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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background

Hi, this is my first post. I just joined the projector community. After weeks of research I purchased a Panasonic PT-AE3000U projector. Now I have the projector but still have not made a final decsion on the screen ratio. This projector has an "anamorphic lens" setting that enables it to project a 16:9 images vertically scalled to fit a 2:35 screen.


Now, I'm not just going to ask the same boring question (16:9 or 2:35). Rather, I would like to contribute all of my research and ask for feedback.

My Research

http://www.bellababy-boutique.com/download/RatioResearch.zip


If you download my Excel spreadsheet you will see that I have done a significant amout of research. My spreadsheet even has a filterable, sortable list of all 1:85, 2:35 and 2:40 movies from IMDB.com (sorry, 2005 is the latest that their database goes).

My Final Conclusion

In the end I think I will go with a 16:9 screen for these reasons:


1) As shown in Column F if you are watching a 2:35 film on the 100x16:9 screen you will only have a 15% total area reduction compared to viewing the same file on the 103x2:35 screen. In other words 2:35 letterboxing results in a 95" image. Not bad!!!


2) By contrast, column G shows that if you are watching a 16:9 film on the 103x2:35 screen you will have a drastic 32.37% reduction in viewable area compared to the 100X16:9. That is a total diagonal reduction of 17.7 inches. In other words 16:9 letterboxing reduces the image to 82.3 diagonal. OUCH!!



Through my research I think I have justified my reasons for my own personal decision but I welcome your feedback. Maybe you can sway me to go 2:35 for compelling reasons that I have not considered.


There is even the chance that I totally screwed up my math.
 

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Many in this forum bought the Panny 3000 for its remote zoom feature that allows them to preset a zoom to shoot the black bars off the top and bottom. They call this method "the zoom method".


What you describing is "scaling" which will require the use of an anamorphic lens to restore the geometry.


A 16:9 screen will only allow you to veiw Scope films (more and more are made this way) using just 75% of the vertical rez of the projector or about 810 lines of the 1080 that you have.


And the real gut kick is that the BIGGER picture is actually smaller...


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX /forum/post/15566714


What you describing is "scaling" which will require the use of an anamorphic lens to restore the geometry.

Mark

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. From what I've read the "anamorphic" resize preseves the image without distortion.


The review at projectorreviews.com stated "Using a real anamorphic lens (and sled), accomplishes the same thing with some advantages, but you are normally talking about a few thousand dollars more."
 

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Load a film that is SCOPE, so you can see the black bars, then push Zoom 1 and see what happens to the image...


Mark
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX /forum/post/15566714


A 16:9 screen will only allow you to veiw Scope films (more and more are made this way) using just 75% of the vertical rez of the projector or about 810 lines of the 1080 that you have.

But scope films only have "810" lines on the disc- how is this a downside? Scaling (vert. stretching) to use all 1080 is only making information up that isn't there.


If Blu-ray's were anamorphic, we'd have another story.
 

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I had a 104" diag 16X9 screen which gave me a 50" high X 91" wide 1:85 image and a 98" diag X 91" wide 2:35 image. The scope image was 3,458 sq inches.


My new screen is 130" diag 2:40. It gives me the same 1:85 size image (50" high X 91" wide) - but my scope image is now 50" high X 120" wide - 6,000 sq inches! Big difference.


Only downside to that larger size I see is SD DVD. At 404 pixels (and w/ average material) I kinda want to sit in my second row (30 degree viewing angle). But BD's at 817 pixels look fabulous from my first row and at 40 degree viewing angle the image is extremely immersive.


But yes - if BD's were anamorphic that would be ultimate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would love to go with a 130" 2:40 screen. The problem is my media room. It is not a true rectangle. The projector wall has lost wall space because the french doors into the room come off that wall at a 45 degree angle. Therefore, in order to have the screen centered in the room a 110" 2:40 is about the widest I can go.


Here is the floorplan (as an FYI, unlike the floorplan, my back wall is a straight wall because I built my media closet there)...

http://www.meritagehomes.com/images/data/attachments/0001/1379/maple.pdf
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGator /forum/post/15568778


But scope films only have "810" lines on the disc- how is this a downside? Scaling (vert. stretching) to use all 1080 is only making information up that isn't there.


If Blu-ray's were anamorphic, we'd have another story.

But using the whole panel ,which is obvious from the improved pixel visibility issues is adventageous. You are throwing out a quarter of a million pixels otherwise.


Art
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrsbrq /forum/post/15566649


1) As shown in Column F if you are watching a 2:35 film on the 100x16:9 screen you will only have a 15% total area reduction compared to viewing the same file on the 103x2:35 screen. In other words 2:35 letterboxing results in a 95" image. Not bad!!!


2) By contrast, column G shows that if you are watching a 16:9 film on the 103x2:35 screen you will have a drastic 32.37% reduction in viewable area compared to the 100X16:9. That is a total diagonal reduction of 17.7 inches. In other words 16:9 letterboxing reduces the image to 82.3 diagonal. OUCH!!



Through my research I think I have justified my reasons for my own personal decision but I welcome your feedback. Maybe you can sway me to go 2:35 for compelling reasons that I have not considered.


There is even the chance that I totally screwed up my math.

Math is one thing, but you're ignoring the aesthetic considerations. "Scope" movies are meant to be larger and wider than "Flat" movies. The current home video paradigm (16:9 larger than 2.40:1) is an unfortunate technical compromise that reverses the artistic intention.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z /forum/post/15570680


Math is one thing, but you're ignoring the aesthetic considerations. "Scope" movies are meant to be larger and wider than "Flat" movies. The current home video paradigm (16:9 larger than 2.40:1) is an unfortunate technical compromise that reverses the artistic intention.

Chrsbrq - Josh hit the nail on the head. You need to decide what you want first. Do you just want the biggest image you can get? Then CIH isn't for you. But if you want 2.4 to have a greater visual impact than 1.78 (which is generally the artistic intent of 2.4), then you have to do CIH. Also, if you plan your seating distance carefully, 1.78 shouldn't look "small."


If you decide you want to do CIH, then there are many different ways to implement it, the Panny offers one the cheapest, easiest ways. Again, you need to first decide whether or not you like CIH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ilsiu - your feedback (and everyone else's is much appreciated). However, I'm now concerened somewhat about 2.4 on the Panny because of what was mentioned in the first reply from CAVX...


"What you describing is "scaling" which will require the use of an anamorphic lens to restore the geometry. "


My projector just arrived last night so I haven't experimented yet. Does the panny really do a good job with CIH or would I still need a lens for good results?



And a followup question, my first row is about 9.5 ft from the screen and the back row is about 14.5 ft (on a raised platform). If 103" x 2.35 screen is the widest I can go for my room, is this a suitable configuration?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrsbrq /forum/post/15570989


Ilsiu - your feedback (and everyone else's is much appreciated). However, I'm now concerened somewhat about 2.4 on the Panny because of what was mentioned in the first reply from CAVX...


"What you describing is "scaling" which will require the use of an anamorphic lens to restore the geometry. "


My projector just arrived last night so I haven't experimented yet. Does the panny really do a good job with CIH or would I still need a lens for good results?



And a followup question, my first row is about 9.5 ft from the screen and the back row is about 14.5 ft (on a raised platform). If 103" x 2.35 screen is the widest I can go for my room, is this a suitable configuration?

Your situation somewhat mirrors my own. I'm planning a 96" wide 2.4 screen with seating ~10 ft. I tested the size by putting a blue tape outline on the wall where the screen will go, and I was fine with it. Since you already have the projector, you can play with different sizes and find out what you prefer.


As for the Panny, I'm also planning on getting this projector because it has a unique zoom memory feature. There are several ways to switch between different aspect ratios and have them maintain the same height. The two most common is zooming and anamorphic lens.


The zoom method means you set the projector lens so the 2.4 image fills up the 2.4 screen. When you watch 1.78 material, you need to zoom (shrink) and maybe lens shift the image so that the height will fit into the screen. The Panny can save different zoom/shift positions so all you have need to switch is a couple of button presses on the remote. No scaling is involved.


The anamorphic lens requires the projector (or an external scaler) to vertically stretch the image (digital vertical zoom), then an anamophic lens to horizontally stretch the image (optical horizontal zoom). The concept is the same as zooming, except you digitally zoom in one direction and need a specialized lens to zoom in the other directions (projector zoom always zooms both directions at the same time). CAVX has a very detailed description with photos at the link on his sig.


There are pros and cons to each method that have been throroughly debated in other threads. But again, since you already have the Panny, go ahead and try the zoom method. If the image isn't satisfactory, then you'll need to do some further investigation into lens method*.


Good luck!


* There's a warning - Cine4Home.dk did a very detailed comparison of zoom method vs (expensive) anamorphic lens with the Panny and found no advantage to use the lens. That's not to say that the lens method is bad, but it just doesn't seem to buy very much with this particular projector. If you're dissatisfied with zooming, you may need to consider getting a different projector entirely to use with a lens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think I just changed my decision.


One of the motivating factors for thinking I would go with a 16X9 screen was the data I got from IMDB. I compiled all of their movies by aspect into the spreadsheet in my first post (about 9000 movies). It appeared from that data that the majority of DVDs were released in 1:85 and that 2:40 was the exception. However, their data stops at 2005.


Well, I went to Hollywood Video today and browsed through a few dozen DVDs and BlueRays. It would seem that now the majority are 2:35 and 2:40 and that 1:85 is the exception. Spider-man was a perfect example.

- Spider-Man (2002) is 1:85

- Spider-Man 2 (2004) is 2:35

- Spider-Man 3 (2007) is 2:35


Having come to the conclusion that the future of DVDs/BlueRays seems to be wider-is-better I think I'll go with the 2:35 screen.



But, as recommeneded I will throw up a white sheet on my wall and play around with both options.
 

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^

Good decision. Looking at my Blu-ray collection - I have 122 scope films, and 35 smaller aspect ratio films. And I only have one 1:33 film! (and I'm a 1:33 film fan)


And watching 1:33, 1:66, 1:78, and 1:85 films on my 2:40 screen works fine for me
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Boy, am I glad I didn't buy a screen without first projecting onto a wall and testing various screen sizes.


I now have to agree 100% with Josh Z who said above "Math is one thing, but..."


I realize now that my left brain and right brain can duke it out all day long (size vs articistic intent). However, seeing is what really counts. I watched several movies over the weekend by just projecting onto a wall. My first pleasant surprise was that I could get away with a wider image than I originally thought. Here are the results....


The first movie I watched was a 1.85 film:

16:9 x 120"

This was my first test. Moving up from a 42" plasma I was all smiles when I saw how large the image was. I thought "surely this is it!" However, 15 minutes into the movie I realized my eyes were straining because it was much too big for the first row (10.5 ft). So, I quickly dismissed this screen.

16:9 X 100

This was my second test. For the first row this size was MUCH more pleasing to the eyes. Size really isn't everything! So I was sure that for 1.85 movies this was the size I needed.


The second movie I watched was 2.39

2.35 X 82"

This is the same lens configuration as my previous test which is a 16:9 x 100" screen but with top and bottom letterboxing. There was nothing wrong with this image. It did not look small but it was slightly less impressive than watching the full 100" image on the previous film. So, half way through I swapped to my final test...

2.35 X 120

Now for my final test I changed the projected image to match a 120" 2.35 screen. I was impressed! At first I thought the image would be too big for the first row (as im my first test). However, my eyes didn't have a problem with the horizontal size and the vertical size was the same as the 100" 16:9. The "panoramic" view of the wider screen is no problem for 10.5 ft first row and was just as good for the 15 ft second row. So, my eyes were pleased as well as my appetite for size. This is it for sure! And, best of all, with a screen this size a 16:9 film is almost exactly 100" diagonal (which is what I wanted).



So, having done all my testing I'll be ordering my screen today. I'm going with a 120" 2.35. Thanks for all the feedback. I'm sure glad I didn't order a screen based simply on math, this is something you just really have to experience before making a decision.



Footnote: - The 120" 2.35 screen did show some pixelation when watching a SD DVD (especially from the first row). It was still very watchable though. Since I have the lens memory on the Panny 3000 I was thinking I might zoom out slightly when watching SD DVDs in 2.35. Does anyone else take this approach or do you just learn to live with it?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn /forum/post/15570495


But using the whole panel ,which is obvious from the improved pixel visibility issues is adventageous. You are throwing out a quarter of a million pixels otherwise.


Art

Well sure, you gain brightness (and then lose some through a lens) but lose sharpness as you are no longer 1:1 pixel-mapped (besides sharpness loss through a lens, depending on quality).


"improved pixel visibility issues" - what do you mean by this?


You still aren't throwing out a quarter million pixels, because they don't exist in the source!
You simply aren't using a quarter million pixels in your PJs panel.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGator /forum/post/15604467


Well sure, you gain brightness (and then lose some through a lens) but lose sharpness as you are no longer 1:1 pixel-mapped (besides sharpness loss through a lens, depending on quality).


.

I stumble upon this thinking now and then and can't but marvel how wrong-headed it is. At best all copies of any source is an "interpretation" or approximation of what the original is. Are you suggesting that prediction of pixel information based on what information an array of pixels might provide is somehow going to soften or destroy an image? I would suppose you have never shot with a Bayer based digital camera which utilizes predictive algorithms or that you have never used software like ffdshow to scale an SD source or utilised an outboard scaler? Is it safe to say you see no value in displays that scale temporally and and therefore spatially via interpolation such as 120 hz displays? Not my cup o' tea but some swear by 'em.


Is it safe to sau you see no value in scaling SD to your panels' pixel count (which would be "pixel-mapped" btw on a proper display) and that you display SD as a window within your larger displays?


ted
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvted /forum/post/15608242


I stumble upon this thinking now and then and can't but marvel how wrong-headed it is. At best all copies of any source is an "interpretation" or approximation of what the original is. Are you suggesting that prediction of pixel information based on what information an array of pixels might provide is somehow going to soften or destroy an image? I would suppose you have never shot with a Bayer based digital camera which utilizes predictive algorithms or that you have never used software like ffdshow to scale an SD source or utilised an outboard scaler? Is it safe to say you see no value in displays that scale temporally and and therefore spatially via interpolation such as 120 hz displays? Not my cup o' tea but some swear by 'em.


Is it safe to sau you see no value in scaling SD to your panels' pixel count (which would be "pixel-mapped" btw on a proper display) and that you display SD as a window within your larger displays?


ted

Well hey now, I'm only saying that you CAN'T be throwing out any pixels if they don't exist in the first place. I'm only saying that you aren't LOSING any thing by not vertical scaling and using the full panel. Yes you can do it, and yes some may enjoy the "enhanced" vertical resolution, but 1:1 sourced from a Blu-ray to the projector is not inferior, and you are not missing anything- that's my only point.


SD is a completely different ballgame, and in some cases, yes I have watched it window boxed. Sometimes quality triumphs over size, cliche'd as it may be.



Also, I have a 2560x1600 30" LCD that I've played with ffdshow scaling 1080p on, because you can either let the video driver do the scaling or have some control over it via ffdshow (This particular LCD, 3007WFP doesn't have hardware scaling).


120Hz interpolation is nasty, and I can't stand it, though I don't see the relevance it has here?


If you were to set up identical 1920x817p sourced projections at the same size next to one another, one being vertically scaled to fill 1080p and then AR corrected with a lens, and one being zoomed to the proper size, you would not have people gawking at the "increased" resolution of the lens setup. No it may not be destroyed, or even noticeably softened- but you aren't LOSING anything by not stretching to fill the panel.


Fundamentally, stretching 817p to fill 1080p and then passed through a lens can not be sharper than the 817p source 1:1 pixel mapped.

Quote:
But using the whole panel ,which is obvious from the improved pixel visibility issues is adventageous. You are throwing out a quarter of a million pixels otherwise.


Art

Though I'm sure it's close enough to be subjective, you can't say that 817p 1:1 is inferior, missing anything, or is throwing out pixels. That's absurd, and what I was replying to. I'm now thinking that Art worded things differently than he intended, or I misunderstood perhaps. Not taking advantage of those pixels is what he meant maybe?


Also, if by "which is obvious from the improved pixel visibility issues is adventageous" he's meaning visible pixel structure, it only proves my point further that vertical scaling would soften the original pixel structure in the encoding enough that individual pixels are no longer as easy to make out. No? This is not to say that I'm sure many prefer the softer feel and no pixel visibility, I understand that.


There's plenty of discussion on this matter, and we don't really need to belabor it here.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1082490


To perhaps better understand where I'm coming from, this quote...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Bob /forum/post/15027798


Why bother? They haven't discovered anything new or unusual, no cure for cancer or a way to defeat gravity or something else mind-boggling. They're just restating the obvious: when you scale up you lose some of the fine detail, mostly in the vertical direction.


What they don't tell you is that 99.99% of the picture is at lower frequencies and that the finest, Nyquist detail is lost anyway at any more than about 6 feet away from the screen... which is the whole point of the viewing exercise. We're not watching pixels. We're watching movies. After 6 feet the "lost" detail literally is invisible anyhow, lens or no lens.


Too much navel gazing. Too little joie de vivre.


Oops, sorry... joie de vivre is French, isn't it?

...both bolded parts I agree with. When you scale, you lose that fine detail fundamentally, but it's not necessarily noticeable, or a big deal. One thing is for certain, zooming + pixel mapping is not missing anything, or inferior.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGator /forum/post/15612839


I'm only saying that you CAN'T be throwing out any pixels if they don't exist in the first place.

What is being refered to is the number of pixels being projected on screen. It is those pixels that make up the image you see, not the source material. In letterbox, the image is 1920 x 1080 but only uses the centre 1920 x 810. When you scale, you now use the full 1920 x 1080 pixels. The image has "density" becuase of the number of pixels being used in the display.


The number crunching arguments are as pointless for CIH as those stating DTS has to sound better than DD because it uses more data. You could discuss the point forever, but you really need to see it before you can make comment that it does not work...


Mark
 
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