Understanding A Projector’s Aspect Ratio

Lately, the electronics consumer has many options for watching high
definition television. There are Plasma televisions, LCD televisions, and
televisions with LED back lighting. All of these technologies are less than
ten years old, and still have a long way to evolve. One technology however,
is tried and true, and that is the projector. You see them everything you
go to the movie theatre, projecting their images on screen with crystal
clear clarity. Now projectors of similar quality are available for the
discerning home theatre enthusiast.

Similar to any HD TV, care is needed when selecting the type of projector.
A major factor in that decision is the aspect ratio, the ratio of the width
of the image to its height, expressed as two numbers separated by a colon.
Anyone who has shopped for items like a High-Def television to an Xbox
Bundle knows the term aspect ratio. The following are the most common
aspect ratios of projectors, as well as their pros and cons.

One of the two most common aspect ratios is known as 4:3 (four by three).
Normal televisions and anything listed as “standard definition” is shown in
4:3. While modern technology has gone well beyond this ratio, any movie
made before 1953 was made in 4:3. Therefore, for consumers who have an
extensive collection of classic movies, or who wish to watch standard
definition television on a regular basis, the 4:3 aspect ratio is right for
them. Otherwise, this ratio is not a good choice, as it severely limits
other types of playbacks.

The other most common aspect ratio, and by far the current “standard” is
16:9 (sixteen by nine). The default aspect ratio for “high definition”,
16:9 is also the standard for next generation gaming systems, DVD, and
Blu-Ray. Given the popularity of this format, there are plenty of 16:9
projectors to choose from. However, this format is far from perfect.
Watching anything in 4:3 will result in black bars on either side of the
picture, while watching the most current movies will result in black bars
on the top and bottom.

Most modern movies are filmed in what is called CinemaScope Widescreen, a
fancy name for 2.35:1 (two and thirty five by one) or 2.40:1 (two and forty
by one) formats. This aspect ratio was developed using a process called
“anamorphic widescreen”, in which a picture is stretched along the
horizontal axis. It is widely considered to be the next level in projector
formats. The effect can be positively stunning, but so can the cost. A
second lens, an anamorphic lens, or a projector capable of zooming, is
generally needed to produce a 2.35:1 picture. One day, projectors will
display that aspect ratio naturally.

Steve is a tech fanatic! Whether you like a xbox bundle , like projectors , or just check out the specs of an HD TV; Steve’s the man!

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