My Home Theater Aspect Ratio Solution
by Tim Hodges
I read with interest the recent article about solving the issues with mounting a projector for optimal 4:3 and 16:9 viewing. The author cautioned those who would want this type of set-up to take extra care in finding the absolute perfect distance or otherwise they would have to deal with some unsightly spill over of the image onto the black mask or worse the picture would not fill the screen. Since I have this situation in my theater I thought I would send a photo of my invention. It is probably not new, but I found that when I used the zoom as is suggested by the author, the screen got noticeably darker. If I accomplished the same picture enlargement through movement of the projector, I did not see the reduction in brightness. After discovering this, I designed a projector slide that is made out of wood. The slide system uses precision cut sliding dovetails and a sled that is used to hold the projector mount. With this sled I can move my projector a full three feet forward or back, and maintain the height or other settings and not have to mess with the zoom, which can reduce the brightness and appears to artificially enlarge the pixels, which on my projector is not a desirable thing. I guess if you had pixels to spare this would not be a necessary thing, but for many of us, every pixel counts and so does how bright they are!