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Barco 708s / widescreen question


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Dan Kaplan

Dan Kaplan

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Posted May 31 2003 - 09:17 AM

The following is excerpted from a post of mine in the Home Theater Software forum. It was suggested that I ask it here, which is obviously a more appropriate location.

Quote:
I recently got a CRT projector and have been experimenting with various things. There is a brochure for it (Barco 708s) which alludes to a 16x9 mode in addition to the native 4x3, but I haven't been able to find reference to that anywhere else. I've got my screen sized to 1.78:1, so I figured I'd experiment with the DVD player's widescreen setting. I didn't know if the projector would somehow know to treat the incoming source as widescreen and not squeeze it down further with the addition of doubled up (?) black bars, thus increasing vertical resolution, or if it would treat it as a standard 4x3 signal and make a mess of things. To my surprise, the 2.35:1 disc I tried out in that mode was expanded to fill the 1.78:1 (or 1.85:1, depending on how you look at it) area. Does that make sense? I couldn't figure out what exactly was happening... I was expecting it to either look right or be scrunched down vertically (the addition of extra black bar treatment), not stretched.

So, is the best approach to leave the DVD player in letterbox mode and always send the projector a 4x3 signal to work with? And if I do it that way, how exactly does anamorphic come into play, if at all?
Dan
My obligatory DVD collection

"We've always been ready for female superheroes. Because women want to be them and men want to do them." - Famke Janssen

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Prathavan V

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Posted May 31 2003 - 10:09 AM

Hi Dan,

I've got a BarcoG808s, so I don't know if this will help you or not, hopefully it will, otherwise I suppose it will just simply bump your post back to the top for someone else to chime in.....

Anyway, to access the second modes, I need to change my input ie. with a 4:3 input, I'll use input 5 (or 2 if it's S-video). For widescreen, I choose 95 (or 92). This 9* mode is a second memory for the same input. You then take this 2nd memory and reduce your vertical size for it to the 16:9 (or whatever) proportions. Then, when you want to watch your anamorphic 16:9 DVD's, you go to input 9* and when you're watching (for example) television you switch back to your (ie 5 or 2) 4:3 setting.

Hope that makes sense to you. It's probably not perfectly clear, but I'm trying to type this while dealing with my 4 month old boy. Good luck.
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#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Dan Kaplan

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Posted May 31 2003 - 12:22 PM

Very interesting, thanks. Did you find that out through your own experimentation, or was it documented somewhere? I know there are at least 3 versions of the 708 series owner's manual (I've only read one of them), but I didn't see any mention of that sort of thing.

Quote:
You then take this 2nd memory and reduce your vertical size for it to the 16:9 (or whatever) proportions.
Do you mean you are going into the projector's Geometry menu and adjusting the size, or something else? I don't watch TV on the setup, so I don't need to worry about that. Do you then leave the DVD player in widescreen mode, or do you change it depending on whether the DVD is anamorphic encoded?

The ideal thing would be a setting that I could leave in 16x9 mode at all times (I think I only have 3 movies in my collection that are not 1.85 or "wider") and have the aspect ratio displayed correctly regardless of the film. If I understand what you're saying correctly, there's a decent chance I'll be in luck. I'll let you know if it works. Posted Image

Oh, if it matters at all, I'm using input #6, which is 3-channel component video.

Thanks,
Dan
My obligatory DVD collection

"We've always been ready for female superheroes. Because women want to be them and men want to do them." - Famke Janssen

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Dan Kaplan

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Posted May 31 2003 - 02:33 PM

Prathavan,

You're my hero! Posted Image

I tried out what you suggested, setting the DVD player to widescreen mode and setting the projector to source #96, and WOW! Amazing what an extra 1/3 or so of resolution does. Scan lines were fairly apparent before, although not enough to be distracting, at a seating distance of around 9 feet with progressive scan in use. With the widescreen mode in effect, I cannot even make out scan lines standing ~4 feet from the screen (any closer and I block the projected image). Very impressive.

I had to do some geometry and convergence work for the #96 source, which is to be expected. It appears non-anamorphic DVDs require me to switch the projector back to source #6, otherwise they get stretched vertically (still not the squishing that I would have expected). Interestingly, it didn't seem to matter if I left the DVD player in widescreen mode when switching between the projector's sources. Can't say I understand why that is... Fortunately, the projector appears to hold its settings just fine in memory when switching between sources (I've had it less than 2 weeks and hadn't tested that yet).

Much appreciated!
Dan
My obligatory DVD collection

"We've always been ready for female superheroes. Because women want to be them and men want to do them." - Famke Janssen

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Prathavan V

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Posted May 31 2003 - 05:33 PM

Dan,

Glad it worked out for you.Posted Image I'm also glad you were able to decipher my earlier post. Re-reading it now, it seems kind of cryptic.:b

If you're impressed with the PQ of the anamorphic squeeze with just a progressive DVD, wait till you hook up your PJ to either a scaler or an HTPC!!

Quote:
Did you find that out through your own experimentation, or was it documented somewhere?


actually, I got an owners manual with my PJ, but if you do a search under the CRT Projectors section of Avsforum, there is an absolute plethora of information and experts to help you out.
Pro V

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Dan Kaplan

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Posted May 31 2003 - 06:24 PM

The wealth of technical information over at AVS borders on overwhelming... Yours was the first answer I've seen to this question, though. I'll have to check the other 708 owner's manuals and see if it's mentioned anywhere in there.

Quote:
If you're impressed with the PQ of the anamorphic squeeze with just a progressive DVD, wait till you hook up your PJ to either a scaler or an HTPC!!
I was waiting for someone to mention that... Posted Image I've listened to and read the pros and cons of the HTPC debate and have to say I'm far from convinced. I'm just not willing to give up the audio quality (which, as I recall, George Lucas once said is 75% of the cinematic experience) and convenience of a good quality stand-alone DVD player. The one piece of the puzzle that appeared tipped heavily in the favor of HTPC is scaling flexibility, but now that I've got an anamorphic/progressive picture that has literally no scan lines that I can see, I see no reason at all to sacrifice the other stuff...

Oh, probably worth mentioning my screen is a 84" wide 1.78:1 setup. That would have some affect on comments about picture quality. Posted Image

Dan
My obligatory DVD collection

"We've always been ready for female superheroes. Because women want to be them and men want to do them." - Famke Janssen

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Prathavan V

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Posted May 31 2003 - 06:49 PM

Hey Dan,

Well, I looked at my owners manual and I can't find anything about the "90 memories" so I must have garnered that tidbit from the forums. Still, I've read it often enough to know that it's fairly common knowledge, so I'm quite sure you'd have come across it sooner or later. I am pleased that I was able to assist you in coming across it sooner though.

I agree with you (and the esteemed Mr. Lucas) about the sound experience, that's why I'm still using a scaler for the video only. Mine is a Quadscan Pro, pretty old by today's standards, but the pic quality is fantastic. I'm running my screen to 120" in 4:3 mode and whatever that works out to as 8' wide in 16:9. TV quality is still (comparatively) horrific (but MUCH better than if I switch to the non-scaled image - the old adage garbage in garbage out still applies), but DVD's look superb. You can probably pick one up pretty cheap these days.

Having said all that, for a 7' wide screen, if you can't see any scan lines from 4 feet, there's no way you'll see them from your seating position, so just sit back and enjoy the show!! Save your money for HD.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Front Projection CRT!!
Pro V

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Dan Kaplan

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Posted May 31 2003 - 06:59 PM

This is a bit off topic, but the topic is pretty much resolved, so what the heck... Posted Image

My gut feeling is that high quality, scalable DVD players will come along before HTPCs make up sufficient ground in their weaker areas. Time will tell...

Probably my biggest surprise in working through the projector learning curve was stumbling across my Barco having a built-in line doubler. I had no idea that was in there! I only mention it because it somewhat makes up for low resolution sources, such as if I ever get around to hooking up my el cheapo super vhs deck. Not nearly as good as the progressive signal (which I found automatically turns off the line doubler), but still respectable. I imagine your scaler offers more punch, but it's better than nothing, right?

Quote:
Welcome to the wonderful world of Front Projection CRT!!
Thanks. Posted Image I'm having a blast so far. I've done almost all the work on my theater setup single-handedly (fairly up-to-date pictures here) and have been telling movie/stereo buff neighbors about it. One of them finally came over last night for something else, and he was blown away just looking at the room and overall setup. I can't wait to see his expression when I actually fire the system up... Posted Image

Dan
My obligatory DVD collection

"We've always been ready for female superheroes. Because women want to be them and men want to do them." - Famke Janssen


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