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Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Old 01-24-12, 11:52 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Spiky
I got bad things from both links. Googled "reighn" and got there ok with removed link. Just FYI.

Do you suppose he owns any Star Trek blurays?
And I got a warning from that link! Ha! So strange...
Old 01-26-12, 01:26 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

I'm torn between what I'd like (the Panasonic AE7000U) and being practical (the Optoma HD33). There's a huge price difference. Plus, I already have 4 pairs of Optoma 3D glasses; I'd have to buy new glasses to go with the Panasonic. The 2 things that worry me the most about the HD33 is that it doesn't have lens shift, and the contrast ratio is a lot less than the Panasonic's (4000:1 vs. 300,000:1). That's got to make a big difference, right?
Old 01-26-12, 02:38 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Sdallnct
And I got a warning from that link! Ha! So strange...
We did some investigating and it appears there's a hacked script running on the site. I removed the links.
Old 01-26-12, 04:24 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
I'm torn between what I'd like (the Panasonic AE7000U) and being practical (the Optoma HD33). There's a huge price difference. Plus, I already have 4 pairs of Optoma 3D glasses; I'd have to buy new glasses to go with the Panasonic. The 2 things that worry me the most about the HD33 is that it doesn't have lens shift, and the contrast ratio is a lot less than the Panasonic's (4000:1 vs. 300,000:1). That's got to make a big difference, right?
Yeah, it does. Those numbers aren't a direct comparison, it isn't 75 times better. But I think it would be noticeable. OTOH, if you don't compare them side by side, I think you'll be very happy with the HD33. Esp for a first PJ.

If it is bright enough, you could get a grey screen, or get an ND filter for the lens. This would improve contrast and black levels. I am considering that for my LG, it is certainly bright enough. I actually have a filter somewhere that would probably work, gotta find it.
Old 01-26-12, 04:27 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

I've always been curious about putting a ND filter on the lens. How does it go on? Does it need to be slipped inside by removing the lens from the PJ or does it fit over the outside and if so how does it stay on?
Old 01-26-12, 05:55 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

^ Personally I use Velcro tapes to attach my ND4 filter onto my Epson EX71 projector. I don't think you should mess with the lens internally.
Old 01-26-12, 08:43 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Spiky
Yeah, it does. Those numbers aren't a direct comparison, it isn't 75 times better. But I think it would be noticeable. OTOH, if you don't compare them side by side, I think you'll be very happy with the HD33. Esp for a first PJ.
I won't be comparing them side by side, but I tend to agree that it would probably be noticeable. I don't know what the contrast ratio is on my Mits DLP, but I'm guessing it's not very high. There are times when I can't see shit during dark scenes in movies because I can't distinguish colors. I started noticing it more after I bought an LG LED TV for another room in my house. It has a 3,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and I have no problem making things out during dark scenes.
Old 01-27-12, 02:02 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by chipmac
I've always been curious about putting a ND filter on the lens. How does it go on? Does it need to be slipped inside by removing the lens from the PJ or does it fit over the outside and if so how does it stay on?
Most lenses have screw connections on the front, or at least grooves that look like it. They are on the inside of the cylinder that is the lens housing, but not internal to the lens. You can simply screw a filter in there.

My first PJ was designed to take a 52mm filter, it screwed on properly just like it would on a 52mm SLR lens. I never used one with the AE900 (my 2nd PJ) because it was too dim. This LG doesn't really look like it is a screw, but I'm sure I could put one on there carefully. It would have to be much bigger, though, my old filter doesn't come close to fitting.

The cheaper PJs have gotten brighter and have better contrast than back then, so this has become less of a discussion, I think. It used to be a very common topic at AVS.

ND4 is pretty dark.
Old 01-27-12, 02:22 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
I won't be comparing them side by side, but I tend to agree that it would probably be noticeable. I don't know what the contrast ratio is on my Mits DLP, but I'm guessing it's not very high. There are times when I can't see shit during dark scenes in movies because I can't distinguish colors. I started noticing it more after I bought an LG LED TV for another room in my house. It has a 3,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and I have no problem making things out during dark scenes.
There is the Epson 3010. 3D, $1500 with 2 glasses from Visual Apex, 40000:1 ratio, 2200 lumens. They put in lesser lens features and took out some other stuff to cut the price in half from the 5010, which is very comparable to the AE7000.

Keep in mind the dark blacks are from auto-iris modes. I personally find them annoying. I was watching some movie the other day and it kept flipping the scene from a backlit person to a person with a dark background, and the iris keeps jumping back and forth for the different lighting, probably to nearly full open/shut in this extreme case. While deeper blacks are better for immersion in a movie, artificial iris changes are horrible.

The raw black level at a particular aperture is going to be different than the marketing-speak, and these PJs may all be very similar or not. Check out this paragraph from a review of these 2 PJs:

Contrast. We set the Home Cinema 3010 to Cinema mode with the lamp at its low power setting, while the HD33 was set to Cinema with the lamp at full power, putting the two projectors roughly 100 lumens apart--almost identical, as far as the human eye is concerned. The 3010 has deeper black levels than the HD33 in dark scenes thanks to its auto iris. In scenes of average illumination, the HD33 took the lead, with deeper black levels and comparable highlights. In bright scenes, the HD33 maintained its deeper blacks while the 3010 had bright, sparkling highlights.
Old 01-27-12, 09:10 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by X
We did some investigating and it appears there's a hacked script running on the site. I removed the links.
Ok, thanks and sorry about that...
Old 01-27-12, 09:24 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
I'm torn between what I'd like (the Panasonic AE7000U) and being practical (the Optoma HD33). There's a huge price difference. Plus, I already have 4 pairs of Optoma 3D glasses; I'd have to buy new glasses to go with the Panasonic. The 2 things that worry me the most about the HD33 is that it doesn't have lens shift, and the contrast ratio is a lot less than the Panasonic's (4000:1 vs. 300,000:1). That's got to make a big difference, right?
I mentioned it before, but don't let the lack of lens shift deter you too much. If your planning on hanging from ceiling (or setting on a table) and only one row of seats and don't have to low of a ceiling, you very, very likely will be able to make it work.

Yes, lens shift makes things easier. But you still have to measure, align, etc. Its just you want to be much more precious with no lens shift. But remember you can raise and lower your projector with your mount and move your screen up and down or side to side so which have the exact same effect as lens shift.

What screen are you using? I've heard of people using a screen paint to make a screen a couple inches bigger than they know they will need. Than mount the projector and see where the image lands and put their boarder on based on that.

I know LCD's have really improved (in black level) and it goes more by projector now, but DLP's are known for their black level. In general I also find them more natural looking (not as digital looking). LCD's tend to be more bright, and more sharp looking. Again, those are generalities. You really need to go by unit. I just know I loved my X1 and still love my HD70.

And Spiky is right. These are all good projectors. The hardest critic will be you. We are having a super bowl party and I guarantee every single person will assuming my PJ is a 1080p. When you get to these levels you are talking subtle differences that are hard to see unless they are side by side. And even then, you have to ask is one really better or are they just different? Remember there is no one perfect picture.

(And I'm not trying to talk you out of the Panny. It is a great unit! I'm just saying if you have a budget and want to get the Optoma, it is not a bad choice. It is a good unit too).

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Old 01-27-12, 10:57 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

^ I totally agree, Sdallnct. I was on a very budget, and that's why I bought the Optoma HD66. I couldn't be happier, and my friends are all shocked when I tell them that it is far from the top of the line. If I had the money, would I have looked into something else that was 1080p? Sure, I would have. But it was at least 720p and had the 3D upgrade capability. It provided a great bang for its buck, and I doubt there are many models as good for what I paid.

Basically, Joe Schmoe, I think you'll be happy either way you go. I have no doubt that the HD33 would be a solid performer for you should you decide to stick to a budget.
Old 01-27-12, 11:47 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Sdallnct
LCD's tend to be ... more sharp looking. Again, those are generalities.
Hmm, that flies in the face of traditional assumptions. Esp about the Pannys since they have always had SmoothScreen tech, which actually blurs the pixels a bit.
Old 01-28-12, 12:52 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Joe schmoe - I think another important aspect to look at is the throw distance.
If you got 15 feet or over to work with than your good to go but if you got only around 10 feet, I'd look at the throw distance for those specific projectors.
Most projector won't be able to produce 100 inches of screen if you only got about 10 feet to work with.
Old 01-28-12, 09:53 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Spiky
Hmm, that flies in the face of traditional assumptions. Esp about the Pannys since they have always had SmoothScreen tech, which actually blurs the pixels a bit.
I may be using my experiences with LCD technologies in TV's to cloud my judgement. I know my crappy old no-brand LCD in my bar is pretty darn sharp. Maybe the sharpest TV in the house. But it looks very digital. And most LCD TV's I've seen appear sharper than most plasma's to me, but I surely prefer the look of the the plasma's.

And like I say, I know enough to know I was talking in "old" generalities. Thinks have really changed where all technologies have improved so it comes down more to the individual unit than specific technology.
Old 01-28-12, 10:42 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by clckworang
^ I totally agree, Sdallnct. I was on a very budget, and that's why I bought the Optoma HD66. I couldn't be happier, and my friends are all shocked when I tell them that it is far from the top of the line. If I had the money, would I have looked into something else that was 1080p? Sure, I would have. But it was at least 720p and had the 3D upgrade capability. It provided a great bang for its buck, and I doubt there are many models as good for what I paid.

Basically, Joe Schmoe, I think you'll be happy either way you go. I have no doubt that the HD33 would be a solid performer for you should you decide to stick to a budget.
Practicality is probably going to win. When I thought about how much $$$ I've already spent on 4 pairs of Optoma glasses (about $280) and how much I'd have to spend to have 4 pairs of Panasonic glasses ($400+), it makes me lean towards the HD33. There are cheap 3rd party glasses available for the Panasonic, but every review I've read says Panasonic's glasses perform better. Then there's the savings of between the projectors themselves: $1,352.
Old 01-28-12, 10:56 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Sdallnct
I mentioned it before, but don't let the lack of lens shift deter you too much. If your planning on hanging from ceiling (or setting on a table) and only one row of seats and don't have to low of a ceiling, you very, very likely will be able to make it work.

Yes, lens shift makes things easier. But you still have to measure, align, etc. Its just you want to be much more precious with no lens shift. But remember you can raise and lower your projector with your mount and move your screen up and down or side to side so which have the exact same effect as lens shift.

What screen are you using? I've heard of people using a screen paint to make a screen a couple inches bigger than they know they will need. Than mount the projector and see where the image lands and put their boarder on based on that.

I know LCD's have really improved (in black level) and it goes more by projector now, but DLP's are known for their black level. In general I also find them more natural looking (not as digital looking). LCD's tend to be more bright, and more sharp looking. Again, those are generalities. You really need to go by unit. I just know I loved my X1 and still love my HD70.

And Spiky is right. These are all good projectors. The hardest critic will be you. We are having a super bowl party and I guarantee every single person will assuming my PJ is a 1080p. When you get to these levels you are talking subtle differences that are hard to see unless they are side by side. And even then, you have to ask is one really better or are they just different? Remember there is no one perfect picture.

(And I'm not trying to talk you out of the Panny. It is a great unit! I'm just saying if you have a budget and want to get the Optoma, it is not a bad choice. It is a good unit too).
I don't have a screen yet, but I was leaning toward an Elite Sable screen. I can fit a 120" diagonal screen, but the height might be a problem... If I want the screen to be 3' off the floor, then that would leave just 1" bewteen the top of the screen and the ceiling because the screen is 59" tall (nearly 5 feet) and my ceiling is 8'. I got these numbers from the projector calculator on projectorpeople.com, but I'm not sure if they refer to the viewing area or the overall screen with the frame inlcuded. Anyhoo, the calculator also said the HD33's lens would be 9.5" higher than the top of the screen (if ceiling mounted). That means the screen would have to be 9.5" or more below the ceiling, right? And that would would mean the bottom of a 120" screen would now be less than 3' off the floor, which is probably not a good idea. So I guess that means I should be looking at a smaller screen?
Old 01-28-12, 11:03 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by davidlynchfan
Joe schmoe - I think another important aspect to look at is the throw distance.
If you got 15 feet or over to work with than your good to go but if you got only around 10 feet, I'd look at the throw distance for those specific projectors.
Most projector won't be able to produce 100 inches of screen if you only got about 10 feet to work with.
I've got 19' to work with, but according to the calculator at projectorpeople.com, a screen as large as 120" diagonally only needs 14'3". Ironically, a 120" screen probably won't work for me because it may be too tall for my wall. So even though I've got plenty of throw distance, I may end up with a much smaller screen than I'd like based on the screen's height.
Old 01-28-12, 12:08 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
I don't have a screen yet, but I was leaning toward an Elite Sable screen. I can fit a 120" diagonal screen, but the height might be a problem... If I want the screen to be 3' off the floor, then that would leave just 1" bewteen the top of the screen and the ceiling because the screen is 59" tall (nearly 5 feet) and my ceiling is 8'. I got these numbers from the projector calculator on projectorpeople.com, but I'm not sure if they refer to the viewing area or the overall screen with the frame inlcuded. Anyhoo, the calculator also said the HD33's lens would be 9.5" higher than the top of the screen (if ceiling mounted). That means the screen would have to be 9.5" or more below the ceiling, right? And that would would mean the bottom of a 120" screen would now be less than 3' off the floor, which is probably not a good idea. So I guess that means I should be looking at a smaller screen?
Meh...realize which areas you can fudge on and which area's you should try to stick to the "rules". And for that, it is an individual choice. For example, I think spending the time and effort to get everything squared up as perfectly as possible is a golden rule to not try to break. Screen height off the floor, you have room to fudge a little. If it works for you.

My screen viewing screen area is exactly 36" off the floor (I just measured it). But remember I have two rows of seating. So it probably should have been a little higher. I did build a riser for the 2nd row (and then after getting the seats added another 1.75" in height to the riser). It works fine.

If only one row of seats (like I think you mentioned), you can go lower. Heck go over to DIY screen form at AVS. Some of them put their screen nearly to the floor.

There is no theater room police! Yes, of course you want to get the best image possible. But don't do so that you don't enjoy it. I did a very low tech approach before I built my screen. I simply put a dinning room chair in the room and moved it around. Sat on phone books, etc. Of course I know it wouldn't be "exact". But than I wasn't worried about exact. I wanted comfort that would fit, the image to look good, people to enjoy.
Old 01-28-12, 02:05 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

I've got a few questions about aspect ratio...

The HD33 is a 16x9 projector and doesn't have an anamorphic lens. If I watch 2.35:1 material on a 16x9 screen, will I get black bars at the top and bottom of the screen (like on a 16x9 TV) or will it be distorted from stretching?

What will I get with the HD33 if I watch 2.35:1 material on a 2.35:1 screen? Will it be distorted without an anamorphic lens or will it fit the screen perfectly? I guess I'm confused as to why projectors needs anamorphic lenses at all. Thanks!
Old 01-28-12, 07:23 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Black bars, yes. In 16:9 mode. There may be other modes that stretch in various ways.

Anamorphic is a whole other trip, and a lens will cost as much as another PJ, maybe a lot more than the PJs we're discussing. And I believe requires certain available aspect ratio settings, so not all PJs work. If I understand correctly, anamorphic lenses use optical means to change aspect ratio.

If you want to get into CIH (Constant image height), I'd really recommend the AE7000. It has a lens memory (combined with power lens) that negates the need for the extra lens.
Old 01-28-12, 09:19 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Kind of like the "anamorphic squeeze" feature of TVs, the anamorphic lens lets you use the full capability of the projector's pixels and squeezes the projector's highest resolution (and brightness) output into the correct form factor. It's real expensive.
Old 01-29-12, 08:58 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Spiky
Black bars, yes. In 16:9 mode. There may be other modes that stretch in various ways.

Anamorphic is a whole other trip, and a lens will cost as much as another PJ, maybe a lot more than the PJs we're discussing. And I believe requires certain available aspect ratio settings, so not all PJs work. If I understand correctly, anamorphic lenses use optical means to change aspect ratio.

If you want to get into CIH (Constant image height), I'd really recommend the AE7000. It has a lens memory (combined with power lens) that negates the need for the extra lens.
I'll throw in my 2 cents here...

If you have the extra width in your room go with a 2.35:1 (or 2.39:1) screen. The Panasonic is perfect for this. When I started I did the zoom/lens shift thing manually to fill my 2.35:1 screen and it worked fine. Having it automated is a great feature.

One drawback was I could sometimes notice the light spill of the 'black bars' on my black walls. My Sanyo Z4 didn't produce the deepest blacks. I would think the Panasonic wouldn't have this issue.

Another drawback are subtitles. Not often but studios sometimes place the part of the subtitles in the black portion of the screen... usually the 2nd line of a 2 line subtitle. The first time I noticed this was in Letters to Iwo Jima. I was missing half the conversation and was confused for about 10 minutes! Luckily my Sanyo has another anamorphic squeeze mode that slightly re-adjusts the picture to show the second line of text. I rarely need to use this however. If you watch a lot of foreign subtitled films this may be an issue.

I eventually built myself an anamorphic lens using blank trophy prisms for about $200. Now of course the image quality probably doesn't hold up to the quality of a $3000+ lens but it is very good for my tastes and budget. Plus I've never seen the image produced by a $3000+ lens and I'm good not knowing. I love my 2.35 setup. My last project is to motorize the lens mechanism.

Someday I'll upgrade my tired 6 year old Sanyo Z4 720p projector. I currently have a 136" 2.35:1 screen. When watching 16x9 content the active picture area is about 110".

Old 01-29-12, 10:34 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by klemsaba
I'll throw in my 2 cents here...

If you have the extra width in your room go with a 2.35:1 (or 2.39:1) screen. The Panasonic is perfect for this. When I started I did the zoom/lens shift thing manually to fill my 2.35:1 screen and it worked fine. Having it automated is a great feature.

One drawback was I could sometimes notice the light spill of the 'black bars' on my black walls. My Sanyo Z4 didn't produce the deepest blacks. I would think the Panasonic wouldn't have this issue.

Another drawback are subtitles. Not often but studios sometimes place the part of the subtitles in the black portion of the screen... usually the 2nd line of a 2 line subtitle. The first time I noticed this was in Letters to Iwo Jima. I was missing half the conversation and was confused for about 10 minutes! Luckily my Sanyo has another anamorphic squeeze mode that slightly re-adjusts the picture to show the second line of text. I rarely need to use this however. If you watch a lot of foreign subtitled films this may be an issue.

I eventually built myself an anamorphic lens using blank trophy prisms for about $200. Now of course the image quality probably doesn't hold up to the quality of a $3000+ lens but it is very good for my tastes and budget. Plus I've never seen the image produced by a $3000+ lens and I'm good not knowing. I love my 2.35 setup. My last project is to motorize the lens mechanism.

Someday I'll upgrade my tired 6 year old Sanyo Z4 720p projector. I currently have a 136" 2.35:1 screen. When watching 16x9 content the active picture area is about 110".

Thanks for pictures in the link! That makes it very clear what kind of results I'd get. I could live with black bars above and below the image on a 16x9 screen, but I couldn't live with black bars on all sides of the image on a 2.35:1 screen. So if I want a 2.35:1 screen, I'd have to go with the Panasonic AE7000U to be happy... but going with a 16x9 screen and the Optoma HD33 sure is a lot cheaper!
Old 01-29-12, 11:01 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
Thanks for pictures in the link! That makes it very clear what kind of results I'd get. I could live with black bars above and below the image on a 16x9 screen, but I couldn't live with black bars on all sides of the image on a 2.35:1 screen. So if I want a 2.35:1 screen, I'd have to go with the Panasonic AE7000U to be happy... but going with a 16x9 screen and the Optoma HD33 sure is a lot cheaper!
Actually with a lens and an anamorphic stretch mode (either on the player or projector if available) you wouldn't have any black bars with 2.35 content. The entire screen is used.

Without a lens you would be zooming the image to fill the 2.35 screen and technically you would still have the black bars at the top and bottom outside of the screen but wouldn't see them if your wall is black. Still a great presentation. The Panasonic does this automatically instead of having to manually adjust the zoom. What ever projector used would need the added zoom range to accomplish this.

Images from a DIY anamorphic lens website...



16x9 screen with black bars


2.35 screen with original 16x9 image and black bars... not what we want.


2.35 screen with original 16x9 image vertically stretched to remove black bars


2.35 screen with image stretched horizontally with a lens to fill screen just like many commercial theaters do

Of course the overall goal is to enjoy the movie in it's original aspect ratio no mater what screen is used. This method gives a sense of grand scale to the presentation.

The Panasonic takes care of all this by zooming.

Last edited by klemsaba; 01-29-12 at 11:40 AM.

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