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Question about projector aspect ratio and resolution
February 18, 2013 3:32 PM   Subscribe

I recently purchased this Acer projector and am wondering what aspect ratio I should get for the screen.

I bought this 84-inch 4:3 screen as it was on sale at Amazon and seemed like the nicest one available in the price range, but now I'm thinking I should get the 16:9 version even though it is a 4:3 native projector as all the content I'm watching will be 16:9 or wider. Amazon has free return shipping, so I'm not stuck with it.

My initial thought was that the projector would put out a 4:3 image regardless of the input signal and I'd be distracted by the projected "black bars" if I had a 16:9 screen.

PS Not really interested in a DIY screen as I will be moving this between two rooms in my house for events.

PPS I previously asked a question about wireless video but have since figured out a corded solution
posted by lattiboy to Technology (4 answers total)
 
I should also add I don't want to unpack either item to test out what is best as I'm free to return both for another week or so. Looking for the general consensus among A/V people on this.
posted by lattiboy at 3:34 PM on February 18, 2013


My initial thought was that the projector would put out a 4:3 image regardless of the input signal and I'd be distracted by the projected "black bars" if I had a 16:9 screen

That projector is DLP, not LCD, which should mean its black is really very black indeed. So if you put it close enough to a 16:9 screen to make the central 16:9 portion of a projected 4:3 image fill the whole screen, I would be very surprised to hear that the letter-boxed black bar regions that end up off the top and bottom are bright enough to be distracting.

The 4:3 screen you have is a pull down type, and you can use those as 16:9 screens just by not pulling them all the way open.

The only real issue you're likely to face with using a 1024x768 projector for 16:9 movie content is that the resolution you'll end up with is 1024x576. This is OK for DVD content but 720p HD video will not look as good as it would on a 16:9 projector that can do 1280x720 natively.
posted by flabdablet at 3:47 PM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thank you flabdablet! Good to know about the pulldown trick. Makes sense.

I understand this will not be a videophile level setup, but I looked at HDTVs over 60" and got severe sticker shock. I figured for under $450 I can't complain.
posted by lattiboy at 4:10 PM on February 18, 2013


Definitely 16:9. You get quite a bit more usable screen space at the same diagonal size. There is no reason to buy a taller screen, just do you can project black onto it. If at all possible, I'd recommend an HD projector as well. You notice the low resolution quite easily when projecting on a large-ish surface.
posted by ssg at 4:42 PM on February 18, 2013


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