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I am very new to the world of A/V. I am about to move into my first home. I am planning on buying a protector for my new home. I have been doing some research on them, and I am confused in a few spots. I have been looking at buying the new Panasonic PT-AE4000U. I don't really want to go more expensive then it, but I do want 1080p.

Where I think I am confused is with the zoom lens and how that works with switching aspect ratios from 1.78 and 2.35. I am planning on a DIY screen with MDF, paint (Black Widow?), and felt for the boarder. The room will be my living room. Dimensions are 24'10" long, the wall I plan on putting the screen on is 9'2". I want to use the entire wall for the screen width wise. I plan on using 3" boarder on each side so about 104" across. I will be using this mostly after dark, so there should not be much light in the room. The walls and ceiling of the room are painted little darker then white, but not much, flat paint. The floor is tile, which is about a medium grey.

My main question is. With the zoom lens on this model, 2.0, can I build a screen that is 104" wide for 2.35 format and with just changing the zoom have it at 1.79 format without changing the 104" wide, just the height of the image changing? If this is possible, what should the throw distance be? What would be the optimal viewing distance? Am I crazy? :huh:

All information is appreciated. Links to other topics are great. Suggestions are welcome. I have yet to purchase anything besides the house. Thanks Matt
 

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Well Matt, I can't help you directly as I have no experience with DIY screens or 2.35 format but since no one else is jumping to the plate what I can tell you is that your choice of projector seems to be a good one. I can also steer you to a good source for info. Try the projector central web site. I have found them to be honest and knowledgable. I am sure someone with more experience in these areas will post some help soon.
 

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People who do what I think you're trying to do call it Constant Image Height projection... I'm not sure why you couldn't do it with a simple zoom lens (loss of resolution?) but usually they set everything up for 1.78:1, and when playing a source that's 2.35:1 they have the source stretch the image vertically to fill the 1.78:1, and put an anamorphic lens in front of the PJ to stretch it horizontally back to 2.35:1.
The more I think about it, yes, the reason they don't simply zoom is you won't be using all the available pixels in the PJ...
 

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OK, searching the memory banks during the commute... it may be the PJ that does the vertical stretching... and CIH doesn't buy you additional resolution, but because you use all the pixels available in the PJ, it may keep you from losing brightness... and it gets rid of the black bars...
 
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