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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a newbie to the PJ world... I've read a ton of info over the last week. Not to make this part of the discussion, but I've pretty much settled on buying a refurb Epson 8700UB or a new Benq W7000... with a 2.35:1 fixed screen.

My question involves the anamorphic stretch mode (Epson) and the anamorphic lens (Benq). At first, it was my impression that some projectors are not able to take a BD movie shot in 2.40:1 and display it on the screen in 2.40:1... which, sounds crazy to me because when I watch these movies on my plasma display the movies are shown in their native 2.40:1 ratio (with black bars). My impression is that the projectors can't do this on their own... Epsons answer is to use processing that allows the projector to morph the picture into it's correct 2.40:1 ratio... and that the Benq has some sort of lens that does the same thing. Am I right??? Or are these anamorphic modes/lenses more or less like the "Zoom" mode on my plasma that stretches the picture from 2.40:1 aspect so that if fits on a 16:9 screen???

If the former is correct (my first assumption)... can anyone speak to the differences between a PJ that performs the anamorphic stretch digitally (like the Epson) versus one that does it with a lens?

I'm a little confused, here :blink:
 

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If you're projecting a 16:9 movie onto a 16:9 screen (same as your TV) then the image will fill the screen, as the native ratio for all projectors is 16:9..
If you then project a 2.40:1 movie onto that same screen, you will have black bars top and bottom...again the same as your TV..

However..If the screen is 2.40:1 and the movie is 16:9, then you will have black bars to the sides of the image..
Many people use side masking to cover up the black bars....
If you then project a 2.40:1 image..To fill the screen you would need to zoom the image..if you're not using an anamorphic lens..
You would also need to adjust the position of the image if you zoom, by either lens shift or an internal adjustment in the projector..

This is one of the reasons why people use anamorphic lenses..No zooming is required!
With the click of one button on the remote..you can go from a 16:9 image on the 2.40:1 screen (which will show black bars to the sides of the image) to a full 2.40:1 image filling the screen!

I hope I've explained the clearly enough..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes... I understand the issues now.

I understand from Tony (and reviews) that the Panasonic is particularly popular because it has zoom presets that allow the projector to show a 2.40:1 movie on a 2.40:1 screen.

But other projectors can do this, yes? If so, does that mean you need to manually set the image on the screen every time you switch between formats? Any experience with this?
 

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Yes..the Panasonics are popular because of that facility and it's a good feature to have if you're not going to use an A lens..
I don't know if any image shift is needed when using the preset zoom feature..Tony or other users can help you with that..
I'm not aware of any other projectors with that feature, but there may well be by now..
 

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The latest JVCs and Sonys have it (lens memory) now as well.

Yes, other projectors can do it by manually adjusting zoom. I have a JVC RS-20, and when using the blu-ray player as a source, I manually adjust zoom and shift (focus doesn't need adjustment) to switch between 16:9 and 2.35:1 aspect ratio movies. However, since I've gotten my HTPC set up, using XBMC, I don't adjust at all - I use the shrink method for 16:9 movies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm assuming you have a cinemascope screen?

On a scale of 1-10 (1 being hardest/biggest pain and 10 being easiest) how much of a pain is it to mess with the zoom, etc, when you watch a movie shot in 2.40:1 and then want to watch 16:9 material on HDTV.

Could you also talk about PQ when you zoom for 2.40 material. Just to make sure I'm clear... It's not like going into zoom mode on a plasma (where some of the intended picture is lost or warped to make it fit on a 2.40:1 screen)...
 

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>>I'm assuming you have a cinemascope screen?

Sort of. :rofl2: I opted for a 2.125:1 aspect ratio screen, so I could get the level of immersion that I wanted for both cinemascope and non-cinemascope (16:9) movies.

>>On a scale of 1-10 (1 being hardest/biggest pain and 10 being easiest) how much of a pain is it to mess with the zoom, etc, when you watch a movie shot in 2.40:1 and then want to watch 16:9 material on HDTV.

I'd say a 9 (I said 2 at first, but then noticed your scale went in the other direction) - it takes about 15 seconds to adjust the zoom and vertical shift. However, as mentioned before, now I use an HTPC the vast majority of the time, so I don't need to adjust zoom and shift anymore (unless I switch to watching something on the bluray player). I actually don't watch any TV in the theater room, just movies, and gaming once in a while - but 16:9 still applies for those too.

>>Could you also talk about PQ when you zoom for 2.40 material. Just to make sure I'm clear... It's not like going into zoom mode on a plasma (where some of the intended picture is lost or warped to make it fit on a 2.40:1 screen)...

No, nothing like that at all, the original aspect ratio of the movie is always preserved, no stretchy people. The picture quality is great! Not as bright as a plasma set up in "torch mode", but still plenty bright - and the room is extremely dark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Interesting... So really the only reason to look at the panasonic model would be for the ease of total automation of the zooming process.

Panasonic makes it a point in their literature to point out that you can zoom to fit 2.40 material on a CinemaScope screen... The other projector I've read about, that can be had a steep discount because it's last year's model, is the Epson 8700 UD which was rated very highly for its PQ, blacks, contrast. What do I look for to make sure that this projector can also display 2.40 material on a scope screen? I've read all kinds of reviews... Not many speak of images shown in this function...

Always a little confusion diving into new techs!!
 

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>>What do I look for to make sure that this projector can also display 2.40 material on a scope screen?

To be able to do the zoom method: zoom of greater than 1.3; and powered zoom and shift (unless you shelf mount the projector, and don't mind physically walking over to the projector to adjust).

To be able to do the anamorphic lens method: anamorphic stretch mode (or a separate device to do it); + an anamorphic lens and mount/sled compatible with the projector.

Edit: 8700 UB is manual zoom/focus, so not ideal for zoom method
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay... sounds like, for the money, the fact that they Panasonic offers the memory lens feature makes it almost a no brainer...

I know this conversation is split between two threads... you had asked about my screen height constraints.... for a number of reasons I do have a height restriction of 40 inches. I think this will play fine for scope movies... the picture will be roughly 35" high and a tad under 8 feet wide... with the seating about 11 feet away. The 16:9 movies will suffer some. HOWEVER, my original intention was to just buy a 65" plasma... so, with a screen and projector I'm pretty much getting that 65" screen for 16:9 with the added bonus of a significantly larger 2.40:1 screen.

I know this isn't ideal... but as they say " It is what it is.

I love my Pioneer plasma... it has such a beautiful picture. My understanding is, that in a dedicated dark theater room (which I have), the projector will give an experience that is pretty close to (if not equal to) what I have with the plasma... just on a larger scale.
 
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