Here’s an article that Ross Rhoades, regional sales manager for the south central area, wrote for a dealer newsletter. We liked it and wanted to share it with you as well. — Lee

You may choose to keep the black bars on 4:3 sources, or decide to stretch or zoom that picture to fill the whole screen. Nearly all recent projectors include one or more viewing modes that fill out the screen’s width by stretching, zooming or both stretching and zooming the image. While most people find this effect acceptable for non-critical viewing, many aren’t thrilled when their presentation gets noticeably stockier. See the images below to get an idea of how these picture adjustments might look.

When 4:3 programs are displayed on a 16:9 screen, black or gray bars appear on the sides of the screen — the image is “pillar-boxed.” To get rid of the pillar-box black bars, one option is to use a stretch mode. Some sets stretch the image evenly across the screen (as above), though a few stretch the edges only and leave the center undistorted.
Another option is to zoom in on the picture and fill the screen. This cuts off the top and the bottom of the picture, but leaves it undistorted. When you look at this widescreen version of the image you can see just how much of the picture is lost with a 4:3 image.

Keeping your old projector and screen to view content in a newer format can be a big distraction by giving you the choice between black bars on the side of your screen, or a somewhat fuzzier picture. Updating your Screen and Projector will allow your images to be sized to fit the screen.

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