Question about projectors (16x9 / 4x3)

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Hi all,

Currently I have a large 4:3 screen, and my old old old phillips 4x3 projector has just shown its last movie for its lifetime. So im going to be in the market for a new projector (budget).

My question is.. i think.. relativly simple.

I love having a 4x3 screen, as it means i get HUGE pictures when playing a 4x3 movie, and a same size 16x9 picture as I would with a 16x9 screen.

So currently the phillips I have was a 4x3 projector. I know/ believe the majority of new projectors will mainly be 16:9 (although please correct me if i am wrong). So Im basically looking to match the sort of setup i had previously (ie a projector that shows 4:3 naturally, but can also display 16:9).

Now is this possible with newer budget prejectors? Ie if I get something like lets say a BenQ W600 which I think has a native aspect ratio of 16:9, will 4:3 images be compressed or altered in a negative way? Vs finding a 4:3 projector that can display a 16:9 image.

I hope this makes sense? Im also ideally looking for the next projector to be 1080p although buget restrictions may not be possible, but regardless of this will it be a case that any HD projector will be 16:9 normally?

I hope i havnt made this overly complicated and its understandable, and look forward to your responses! :)

Thanks, Grangey.
 

nwgarratt

Distinguished Member
16:9 projectors will show 4:3 with borders at the sides to keep the right aspect ratio.

A 4:3 projector will have a lot bigger borders with 16:9 material than normal.

HD is widescreen. You won't get anything under £800 for 1080p (HD200X).
 

wiatrak

Standard Member
Yes, but I don't have real 16:9 shot to use in comparison between 4:3 and 16:9 screen (what was point), so I'm cut off 16:9 frame from original shot with black bars... ;)
 

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your responses guys,

still a little confused actually. I found this article last night, which best voices I guess what I am aiming for

Consider this for a moment. Most people will install the widest possible screen they can fit into the space available, regardless of its format. Screen width is almost always the limiting factor. For example, in my theater space I had two choices. I could install a 16:9 screen that was 8 feet wide, or a 4:3 screen that was 8 feet wide. If I installed a 16:9 screen it would be 8 feet wide and 4.5 feet high. But if I installed a 4:3 screen, it would be 8 feet wide and 6 feet high. The 8-foot width is limited by the room; the screen height is my option.

Now between these two options, how big is my 4:3 image? On the 4:3 screen it is 8 x 6 = 48 square feet. On the 16:9 screen, it would have been 6 x 4.5 = 27 square feet. That's almost half the size! And that's the difference between being at the Eagles concert and seeing it on television.

Meanwhile - and here is a key point - my 16:9 image size is the same either way— 8 x 4.5 = 36 square feet. So the only variable is how I want to display 4:3. Do you want to maximize the use of your wall space? The 4:3 screen gives you more viewing area since it uses more vertical space on the wall.

I would never give up seeing the great classic films or music videos in the largest format I can manage. Especially if it was for a reason as nonsensical (to me) as making sure that all of my 4:3 material was displayed in a "smaller" format than a widescreen movie. So the bottom line is this: I personally don't believe that a 4:3 image should be smaller than a 16:9 - I'm a Big Picture guy and I want them both as big as I can fit on the wall. In my case, that means they are both eight feet wide.

So with the above in mind, do the above comments still ring true? Ie does a 16:9 projector still give me enough of a 4:3 option to fill a much bigger screen than what 16:9 would be expecting to display on a 16:9 screen? Or would I be better getting a 4:3 projector which can display 16:9 in the same space a projector which is naturally 16:9 could?

(for the full article quoted above, see 4x3 -vs- 16x9)
 

pRot3us

Distinguished Member
Go to 16:9 it's the best compromise between all the different aspect ratios. Most viewing material is either 2.35:1 or 16:9 (or close - 1.85:1).

How much 4:3 stuff do you actually watch? I bet its a very small percentage.
A 4:3 screen does much more of a disservice to widescreen films than a 16:9 screen does to 4:3 films.
 

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Thanks Prot3Us,

Agree with what your saying about films, however all of the 16:9 films i watched through my 4:3 projector looked absolutly fine.

My concern with buying a 16:9 projector vs a 4:3 projector is as follows

Imagine this is my 4:3 screen

attachment.php


So currently the 4:3 projector and films would fill this hole space, and when I would put a 16:9 film on, it would do the following


attachment.php


Now my concern is getting a 16:9 projector, is that it will do this when in 4:3 mode

attachment.php


As of corse being a 16:9 projector, it assumes you have a 16:9 screen and shrinks it to fit. Therefor if I want to fit it to the screen, i will have pull the projector back further (or adjust the setting on the PJ) but having 2 black bars off of the projector screen.. ie on my speakers / wall (and of corse, its never going to be a true black like you wont see it) like so:

attachment.php


Do you see what im getting at? So my biggest concern is this whole black bars at the side idea to actually get the picture to fit the screen...

(apologies for the poor pictures, but hopefully theyre self explanitory)
 

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wiatrak

Standard Member
The true limitation of image size is height of sight area (angle), because witdh of this area is much bigger than height. So, all panoramic aspects are better. And with that, 16:9 screen is better, if you watch both for 4:3 and 16:9 movies, with 16:9 native PJ.

16:9 screen:

49104ffb10266731.jpg



and 4:3 screen:

524c609c01f30d2d.jpg


Area of 4:3 image is in both case the same, but 16:9 (or 2,35:1) image is better on 16:9 screen than on 4:3 screen.
 
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Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Thanks Wiatrak,

Your response makes alot of sense and almost answers my questions.

The problem is that your post is related to the type of screen.. not projector.

I already have a large 4:3 screen and wont have the funds to replace it, so my question was that if I bought a 16:9 projector, would the problem I have not be as pictured in your 1st picture (ie on the 16:9 screen), that a 16:9 projector will in fact add black bars to a 4:3 image? Thus making me expand my picture to fill the screen but meaning the black bars will instead be projected onto the walls?
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
If you show a 4:3 image using a 16:9 projector setup to fill the whole width of your screen you will end up with your 3rd picture when watching 4:3 material.

The solution would be to then zoom the picture to the full size of the screen, but this is obviously not ideal since you would have to change it every time you switch aspects.
 

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Get a panasonic AE3000/Ae4000 and your dilemma will be solved.

I would LOVE to... but its somewhat out of my price range to say the least!

If you show a 4:3 image using a 16:9 projector setup to fill the whole width of your screen you will end up with your 3rd picture when watching 4:3 material.

The solution would be to then zoom the picture to the full size of the screen, but this is obviously not ideal since you would have to change it every time you switch aspects.

Perfect.. just what I was looking for! Thank you!

On that note, as I have no experience using a "zoom" feature yet.. will the zoom simply take out the black bars, or would I also risk loosing a portion of the picture this way aswell?
 

nwgarratt

Distinguished Member
Zooming will lose quite a lot of the picture. Most PJ's only have a 4:3 letterbox mode. This is designed for non anamorphic DVD's that are widescreen but are flagged as 4:3 and not 16:9 enhanced. If it isn't used, the image is squashed and the LB mode makes the picture the right height. If used on a regular 4:3 picture, it will chop off the top and bottom of the picture.
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
When i said zoom, i more meant use the lens controls to make the picture bigger.

As such you won't lose any of the picture, but you would get some black bars projectored onto your walls. This would work like using the zoom on your camera.

Not completely ideal but liveable.
 
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nwgarratt

Distinguished Member
When i said zoom, i more meant use the lens controls to make the picture bigger.

As such you won't lose any of the picture, but you would get some black bars projectored onto your walls. This would work like using the zoom on your camera.

Not completely ideal but liveable.

Oh ok. I would hate that though. Now I have a proper 16:9 screen (had a 4:3 blind before), I cannot make the 4:3 bigger or the image goes off the screen.
 

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