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16:9 or 4:3??

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by dapex, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. dapex

    dapex
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    Hi all, I have never really liked the look of widescreen tv's because they look so much smaller than there 4:3 counterparts and now I find myself with the same issue deciding over what screen to buy.

    I currently have an old sanyo projector with a 2m wide blackout blind from ikea and I am pleased with it. However I am due to purchase a panny ae500 and so I am going to purchase a new screen to go with it.

    Over at www.projectorecentral.com they have an article on 16:9 vs 4:3. They mention that if you watch a 4:3 image on a 16:9 screen it is only half the size of a 4:3 image on a 4:3 screen.

    So do I stick with a 16:9 screen as the PJ is a native 16:9 or do i get a 4:3 screen (same width, just more drop) and then put the PJ into 4:3 mode (I pressume it has this mode).

    I plan to watch mainly dvd's and a bit of, but seeing as i have not yet had a widescreen setup would I really loose anything by going 4:3????


    Come on folks, if you can offer any advice to a newbie who is dreading buying a screen to then wish he had golne the other way....

    Cheers
     
  2. LV426

    LV426
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    Your screen shape should match the native shape of your projector. So, if you are definitely buying a Panny 500, which is a 16x9 device - you need a 16x9 screen.

    If you really want a 4x3 screen - you should also buy a 4x3 projector.

    But......bear in mind that most TV is 16x9. And the majority of DVD movies are 16x9 or wider. Given a range of source material, a 16x9 device offers the best compromise.

    WORKED EXAMPLES

    Suppose you have a 4x3 projector with a pixel construction of 1024 wide x 768 tall.

    SOURCE:4x3 TV picture>>PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE:1024x768>>% of PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE: 100
    SOURCE:16x9 movie>>PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE:1024x576>>% of PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE: 75
    SOURCE:22x9 movie on a 16x9 DVD>>PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE:1024x419>>% of PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE: 55


    You can see that, as the source gets 'wider' in fact it actually gets shorter (in height), and less of the available area of the projector and screen is actually used for the active part of the image. For the widest of widescreen films, only about half of the projector's pixels are actually used.

    Suppose you have a 16x9 projector with a pixel construction of 1366x768

    SOURCE:4x3 TV picture>>PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE:1024x768>>% of PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE: 75
    SOURCE:16x9 movie>>PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE:1366x768>>% of PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE: 100
    SOURCE:22x9 movie on a 16x9 DVD>>PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE:1366x559>>% of PIXELS USED FOR PICTURE: 73

    In this case, the best compromise is reached. 16x9 images use 100% of the available screen, whereas 4x3 images AND 22x9 images use about 75% of it.

    This is borne out also by the fact that we perceive 'size' more as a matter of height, than width. Imagine an image of a person's face. You would 'see' it as the same size on either a widescreen picture or a more square picture, if the HEIGHTS of the two pictures were about the same. You would see the face as SMALLER if the HEIGHT of the picture got smaller.
     
  3. dapex

    dapex
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    Cheers for that, I reckon that has summed it all up for me.

    Dave
     

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