The Ideal Solution
Well, first off, thanks kindly to all of you that wrote in during this past week to express your thoughts on the 4:3 issue. The feedback was enormously helpful. Not only that, but it was overwhelmingly in favor of our researching and commenting more on native 4:3 options for home theater and digital photography. We certainly intend to do this.
In theory an ideal solution to the 4:3 vs. 16:9 puzzle is the SXGA+ format, which is 1400x1050 pixels. This is a native 4:3 aspect ratio, but it displays 16:9 material in a pixel matrix of 1400x787, or notably higher than the popular widescreen 720p models on the market. Three moderately priced, high contrast models in this resolution class are of particular interest--the new Canon SX60, the new Optoma EP910, and the Dell 5100MP which has been on the market since last August. We received a lot of requests for reviews of these units with special attention to their potential usage for home as well as high resolution commercial applications. Our objective will be to complete reviews of the SX60 and EP910, and revisit the 5100MP, all during the month of April. It shall be done assuming the review units arrive on schedule.
Meanwhile, as you might expect, the primary focus for most home theater enthusiasts continues to be in the native 16:9 products. We currently have the Mitsubishi XD4000 in the lab. This is a native WXGA projector, 1280x768 format, that has just begun to ship in the last few weeks. Rated at 2000 ANSI lumens, it is one of the brighter models intended for home theater currently on the market. This review will be posted by next week.
Two perennial and related questions that keeps coming in on email is "Why are there no demos of all the hot home theater products?" and "Why don't retail stores sell the most popular models?" I have just posted Projector Demos in Retail Stores on the home page in an attempt to lend this issue some perspective.
As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome. Drop us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will do our best to respond personally to each one.