a fixed height be the ticket for such a set-up?


- Do projectors with a fixed height also mean they have a fixed 'bottom edge' when you switch from 2.35:1 to, say, 1.33.1 and, therefore, top and bottom masking would never or rarely be required?


- Are there certain PJ's that adapt to this idea better than others? If so, which ones?


- Am I making a classic newbie mistake in thinking that starting out with the widest screen will ONLY require me to mask in from the sides and escape the clumsiness of those more difficult top and bottom masking solutions?


- Am I way off to consider this and only setting myself up for an endless series of zooms and tweaks every time the aspect ratio of my source material changes and all the attendant resolution issues?


- When an HDTV channel (HBOHD) broadcasts a 2.35:1 movie within it's 1.78:1 frame (with black bars on the top and bottom?), will that be the time when the chickens really come home to roost on this idea of mine and Ill wish I hadn't even heard of my 2.35:1 screen? LOL!


- Any other 'gotcha's' out there that I should consider before I go any further with this plan?


I appreciate any input you folks can provide. Even a short and sweet 'you dummy' type response is welcome if it answers my quesitons correctly. I may be a newbie, but my skin is thick enough to handle the truth! LOL!


________________________________________


"You shoudn't have been...you shouldn't have been that sentimental." - 1958


"I know, but I'm sentimental." - 1959

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 Here is a decent thread on the topic.


1st: See if your projector can actually zoom enough to handle it. I have an HS10 and it's won't zoom far enough.


2nd: Many projectors scale 2.35 output to less than exactly 2.35. They also have different digital zoom modes.


3rd: Many 2.35 DVD's are not really 2.35:1 anyway...


4th: The easiest way to do what you want is probably using an HTPC to adjust the position and scale of the output to your projector. There are a few devent HTPC threads on the topic.


I personally gave up and decided to get a 16:9 Stewart Firehawk screen. Hopefully the lines will be a bit darker on that screen. If the lines are too bright or annoying I can build my own masking system.


Good Luck...
 

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I don't have time to go into much detail at the moment, but I'm doing exactly this with a HS10. I'm using a 2.20:1 aspect ratio screen, since most supposedly 2.35 transfers are anythng but:rolleyes: I have no trouble with having enough zoom range to do this.


There are problems with this arrangement, mainly the need to shift the lens vertically. Since the HS10 doesn't have built-in lens shift, I made a pivoting mount to do it manually. If you didn't want to deal with this you'd need to buy a PJ that has power lens shift.


I'll try & pop in tomorrow and go down your checklist, if nobody else with experience in this area chimes in first. But I will say you're on the right path, IMO. I find the fixed height viewing much more enjoyable; it gives true widescreen films the visual impact they were shot for...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the thread link, seand. I see the better search term for me would have been 'constant height' screen instead of 'fixed'.


Kevin, looking forward to any additions you have for this topic and anyone else as well.


From that extensive and informative discussion link and the comments from both of you so far, it seems there's a Maintaining Full PJ Specs vs. Simplicity of Screen Mechanics dilemma at work here. With a heavy dose of giving value to the intended impact of screen format thrown in...a movie filmed at 2.35:1, in all probability, SHOULD be presented larger in your home-theater than one filmed at 1.85:1 instead of vice-versa (Annie Hall/Star Wars).


Splitting the difference between a fully 2.35 and a 1.85 (2.00:1 ?) and buying a PJ that can add some lens shift capabilities to minimize the zoom requirements looks like the best realistic compromise at this technological point in time. Or a new and easier method of screen masking introduced into the mix. And I'm anxious to read more before I pop for the PJ (within weeks or a couple of months, I promise!).


It was so much simpler with my Hasbro Give-A-Show Projector and those little Mighty Mouse and Popeye strips...


:eek:)
 
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