Sorry in advance for the rather long question.
I am currently running a Marantz VP12S2 on an 84 inch Stewart FireHawk screen. I acquired this set-up in 03/04 after spending many hours on this very web site
. The long in tooth combination was fully satisfying until I added a BD player and now suffer through the black bars. I also find the picture quality much inferior to my Elite KURO 60inch display which I use in my family room. Finally, the lack of an HDMI input on the Marantz prevents me from using the latest lossless audio codecs.
I have been looking for a new display using an anamorphic lens. I have been lurking around the forums here and reading all the tutorials I can find. There are a number of differing opinions regarding screens, projectors and lens systems and even more competing philosophies on these same issues.
I have two dealers in town and am exploring a number of options from each of them. The new dealer (AA) in town has a 120 anamorphic setup in his store using a Dream Bee projector and a Draper screen. It looks impressive.
The other established dealer (TE) has never done an anamorphic install but I have worked with them on many projects in my house for ten years now. They assure me they can do whatever I want.
My current room is 14' across the front and 24' deep and 8' high. I use an Elite SX-09 running Nautilus 802's and horizontal center channel up front and stand mounted CDM1-NT in the back (5.1). The room is completely light controlled and ASC sound treated.
I was looking at a 120-130 screen but then I saw that crazy set-up in your CIH picture thread with C3PO and R2D2 about thirteen feet high!
I now knew what I wanted.
Measurements reveal I can place a 160 diagonal screen in the space but I will run into the top of my Nautilus speakers. I could change my front stage speakers but this will add significant cost to the project. A perforated screen was discussed to use the full width of the space but AA thought there would be significant compromise in picture quality.
I am also finding that to properly use a screen larger than 120 requires a very bright light engine. The usual suspects projectors just do not throw the lumens to make that happen.
This increases the price by a factor of two to three.
It is not out of the question to do this but there will be marital discord on the issue (not terminal however).
So here are my options:
1) JVC RS 20/750 with the RSAL1 lens and a Stewart 120 screen. We also could flip in the Marantz VP11 or VP15 with either of their lenses (Panamorph or ISCO) for about the same dollars or a little more.
2) Projection Design Avielo Optix DLP projector with the ISCO lens and a Stewart 156 parabolic screen.
1) Samsung 900B with their anamorphic lens and a DA-LITE/Affinity JPK screen , he is not sure the size of the screen the projector can handle.
2) Runco VX 22i, three-chip DLP, McKinley anamorphic lens, Affinity Cinema 166 Diagonal screen.
I have not gone with masking yet due to the cost and I plan to use this system with only movies, the KURO is for Television.
My impression is that 120-130 is the way to go to prevent eye fatigue but the full wall of picture has such pizzazz I am drawn to it for all the wrong reasons
. I have spoken to Scott Varner at Projection Designs and to say to that I am impressed with what they offer is an understatement. Unlike Runco they actually make what they sell. Not that Runco offers bad product, it is just an admiration for true R&D. I was actually looking into the Avielo Kroma, their new LED-DLP. It is the same chassis as the Optix, no color wheel and is very quiet. The problem is the maximum screen size is 120
, price increases $6K
and I am worried about early adopting any first generation technology
. I see LED-DLP as the future but I am not sure we are there yet.
So now that I have bored you to tears (if you made it this far) here are my questions:
1) Has anyone had good/bad experience with acoustically transparent screens?
2) I am intrigued by the Joe Kane (JPK) concept but not sure I am ready to drink the cool-aid. I am told JPK actually is not supportive of anamorphic displays. I have not seen any info about the Samsung used in an anamorphic set-up. Can anyone comment on the Samsung/JPK/Affinity screen option. It appears on the DVE website they use and ISCO lens but there is no information. Does anyone know the brightness of the 900B and the largest screen size it can support?
3) I have been impressed with Marantz for all these years but am given to pause in their current lineup. I am concerned about the low brightness of their products (for larger than 100 screens), I am concerned about rumors of their withdrawl from the video market, I am baffled by the age of their current line-up and their cost compared to other models such as the JVC and Samsung models. I feel the loss of Mr. Dan Miller is a significant loss to their marketing plan. How do others feel the Marantz compares to the other projectors mentioned in the 120 screen size. Is it actually worthwhile to move up to the VP11S2 with their ISCO lens?
4) Anyone gone with Projector Design? They seem to have the most expensive one chip DLP out there but their twin bulb design allows up to 180 screen size. They are impressive as mentioned above but seem to be small players in the North American market likely due to their limited exposure in the <$20K market.
5) I know there are not many lovers of Runco here but my dealer is very confident they will provide the best product for the money, ease of use and set-up and dealer support. Anyone heard anything about the VX-22i? Is three-chip DLP dead with LED-DLP on the horizon?
6) It seems the JVC RS20/750 is THE standard bearer at its price and above. What do I need to be concerned about sacrificing in going with this unit (sticking in the 120 arena)? It must have some pathos some weakness, some fault. It just seems too good for the money. I know of the color issues, panel alignment and dead pixel issues. ISF calibration can mostly rectify the color (not as good as a Samsung or Marantz I am told) and the other issues are technologically inherent. Is there a derivative of the JVC which is much better, such as the Anthem, Pioneer or other company?
Thank you in advance for reading and responding. This is a very specific application request but there are certain bigger issues mentioned, if this is best handled privately my apologies.
To say it has been confusing would be an understatement.