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16:9 projector on 4:3 screen

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by StephenR, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. StephenR

    StephenR
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    Apologies if I'm being a bit thick, but I'm having trouble understanding how a projector with a 16:9 panel would work with a 4:3 screen. I currently have a Sanyo PLV-30 projecting onto a 100" diagonal 4:3 screen. I would like to replace it with a Panasonic PT-AE300 (which has a 16:9 panel), so I downloaded the brochure to check distances etc.

    I notice from the brochure that in the image size/distance table there are entries for 4:3 and 16:9. Does this mean that the AE300 can be set-up for both a 4:3 and 16:9 screen? Assuming it does, if I set it for a 4:3 screen will I lose the benefits of the 16:9 panel i.e. will it just be using the centre portion of the panel and show 16:9 material letterboxed in this centre region rather than using the whole panel?

    Basically all I want to do is place the AE300 in more or less the same position as I have my PLV-30 and be able to produce a 4:3 image that is 100" in diagonal and which uses the whole 16:9 panel for 16:9 material. If anyone can advise me as to whether this is possible I would be very grateful.
     
  2. John_N

    John_N
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    I don't know about the throw distances of that unit but it is possible in theory. You would use the zoom setting of the projector to fill your 4:3 screen width with 16:9 material (using entire panel on projector but black bars at bottom and top of your 4:3 screen) and then when showing 4:3 material using the panel centre you would zoom in so that the 4:3 image filled your 4:3 screen but the black bars to the left and right spilled off the screen onto the wall.

    The main question is whether the zoom lens has enough latitude to allow that to happen.

    J
     
  3. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Yep. You're confused.

    Changing to a w/s projector will be like playing 16:9 stuff on your Sanyo PLV30: the image will appear like a stripe across the screen with blank bits top and pottom. Playing a 4:3 picture on an AE300 will then give you a 75" diagonal image (60"W x 45"H)in the centre of the screen. If you are unsure what it will look like try drawing a small scale image.

    Filling your 100" 4:3 screen with a 4:3 image from a 16:9 projector may be possible by using the zoom lens assuming it has enough range. However, this willl make 16:9 images too wide so they'll spill off the sides of the screen.

    Two things here..,
    1) the lenses are different on the Pana and Sanyo projectors. The Pana has a wide angle lens which means a bigger picture at the same throw distance as the Sanyo. You may have to rethink the projector position.

    2) To make a 100" 4:3 image you'll need to change your screen. You should go for a 16:9 shape screen that is 106"W x 60"H x 122"D. This will give you a 100"D 4:3 portion in the screen centre.

    Regards
     
  4. StephenR

    StephenR
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    Thanks for your replies.

    Thats what I thought. So when in Panasonic's brochure it talks about projecting a 100" 4:3 image at 15' or so, this would result in the 16:9 image overspilling the screen? That's just stupid. Are they assuming you will buy a 16:9 projector and then only watch 4:3 material? :confused:

    Just to recap - when looking at 16:9 projectors I should look at the throw distances for the 16:9 image, then fit this into my 4:3 screen? Looking at the distances in the Panasonic brochure, I think I may end up sticking with my PLV-30! :(
     
  5. John_N

    John_N
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    The 16:9 image will spill off the screen unless you reduce the zoom to watch 16:9 material and then increase the zoom to fill the screen to watch 4:3 material.

    In other words, you can't do it without adjusting the zoom of the projector for each type of material. If the zoom lens doesn't have the latitude, then it may turn out that you can't do it at all.
     

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