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March 13, 2006

Hi folks,

If you read this site with any regularity, you may be aware that I have a personal affinity for large format 4:3 video presentation. That is due to my own particular interest in old classic films which were all produced in 4:3, or very close to 4:3, prior to the early 1950s. I enjoy viewing, say, Casablanca, on a very large 4:3 screen, just the way original audiences experienced it in commercial theaters back in 1942. And today's 16:9 home theater projectors are not designed to do this. On a 16:9 widescreen system, the classic films lose a lot of their dramatic potential when presented in the center of the screen with black side columns.

Now, of course, many people don't care about this. I admit, it is a personal quirk. But we do continue to get email asking about recommendations for 4:3 format video projectors, so I know I am not entirely alone. Unfortunately, it is rare for a vendor to design a home theater quality projector in native 4:3 format. The last one I can recall is the NEC HT1100, released two years ago. All other 4:3 format projectors used for video are cross-over products that were designed primarily for data presentation use.

One way to solve the problem is to acquire a 16:9 projector with a minimum zoom lens range of 1.33x and use it with a 4:3 screen. I wrote an article on this concept last summer which you can click here to read, so I won't repeat it again here.

The question is--how many of you would like to see more information on native 4:3 projectors that deliver exceptional video quality? Your thoughts on this, either way, would be appreciated. Drop us an email at comments@projectorcentral.com, and I will be happy to respond to each of you that write.

Thank you for using ProjectorCentral,

Evan Powell