Screen Size

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by FL-GATOR, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. FL-GATOR

    FL-GATOR Extra

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    I'm about to have a contractor start some renovations in a house I'm about to close on. I miss my home theater from my previous house, so I want to build another one. This time, though, it's going to be in the main family room. Since it won't be a dedicated theater, I'm going to buy an electric screen.


    I have no experience with electric screens, and I see that they have both 4:3 and 16:9 ratios. Since it will be mounted near the ceiling, I'm going to want to drop it down for viewing a bit.


    It seems to me that I should just get the 16:9 model, it has 10" off black masking on the top, so that should lower the viewing area enough to make it comfortable for viewing from 10 feet or so. The screen size is 87.2" x 49". So if I go for this model, I'll need to frame out the walls to allow for a 98.75" case width.


    Is there any reason why I should consider getting the 4:3 version? It would be 96"x72". I'm guessing the lack of masking would bother me.


    Last time I just built a screen out of 2x2s and masonite and screen paint, so I didn't have to think about any of this.


    So, the two questions are:


    1) In room with 8' walls (the room is 16'x25') with the screen mounted at the ceiling, would a 16:9 87.2" x 49" screen with 10" of masking at the top be a good setup?


    2) Is there any reason I should consider getting a 4:3 ratio screen.


    Thanks for any input
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    The only reason I would recommend a 4:3 screen is if you watch a lot of 4:3 material. That will give you the largest 4:3 image.


    My first thought is why are you buying such a small screen?
     
  3. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Is there any 4x3 material to watch? Out of over 100 shows set on my 3 DVR's, I think I have 3 shows that are still 4x3 and standard def. Two are are on the DIY channel.


    And it's 4x3. If you want to use the ratio (the two dots between the numbers) then it is 1.33:1.
     
  4. FL-GATOR

    FL-GATOR Extra

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    I have one wall I can work with, and it has a door in it. While we're actually moving the door during the reconstruction, the move won't make much of a difference. So I have about 12 feet to deal with. I need to bring in at least 1 foot from each side to make the 'lines' of the room look normal, and not forced.


    So I have this 10 foot area to deal with. I'm studding out (2x4s) two small walls to make the built-in book shelves. When all is said and done, it's about an 8 foot wide screen that is left. And that is fine with me, in my last dedicated theater, that's the size I had and it worked great.


    I have no doubt that 16:9 is the right way to go, and i've done it before. But I haven't had the flexibility before, so I thought I'd ask if there was a good reason to consider 4:3.


    But since my post I went to the house with a roll of blue tape, marked out the wall with the screen size and...yup, I like the screen size and ratio.


    I am considering re-thinking the screen being built-in to the bookcase area, though. I need to look into how intrusive a built-in ceiling mount will look. I've got great access in the ceiling to work on it.


    But this is all part of the process.


    In terms of 4:3 vs 16:9 for content, I had a previous theater and a very large collection of DVDs and VHS (gasp) in 4:3 in storage. So yes, the big thought for a 4:3 screen is mostly archival (and I'm not even 50).
     
  5. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    By 4:3 material, I was referring to older classic movies on DVD. Believe me, you WILL NOT want to watch any VHS videos with a projector and large screen. They will look absolutely AWFUL. I recommend you go with a 16:9 screen - 1.78:1.
     

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