Question 16:9 or 2.35:1 screen?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by chownsie79, May 30, 2019.

  1. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    Hi,

    I've seen this on a few threads but thought I'd go with specific measurements to decide on a screen.

    I'm on a budget and have been talking with sapphire for a acoustic transparent screen, the options are:

    SFSC266 (16:9) viewing area 2656x1494mm
    SFSC266 (2.35:1) viewing area 2656x1130mm

    The wall is 3.53m wide and 2.3m in height so I plan to have around 600mm below the screen and we will sit around 3 to 3.5m away. LCR in behind it.

    Projector wise, I'm looking at the Epson EH-TW7400 due to budget, seems to have good reviews.

    Questions are as follows;

    16:9 or 2.35:1 screen?
    How far back should the projector be? I guess behind the seating somewhere? (I need to run a hdmi there ASAP)
    Is 600mm up the wall good for a viewing angle?

    Thanks
     
  2. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    If presentation is important to you, Scope movies should always be presented wider than 1.85:1. Only IMAX should be taller than scope. 16:9 is a tv format, not a movie format.

    Seating distance is important - it's usually the height that determines how far back we sit, so the image size doesn't matter, it's how close or far back that you sit that determines the image size on your retina.

    If it were me, I'd fit the 16:9 screen but mask it to 2.40 and watch everything at the same height from 3m back or a little closer (2,7m). When you watch an IMAX aspect changing movie, remove the top and bottom masking so the IMAX parts are visible when then occur.

    from 3m back to the scope screen (mounted 60cm from the floor), assuming your eyes are around 107cms from the floor that will give you a vertical viewing angle of around 12.5 degrees so should be fine (discomfort starts when the VVA exceeds 15 degrees).

    If you watch 1.85 stuff on the taller 16:9 screen that will give you a VVA of over 18 degrees so will not be as comfortable when watching 1.85 movies. IMAX movies will be fine though at that height.

    I would suggest you get the projector first and experiment by projecting onto the wall where the screen will go to see what you prefer, and then by the screen to match.

    Here is a calculator to determine where the pj can go to fill the screen of your choice:

    Epson Europe EH-TW9400 Projection Calculator - Throw Distance and Screen Size
     
  3. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    I think I may have made an error cutting out for my speakers first, if I go for the smaller SCFS234 screen, which seems to work for the seating position and projector mount, it would only be 20mm from side of frame to side of left and right speakers... I had a message just now from the screen manufacturers that says it should be 10cm clearance between side of frame and side of L/R speakers.

    If that is the case I'm locked into the SFSC266 screen but using the calculator you provided I'd need the projector at the back of the room (5m) plus seating 3.75m away, which would put me behind side surround speakers and right on the rear atmos over seating, if that makes sense?
     
  4. AndreNewman

    AndreNewman
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    I've recently gone though this decision after moving house, we went for 2.35:1, in some ways it's the best decision in a long while but there have been a few issues.

    The good:
    16:9 TV Series and "TV Movies" is a good size and the smaller image is good for extra brightness for TV stuff with some low lights on.
    Scope movies have the desired wow factor, visitors especially impressed, I have told some we have widescreen not shortscreen :)
    No need for side masking, we are happy without and generally projectors don't have bright side spill, provided you are using lens memories or manual adjustment.
    Works well for 2:1 movies and TV Series, using a different lens memory, I have a little intentional overscan.

    The bad:
    Nothing is 2.35:1, every movie is a different aspect ratio, ok not every but lots. Hateful 8 looks horrible. Lots of movies are 2.4:1 so my 2.35:1 lens memory is really 2.4:1 with a tiny overspill, works for most movies but a little annoying to have a scope screen and find some letterboxing still sometimes.
    Variable aspect ratio movies, you need to mask in the player or projector, the overspill in the "imax" parts looks horrible.
    Media/disc Player menus end up on the wall or masked or obscured, annoying but not major, the oppo UHD player has a mode for this, one of the Vivitek projectors, there's a Kodi skin too.
    16:9 movies look a little small, I often watch with an overspill lens memory or 2:1 with masking, if the movie warrants more scale.
    Slightly concerned about wear and tear on lens motors due to lots of aspect switching.
    We had one set of visitors who commented the screen was too big and they felt ill. We now offer to move the sofa back a meter for anyone like that.

    Other gotchas:
    Having a really black, really wide frame (ours is 3") is great for overspill lens memories. Considering a black velvet surround to the black velvet frame to help hide any variable ratio slip ups.
    We overdid the size, partly due to concerns about 16:9 being big enough, partly due to pressure from my partner's father who doesn't think the first row in the cinema is close enough! This is a concern as L&R are in the room corners (I don't like AT screen image quality) and we don't really have enough light for HDR or 3D, only 65nits for scope on low lamp.

    We sit almost exactly 1.5 x height away from the screen.

    We put the projector as far back as possible including using a right angle power cable and all the equipment at the back of the room, means all the cables are short and any noise is behind not above.

    Ideal no holds barred configuration for us would be 2.4:1 screen for scope movies and TV and 2:1 movies and a drop down 16:9 screen for 1.85:1 movies, not the full width of the scope screen probably similar to 2:1 width. In reality we won't bother to buy a second screen.
     
  5. howieeb

    howieeb
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    Great recap! I was leaning towards 2.4:1 over 2.35:1 and that's pretty much settled it. The plan is still for a big 16:9 screen, but semi permanently masked to scope as Peter mentioned. Quick question re. AT screen image quality if you have a sec. What screens/material have you seen? (I'm tempted by the Seymour XD fabric at around 12') Is your gripe softening of the image and/or other nasties the material added?

    This is the main dilema we're facing atm and it may have impact on what the room dimensions end up being in a new build.
     
  6. billiumb

    billiumb
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    I’m going through similar thinking at the moment - have pretty much decided to go with as big a 16:9 AT screen as I can fit, and then semi-permanently mask to 2.4:1, and then use side curtains as variable masking.

    I’m wondering, is it best to add the semi-permanent horizontal masking at the top of the screen and use lens shift to move the 'normal' picture to the bottom of the screen to reduce any eye strain?

    Cheers. Bill
     
  7. AndreNewman

    AndreNewman
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    I did plan to order 2.4:1 but the dealer who was offering this went quiet on me, so I ordered direct from the manufacturers which didn't allow for anything custom. I don't really know why anyone still makes 2.35:1 screens!

    Not sure what AT fabrics I've seen but they all seem to have a texture to them that I find annoying. I'm a broadcast video engineer so not really possible to not spot these things and quite fussy apparently...

    I used to always use the bottom of my 16:9 painted screen in the old place for scope movies but I guess it depends on the height you install. I did as someone else suggested and projected on the wall for a few weeks trying out different positions and sizes to see what we were happy with.

    I find almost everyone's screens and TVs are too high up the wall for me.
     
  8. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    Hi Andre, a really good insightful write up, I appreciate that.

    A few questions if I may. What size screen did you get and how far back are you from it? You say 1.5 x height but what is that exactly? Thanks
     
  9. Superhans

    Superhans
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    I think this has been answered really well. For my part I have a 2.35:1 screen 120” Seymour AT Center Stage viewed from 3.3m. It has been a great screen but I’m changing it up for a 16:9 same width with top and bottom masking.

    This gives me more options. I can watch UltraWide as normal with top and bottom masking and zoom for tv in the same space. I can open up top and bottom for IMAX and aspect changers. Finally if I take off just the bottom masking it gives me (almost) a 2.07:1 space if I want a larger 16:9 presentation that’s roughly same image size as UltraWides but with thinner sidebars.
     
  10. AndreNewman

    AndreNewman
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    You are welcome, it's helpful to me to summarise where I'm at in the project too.

    So we bought this screen:
    Beamax A Velvet AV4309 2.35:1 (3.34m x 1.42m image size) with high 1.00 contrast white.
    I was a little disappointed by the screen fabric, I was expecting a more chalky surface from others I've seen but the way it is it's easier to clean, maybe they changed the fabric.

    Until my partner's father got involved I was going to buy the 3m width version, I was a little concerned that 1.28m height wouldn't be enough for 16:9, it's only a 103" TV after all! ;-)

    Our main sofa is ~3m away from the screen, so we sit ~3.5m away, I measured it just now so I was wrong about the 1.5x height, 1x width is more accurate. The chair my partner's father prefers is ~1.7m away but off to one side, in a very bass boomy spot but he likes it!
     
  11. Ijk1985

    Ijk1985
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    I think home theater is 2.35:1, multimedia, tv are 16:9. I found the optimal view distance is 2.5 times of screen heigh. Both with 16:9 and 2.35:1, most times I prefer smaller 16:9 diagonal size than 2.35 from same distance. Of course there are always exceptions, some Imax movies and documentations like Planet Earth, demands bigger size than scope movies. But I think theese presentations represent under 1-2% to total consumption. Most of them are scope movies and 16:9 tv shows.
    The best budget, and overall option is a 2.35:1 fixed frame screen with lens memory and good contrast projector, so you don't need to mask sides for 16:9 content. Anamorphic lens is more sophisticated solution, but I find too expensive, and with new high lumen projectors not necessarily save every photon to keep on screen.
    The best solution is a multi masking fixed screen, the biggest you can place, if you have height headroom. Or a motorised 16:9 on front of the fixed scope screen.
    I'd opt for a lens memory projector with fixed 2.35:1 screen, and later add a tensioned big 16:9 motorised screen for imax when you can afford.
     
  12. Graham

    Graham
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    Some really good points made in this thread. Just sticking up for the 1.85:1 screen, it's great to have such a large size for gaming and TV (especially sport) and of course TV shows (although Netflix content appears in many ratios). With 2.35:1 material I mask it at the bottom of the screen, so it is smaller but to be honest it still looks superb as I moved up in screen size recently anyway. Of course, don't forget that many many movies are also shot in 1.85:1. So I guess it depends on whether you will watch TV / play games on it or not.

    Cheers
     
  13. MartinH32

    MartinH32
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    Exactly the same for me and exactly the same findings. The annoying thing is the Epson 9300 masking isn't something that can be held in memory (flipping stupid as it should go hand in hand with lens memory). Another annoyance is multi aspect movies such Interstellar. I'm actually considering moving to a 16:9 screen.
     

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  14. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    It depends on how high your screen is - if you find the centre scope image a little uncomfortable in that location then the screen is too high and should be dropped down - even when watching IMAX movies with the top and bottom masking removed the centre scope image is where the main content is framed anyway, so if it's too high for just scope it will be too high for IMAX too.

    If you move the scope image down and 'double mask' above rather than top and bottom, when you do watch an IMAX movie you may find it more uncomfortable because you're not used to having to look that high usually.
     
  15. billiumb

    billiumb
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    Thanks Peter.

    I'm in the process of working everything out, but have just purchased a second hand Paradigm Servo 15(a) sub which I'm expecting to place under an AT screen (probably not enough length in the room to put the sub behind the screen). The bottom of the 16:9 screen will therefore be around 22” (depending on the width of the screen frame) off the ground.

    Cheers. Bill
     
  16. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    You can use REWs room simulator to see where the best location might be for the sub - it doesn't always have to be at the front. Twos subs (or more) can work better, so you may find a smaller sub at the front and the servo at the rear may work a little better. If you're using a receiver that has two sub connections and eq's them separately that may work even better.
     
  17. billiumb

    billiumb
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    Do you think 22” will be too high for the bottom of the screen?
     
  18. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    It's not so much the bottom of the screen but the top due to vertical viewing angles - more than 15 degrees can become uncomfortable over time. It doesn't matter too much for the IMAX height, but the scope content is where the main viewing occurs so that would be what I would look at.

    It also depends on how far back you sit - the closer you sit the greater the vertical viewing angle becomes. How far back to your eyes from the screen, how far your eyes are from the ground and how high to the top of the scope image. With that info I can calculate your vertical viewing angle.
     
  19. billiumb

    billiumb
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    Hi Peter

    Are you saying the angle from your eyes to the top of the screen vs horizontal should be a max of 15 degrees? If so, I assume that’s to the top of both the scope and 16:9 image - on the basis of masking for constant image height (angle to top of ‘full’ IMAX image could be greater).

    Cheers Bill
     
  20. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    Yes - for all CIH content, no more than 15 degrees vertical is recommended. IMAX doesn't matter because the content above and below the scope image is usually just fluff and filler and is there just to add to the feeling of immersion, it doesn't contain anything you need to look at for any length of time so won't cause viewing fatigue like 1.85 movies may at that height.
     
  21. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    He likes to be close to the action and be bouncing around with the bass then ;o)

    I'm leaning toward 16:9 for now, I'll then have to learn about masking. I bought a projector this morning as recommended by @Peter Parker (buying one, not the model) so I can have a play, set it up with some board on the ceiling and see how it looks - then I'll go for the screen to suit. I had a little play around with the cables and realised my centre and right fronts had extra long cables, so I managed to bring these over for the left side surround and the left rear atmos, while sending these cables to the C/R - so I can get my side surrounds and rear atmos one joist space further back and so sit a bit further, around 3.8m away.

    This will work well with the 2.34m wide screen I think..
     
  22. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    I'll have a think, I'm not even sure my new (bought today) EH-TW7400 has a lens memory, it is motorised zoom though. I have to stick to a tight budget at this stage but with the ability to upgrade when money allows.
     
  23. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    Lovely looking set up there, 9300 masking, so you mask the lens? I'm definitely going to have to learn about masking!!
     
  24. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    So thinking about my situation, the screen viewing area 2.34 x 1.32m (if going 16:9 for now), is 600mm a bit high off the ground to the bottom of the screen? The frame is 80mm wide and I'll sit 3.5 to 3.8m away now (if all works out well...)
     
  25. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    If your eyes are around 107cms from the floor and 3.8m back, that will be just under 15 degrees for 16:9 content if you're watching it at the full height. Your seating distance to screen height ratio is around 2.9:1.
     
  26. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    Do you know, with ceiling mounted projectors, if the image can be projected downwards?

    I'm looking at getting the EH-TW7400 with this mount https://www.epson.co.uk/products/options/ceiling-mount-low-profile-elpmb30-v12h526040

    I guess it will need to point down slightly to hit the screen correctly?
     
  27. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    The 7400 has lens shift, so with normal height ceilings you can use the lens shift to lower the image without physically tipping the projector
     
  28. MartinH32

    MartinH32
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    The epson has masking built in. Sadly to get from a 16:9 image to a scope image with masking you've to do the top and bottom - and it's one hell of a lot of button presses. More than the Harmony remote will let you set up in a macro sadly.
     
  29. chownsie79

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    Well that's brightened my day, cheers @Peter Parker
     
  30. chownsie79

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    Something no doubt I'll be learning about in the weeks and months ahead!!
     

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