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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi


My first post and pretty much a newbie to the tech., so please take it easy. ;-)


My question is about aspect ratios on 4:3 and 16:9 native projectors. I've tried to find out the information, but I'm not totally sure yet what the bottom line is. I'm still debating with myself about getting a native 4:3 or native 16:9 projector and part of the discussion is aspect ratios.


For the answers, assume the projector is ceiling mounted.


So, to the questions...


1.


If I buy a native 4:3 projector and watch a mix of 4:3 and 16:9 (also of course DVD 2.35...) source, when I switch the 4:3 native projector into 16:9 mode, how is the image changed? Does it letterbox with equal 'blackstrips' at top and bottom? Or letterbox with only a 'blackstrip' at bottom? Or letterbox with only 'blackstrip' at top? Is the answer the standard for all projectors or is it projector/manufacturer dependent?


2.


Similar question to above, but with a native 16:9 projector. I assume it 'letterboxes' equally with 'blackstrip' on left and right if switching into 4:3 mode?


Thanks for any help/suggestions.
 

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I can answer with respect to Panasonic 300U which is 16:9. With 4:3 material it can be displayed with equal bars on the left and right or you can shift the image to match up with the right or left border. As far as I know some 4x3 projectors let you adjust the position of the 16x9 picture, but I'm not sure if they all do.
 

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You could always got to a "dual mode" DLP projector such as the one that I have: Studio Experience Cinema 12SF/InFocus LS110. The DMD in this projector has a native resolution on 800x600 in 4:3 and 848x480 for 16:9 inputs. For this projector when viewing 4:3 images or 16:9 images you can simply zoom the image to fit the screen you have.


I think that the question that you have to ask yourself is do you want to buy a 16:9 aspect ratio (AR) screen and watch 4:3 images with black areas on the sides, or buy a 4:3 AR screen and have black bars on the top and bottom?


The other wrinkle to consider is masking to cover the unused portion of the screens, and this situation always brings out a lot of debate:D


Personally I have a 52x92 (16:9 AR) screen that I watch a mixture of 4:3 and widescreen material on. Soon I will add some type of masking to improve the perceived contrast ratio.
 

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The future is clearly widescreen and so IMHO I think that is the clear choice.

Additionally since you would in all likelyhood be watching 4:3 and2.35:1 in addition to 16:9 masking improves the viewing experience for the other ratios.


If I buy a native 4:3 projector and watch a mix of 4:3 and 16:9 (also of course DVD 2.35...) source, when I switch the 4:3 native projector into 16:9 mode, how is the image changed? Does it letterbox with equal 'blackstrips' at top and bottom?

YES


Or letterbox with only a 'blackstrip' at bottom? Or letterbox with only 'blackstrip' at top? Is the answer the standard for all projectors or is it projector/manufacturer dependent? I THINK THESE WOULD BE UNCOMMON AND WOULD BE MORE THE RESULT OF A COMBINATION WITH AN EXTERNAL SCALER AND A SPECIAL SETUP.




Similar question to above, but with a native 16:9 projector. I assume it 'letterboxes' equally with 'blackstrip' on left and right if switching into 4:3 mode? YES
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Al,


Yes, you're right, I was thinking about the screen, but imagining that the selection of projector had some bearing on this. My thinking was concerned with the required masking and how to do this in the least painful way. I'm tending to think that 16:9 should be the way to go, but seeing more complications with having a 16:9 screen with a native 4:3 projector than a 16:9 screen with a native 16:9 projector.


Thanks for all replies.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by AdiHH
Al,


Yes, you're right, I was thinking about the screen, but imagining that the selection of projector had some bearing on this. My thinking was concerned with the required masking and how to do this in the least painful way. I'm tending to think that 16:9 should be the way to go, but seeing more complications with having a 16:9 screen with a native 4:3 projector than a 16:9 screen with a native 16:9 projector.


Thanks for all replies.
I think that the 16:9 screen is the way to go no matter the projector selection (assuming mostly widescreen viewing), masking would be easier on the left and right versus top and bottom.


Even with a 16:9 projector, any time you watch (unstretched) 4:3 sources you will still have black bars on the sides anyway. With a 4:3 projector the image would still have black bars on a 16:9 screen, and when you watch widescreen material you could zoom the image in to fill the screen.
 

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I followed your link to see you HT photo's, very nicely done!, looks like you put a lot of thought and effort into the design and execution. Did you do the work yourself?
 

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Al

Yes I did all the work with the exception of the carpet on the floor. I did however put the carpet on the walls.


I am today working on a upgrade and repositioning of surrounds to prepare for a new preamp which will bring me up to Dolby Digital / DTS EX.
 

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Al,


I have the Cinema 12SF as well.

I'm currently projecting onto a DIY screen and looking to upgrade.


I am heavily considering the High Power material. Does the 52"x92" screen fit the 16:9 ratio picture perfectly?


Also, I just called Boxlight and they have a new 3.4 firmware upgrade for the 12SF. Did you know about this? I'm thinking of sending mine in.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BSN
Al,


I have the Cinema 12SF as well.

I'm currently projecting onto a DIY screen and looking to upgrade.


I am heavily considering the High Power material. Does the 52"x92" screen fit the 16:9 ratio picture perfectly?

Hmm, with 1.85:1 the image is not quite perfect, when zoomed to fit the width I find there is about 1/2" of "black bar" showing top and bottom, since I don't have any true 1.78:1 sources I can't comment on the fill ratio. Given the 1.85:1 results it should be pretty close but still some unused screen will be visible though. Unless you really need a lot of light I think that you may find the High Power screen too bright, I have a Da-Lite HCCV (grey) and the bright scenes are quite bright and the improvement to the black is definitely worthwhile


Also, I just called Boxlight and they have a new 3.4 firmware upgrade for the 12SF. Did you know about this? I'm thinking of sending mine in.

Yes, I upgraded my firmware version from 2.9 to 3.4, I believe that it was worth while, new menu look, and some minor options changed as well. I did it myself with a M1-DA cable, not too hard, much like flashing a motherboard BIOS. But as you say free from the manufacturer as well.
How long have you had your machine? Are you happy with it? What kind of setup do you run it with.
 

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Someone jump in here if I am wrong, but here is what I have learned after a couple of weeks of reading on this forum. No projectors support native 1.85/2.35 format (at least not those under $10K that I have seen), so your choices are native 4:3 (1.33) or 16:9 (1.77). Having said that, when watching 1.85/2.35 AR material, whether your projector is native 4:3 or 16:9, you are going to have black bars at that top and bottom of the screen, with the difference being that on a native 16:9, the bars will be almost negligible at 1.85, and slightly larger on 2.35. When watching 4:3 material on a native 16:9 projector, you will end up with rather large bars on the left and right since the projector sizes the 4:3 image so that the height is the maximum that the projector can display. In this last case, you can either get a masking system with the screen, or simply build some drapes directly in front of the screen that you can slide to achieve the mask - just like a movie theater.


The net effect seems to be that the AR of your screen should match the native AR of the projector for best results, otherwise you end up not utilizing a good portion of the screen without zooming.
 

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Al,


My set up is short and simple. Panny RP56 on progressive mode always. Monster3 component cable. I watch TV through my VCR tuner. Not bad. Sound coming from Klipsch reference3 5.1 speakers and yamaha receiver.


Had the projector for one year and a month now. Still love it. I'm just trying to find a way to shield the front light spill though. I detect a big difference if I block it temporarily. You have any luck with this problem?


I have to send my pj to boxlight to get the upgrade. Don't know how to download it in. That means I won't be without it for at least a week. :(


You have any flickering issues?

Do you get "sparklies" in the HCCV during bright scenes?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Uther
Someone jump in here if I am wrong, but here is what I have learned after a couple of weeks of reading on this forum. No projectors support native 1.85/2.35 format (at least not those under $10K that I have seen), so your choices are native 4:3 (1.33) or 16:9 (1.77). Having said that, when watching 1.85/2.35 AR material, whether your projector is native 4:3 or 16:9, you are going to have black bars at that top and bottom of the screen, with the difference being that on a native 16:9, the bars will be almost negligible at 1.85, and slightly larger on 2.35. When watching 4:3 material on a native 16:9 projector, you will end up with rather large bars on the left and right since the projector sizes the 4:3 image so that the height is the maximum that the projector can display. In this last case, you can either get a masking system with the screen, or simply build some drapes directly in front of the screen that you can slide to achieve the mask - just like a movie theater.


The net effect seems to be that the AR of your screen should match the native AR of the projector for best results, otherwise you end up not utilizing a good portion of the screen without zooming.
Uther, the only thing that I would like to comment on (most everything you have said is correct), is the projector I have is a "dual mode" unit, 848x480 in 16:9 mode and 800x600 in 4:3 mode, throws a bit of wrench in the works;)


So, my comment is rather then matching the AR of the screen to the projector; my preference would be to match it to the majority of the material that you are going to watch. In my case I settled on a 16:9 ratio screen and since this AR is a standard one, the cost is more reasonable then say a 2.35:1 or wider "custom built" one. There has been a lot of talk on the forum about the virtues of a constant height approach, that is setting your images maximum height and mask for the width you are watching, 4:3 all the way out to 2.40:1. This way you would only have to worry about masking for the sides, something easy to do with a simple curtain.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BSN
Al,


My set up is short and simple. Panny RP56 on progressive mode always. Monster3 component cable. I watch TV through my VCR tuner. Not bad. Sound coming from Klipsch reference3 5.1 speakers and yamaha receiver.


Had the projector for one year and a month now. Still love it. I'm just trying to find a way to shield the front light spill though. I detect a big difference if I block it temporarily. You have any luck with this problem?


I have to send my pj to boxlight to get the upgrade. Don't know how to download it in. That means I won't be without it for at least a week. :(


You have any flickering issues?

Do you get "sparklies" in the HCCV during bright scenes?
Hi Joel, I have had my unit since last July, and for the money and the features it has, I too am still very happy. With respect to the light spill from the front, I have been thinking about this for some time now, even with the ceiling in my HT painted flat black the spill is noticeable. I think by eliminating it we could see an improvement in the CR that would be worth the effort. With the type of mount that I use ( the picture is in a thread on the forum, I'll find it if possible), I think that the only solution for me would be a shield that would be "U" shaped with a hole cut for the lens that wraps top-front-bottom with enough air space to allow for cooling, simple but effective. I'm not even considering a hush box at this point, maybe when I re-do the entire room, but not yet. What is your idea?


The good thing about sending it in for the upgrade, they will guarantee the work, it's a procedure not for the faint at heart, I've done it and since I only borrowed the cable, I would probably send it in the next time. Having said all of this, if I had the cable, I would certainly do again my self, the procedure is a step by step affair, not overly hard, just a bit tedious.


Flickering, not usually, but for instance the night before last I did notice a shift in brightness in the picture from bright to dim from time to time, not a constant flicker, almost attributable to the tape I was watching. Never really noticed on DVD's, but I did see it when running the computer through it. What have you noticed?


Image quality on the HCCV is wonderful, good blacks and plenty bright enough, sometimes when watching a particularly dark scene and there is a flash of light, it is so bright as to cause me to squint due to the sudden brightness. I have seen sparkles, but only in an image where the amount of light information in the scene was very high, for example when light was shown reflecting off the water's surface. Nothing that I would say was distracting. My screen prior to this one was the dull vinyl surface of a black out curtain, unfortunately not much of a comparison.
 
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