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Advice 4:3 or 16:9 screen?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by jsjazz, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. jsjazz

    jsjazz
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    Hi all- thinking about a screen to go with a new Panasonic AE 700 which is 16:9 native. Traditional view is it should be paired with a 16:9 screen. I'll be watching mainly DVDs (16:9) but also some Sky/TV (4:3). I'm tempted to get a 4:3 screen 2m wide- the thought of the extra real estate is tempting, I can fill the screen with a 4:3 image, but I appreciate I will have grey bands top and bottom for DVDs and no black border (I'm thinking of a DRH electric screen). How distracting is this? If I go for a 16:9 screen its less height, a 4:3 picture will be smaller or stretched, but I get nice black borders. Not having tried out these options, any advice? :confused:
    Thanks
     
  2. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    I'm pretty sure you'll be happier with a 16:9 screen if dvd is your main priority. Sky movies and a lot of Sky/ BBC/ITV/C4/E4/5 are widescreen as well so 4:3 seems a bit of a waste of time!
     
  3. LV426

    LV426
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    The projector will throw a 16x9 shaped image all the time - although, obviously, depending on what signal, this shape may not be all full of colour; part of it may be black (or dark grey). For a 4x3 image, this is left and right.

    If you use a 4x3 screen, then, clearly, the 16x9 native image thrown by the projector (including any black/grey areas) will not fit the screen. It will either extend left and right past the screen, or it won't fill it's height.

    With a fixed installation, to get optimum use from a 4x3 screen, you will need to zoom the projector lens depending on whether the content is 4x3 or not i.e. enlarge the image beyond the left and right when a 4x3 image is displayed, and converesly zoom back in (to reduce the image) when you need to see all of a 16x9 content. I'm not even sure if the zoom range on this projector will actually cover the range needed.

    With a temporary installation, you may need to adjust the position of the projector depending on content.

    Either way, not convenient, I'd say.
     
  4. RichMercer

    RichMercer
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    There's only one option IMHO, and that 16:9. If you have Sky like you say then I wouldn't mind betting at least half the stuff you watch will be 16:9 so it's 50/50 on that count but the 16:9 DVD usage should tip the scales in that dorection. I don't think you'd find anyone who would say get a 4:3 screen. Not on here (where we know best ;)) anyway.
     
  5. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    I settled for a 4:3 screen with my AE100. I have plenty of DVD' s that are 4:3 and find it works well for those and still get a great 16:9 image for my other DVD's.

    It gives me the ability to zoom out a 4:3 DVD and get it massive. There is some light that goes off the edges when that is done but it doesn't really matter as I have the room in total darkness.
     
  6. jsjazz

    jsjazz
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    Thanks for all the replies folks. I guess a 16:9 widescreen just seems a bit "small" height wise. Viewing position is between 2.5 and 3.5 metres away, so I think a 2m wide screen is probably the biggest I should go for (viewing distance 1.5 to 2x screen width), and this is only 1.14m high.

    Nigel- I don't suppose having the grey bits of a 4:3 image off the sides of the screen would be too distracting, but I take your point about having to adjust the zoom. I thought this projector might stretch the image automatically- have to check that I suppose. Can't climb up on a chair to adjust the zoom on a regular basis!

    NWGarrat- glad to see someone's happy with a 4:3 screen!

    One thing I would like to know- how much of a difference does it make having a black border all the way round the picture? If I watch a 16:9 image on a 4:3 screen and there is no black border at the upper edge of the image (because the black border on the screen is higher up), does this make much of a difference?
     
  7. LV426

    LV426
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    Now you've got me puzzled as to what you are thinking.
    No - your dead grey edges off the screen aren't going to be a problem.

    But: How do you suppose that the projector could "stretch" the image beyond it's own boundaries? It's boundaries are defined by the distance it is from the screen, and how you have the zoom adjusted. For any given set of these two things, the projector can only throw a total image (including any black/grey portions) of a given size - both height and width. In other words, the bit that you need to adjust, in fact, which is the height, is set absolutely and only by the distance from the screen and the zoom setting. No clever electronics can make it extend beyond these boundaries.

    Now, I can't speak from personal knowledge, but I suspect that the AE700 does NOT have an electric/remote zoom control on it's lens. If it does, then all well and good. Either way, the only way to get greater height from your image - so as to fill a 4x3 screen - is by either moving the projector back, or adjusting the zoom (or both). If my suspicions are right, then you will, indeed, be climbing on chairs.

    Recommendation: Go for a screen that is 16x9 shaped, but literally as wide as you can fit into your space (unless, of course, you are limited otherwise by the space you have for height, or the projector's throw distance). The whole idea of widescreen is that it fills a good proportion of your lateral field of view.
     
  8. nelius

    nelius
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  9. jsjazz

    jsjazz
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    Nelius- thanks- that was the reason I even thought about 4:3 in the first place!
    Nigel- I think there is a mode on the AE 700 for stretching a 4:3 image horizontally to fill a 16:9 screen, apparently an "intelligent" stretch that stretches the peripheral parts which are less noticeable more, but I think I was getting confused with a 4:3 screen! I'm sure you're right about getting as big a screen as possible so I'll probably get the biggest 16:9 screen that will fit
    Thabks for all the advice folks.
     
  10. LV426

    LV426
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    Now I see what you were thinking. And yes, what this mode does is unevenly distort a 4x3 signal so it fills a 16x9 shape - i.e. makes it wider, not taller. Best avoided IMO.
     

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