Can you see the black bars above and below a movie on a good projector?

WonkyEwok

Active Member
Can you see the black bars above and below a widescreen movie when projecting onto a 16:9 screen with recent £1k to £3k projectors?

Edit : pretty much found my answers in
http://www.avforums.com/forums/proj...nd-projectors-regular-room-my-findings-2.html
Slightly apparently. I think a better projector will help

My room's got pale decor, and I'm short on space for a light-controlling screen, so wondering if I'd see much improvement going from a Panasonic AX200 (720p 3lcd) to e.g. a JVC X30 or Sony VW30. They won't achieve their ultimate contrast, but even not seeing the "black" bars would be good to improve immersion. Is that possible do you think? (Extra resolution and 3d are a bonus)

Currently a fixed screen is out, or I'd like to try masking with velvet etc.

Any other thoughts welcome too. I'd like to get a demo - just weighing up the 2 hour drive each way to Ideal AV for example.

(I couldn't see anything useful from searching for "black bars" but I remember a thread on using projectors in non-ideal rooms I think so I'll look for that too)

Thanks
 
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KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I've seen a demo of last year's £6,500 JVC X7 and can confirm I could still 'see' the black bars even though the demo room was very dark and has dakr black walls and ceiling. IMHO the only way to not see them is to mask or to use a 2.40:1 screen (in the case of 2.40:1 content), even without an A-lens the overspilt black bars won't be visible so long as the surrounding wall isn't as white as the screen itself.
 

WonkyEwok

Active Member
Just thinking about it, are the "black" bars supposed to be fully black in the video stream? "blacker-than-black" (level 0)?

Maybe they're just coded as "black" (level 16?) , so the projector is still trying to show something there?

I've got the dvd of the "Dune" movie and the black bars are pretty grey. Maybe not a good transfer...:)
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
They usually are 'fully black' apart from poor transfers I suppose. If you pause a 2.40:1 film and knock the brightness control down one click at a time you can see a point where they don't get any darker, ie the best 'black' the PJ can produce. Even at this (calibrated) setting on my HD350 they are still visible (as side bars on 16:9 as I have a 2.35:1 screen). When correctly calibrated level 16 should be 'best black' and 17 just visible, I use the AVS HD709 test disc 'basic patterns' to set this as it has flashing bars from levels 1 to about 28, so I adjust brightness until I can barely see the 17 bar flashing.
 

HeavenlyWarrior

Well-known Member
If watching a widescreen movie on a 16:9 projector, you will likely always see the feint outline of the bars above and below the movie. The degrees of its intrusion will depend on the projector you are using and the darkness of the room you are viewing it in. A possible solution is to use a projector that is widescreen natively or has the option to convert in its special features.
 

WonkyEwok

Active Member
Thanks for all of these.

I like the idea of anamorphic projection except for the cost. I'm now thinking the epson tw9000 might be what I finally choose, and have just found in the manual on Epson's UK web site that it does do anamorphic scaling onboard (page 31). (Thought it didn't at first, so extra problems).
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
You still need a lens if you're going to use anamorphic scaling (otherwise everyone just looks very tall and thin ;) ).

I :love: my Isco lens for the total lack of black bars on scope films. :thumbsup:
 

antsims

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all of these.

I like the idea of anamorphic projection except for the cost. I'm now thinking the epson tw9000 might be what I finally choose, and have just found in the manual on Epson's UK web site that it does do anamorphic scaling onboard (page 31). (Thought it didn't at first, so extra problems).

Why pay he expense of an anamorphic lens. Just get your self one with lens memory function
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Why pay he expense of an anamorphic lens. Just get your self one with lens memory function

Without wanting to start a whole lens vs zooming debate, the lens memory function isn't necessarily a panacea for all things 'scope. I had a Panasonic AE3000 with the lens memory and it was a nuisance changing AR as it put up a big 'processing' message during the change and required more button pressing than I felt necessary...from what I read the newer models don't greatly improve on this. It also meant, at the time, that I was limited to using an LCD model so I gave it up for a non lens memory option with better picture quality.

If your scaling device has direct access buttons to change the AR then it happens instantly, which I appreciate regardless of (in my setup) getting a better image quality than when I zoomed. [When you zoom a projector's lens aperture changes and you get more brightness, but lose contrast and some sharpness too. The difference in my setup seems quite marked as with the lens I have to use obsolute minimum zoom which means maximum contrast. If I zoom then there is a bigger change in contrast as the zoom comes 'off the stops' and my screen gain means I already have enough brightness].

Of course you can zoom and add a lens later...mine was bought used as a trial, so I could have sold it on at little or no loss, but I've kept it for over 2 years.
 

WonkyEwok

Active Member
Why pay he expense of an anamorphic lens. Just get your self one with lens memory function
Thanks. I'm guessing I'd still need a lens though? Anamorphic projection is about using all the pixels in the projector, showing a wrongly-proportioned image, and then optically squashing back to displaying correctly. (As far as I know, anyway?)
I guess it helps with image brightness (more active pixels letting light through for a given screen size, despite the loss of light in the lens / prisms), and immersion (no black bars).
I'll have a look through the "maximising image contrast" thread.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
No Antsims is suggesting you use the zoom method instead of buying a lens. It will still fill a 2.35:1 screen (not much point if you have a 16:9 screen though).

You can electronically stretch the image (usually vertically making the image tall and thin), then a Horizontal Expansion (HE) lens stretches the image sideways. If you chose a Vertical Compression (VC) lens then you still vertically stretch the image electronically, but the VC lens squezes it down back to shape, but a you say, still using all the pixels (upscaled as BluRays aren't anamorphic unfortunately).

With a VC lens (or a HE it the throw distance is suitable) you can still use a 16:9 screen and the black bars really are black, depending on how lightly the room is decorated as the light reflects back and lightens the bars. You can't do that trick by zooming, though masking would also work in the 16:9 screen scenario.
 

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