Aspect ratio help needed



My first post. I've checked FAQ and didn't spot an easy answer to this query.

I'm setting up my first home theatre system. I'm going to use it 50% for DVD viewing (16:9) and 50% for video/TV (4:3).

I will project onto a screen, mounted on a chimney breast. The walls on either side of the chimney are dark (the relevance of this will become clear soon). There is a beam running parallel with the projection axis entering the chimney breast 2 feet from the ceiling.

I'm fairly keen on the Epson TW10 (16:9).

3 questions (in order of importance):

1. Which aspect ratio should I go for?

2. Assuming using a 16:9 projector then, using zoom, I intend to project the 4:3 images onto a 4:3 screen thus maximising 4:3 image area while still achieving equal 16:9 image area. How significant are the grey pillars of light spillage at either side of the image likely to be in 4:3 mode, considering that they will fall onto the dark wall?

3. The wooden beam prevents use of a ceiling or high wall mounted screen. I may mount the screen along the skirting board and pull it upwards to a hook on the wall at eye level. Do they work upside down or does this interfere with the mechanism?

All advice welcome, thanks in advance.


Hi & welcome.

TBH, I'd suggest either going for a 4:3 panel PJ & matching aspect screen or going 16:9 with a 16:9 screen. I understand what you're trying to achieve but IMO, the results you'll achieve with your proposed "zoom" scenario would be undesireable.

Manual pull-down screens are designed for just that, pull-down use. The slat bar at the bottom tensions the screen material (with a little help from gravity).

I'd again recommend a suitable screen for your intended use, in this case a "pull-up" screen.

Best of luck.



Staff member
I'd agree. The native aspect of the PJ should match the aspect of the screen, whichever you choose.

And, going forwards, increasing proportions of TV material is produced and broadcast as 16x9. Regular analog TV will be discontinued in due time (3 years or 8 years or more depending on who you believe). So, setting yourself up with a 16x9 setup now will make you somewhat future proof.

It is also true that the human perception of size is determined more by height than by width. By going 16x9, you get the same "size" (height) for anything that is either 4x3 or 16x9 ratio.

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