newbie q's

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Nick-R, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Nick-R

    Nick-R Agent

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    so i'm building a home and planning to put a home theater in the basement. i know very little/nothing about front projectors. i have a million questions, but i'll start with this (for now [​IMG])

    can't most projectors display in 4:3 and 16:9? if that is the case, isn't it smarter to get a 4:3 screen? lets say i get a 4:3 screen that is 80" wide (just to pick a number). that means i get a full 4:3 picture, AND an 80" wide 16:9 picture.

    if i get an 80" wide 16:9 screen, i get a full 16:9 picture, but a 4:3 picture that is only 60".

    is my logic incorrect?
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Only if your highest quantity/quality of viewing is going to be 4:3. Considering that 99.9% of post-1950 movies are widescreen and most TV is (or will be) widescreen in the future, this may lead you to prefer a widescreen over a 4:3, especially given that most people do not watch extensive amounts of "regular" TV on a front projector (i.e Superbowl in HD - Yes, CNN and Nick at Night - No), due to bulb cost and other factors.

    However, if most of your tastes lean towards pre-1950 film classics and pre-HDTV television on DVD, you would prefer a 4:3. I would think there are not many of these compared to the widesceen types, IMHO. But who knows, you may be one.
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Nick,

    Depending on how serious you want to get on this, you might look into the concept of "constant height" projection... this is having a screen of a fixed height and varying the width between the 3 or 4 formats.

    But your logic is "correct" but with 4:3 quickly going the way of the dodo, you might look at your own viewing habits and needs (Film? Video Games? HDTV? The majority will be 16x9).

    Also, it is importantant to look at specific proejctors and start to understand resolution and its impact on your equation.

    -V
     
  4. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    Actually, the logic isn't correct. Since screen size is measuring the diagonal, an 80 in 16:9 screen in 69 inches wide and an 80 in 4:3 screen in 64 inches wide. So if you tend to watch mostly "wide screen" material you'll be losing screen size, if you tend to watch mostly "full screen" material you would lose screen size by getting a 16:9 screen.

    Bottom line, if you are buying a fixed size screen you need to choose which is your preferred format.
     
  5. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Al, he said 80" wide, not 80" or 80" diag, so the logic holds. Plus most boxes, or projectors can either stretch, partial stretch or zoom in on a 4:3 to fill a 16:9 screen. Stretch looks like garbage, but from my expressvu HD receiver, partially stretched 4:3 looks perfectly acceptable.
     
  6. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    Well, okay, he did say that, you got me on a technicality. But you can't buy an 80 inch "wide" screen; so for all practical purposes he'll be cheating himself if he goes the the opposite of his viewing habits.

    And I'm shocked, shocked, that you would even mention stretching as a solution. I'm going to go shower now.
     
  7. Richard*

    Richard* Agent

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    PMJI, but I find that the DVDs I watch seldom fit my 16:9 screen. I usually have to set my Infocus projector for letter box to get the screen to fill. Aren't most modern Hollywood DVDs' native format 16:9? If I set the projector to 16:9, there is black screen above and below the image, which seems impossible if the film is really natively 16:9, right???
     
  8. Jonathan T.

    Jonathan T. Stunt Coordinator

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    not all movies are 16:9, actually none are.

    most movies are 1.78:1, which is close enough the 16:9 that you won't notice the difference. but many, such as star wars, lord of the rings, et al, are 2.35:1, wider still than you widscreen display, hence, black bars. my avice? Leanr to live with them.
     
  9. Richard*

    Richard* Agent

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    Yeh, I just checked the aspect ratio of the last 6 films I got from Netflix, and they are not 16:9 (1.78:1) but, as you say 1.85:1 or 2.35:1. I'll just relax and live with it Jonathan.
    Thanks,
     
  10. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Couple of things, Al, you can buy a whatever-the-hell-you-want inch widescreen if you make your own screen and buy a projector, or are you gonna tell me I don't have a 98" widescreen (that's 85.4" wide)in my basement? And I said that stretch looks like garbage, and that's a direct quote. To fill a screen though, stretch will work, will it not? For the limited amount of 4:3 TV viewing that I do watch, partial stretch does look fine. If it's broadcast in 4:3, it ain't HD anyway, so there is going to be some scaling somewhere, which already changes the PQ. Plus, for the most part, programs that are 4:3 are not typically the kind of programs that people need to have in ultra fine detail anyway, not like a HD broadcast of Superbowl or more detail oriented programs like CSI or even *gasp* American Idol, so partial stretch suits me just fine for the occasional Simpsons. If you have an HD widescreen projector, you will want optimal PQ for special event HD broadcasts and for upscaled dvds, both of which would never be anything but 1:1 pixel perfect mapped to my Z2. Other than that, the occasional stretch shouldn't have to send you to the showers.

    And yeah, after building my 16:9 screen and watching mostly 1.85:1 movies, I think I would have rather gone to a constant height 2.35:1 screen set-up and then set up some vertical masking. As it is now, if I have a bunch of people over for a movie, I will put on some horizontal masking strips I made with some black velvet and velcro.

    By the way Al, I really didn't mean to offend you when I told you that Nick's logic was fine. I'm sorry you took it that way. Don't go flaming me because you have a hard time reading.
     
  11. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    Wow. A little uptight are we?

    I wasn't flaming you, I was being funny - since this forum generally distains stretching.

    I was also trying to respond to a novice who I believe didn't understand a basic point about screen dimensions that are used in technical specifications.

    Finally, I don't like being insulted in being told I can't read. But I'll take the high road and be glad we're separated by time and distance.
     
  12. David Noll

    David Noll Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, I don't understand what all the fuss is about regarding black bars and stretching. If the room is set-up properly, the the black bars disappear into the background and all you see is image in front of you. Black bars, whether on the top/bottom or on the sides should not even be noticeable. So what if the image is a little smaller than the whole screen? All you should see is the image, not black bars, not the screen, not the wall...

    David
     

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