How Can You Watch 16:9 TV in Your Cinema 4K Theater?

While 80% of the most popular movies and an ever increasing list of streaming titles are made in the cinema format, today’s projectors also give you many options for watching 16:9 TV programming such as sports without moving the anamorphic lens. All virtually instantaneous. All at the push of a button. Note, anamorphic lenses used at lower projection distances may create a barrel or pincushion effect especially at the edge of the image which may require some small amount of content to be masked off by the screen border (not shown in these images) unless the projector has a geometric distortion correction feature.

16:9 ClassicComplete 16:9 content is displayed with full vertical resolution but reformatted using enough horizontal pixels to preserve the 16:9 format.

Aspect Modes: Sony: “Squeeze”. JVC: “Anamorphic D”. Digital Projection: “4:3 Narrow“. Epson: “Horizontal Squeeze”. BenQ: “Anamorphic 16:9“. (note 1)

16:9 Wide (Stretched). Content is optically stretched to deliver full 3840 x 2160 performance on a 2.4:1 screen. Projector lens zoom can be adjusted to either fill the full screen width while masking about 3% of top and bottom content or to fill the full screen height while leaving leave about 3% of the screen width black on the left and right (shown).

Aspect Modes: Sony: “Normal”. JVC: “Anamorphic Off”. Digital Projection: “Normal“. Epson: “Auto“. BenQ: “16:9“. 

16:9 Full (Stretched). 17:9 projectors only. The content fills the entire screen by stretching to 4096 horizontal resolution and cropping about 3% from both top and bottom, resulting in a 25% stretched appearance.

Aspect Modes: Sony: “2.35:1 Zoom”. JVC: “Zoom”.

16:9 Full (Cropped).  The image fills the entire screen with full 4096 (17:9 projectors) or 3840 (16:9 projectors) horizontal resolution and with no stretched appearance by cropping 10% (17:9) or 12% (16:9) from both top and bottom.

Aspect Modes: Sony: “V-Stretch“. JVC: “Anamorphic C“. Digital Projection: “TheaterScope“. Epson: “Anamorphic Wide“. BenQ: “Anamorphic 2.4:1“. 

Note 1. When 2.4:1 movies are perfectly framed by your screen then 13 out of 2160 pixel rows of 4K16:9 content will project onto both the top and bottom screen border. This may impact the visibility of very small characters if they are placed close to the edge such as with sports broadcast scores.