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Why doesn't 1.85 crop exist on projector settings?...or does it?

leeuk321

Active Member
Just wondering why there isn't a mode on projectors to crop/mask content to a 1.85 aspect ratio? I've got a Benq W1070 projector, and I would have loved to have built a 1.85 screen for it, since more or less all I watch on it is films. I contemplated building a 1.85 screen anyway, but i did some testing with black velvet surround and with 16:9 content (which I sometimes watch), bright scenes could visibly be seen bleeding into the surround. So, I had the choice of either building a 16:9 screen and living with the black bars for 1.85 films, or building a 1.85 screen and living with the image bleeding through for 16:9 tv. I ended up going with the 16:9 screen route, finding it the better compromise.

I've searched for answers to this, but it seems that I'm the only person who has even brought up the topic, or had the concern. Don't get me wrong, I can live with the black bars for 1.85 films, I just would have loved for there to have been an option in the projector settings to make it so that content is cropped to 1.85. i.e. 16:9 would have the top & bottom bits chopped off. 1.85 and wider would of course be unaffected. To clarify: I'm not talking about expanding or contracting the image or stretching the image horizontally or vertically, just simply a 1.85 black bar/mask applied, so to speak, as if the projector was shining through a 1.85 box placed perfectly over the lens. Hence someone would then be able to build a 1.85 screen.

Like I said, I can live with the black bars, they're only an inch at the top & bottom of my screen, I just would have loved the option to not have them (without the image-bleed problem of 16:9 content). And as for anamorphic films, I'm building a hinged masking system, so that panels flops down/up to mask the content. It's somewhat convoluted to build a masking system to cover a 1" black bar.

I realize that they'll be workarounds, such as an electronic masking systems or such-forth, I just simply would have liked to have had the option, and it seems such a simple one (given all the calibration options in projectors). Maybe there is an option? or this option exists in higher-end projectors? If so, I'd love to be enlightened!

Am I the only person who's ever had this concern? :(
 

Atmos

Well-known Member
I think you've confused yourself.

A normal 16x9 screen matches 1.85:1 material and leaves no black bars.
A Scope Screen which matches 2.35:1 material would leave over spill top and bottom when viewing 1.85:1 material and would need you to reduce your screen size to fit.

I think what you want is an option for internal masking to stop the bleed top and bottom when displaying 1.85:1 on a 2.35:1 screen???

If so I think Epson Projectors use to have such an option.
 

leeuk321

Active Member
Hmm, not following you sorry. A 16:9 screen doesn't match 1.85 material. 16:9 is 1.78, and 1.85 well...ain't that.

I'm going to do physical masking panels to handle anamorphic 2.35, so that doesn't need to be addressed. To simplify my point, pretend that 2.35 doesn't exist and the only two aspect ratios in the world are 16:9 for TV and 1.85 for films. I know that isn't the case, but let's pretend it is. I simply want to digitally mask whatever material I'm projecting to 1.85, with the top/bottom bit being black-barred.

I.e. regular 1.85 content would be unaffected. And 16:9 content would be masked slightly so that it conforms to 1.85 (with black bars).

Like I said, as if you went up to a regular projector lens and stuck a mask on the front. Now, if you did that, it wouldn't stretch the image or flip it or zoom it or do any other tricks, just simply mask it to a 1.85 box.

Sorry if I'm not making myself clear, I've given a few explanations and analogies and I can't think of another way to describe it.
 

Atmos

Well-known Member
So there's no confusion I would use 1.85:1 and 1.78:1 for reference rather than 16x9.

Most people either go 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 thats why I questioned it.

Does it really bother you that much? The bars must be really small. I don't do a lot of TV watching but I doubt I'd even notice them.
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
I used to use an HTPC but an external scaler will do much the same and you can scale the image to fit so that you use all screen area with no visible overspill. It may mean losing a few pixels at the sides but not enough to worry about. I went with a DIY 2.35 screen using the traditional CIH format so everything fitted the height and used some curtains for side masking, just like a real cinema. No problem with any format then.

16:9 is a tv compromise which was used to take into account the less wide 4:3, similar 1.85 and the wider 2.35 film format (amongst the plethora of others), so no film format actually fits exactly into the 16:9 container. If the side masking isn't absorbant enough, then perhaps your reflectance levels are too high, though unless you have a light meter you may not know how much above the target level you are.

If you're gong the DIY route, would you consider a 2.35 screen? If so, what is the screen wall size, your current screen size,your projector, and how far back from the screen do you sit, and can you move your seating if necessary?

Gary
 

leeuk321

Active Member
Thanks for both of your replies. Like I said, it doesn't bother me that much and I've already built my screen, this is just an academic post, so to speak. As most of us can vouch, just because we're not bothered about something, it's still nice to perfect it, if possible.

Now, I realize that they're might be physical or digital workarounds, I'm just wanting to have a conversation about if / why there isn't the simple option to be able to mask an outgoing image from the projector, whatever that may be and from whatever digital source.

I mean, let's say someone built a 16:9 screen but didn't get the measurements quite right. It wasn't too much of a deal for them to go to the lengths of rebuilding it, but they nonethess wanted to tweak the image. Wouldn't it be nice to have a 'masking' option in the projector menu. Whereby you click on 'Masking' which then gives you sliders for left, right, top, bottom; reigning black into the image as you move the slider. I'm sure you could then use it in conjunction with presets, for projectors with lens memory.

I mean, I guess it's pretty much the opposite to function to the overscan feature, without actually digitally massacring the image. And with all the other digitally-massacring options in projectors, surely a non-massacring option should be able to find its place?!
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Some have small increments, but others have increments in lumps of 5% or 10% for example. It tends to vary from pj to pj. I think it's sometimes called overscan.

Gary
 

leeuk321

Active Member
Overscan is a different thing, when the image is cropped on all sides in increments of say ~5%, then blown up to fill the 16:9 output. That wouldn't do the function I needed, and I'm also not a fan of any projector functions that digitally change the image pixel structure in any way. Masking wouldn't change the image structure, just simply mask a set amount of it.

I'm happy to hear that actual masking is an option for other projectors though, I was beginning to think that I was the only person who'd ever thought of this. I mean, I've thought of two reasons for it so far, so I'm so there's more. And, if a projector with vertical lens shift can also have keystoning (doh), then it can surely make way for this.

As for your previous comment about the CIH format Gary (sorry, I forgot to address that in my previous post), I would have loved to have embraced that but it would have been impossible - or a nightmare - with my Benq W1070 projector. It's only got a 1.15-1.5 zoom range for a start (so 16:9 would zoom out to 2.32). So, even if I accepted a middle-ground zoom range (say, 1.8 to 2.35), I would have to mount the projector correctly to the millimeter. No wiggle room. Added to that though the manual zoom & lens shift, every time I went from format to format I'd have to get up, re-zoom, refocus and re-shift (with a screwdriver!) the image. Kinda takes ya outa the movie-watching mood!

In the future, when I'm able to upgrade to a projector with a wider zoom lens, electronic zoom, electronic lens shift and lens memory, I'm definitely going to build a 2.39 screen. I definitely believe that a scope film should go wider, not narrower. With my setup, I just pull my chair towards or away from the screen, depending on the movie format (and my energy level).
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
As for your previous comment about the CIH format Gary (sorry, I forgot to address that in my previous post), I would have loved to have embraced that but it would have been impossible - or a nightmare - with my Benq W1070 projector. It's only got a 1.15-1.5 zoom range for a start (so 16:9 would zoom out to 2.32). So, even if I accepted a middle-ground zoom range (say, 1.8 to 2.35), I would have to mount the projector correctly to the millimeter. No wiggle room. Added to that though the manual zoom & lens shift, every time I went from format to format I'd have to get up, re-zoom, refocus and re-shift (with a screwdriver!) the image. Kinda takes ya outa the movie-watching mood!

I completely agree. I started out CIH by zooming many years ago, but with a pj that had enough zoom range and lens shift to do it, and even then it got old very quickly doing that way, plus the image looked ropey being zoomed that big. I then used an anamorphic lens which was a huge improvement. Vertical scaling doe take you away from a pixel to pixel image, but visually with video content it looks a lot better than zooming because you're using 500,000 more pixels to render the image, plus you are less likely to see any screen door effect if you sit close enough for that to be an issue.

I think Smurphin is using a Benq 1070 constantly set to 1920 x 817 and uses an external scaler to shrink all other formats into the height at that resolution - it's called the shrink method. He sits close enough so the height is as tall as he is comfortable with and then all common formats fit the height and only the width varies.

In the future, when I'm able to upgrade to a projector with a wider zoom lens, electronic zoom, electronic lens shift and lens memory, I'm definitely going to build a 2.39 screen. I definitely believe that a scope film should go wider, not narrower. With my setup, I just pull my chair towards or away from the screen, depending on the movie format (and my energy level).

That's pretty much what zoomers do - except they use the zoom lens of the pj to increase the image by 33% instead of moving their seating closer. Same difference :)

Gary
 

True Romance

Distinguished Member
I'm in a similar position to the op. I have a fixed 2:35 screen and when watching 16:9 films get over spill onto my screen masking as I can't be arsed to keep adjusting the zoom. Sometimes it bothers me but my Devore panels do a very good job of absorbing the bright shots. I would love to crop the image down to reduce over spill but from what I understand that would require either using a PC as my media player, ripping all my films with a mask applied or using an external scaler. Two of which are going to cost lots of money and the 3rd lots of time.
 

True Romance

Distinguished Member
A second hand lumagen scaler that can do the aspect ratio control can generally be had at a very reasonable cost....plus it will actually improve the picture quality of you also use the tools in it for calibration and/or upscaling.
What would you class as "reasonable cost" Gorden?
 

leeuk321

Active Member
Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 6.29.21 PM.png
 

leeuk321

Active Member
I just looked up the most expensive projector on richer sounds, the Sony VPL-VW1100ES, and dove into the manual to see if such a feature exists and low-and-behold, voila (above). I'm not saying that only £18K projectors have this feature (geeeeeez!), but at least we know for sure that it's out there!
 

Rich H

Well-known Member
As has been mentioned, various projectors offer exactly what you are asking for: customizable electronic masking.

My previous and current JVC projector has a masking option for 3 customized saved settings. It would be simple to create masking to 1:85:1 and one could just leave it on that setting or turn it on as needed.

Currently one of my masking presets is a 2:352 setting which masks multiple AR movies like the Batman movies, Interstellar etc to 2:35:1 so there is no light spill off screen when it switches to the IMAX AR shots. It's very handy. (Though I will also watch multiple AR movies with my screen masking open sometimes as well).

Time for a new projector? :)
 

leeuk321

Active Member
Looks like the cheapest Sony projector (SONY VPL-HW40ES, £1849) at RS also has the blanking feature. So, I think we can safely assume that the whole Sony line does it
 

leeuk321

Active Member
Yeah, I definitely appreciate that it was already mentioned that other projectors have it, but purely for satisfaction I wanted to find an exact projector that had it and see what the feature was called and how it operated. I love the Benq W1070 for what it is (I got it on sale for £400), and certainly think that it's bang-to-the-buck factor is probably impossible to beat, but ultimately I'd eventually love to get a more advanced projector.

I'd love to have electronic horizontal & vertical lens shift, elec zoom & focus, lens memory and masking. And I'd imagine with that feature-set, it'd be a much more expensive projector so all that other good stuff such as contrast would be improved too.

I wonder what the cheapest projector is with that feature set?
 

leeuk321

Active Member
I've just looked and the Panasonic PTAT6000E has the feature (they call it masking, the same as JVC I think). I can't find an Epson projector with that feature.

So, in summary i think that Sony, JVC and Panasonic projectors have the feature, which I guess makes sense because it seems that they're the pro brands of the consumer market. And I'm willing to wager that no Benq, Optoma or Epson projectors do. Benq and Optoma seem to be at the entry-level end of the projector spectrum, and Epson I can't figure out. They seem to straddle across both ends, having an illusive range of business, home and cinema projectors in different markets.
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Looks like the cheapest Sony projector (SONY VPL-HW40ES, £1849) at RS also has the blanking feature. So, I think we can safely assume that the whole Sony line does it

Not only does the Sony have electronic blanking, it has a test pattern with dotted lines at 1.85:1, which would make it very easy for you.

I wouldn't worry, though. The difference between 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 is fairly small, whilst the difference in picture size and shape you'd see from one cinema screen to another is anything but.

Steve W
 

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