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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen this come up a few times, actually I see it more and more lately. Even our fearless leader Sonnie ;) is contemplating switching from a 16:9 aspect ratio to a 2:35.1, and Cynical2 on here went with a 2.35:1 screen.

What are the advantages though?

The main advantage is simple, for movies shot in the 2.35:1 AR there are no black borders! This is a very simplistic answer though. In order to really achieve this you'll either need a special lens box system or a projector that can do both aspect ratios. Of course if a little 'spill' doesn't bother you and you only watch 2.35:1 AR formatted movies, that's possible too but does have some trade offs.

Basically if you watch a lot of TV on your projector, you're a 16:9 candidate and if it is strictly a dedicated Home Theater room setup, 2.35:1 is probably your cup of tea since most movie content is in that format. That's one thing I don't ever see changing either. 16:9 is kinda looked down on in the movie industry as more of a video format than a film format. Also, and this is probably the biggest reason I don't expect any changes from Hollywood is they want to have something 'different', and what they would like to say 'special' over HDTV content in the 16:9 format.

The bottom line is a movie that is filmed and formatted in 2.35:1 and viewed on 2.35:1 screen looks absolutely incredible with the wider screen size. On a regular 16:9 screen, it doesn't have that grand scale look to it because in order to get the 2.35:1 image, the picture is 'squashed' so to speak to fit the height/width of the 16:9 screen, which is why we have black bars on the top and bottom even on a 16:9 screen. Actually 'squashed' is a bad term... the image isn't distorted, it just doesn't fill a 16:9 screen so the height is smaller and then there are those pesky black bars again!

It's reminicent of the days when the only TV sets and projectors were 4:3. Any content other than 4:3 had those annoying black bars including 16:9 content. The videophiles and movie buffs out there hated it. I for one only buy DVDs that are in widescreen (16:9 or the films native aspect ratio). Even before DVD I preferred Laser Discs that were in 2.35:1 over the Pan and Scan VHS tapes. Then on that 4:3 display people like me had to deal with a smaller looking image. For instance I had a killer 36" CRT based TV, but when watching movies, the letterboxed content had a height more along the lines of a 27" set. By keeping the height constant, and expanding out the sides to match the image, there is a dramatic difference!

Again, this is something that movie buffs are more concerned about and not someone that has an HDTV or projector that's 16:9 to watch sports and TV. Sports by the way are the one type of content that was born for Hi Def and the 16:9 format!

I'm not even going to try to get into the anamorphic lenses and lens kits out there, HTS has a forum just for that and some very talented and knowledgeable people to guide your way. Prof is one, hit him up with any questions on the hardware and I'm sure he'll be happy to get anyone interested started in the right direction. :)

I thought it might be a good thread here in the screen forum too for people interested in this aspect ratio and screens to match it. When I finally get to build my dedicated theater room, you can bet there will be a 2.35:1 screen in there! For now I have more of a multi-purpose media room, so the 16:9 ratio is fine.
 

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thanks wbasett :T

my decision was made much easier in that i dont have a dedicated theater room and the missus would not allow me to place projector screen on the living room wall.

instead i twisted her arm into allowing me to paint a whole wall with black widow!:R
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How does it look asthetically having whole wall painted with BW? What colors are the rest of your walls?
 

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the wall is slightly hidden from the rest of the L-shaped lounge.
i dont think it looks too bad even though the scheme of the rest of the room is cream and and dark brown.
the missus will provide a different opinion:whistling:
 

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I have decided to go with a 2.4:1. I know there is not a big difference between 2.35 and 2.4 and some use them interchangeably, but I found 2.4 to have a few positives I liked.

I looked at 16:9 for a long time and was convinced that was the aspect I was going to used until I found The Shack (and a few other places). After some reading :reading: I went back and checked my video collection. Sure enough most of my favorite movies were in 2.4 or 2.35. Since my home theater will be mostly used for movies it makes sense for me to go really wide (and I have the wall to do it with). If you don't have a very wide wall you may be disappointed as the movies won't be engaging and regular TV 4:3 won't be much bigger than a large TV.

I guess the thing I noticed most from the local theater is that they use a constant height setup and use curtains to mask the screen. I like this look as, for me, it is less distracting and more immersive than having bars at the top and bottom.
 

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Very interesting. I always thought movies were recorded in 16:9 or 16:10. My "720p/1080i" TV has a native resolution of 1366x768 which IIRC is 16:9, and 1920x1080 (1080i) which is also 16:9. I've never heard of 2.35 or 2.4 : 1 aspect ratio; I always thought I had the settings on my HTPC wrong.
 

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Thanks Bill, Your tutorials are always a lot of help.

I actually just finished my screen yesterday and got it hung tonight. I liked the idea of having a large 16:9 but an even larger 2.35:1. I went with a 120" 2.35:1 screen that I just use the zoom from the projector to fill (panasonic pt-ax200U). This is my first pj and I can't justify spending almost as much if not more on a lens when I can't find much to complain about by using the zoom method. Currently I have a SD DVD player and am still impressed with the picture quality (Blu-ray planned for the near future). When watching HDTV and sports, I am going to mount 14" masking panels on each side of the screen to size down to a 94" 16:9 screen. So far (and yes it has only been tonight...:) ), I must say I am happy with the screen and the ability to change back and forth between aspect ratios.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Scott when you add a Bluray player you're going to be totally amazed!

Projector Central calls the AX200 the 'poor man's 1080p' projector because even though it's 720p, they had a hard time telling the difference from a 1080p projector. Mate it up with a Bluray or HD DVD player (I have both) and it's going to blow your mind! :)
 

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Hey Bill,
quick question for you. When you are playing BD on your blu ray player, do you change the video output to 720P or do you leave it in 1080P and let the projector scale it down?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I leave it at 1080p ad let the projector do it.

Honestly I haven't tried it the other way so I can't say if it looks better or not, but I can't imagine it being a major difference. It's just a pain to keep switching things at the player, especially since I also have a 55" 1080p HDTV in the room that my HD players feed at the same time as the projector.
 

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Hi all,

My 25c. Upon deciding the screen format we also had a mind-melt down. We use all 3 formats. 4:3, 16:9 and 2,35:1 :help:

I agree that the IMPRESSION you get is fantastic as you put on the movie and the curtains reveal almost another meter more screen. But as we looked at our movie stack at the time we whent for 16:9. Today with our BD movies one could argue wether we should change it. But the fact of the matter is that I today allready have maximum width (2,60meter) on my screen. So converting it to a 2,35:1 screen would just result in smaller 16:9 and 4:3. All 2,35:1 would be the same size as today.

So my plan is to design a flexible black cloth border that I can adjust both in whidth and height. Any ideas from you guys how one could obtain that?
 

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Thanks Bill, Your tutorials are always a lot of help.

I actually just finished my screen yesterday and got it hung tonight. I liked the idea of having a large 16:9 but an even larger 2.35:1. I went with a 120" 2.35:1 screen that I just use the zoom from the projector to fill (panasonic pt-ax200U). This is my first pj and I can't justify spending almost as much if not more on a lens when I can't find much to complain about by using the zoom method. Currently I have a SD DVD player and am still impressed with the picture quality (Blu-ray planned for the near future). When watching HDTV and sports, I am going to mount 14" masking panels on each side of the screen to size down to a 94" 16:9 screen. So far (and yes it has only been tonight...:) ), I must say I am happy with the screen and the ability to change back and forth between aspect ratios.
Hi keekokid,

I am thinking of doing just this. I can't afford a lens right now, and am thinking of using the zoom method to zoom in for 16:9 material (which I really don't own much of). When you watch a 2.35:1 movie, do you see the spill of the black bars above and below the screen?

Thanks
Greg
 

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I'll come at this question from the po' folks point of view (those of us who are using the older PJ's with a native 4:3 AR). The simple truth is that with my PJ (Viewsonic PJ503D) with no zoom at all, I have no real choice but to go with a 4:3 screen if I want to watch ANY 4:3 material, because if I don't, and would use a 16:9 or wider aspect ratio screen, my 4:3 material would not fit on the screen!

So, to truly enjoy watching what I call "thinner aspect" material (;)) I will have to come up with some form of masking since my PJ also doesn't do blacks very well. While I haven't tested it yet, probably the cheapest and easiest way to do this is to make masking panels of the correct dimensions (probably for 2.35:1 AR) out of some light-weight material (thin hardboard or even Styrofoam) and then cover them with a black material, such as velvet, and then simply hang them on the top and bottom of the screen; most likely using Velcro fasteners. Not the most elegant solution, but like I said - this is for po' folks. :bigsmile:
 

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Hi keekokid,

I am thinking of doing just this. I can't afford a lens right now, and am thinking of using the zoom method to zoom in for 16:9 material (which I really don't own much of). When you watch a 2.35:1 movie, do you see the spill of the black bars above and below the screen?

Thanks
Greg
There is the letterbox spillover above and below my frame when I'm zoomed in watching 2.35:1, but I have made masking panels for this. I did this by using a long velvet piece (8"x10') stapled to the bottom of the frame and I just let it hang when I'm using it and then I put velcro on the corner and just fold it up under the screen when not in use. Above the screen was a little more tricky but it still was an easy fix. I bought a 4'x8' piece of foam to make the 16:9 masking panels for inside the frame and so I had quite a bit left over. So I took 8" x 48" pieces and glued them on different ends of a 8" x 10' piece of velvet. So there was about 1.5 feet of velvet in the center that is not attached to foam. I then just place the foam above the frame and lean it up against the wall and pull the foam pieces apart so the center section is tight.

At first I didn't think the bars above and below the frame would bother me, but now that I have the velevet that sucks up all the light, it definitely does seem to enhance to overall picture. I'll try and post some pictures of the masking if my explanation wasn't clear.
 

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This isn't really an issue for me. My projector's native AR is 16:9, and it's fed by my HTPC running Debian, which is also set to 16x9. Need this for native pixel mapping to the DMD (pixel perfection) for the sharpest possible picture.

Most content I watch is ATSC HD and Dish HD pure transport stream, which are usually 16x9, although I also record ATSC SD. SD always has that annoying white gibberish in the top three lines (closed-captioning), and I have to aim the projector a bit higher to put that on the velvet frame.

Movies that are 2.35:1 have the black bars top and bottom, but I don't notice them on Black Widow, and because my (Planar PD7150) projector has the Darkchip3.
 
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