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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for my first projector and was looking hard at the L300U/500U. I want to run a 2.35 screen and zoom down to 1.78. This would allow me to only adjust the side masking. The adds say that the zoom ratio is 1.2 but my math from the manual give a 1.252 ratio. This difference equals almost 2" (~4" to ~2" loss in height) Any help would be greatly appreciated as I wan't to plan the home theater as much as possible.


Thanks Gary01
 

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Unfortunately, unless you can adjust the height of the projector or the screen when changing aspect ratios, it is not possible to have a constant-height--variable width screen setup with the Panny PT-L200/300 family. The problem is that, assuming a ceiling mount, the top of the projected image will always be at the same height. Zooming in or out adjusts the sides and bottom of the picture, but the top stays in the same place. So, if you have your screen positioned to be filled by a 2.35:1 image, you will actually be projecting the top of the 16:9 native image (the "black bars") over the top of the screen, and the bottom of the image under the bottom of the screen. When you try to zoom in for a 16:9 image, the top of that image will still be projecting over the top of the screen.


In my HT I am fortunate to have enough room for my 16:9 ceiling mounted screen to be placed in front of and higher than my DIY 2.35:1 screen, so the PJ can stay in the same place. If you do try the constant-height--variable width screen setup you will need to be able to mount your screen in such a way that you can raise or lower it as necessary.
 

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Actually, what you want to do is how I have my theater setup right now.


The only problem is, you cannot do this with a set-top DVD player, you need to do this with a Home Theater PC and TheaterTek software (at least, this is the combo I use).


If you are interested in doing this, I can help you out.


This is what I do: I have a 2:35.1 screen -- I have my screen set up so that when a 1:85.1 movie plays, it is centered in the middle. When a 2:35.1 movie plays it fills the entire screen.


Same thing with 4:3 material (the shining, pinnochio, etc...) it is centered in the middle.


I use a motorized curtain assembly with present stops for each aspect ratio selection.


I have the following (from smallest to largest)


4:3


1:66.1 (animation)


1:75.1 (widescreen)


1:85.1 (movies)


2:35.1 (movies)


HOpe this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BMAG, every thing you say is true but my question is how much of the screen will be cut off when I zoom in (top and bottom. Is it 2" + 2' OR 1" + 1"? I would need a 1.3 ratio to zoom from 2.35 to 1.77 properly. I am just trying to see how bad the compromise will be with the Panny's.


Thanks For your input


Gary01
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Joe,


The electronic solution sounds interesting though I had not thought of it. I am just looking for some real world numbers so I can see how bad it could be , Mathematically


Thanks Gary01
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary01
BMAG, every thing you say is true but my question is how much of the screen will be cut off when I zoom in (top and bottom. Is it 2" + 2' OR 1" + 1"? I would need a 1.3 ratio to zoom from 2.35 to 1.77 properly. I am just trying to see how bad the compromise will be with the Panny's.


Thanks For your input


Gary01
I'm lost. When you say "zoom in" you don't mean the projector's zoom lens do you? This would be unnecessary. With software it will fill your 2.35:1 perfectly, then when you watch a 1.77 program you can have the software align the top and bottom perfectly with the top and bottom of your screen, only the sides will have black bars (obviously).


Of course this requires using an HTPC. If you don't no amount of manual zooming is going to help as the top of the picture in 1.77 material will be projected off the top of the screen. You'd need to physically have the projector lower up and down without an HTPC.


- Cryo
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yes I mean with the zoom lens. My understanding is that the screen top will stay relatively at the same level when zooming in and out with the lens


Gary01
 

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Joe and Cryo are right -- I based my answer on my DVD player mindset, not on the HTPC solution. If you want to use the PJ for HDTV as well, as I do, I am not sure how the HTPC will help, however.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary01
yes I mean with the zoom lens. My understanding is that the screen top will stay relatively at the same level when zooming in and out with the lens


Gary01
Yes, the top of the projector's "frame" stays constant, while the sides and bottom expand. But on a 2.35:1 DVD, the image is across the middle of the frame, with black bars on top and bottom. When you switch to 1.77:1 the image fills the area where the black bars were, so the top portion of your picture in 1.77:1 mode will be outside your screen area unless you are somehow able to physically lower the projector itself so the top of the frame is now aligned with the top of your screen. If your DVD player put the 2.35:1 image at the top of the projector's frame you'd be okay (you could just align the projector frame top with your screen top), but it won't, it will stick it in the middle. All that zooming in and out would be a pain anyhow. Most people find the proper projector zoom setting and never touch it.


With the HTPC it can put the image anywhere in the projector's frame that you desire, and call up those settings in a config file for your movie. In other words it would be automatic and perfect. Not sure how else it could be done.


This is why its more common to see 1.77:1 screens. You fill the screen with your image and the 2.35:1 films just put black bars on the top and bottom (often vertical masking is used).


But I really like the 2.35:1 screen idea with masking from the sides (like a real movie theatre), I just think you'll need an HTPC to pull it off (or again a mount that lowers the projector a foot or two for 1.77:1 movies). Do other projectors use the same zoom style (constant top) as the L300U or do they uniformally zoom all sides in and out? That might be an easier way to go unless you have your heart set on the 300 (nice projector)...


- Cryo
 
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