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

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

Old 01-29-12, 12:02 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by klemsaba
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.

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.
When a projector like the AE7000U zooms in to fill a 2.35:1 screen, does the picture quality remain intact or is it compromised? I'm talking about the overall sharpness.
Old 01-29-12, 12:21 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
When a projector like the AE7000U zooms in to fill a 2.35:1 screen, does the picture quality remain intact or is it compromised? I'm talking about the overall sharpness.
As far as overall sharpness and the numbers are concerned, no. You're still using the same number of pixels just zooming it. However the 'smaller' letter boxed image would appear sharper than the zoomed image. I guess it depends on where you sit and the quality of the optics in the projector. Light output would reduce. If you dial in the settings and base the gear on the larger 2.35 screen then it won't matter.

I haven't been in the market for a projector for 6 years so I'm not very knowledgeable on the newer gear. Next year it will probably be time to upgrade my projector.
Old 01-29-12, 02:25 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Yeah, that is almost more a question (coming full circle here) of PJ and seating distances. And throw ratios, screen size, etc. It's the same lens, and it isn't doing anything too special just by zooming and shifting.

I haven't seen the AE7000 myself, but as we discussed, you would still want to keep within the middle 80% or so of the zoom range, almost certainly. So, back to calculating is what that would mean. I didn't mention this before, but when I was first planning, I created an Excel file to calculate shape, size, and height of my screen to plan it all out. That would be a great plan for anyone planning an even more complex setup, like CIH. My current speakers are simply too tall for me to be very interested. Even with a relatively small 90" 16:9 screen, they have to be to the side of it. And if I ever upgrade, odds are they would be even bigger. Can't have everything, and audio is of huge importance to me.

Most people doing CIH have some form of matte/door/curtain they will do to shrink the screen down for smaller aspect ratios so it still looks like the right size when playing a movie. At least, I think "most" is accurate.
Old 01-29-12, 06:45 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Well, after seeing the pictures provided by klemsaba, I've decided to go with the AE7000U. Practicality be damned! I know if I went with the HD33, it wouldn't be long before I started noticing flaws in the picture (like the low contrast ratio) and kicking myself for "settling." (It was tempting, though, because projectorsuperstore has it on sale for the Super Bowl... only $1,289 this week).

I'm also going with a Cinemascope screen. I just ordered the last Elite Cinema235 Series 115" screen on Amazon (along with a mount and 35' HDMI cable). I had about $190 in store credit, so that really helped. That size should leave me with a bit of cushion around the sides of the screen for curtains or plain wall just for asthetics. And since it's Amazon, I can always return it if I determine I'd rather have 16x9 or a bigger screen. I haven't ordered the projector yet because I have to time it so that it arrives on my day off this week (Friday). Projectorpeople offers 3-day delivery, so I guess Tuesday morning I'l be shelling out some big bucks. It's kind of scary, but in a good way!
Old 01-29-12, 08:48 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

You think you are finished now. But alas, you have entered into an obligation to post pic's of your set up, screen shots and review....you have a lot of work in front of you Mr.!
Old 01-29-12, 09:03 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by sdallnct
you think you are finished now. But alas, you have entered into an obligation to post pic's of your set up, screen shots and review....you have a lot of work in front of you mr.!
Uh oh!
Old 01-29-12, 09:12 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

After reading the review of the AE700U at projectorcentral.com that sounds like a great projector.

One other drawback I just thought of are the movies being released in IMAX that change aspect ratios on the fly... Dark Knight, Tron, MI:4 just to name a few. Dark Knight and Tron had shifting aspect ratios on the Blu-ray releases. Those movies can be annoying to watch on a 2.35 screen because the frame opens up on certain sequences. There may be other releases that do this on Blu-ray.

I'm not sure how the Panasonic would handle those movies with the zoom function. Now if the Panasonic actually crops these images than everything is cool. If not every time the frame opens up you'll have visible image outside the screen!

With a lens since the black bars are literally cropped off I just run most movies in scope mode and never see the opened up IMAX scenes. Most of these movies don't have important info outside the scope frame. And since these are also generally released as 2.35:1 in conventional theaters I'm still watching in OAR format.

AVATAR was the one exception. Although also being released in 2.35:1 format in the theaters, the Blu-ray was released in 16x9 format. Unfortunately the way Cameron created the 2.35 version didn't make it possible to just crop the top and bottom and there isn't a 2.35 version available on disc. I tried to watch it in 2.35 at home but the framing was just messed up. It still looked great though in 16x9 though. Glad I got to see it in 2.35 in the theater since that version probably won't ever exist again.

Last edited by klemsaba; 01-29-12 at 09:22 PM.
Old 01-29-12, 11:50 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by klemsaba
Thanks for making sure your belly button was exposed.
Old 01-30-12, 07:11 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Doh! I forgot about films with changing aspect ratios. In addition to The Dark Knight, I have the version of Transformers 2 that does that. Well, at least there's not many of them.
Old 01-30-12, 02:54 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by klemsaba
I'm not sure how the Panasonic would handle those movies with the zoom function. Now if the Panasonic actually crops these images than everything is cool. If not every time the frame opens up you'll have visible image outside the screen!
I don't think it does, not with the typical usage I've read about. It's just zooming, and it is still a 16:9 PJ. It would take anamorphic stretch to have a crop, not sure if that one has this.

You could always adjust for those scenes. Frankly, I find it silly they bothered including them on disc.
Old 02-03-12, 11:02 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Got everything yesterday except the 35' HDMI cable I ordered. I paid for 3-day shipping on the projector so I could sign for it today (took the day off from work) but it arrived in just 1 day (on Wednesday). This was kind of annoying because I had to find the FedEx office (it required a signature) and pick it up yesterday. The screen and mount didn't need a signature, so when I got home there was a very long box sitting on my porch. Thank god I have honest neighbors. I'm surprised a box that big didn't require a signature too.

The pj was supposed to come with a Disney WOW Calibration disc, but ProjectorPeople forgot to send it. They said they'd ship one today.

Anyway, I only have a 6' HMDI cable at the moment, so my tests with the projector last night were limited. The farthest distance from the wall I had the projector was maybe 10'-12', and I had it on a coffee table. I haven't unpacked the screen, but even the largest images I projected on my brown wall looked good. I was surprised at how sharp the picture was even when I got within 5-6 feet of the wall. Any closer than that and they started to become fuzzy. Not that I plan to sit that close once eveything is set up permanently.

Without tweaking any settings, out of the box the pj handled cinemascope movies the way most HDTV's do: the image was as wide as 16x9 material, and there were black bars at the top and bottom. This is great but unexpected because the pj projects a 16x9 image, and I thought cinemascope material on a 16x9 "screen" would be surrounded by black bars on all sides; I'm not using a separate anamorphic lens, nor did I play around with the pj's zoom, masking or lens memory features. So if I use the cinemascope screen I bought, 16x9 images will overshoot the screen's height unless I figure out a way to shrink 16x9 images to match the screen's height. I'm guessing the projector can do this, but I'm not sure I like the idea of shrinking the image. (When I tried The Dark Knight, the IMAX scenes really opened up the image since they used the full 16x9 space.)

Also, when you watch 3D material, you have to select a preset screen size. Two of the presets are 100" and 120". The screen I bought is 115", so now I have another problem. Does that mean if I choose 120" a 16x9 image will overshoot the screen? And if I choose 100", a 16x9 image won't fill the screen? (By the way, if anyone would like to project a 3D image greater than 200" with this pj, it ain't gonna happen: the manual says 200" is the max for 3D. They don't advertise this fact. Instead they advertise that it can pj an image up to 300". Guess that appiles to 2D only.) So right now I'm thinking of exchanging the screen for 16x9 screen.

I couldn't really test the 3D because I don't have glasses yet. I tried the 2D-3D conversion just to see what it would do, and the pj basically doubled the images of all people and objects on screen. It has 5 settings, and each one changes the space between the doubled up images. Can't wait to try it with glasses.

This pj is a beast! It's bigger and bulkier than I expected, and it weighs 19 lbs. This is my first pj, so I'm a bit paranoid about hanging such an expensive toy from the ceiling. If it falls, I'm out a lot of $$$, and if it lands on someone's head they're a goner! I may end up leaving it on a coffee table in front of the audience or on a high cabinet/bookcase behind the audience. The manual only adds to my fear because it says to only use the mount they recommend (Panasonic brand, of course), and they advise having it professionally installed. It also says to use a torque driver (whatever that is), not an electrical screwdriver or impact screwdriver. Sheesh!

Question: Even when a projector has lens shift, doesn't any amount of shifting result in the image becoming a trapezoid? How can the image remain rectangular if it's aimed off center?

Last edited by Joe Schmoe; 02-03-12 at 12:54 PM.
Old 02-03-12, 01:21 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Thought it was 19 pounds? I can say that upgrading from a 7# to a 22# beast gave me pause, as well. But the key is attaching the projector to the mount well, and attaching the mount to the ceiling well. My mount is very well attached to my ceiling, could probably hold 100# for a century. And when I attached the mount to the PJ, it felt nice and firm. In the grand scheme, 20 or so pounds is really quite light, it's more the cost and level of familiarity with ceiling mounting that scares us. IMO. Note, it can fall off a shelf, too. Take care of it either way.

A torque wrench is meant to be used by hand, and includes a scale to show how much strength you've put into the action of screwing it in for careful precision. Common for mechanics. I don't own one, myself. Unless it is just a translation issue and they mean non-powered screwdriver, not torque. There is a potential issue when screwing the PJ to the mount. You don't want to tighten too much to prevent breaking the PJ, I imagine that is why they recommend not using anything electric. (and obviously too loose is bad) I just use a regular hand screwdriver and tighten hand tight. I used my drill for putting in lag screws to attach to the ceiling, though.

If I'm following you correctly, you've just shot it on the wall, and noticed that a Scope film fills the PJ's projected width, yes? That is normal, there wouldn't normally be black bars on all 4 sides. Scope films are stored as 1920x817 or so on bluray, so they fill the whole width, but not height. For your Scope setup that you are intending, you would zoom the lens until the image fills the width of your extra-wide screen, and then the shorter height should also match. Keep in mind a 2.35:1 screen is still taller than the super wide films like Star Wars (2.40) or Lawrence of Arabia (2.60). I may have those ratios slightly wrong, not sure, but you would actually still have small black bars on screen for some films.

Shift: optical shift is different. I don't know if I have the technical understanding to describe it well. But a properly made optical shift should not change the shape. I believe it moves portions of the lens to alter the aim of the light beam. If you don't know, a lens is made up of several pieces of glass. Focus, zoom, and shift are accomplished by moving some of these pieces in various ways.
Old 02-03-12, 03:54 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Spiky

If I'm following you correctly, you've just shot it on the wall, and noticed that a Scope film fills the PJ's projected width, yes? That is normal, there wouldn't normally be black bars on all 4 sides. Scope films are stored as 1920x817 or so on bluray, so they fill the whole width, but not height. For your Scope setup that you are intending, you would zoom the lens until the image fills the width of your extra-wide screen, and then the shorter height should also match. Keep in mind a 2.35:1 screen is still taller than the super wide films like Star Wars (2.40) or Lawrence of Arabia (2.60). I may have those ratios slightly wrong, not sure, but you would actually still have small black bars on screen for some films.
Yes, that's correct, just the wall so far. Before I unpack the screen, I was going to measure 115" on the wall and mark the area that the screen would fill. If I project an image wide enough to go from the left side of the tape to the right side, a 2.35:1 image will fill the marked screen area completely, right? And a 16x9 image will spill beyond the top and bottom borders I've taped off, wouldn't it? I guess I'm not understanding when you say "zoom the lens until the image fills the width of your extrra-wide screen." Then again, I'm a newbie at this.
Old 02-03-12, 03:57 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

ProjectorPeople is paying for overnight and Saturday delivery on the Disney Calibration disc they forgot to send me, so kudos to them for making up for their mistake.

Cannot find the 3rd generation Panasonic 3D glasses (large size) anywhere for a reasonable price. The only online stores that have them want $100-$200 for one pair. The few online stores that are offering them for $60 and up say they're on back order for weeks. No brick and mortar stores in my area have them either. BB sells 3D Panasonic TV's, but they don't carry the large size glasses. Only their Magnolia stores carry them, and they're backordered. Grrrrr.
Old 02-03-12, 06:14 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Spiky
Note, it can fall off a shelf, too. Take care of it either way.
This is true, so another idea I had was to affix the pj to the top of a tall cabinet using the mount and then secure the cabinet to the wall. I'd have to place the cabinet against the wall opposite from the screen, which would maximize the throw distance, but this set up would also hide the cables behind the cabinet.
Old 02-03-12, 06:58 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Meh....just make sure you get one or two (or all of them depending on mount) in a ceiling joist. Should be easy with that lens shift. Mine I was able to get two of the four in a joist and used like 25# drywall hangers on the other two. Again, the real issue in my book is the actual screws that go into the projector. But you should be fine. No one is going to hang from the thing.

(tho do be careful actually putting it up. Mine is a lot lighter than yours and I actually dislocated a finger taking it down once to change the bulb - but I'm sure your mount is a lot more user friendly than my homemade one).
Old 02-03-12, 11:18 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
Also, when you watch 3D material, you have to select a preset screen size. Two of the presets are 100" and 120". The screen I bought is 115", so now I have another problem. Does that mean if I choose 120" a 16x9 image will overshoot the screen? And if I choose 100", a 16x9 image won't fill the screen?
I think we're getting measurements confused. You can't compare your 115" 2.35 screen to a 120" 16x9 screen. We really need to change to a height measurement and not a diagonal measurement.

If my numbers are right...

Your 115" 2.35 screen is 45" tall.
A 100" 16x9 screen is 49" tall.

Choosing 100" setting on the projector the image will overshoot the screen by 2" on the top and bottom. If your screen has a nice wide border this won't be to much of an issue. Without know much about the projector I would think you could just move the projector forward a tad to fit the image to the screen. After that position is dialed in you are good to go. When watching 2.35 material you have the projector do it's automatic thing zooming and position the image onto the 2.35 screen.

If I read the manual correctly for the 3D mode and messing around with the numbers, if you choose the 120" option for 3D then you would have about 1/2" of black bars at the top and bottom of your screen for 2.35:1 movies with the rest of the black bars zoomed outside the screen.

Originally Posted by Spiky
Keep in mind a 2.35:1 screen is still taller than the super wide films like Star Wars (2.40) or Lawrence of Arabia (2.60). I may have those ratios slightly wrong, not sure, but you would actually still have small black bars on screen for some films.
Spiky has a good point. Many movies are actually 2.39:1 or 2.40:1. Those movies do have a slight black bar at the top and bottom of a 2.35 screen. I have mine setup to fill the screen leaving some of sides overshooting. But this is very minimal. If your screen has a nice frame with some kind of light absorbing material you won't really notice it. If you don't want to overshoot the sides a little then leave the small black bars at the top and bottom. In a dark room you probably won't notice them.

Those IMAX aspect shifting movies are going to be an issue with the zoom method.

Last edited by klemsaba; 02-04-12 at 12:44 AM.
Old 02-03-12, 11:33 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
Yes, that's correct, just the wall so far. Before I unpack the screen, I was going to measure 115" on the wall and mark the area that the screen would fill. If I project an image wide enough to go from the left side of the tape to the right side, a 2.35:1 image will fill the marked screen area completely, right? And a 16x9 image will spill beyond the top and bottom borders I've taped off, wouldn't it? I guess I'm not understanding when you say "zoom the lens until the image fills the width of your extrra-wide screen." Then again, I'm a newbie at this.
That is exactly what will happen with 16x9 content like during Batman's IMAX scenes.

Marking off the screen on the wall is a good idea. Play a 2.35 movie with the projector at it's normal setting for 16x9 content. You'll see the black bars and a great image with part of the screen on the sides not being used. Now zoom the image to fit the width of the screen which places the black bars outside the screen. Notice how much more cinematic the movie is. It makes a big different IMHO. But again, I've been an anamorphic scope fan since I was a kid so I'm biased.

Last edited by klemsaba; 02-03-12 at 11:44 PM.
Old 02-03-12, 11:36 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
Yes, that's correct, just the wall so far. Before I unpack the screen, I was going to measure 115" on the wall and mark the area that the screen would fill. If I project an image wide enough to go from the left side of the tape to the right side, a 2.35:1 image will fill the marked screen area completely, right? And a 16x9 image will spill beyond the top and bottom borders I've taped off, wouldn't it? I guess I'm not understanding when you say "zoom the lens until the image fills the width of your extrra-wide screen." Then again, I'm a newbie at this.
Yes, exactly. For constant image height, you have to consider the size of each shape you want, and zoom/shift to get just the image to the right height. Then store those positions in its memory, however that works.

We didn't tell you that a Masters in math would be helpful for this purchase, did we? Sorry, we should put that in the marketing material.
Old 02-03-12, 11:40 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
This is true, so another idea I had was to affix the pj to the top of a tall cabinet using the mount and then secure the cabinet to the wall. I'd have to place the cabinet against the wall opposite from the screen, which would maximize the throw distance, but this set up would also hide the cables behind the cabinet.
Does the projector vent heat out the front or rear? If it is the rear you probably don't want to put it on a shelf against a wall. If it vents to the side you may be okay on the shelf depending on how much space there is.
Old 02-04-12, 12:16 AM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
So right now I'm thinking of exchanging the screen for 16x9 screen.
I think you mentioned earlier in the thread that you wanted a 120" 16x9 screen originally but didn't know if it would work because of the height. If you have in your mind you are going smaller and can accept the 100" 16x9 setting the Panasonic forces you into for 3D then I don't think you should return the screen. You'll have a great 16x9 image and a great 2.35:1 image. If you exchange it for a 100" 16x9 screen you will still have a great 16x9 image but a disappointing 2.35 image as far as size is concerned.

If you think you can swing a slightly larger 16x9 screen like a 110" screen I still wouldn't trade. You're only gaining 5" of extra height but still sacrificing the width of a 2.35:1 movie.

Now a 120" 16x9 screen... that's a tougher decision.

Just one guy's opinion.
Old 02-07-12, 08:19 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by klemsaba
I think you mentioned earlier in the thread that you wanted a 120" 16x9 screen originally but didn't know if it would work because of the height. If you have in your mind you are going smaller and can accept the 100" 16x9 setting the Panasonic forces you into for 3D then I don't think you should return the screen. You'll have a great 16x9 image and a great 2.35:1 image. If you exchange it for a 100" 16x9 screen you will still have a great 16x9 image but a disappointing 2.35 image as far as size is concerned.

If you think you can swing a slightly larger 16x9 screen like a 110" screen I still wouldn't trade. You're only gaining 5" of extra height but still sacrificing the width of a 2.35:1 movie.

Now a 120" 16x9 screen... that's a tougher decision.

Just one guy's opinion.
Funny you mentioned that because I decided to go for the 120" screen. The 2.35:1 screen is currently on its way back to Amazon. I just couldn't live with the 16x9 image only being 44" high. (That's only 8" taller than my TV's screen.) After a lot of experimenting, I found the exact spot I have to place the pj against the back wall to get a 120" image. That will make the height 59". (It was tough clearing both viewers' heads and the ceiling fans in the room, but it should work: I'll have to place the pj on a shelf or atop a cabinet because mounting it to the ceiling would make it too high.)

Another reason I decided to switch was The Dark Knight and its changing aspect ratios. (This film is a favorite of mine.) I figured out how to program different aspect ratios into the projector's memory, and during the film the pj switched back and forth between 2.35:1 and 16x9 as expected. Unfortunately, this process takes about 8 seconds. It took 2 seconds for the pj to recognize that the aspect ratio had changed before it went into action; then it took another 4 seconds to zoom in/out; then it took another 2 seconds for it to re-focus. It felt like an eternity compared to watching the film in the projector's native 16x9 aspect ratio, where the change happens at the disc level instantaneously.

Then there were those impressive IMAX views of Gotham reduced to just 44" instead of 59". Anyway, 2.35:1 movies will still be the same size on a 16x9 screen as they would have been on the 2.35:1 screen (right?)... just with black bars on the top and bottom. I can live with that. I'm used to them, and they should disappear when watching films in total darkness.
Old 02-07-12, 08:31 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by klemsaba
Does the projector vent heat out the front or rear? If it is the rear you probably don't want to put it on a shelf against a wall. If it vents to the side you may be okay on the shelf depending on how much space there is.
The intake is on the right side and back, and the exhaust is on the front. The pj can't be pushed right up against the wall because the power cord and HDMI cables stick out the back about 3", so there'll be some space between the wall and pj.
Old 02-07-12, 09:43 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
I just couldn't live with the 16x9 image only being 44" high.
HEY! That's how big mine is.
Old 02-07-12, 10:50 PM
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Re: Might be time to upgrade the projector. Any new developments?

Sorry, Spiky! It just didn't feel like enough of an improvement over my current TV, and I felt like I was shortchanging myself since I wasn't using as much of the wall as I could.

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