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Mattes matter.

Old 08-21-00, 12:39 AM
  #1  
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My RPTV is pretty old (4-5 years), but I didn't want to be tempted be folks who just ordered a mondo Mits (73"!).

So, a while back I decided to go a cheaper route ($8), I've created some mattes to block out the black areas from letterboxed movies. I finally took some photos of the mattes in action.

You can see the results here on my updated HT page.

Just thought I'd share.

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Old 08-22-00, 07:34 PM
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It looks very cozy.

Now that you've gone to the trouble to matte the black bars, why not mask everything? There must be some flat black material that could be velcroed over all of the equipment and the white walls to really mimic a movie theater. Some sonically transparent material over the speakers as well. You would want to cut the material into manageable strips or sizes, as you may need to get at the stuff from time to time, but you might better appreciate how the original "Alien" scared the crap out of me in 1979. All of that black became an extension of the movie.
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Old 08-23-00, 03:25 AM
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I agree with Patman. IMHO, the mattes make a huge difference for those of us who have to deal with the black bars. It is a very cheap ht improvement and I highly recommend trying it!

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Old 08-23-00, 10:40 PM
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This is an excellent cheap upgrade for anyone with a similar television to consider. The bars I made back in January of this year are very similar to yours although I made them with .25" plywood that I then painted black (maybe I wasn't looking in the right place but it didn't seem like I was going to find a big enough piece of sturdy cardboard for my 60" set). I used the same fastening method.

I originally created my bars, because my TV is a 4x3 progressive scan; when I put it into 16x9 mode to watch anamorphic discs, it displays a grey signal on the remaining screen area (top and bottom) to protect the screen from burn-in, and while better for the TV this is almost unwatchable for me. Anyway these bars eliminated that. Takes about five seconds to put them on. But from then on I've used them on any widescreen movie - the black is really black and makes viewing so much more enjoyable.
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Old 08-24-00, 03:03 PM
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I don't get it. Wolfchild is covering up grey bars, so that makes some sense. But if you're just covering up black bars with black cardboard, what's the difference? And if you're watching a 2:35:1 movie, there's still going to be bars. Did you make bars for every ratio? I've got a Toshiba 65" HDTV, so I don't have to worry about the bars (except for movies smaller than 1:85:1), but I would think the black from the screen would be darker & more pleasing than the cardboard. Is it just that you don't like letterboxing?
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Old 08-24-00, 03:23 PM
  #6  
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quote:
Originally posted by El Kabong:
I don't get it. Wolfchild is covering up grey bars, so that makes some sense. But if you're just covering up black bars with black cardboard, what's the difference? And if you're watching a 2:35:1 movie, there's still going to be bars. Did you make bars for every ratio? I've got a Toshiba 65" HDTV, so I don't have to worry about the bars (except for movies smaller than 1:85:1), but I would think the black from the screen would be darker & more pleasing than the cardboard. Is it just that you don't like letterboxing?


For 4:3 RPTVs, mattes makes a difference. For 16x9 TVs, mattes probably won't make a difference, but you're in the minority of RPTV owners, so you wouldn't benefit from mattes, but don't shortchange the benefits for the 4:3 RPTV owners.

For most 4:3 RPTVs, the black in the bars aren't truly black (light bleeds through), and does affect viewing quality. With the mattes in place, you get a nice solid box of video with no bleed through of light.


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Old 08-24-00, 04:30 PM
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Patman is right El Kabong. I do this now even when I'm not watching an enhanced disc. I know I could probably adjust my DVD player's black output level to be even darker but that really just increases the the risk of possible burn-in, as at least the regular black from the player just isn't all that dark. The mattes (if made right) are unnoticeable even in daylight hours and make viewing much much more enjoyable. There really is a big difference.

I only made my mattes for 1.85:1; I could make another set for 2.35:1 but I'm lazy and really, the very thin black bars on those movies don't bother me that much. You're right though there probably wouldn't be that much need on a 16x9 set to do this unless you just had to have the bars on a 2.35:1 eliminated.
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