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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning to get a LCD front projector and am confused what aspect ratio of a screen to get. I'd like to get a 16:9 screen to watch the DVDs, but the only projector that has 16:9 LCD panel is the Sony 10HT. If I were to get other projectors that project a 4:3 image, would it be a waste to still go for a 16:9 screen because the screen cannot be fully utilized for a 4:3 projector?


Thanks!
 

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I have a VT540 which is an XGA 4:3 projector. I have been using it on an 8'x4' DIY gray screen for half a year. I am able to view 4:3, 16:9, 2.35:1, etc. very well. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Panamorph 1 which will improve things even more, but I highly recommend the 16:9 or wider screens if your reason for having a projector is movies.

Enjoy!



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For a year and a half now, I've been using a Da Lite matte White manual pull down 96"x72" screen.


My projector is an XGA 1024x768 native LCD.


4:3 source images occupy most of the screen (slightly less than 8 foot wide image).


1.78 images are displayed at 8 foot wide, using 1024x576 pixels of the LCD, driven by an RCA DTC100 (HD) or HTPC (DVDs).


2.35 material (HTPC DVDs) are 8 foot wide, scaled by the HTPC.


For 1.78 and 2.35 images, I mask the projected top black bar with a roll down black felt mask, made from a wood curtain rod from Home Depot. This top mask is mounted to the wall with stand-off brackets, to allow clearance from the wall mounted Da-Lite, whose metal housing is flush-mounted to the wall using two screws that support the screen via the slots in the screen housing end caps.


The bottom black bar (1.78 or 2.35 images) is "masked" by retracting the screen to match the bottom edge of the image. The OEM white retention bar on the screen bottom is covered with adhesive-backed black felt (your local fabrics store), and the wall around and behind the screen is covered in black felt cut from the bolt at Jo-Ann fabrics. Hence, when I retract the Da-Lite, black felt is revealed on the wall. The felt is stapled to the wall with a standard staple gun.


I am also expecting a pair of Panamorphs.


My plan is to retain the Da-Lite for 4:3 material.


For 1.78 and 2.35 images, I will use a gray 1.78 8' wide DIY screen, using the experiences of AVS members on the screen forum. The gray screen will be made of a 1"x1" construction wood frame with curtain blackout fabric from the fabric store (I still feel odd going in there, with the funny looks from the ladies http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif ). I will paint the blackout fabric gray with a paint roller and ACO or Home Depot paint.


This lightweight gray screen will be hung on the wall behind the Dalite pull down, which will be re-mounted with stand-off blocks to allow clearance for the new 1.78 gray screen.


Sooo, for 4:3 images- Da-lite full-screen (love those IMAX films http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif ). No added masking needed (wall surrounding Da-Lite is felt covered)


1.78 images: slide the Panamorph I into place in front of the lens, retract the Da-lite into its housing. No adjustments needed (wall surrounding 1.78 gray screen is felt covered).


2.35 images: slide Panamorph II into place, retract Da-Lite into housing, pull down top felt mask already in place to coincide with image top. 2.35 image bottom will (hopefully) be aligned with 1.78 screen bottom.


To go back to 4:3, just pull the handle on the Da-Lite (and roll back top mask if you've been viewing 2.35), slide the Panamorph out of the way, and you're in business!


...At least that's how I'm going to handle three aspect ratios in the most optimal fashion my setup can muster (while optimizing cost).




[This message has been edited by Rgb (edited 06-08-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rgb:

2.35 images: slide Panamorph II into place, retract Da-Lite into housing, pull down top felt mask already in place to coincide with image top. 2.35 image bottom will (hopefully) be aligned with 1.78 screen bottom.
I am assuming that you have a floor mounted projector? There is a difference between the top/bottom of the P1 vs. P2. Shawn mentioned that he might have something in the works to counter this.



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The button is labeled "Play", not "Pay". STOP the MPAA!

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Personally, I find black bars on the top and bottom of a 4:3 screen while watching a 16:9 image less "wasteful" than black bars on the sides of a 16:9 screen when watching a 4:3 image.


I guess it depends on how much of each aspect you're going to watch.


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DVI/HDCP makes your HDTV not ready
 

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my personal preference (and what i personaly use) is a 16:9 screen. (ps: the new sanyo 60 is also a very nice 16:9 projector to use w/ a 16:9 screen!)


- i mainly use it for movies, so with 1.85 DVDs and HDTV i use the entire screen.


- picture quality: my 16:9 (and wider) source material (anamorphic DVD & HDTV) is MUCH HIGHER QUALITY than my typical 4:3 source material (cable & satellite tv) - so to me, it made no sense to project a lower quality source image larger than a high quality image. it makes the low quality source look even worse!


- also, i like my movies to look more impressive/ immersive than regular tv (larger image size = more impressive / immersive)



ps: my next goal is to go to a 2.35 a/r screen (or at least 2.0) - that way a 2.35 film wil occupy more total image area than a 1.85 movie (just like at a real movie theater!). i do not like the idea of a 2.35 "wide screen spectacular" looking puny compared to a 1.85 "regular" movie in my home system. just the opposite of what the film maker intended!


for me, "CONSTANT SCREEN HEIGHT" is the way to go.

 

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I've got a 4:3 screen with a 4:3 projector. I got this because my salesman convinced me it was the way to go. However, this really should be based on the material you are going to watch. I use mine for DVD, so this means that 99.99% of the viewing I have done since getting the projector 7 months ago has been in 16:9. The 4:3 frame has actually helped me to hide the light border surrounding the DMD, so all was not lost. Also, not all widescreen movies are the same, so even on 16:9 screens you will likely have to deal with "dead space" for certain movies (although not as much as with a 4:3). Again this decision should be based on the material you plan to view.
 

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A big factor is what you are going to watch. If you are primarily going to be watching DVD's or HDTV, I would strongly recommend 16:9, as that aspect ratio more closely approximates the source material. Also, if you have a typical ceiling height, you can get a bigger screen going with 16:9 rather than 4:3, because nramlly the length of your room where the screen will be place is greater than the height by more than a factor or 4 to 3, giving you greater leeway to use the wider screen. Think about it and you'll see what I mean. While there will be black bars on the top and bottom during a 2.35:1 aspect ratio movie whether you have a 4:3 or 16:9 screen, the bars will be thinner on a 16:9. A 2:35 movie on a 4:3 screen can be pretty small. Finally, on true 16:9 material (HDTV and many DVD's) there will be no bars at all on a 16:9.


The only way I would choose a 4:3 screen is if you were primarily going to watch that material.
 

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If you really want a cinema experience, get a 2.35:1 screen. It would be very hard for me to go back to watching wide screen movies letterboxed after living with a wide screen for the past few months. The non hobbyist people around here all agree.


The only caveat is that it can make your installation trickier, because the zoom range on many projectors won't have enough range, which can necessitate moving the projector to fill the screen, but the added impact is well worth it. It's a no brainer once you've seen it.


In the near future, we'll probably have some good 16x9 projectors, which will be able to project a stretched 2.35:1 image through an ISCO or Panamorph(1) to allow full use of the panel, and no necessity to move the projector, so this screen makes you future-proof.


Constant height, variable width is the 'cinema' way to go.
 

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I set the projector up for 4x3, centered in the screen, full height. For 16x9 I place the ISCO II in front of it. Yes, I twiddle a bit with the focus. (If you have a 16x9 projector you won't have to do this.) For 2.35:1, I have to zoom out and back up the projector a couple of feet. (Also would not be necessary with a 16x9 projector with ISCO)

Yes, it's a mild pain, but only takes 2 minutes or so. The end result is worth it. Mind you, my projector is on a movable floor stand. You could do the same with a ceiling mount on tracks, but clearly this takes some clever planning.


While easy, and worth the result, this is not something nontweakers will take to. You can, however, always leave the projector at it's 4x3 or 16x9 setting and watch letterboxed, and just move it for 'special' presentations.


With my side curtains in place, it just looks like any other 16x9 screen, and I won't have to buy another screen when we've made home 2.35 easier.
 

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Have all of you forgotten that the Sanyo 16x9 LCD projector supposidly can fit a 2.35:1 image from DVD sources into the full 16x9 panel?


Using an ISCO II lens you could theoretically have a 2.35:1 ratio screen with side masking to make a proper constant height/variable width system like the best movie theaters. Take the lens away for other ratios and move the masking to create the proper ratio.


The only 2.35:1 films where this may not work using something like the Sanyo's 2.35:1 squeeze feature and the ISCO II are those with the subtitles falling off onto the lower black letterbox matte (like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon). Too bad the studios can't keep the subtitles within the picture frame, then this solution could probably work a majority of the time.


Dan




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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dan, is the Sanyo 16:9 front projector out? Is that same as what Bossmonkey posted above? What is the model number? I checked the Sanyo web site, but I didn't see any 16:9 front projector.


Thanks!


VPC
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by VPC:
Dan, is the Sanyo 16:9 front projector out? Is that same as what Bossmonkey posted above? What is the model number? I checked the Sanyo web site, but I didn't see any 16:9 front projector.


Thanks!


VPC
it's called the PLV-60


they have a review & an entire forum just for the sanyo 60 at thebigpicturedvd.com


 

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Ya know, I reread both of our posts and I can't figure out what was bothering me about your layout because it sounds right to me now. Some kind of dyslexia I guess. I don't know if the P1 and P2 bottoms will line up, but it should be close. So, never mind that man behind the e-curtain.



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Man E:

re: "I am assuming that you have a floor mounted projector? There is a difference between the top/bottom of the P1 vs. P2. Shawn mentioned that he might have something in the works to counter this."


My projector is ceiling mounted (inverted on the ceiling). The image spreads from the ceiling, downwards.


Was the intent of your comment to point out that the P2 image bottom will not coincide with the P1 image bottom? Or something else regarding limitations of ceiling mounted projectors and the Panamorphs?


 

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I think 1.85:1 aspect screen is a great choice. 1.85:1 is actually not only the most popular aspect ratio, it is also in-between 2.35:1 and 1.78:1 and does an excellent job on any aspect ratio film. Then again, I'd be afraid to push my Dwin HD700 CRT projector any further than 96 inches wide. Currently, I use a 1.85:1 which is 48 x 89 Although All of you D-ILA people seem to be enjoying such larger screens! Damn, I need a 3 chip DLP or something. I'm jealous of all those huge screens! Joe Kane is castrating how far in width I go!


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Pictures: The Worm Hole Theater featuring the Black Hole Subs and Death Star Platform



[This message has been edited by Health Nut (edited 06-12-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Guys:


This is what I don't understand. Assuming that one has a 4:3 front projector, the image projected on to the screen is always in 4:3 aspect ratio. First of all, when I say image, that *includes* the black bars, not just the area that has picture information. If one goes for a screen that doesn't match the aspect ratio of the front projector, say, a 16:9 screen. Let's also assume that the image is centered on the screen. Wouldn't the left and right portions of the scrren remain white, i.e. no image at all, not utilized?


Legend:

"B" represents the black bar

"P" represents the movie picture

"." represents the area of the screen not utilized


+----------------+

|...BBBBBBBBBB...|

|...PPPPPPPPPP...|

|...PPPPPPPPPP...|

|...PPPPPPPPPP...|

|...BBBBBBBBBB...|

+----------------+
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by VPC:
Guys:

<snip> Wouldn't the left and right portions of the scrren remain white, i.e. no image at all, not utilized?

<snip really cute picture>
Yup, that's why there's so much talk about curtain and other masking devices in both the screen and HT construction forums... What I plan to do is get my projector, put it on a temporary stand that I can use to approximate it's final mounting position, and watch a bunch of stuff for a couple of weeks projected onto white paper. After I get a feel for how big a pic I can get without overwhelming my room or my projector, then I'll pick the best compromise size/aspect ratio... Of course that'll all be screwed up when I get a panny next year - oh well.




[This message has been edited by luvmytivo (edited 06-13-2001).]
 

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This what I think is ideal : but it carries some requirements:

1. a large room

2. a bright XGA projector, with great blacks

3. a panamorph, preferably 2.35 (the 1.78 ratio being digitally done by the projector for 1.78-185 16:9 movies)

4. total black room

5.10meters or more length/depth


so here it goes:


5meters 2.35:1 screen where:

all other formats are zoomed inise, to preserve constant height rule, like in cinemas.

That still leaves 3.92m wide for a Jurassic Park movie, which would have looked too small inside a 2.35 :1 3meters wide screen.

5meters is gigantic but so cinematic. It's on my target list http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif ( currently using my 3meters Dalite in a 2:35:1 format.

This approach almost get rid of black backs that could subsist.

But it requires a 1000lumens minimum projector ( the panamorph 2.35 lens surely helps ).


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for cinema sound in your HT, use cinema speakers and cinema amps! unbeatable.
 
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