Help an old CRT user with transitioning to digital and CIH - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 146 Old 03-29-2011, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I must say I am totally confused after reading through the CIH threads today. Just a little background about where I am and what I would like to accomplish. For the past four or five years I have been using an older CRT projector which I have really enjoyed. Most of the movies I watch tend to be 2.35 or 2.40:1 content so I'm constantly wondering what it would be like to eliminate those horizontal black bars and use my entire screen. I know that this really isn't an option with my projector and I when I make a change I want to know what I will realistically have to choose from based on my room size, budget, etc.

The room is just a spare bedroom that I have turned into a cave by covering the walls in black curtains and wall treatments. Here are the dimensions.

12'2" W x 16'8" L

The screen (currently 120" diagonal 16:9) is on the 12'2" wall. I could mount whatever projector I go with up to probably 16' back from the screen. The current CRT projector sits much closer than that.

I would like to go with a 138" diagonal Elite Screens 2.35 Cinewhite screen if possible. With the 2.36" lined frame on that screen I show it has an overall size of 131.31"x58.72" with viewable area of 126.59"x54". I know this leaves me with only 6 or 7 inches of clearance on each side of the new screen. To complicate things further I do have my front three speakers mounted on stands just out of the way of my current screen. I would have to drop them lower or mount them high on the wall to avoid being in the way of the new screen I think.

I have had a severe case of sticker shock when reading about anamorphic lenses. I know that zooming is the alternative but in the end I don't think I would be happy with that method. Can anyone recommend a good digital projector and lens combination that can be had for total of $4-5K? Even this is much more than I have spent in my entire room thus far so it's going to be a hard sell to the wife. I know I prefer DLP or LCOS for the projector but don't have any clue what to get these days. My first projector was an Infocus SP4800 and that was my first and only digital before I made the move to CRT. If not for my desire to go CIH then I would probably never part with my current projector.

Where to start?


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post #2 of 146 Old 03-29-2011, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

Most of the movies I watch tend to be 2.35 or 2.40:1 content so I'm constantly wondering what it would be like to eliminate those horizontal black bars and use my entire screen.

In a single word - AMAZING.

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Where to start?

You are probably best having a talk to either Art or Vern Dias as both came from a CRT past and both have high end CIH using a digital projector.

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post #3 of 146 Old 03-29-2011, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

In a single word - AMAZING.



You are probably best having a talk to either Art or Vern Dias as both came from a CRT past and both have high end CIH using a digital projector.


Yeah, I am nowhere near being in that league. I was just looking through local Craigslist ads here and found a guy selling a Prismasonic H1200R lens. He is asking $800 for it. Any idea if that's worth going after?


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post #4 of 146 Old 03-29-2011, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

Yeah, I am nowhere near being in that league. I was just looking through local Craigslist ads here and found a guy selling a Prismasonic H1200R lens. He is asking $800 for it. Any idea if that's worth going after?

I am going to wager there will be newer (version) prism lens for sale in the classifieds here once prismasonic releases their new lens.

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post #5 of 146 Old 03-29-2011, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I am going to wager there will be newer (version) prism lens for sale in the classifieds here once prismasonic releases their new lens.

Well, I'm in no hurry so hopefully you are correct. I'm certainly willing to buy used as I am still shocked at what some of these things cost new. My car isn't worth what most of things go for.


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post #6 of 146 Old 03-30-2011, 01:07 AM
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dropzone7, what type of projector were you looking to move to?

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post #7 of 146 Old 03-30-2011, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

dropzone7, what type of projector were you looking to move to?

Well, from what I have read the JVC LCOS models are the closest thing to the look of a CRT projector so that is what I am leaning towards. However, I would most likely be looking at used because the new models are just out of my budget when I factor in the cost of a lens and new screen. I have also read some good things about the newer Mitsubishi DLP projectors. I should probably also mention that I do have a DVDO VP50pro scaler so I can use that for scaling of the image after the lens does it's thing. The scaler was a must with the CRT projector in order to do custom framerates, etc.


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post #8 of 146 Old 03-30-2011, 03:38 PM
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Given the definition of black is the absence of visible light, yes DiLA or LCoS do deliver some of the deepest blacks by a lamp driven device. If you going to do 2nd hand, see if you can get something like the HD550 or HD950 (models before the X series) units.

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post #9 of 146 Old 03-30-2011, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CAVX View Post
Given the definition of black is the absence of visible light, yes DiLA or LCoS do deliver some of the deepest blacks by a lamp driven device. If you going to do 2nd hand, see if you can get something like the HD550 or HD950 (models before the X series) units.
Thanks for the tip. Fade to black is very important and something I will miss about CRT. Mark, I know you have a line of lenses and I have done some reading on your site but can't find anything about pricing. I'm not sure what the protocol is here about things like this but could you possibly PM me with an idea of what it would cost me to get in the "ground floor" of of a CAVX product?


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post #10 of 146 Old 03-31-2011, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Just having a look at projector throw ratios and using the calculators a bit. I'm not sure I can fit a 135" diagonal screen into my room with only about 15 to 16' of throw available. It looks like I would have to use the max zoom on something like the JVC RS550 or Mitsubishi HD4000 with mounting somewhere in the 15' range. How does the anamorphic lens come into play regarding throw ratio? In other words, if I plan on using a lens does it affect where the projector would be mounted? My room is 12'2" wide x 16'8" long.


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post #11 of 146 Old 03-31-2011, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Just making notes for myself here...and hopefully someone will chime in to agree/disagree when possible. I think I understand that my throw ratio is better off being a higher number, for example 1.8 is a better TR for an anamorphic setup than 1.5? Using as an example, the screen size I would like to go with (2.35:1 - 135"diag.) and mounting the yet to be determined projector at 15' back from that screen, the height of the viewable image being approximately 54", my throw ratio would be as such:

180/54=3.333*0.5625=1.874 TR

Considering that what I have read says a TR of 1.8 to 1.9 is pretty good, it sounds like I'm right where I need to be, I think...

Now, how do I start looking for projectors knowing that I will probably want an anamorphic lens of some type?


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post #12 of 146 Old 03-31-2011, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

Just making notes for myself here...and hopefully someone will chime in to agree/disagree when possible. I think I understand that my throw ratio is better off being a higher number, for example 1.8 is a better TR for an anamorphic setup than 1.5? Using as an example, the screen size I would like to go with (2.35:1 - 135"diag.) and mounting the yet to be determined projector at 15' back from that screen, the height of the viewable image being approximately 54", my throw ratio would be as such:

180/54=3.333*0.5625=1.874 TR

Considering that what I have read says a TR of 1.8 to 1.9 is pretty good, it sounds like I'm right where I need to be, I think...

The longer the TR the higher the number and the less pincushion you get.

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Now, how do I start looking for projectors knowing that I will probably want an anamorphic lens of some type?

Because you have a VP, you can use pretty much any 1080P you like.

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post #13 of 146 Old 04-01-2011, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Really confused after reading reviews today. I have never liked the look of LCD but they seem to have come a long way. I have never owned anything but CRT and DLP so that's all I know. The Panasonic AE4000 looks very tempting for the auto zooming and memories but that's an LCD of course. Do LCD projectors look anything like LCD TV's? I hate that "soap opera" effect that just looks so flat and lifeless. All my TV's are plasmas. I think I might be being a little unrealistic with my screen size in such a small room but I'm not willing to go smaller than what I have just to get CIH. I envy all you guys with dedicated large spaces for your HT. I can only do so much in this spare bedroom. What to do...


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post #14 of 146 Old 04-02-2011, 03:13 AM
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If you afford DiLA for its blacks, great, or go DLP.

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post #15 of 146 Old 04-02-2011, 04:32 AM
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Yes, I did start with a CRT, although I was doing constant height with the CRT, which was a NEC and an external scaler.

Stop thinking diagonal for your screen size. It will only confuse you and really has no meaning in the projection world. Think screen height and width. Multiply height by 1.77 to determine image width for flat movies. Multiply by 2.35 to determine image width for scope movies (and the screen width).

In your 12.2' width room, let's assume you have room to install a 11' wide screen. Dividing 11' by 2.35 gives you a 4.7' screen height. 4.7 x 1.77 gives you a flat image width of 8.3'. Use the 4.7 x 8.3 image size to determine your throw ratio to make sure your projector will work in your room.

Yes, anamorphic lenses are expensive. In this case, $ directly relates to image quality. An anamorphic lens is forever. Get the best lens you can afford. Cylindrical lenses with adjustable astigmatism correction will always beat prism based lenses with fixed astigmatism correction with regards to image quality. Of course, they are also more expensive.

Projectors are constantly being replaced with new "improved" models with better price performance. Yes, DILA is the way to go when you are used to the CRT projectors. Watch out for single chip DLP, I find them to be excessively digital looking and I have issues with seeing rainbows as well.

I hope this helps.

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post #16 of 146 Old 04-02-2011, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Vern, your suggestions and comments are very helpful and I understand your point about the lens investment. With proper care it's something I would only have to buy once regardless of other things that might change in my setup down the road.

Mark, thanks to you also for your very detailed and helpful email yesterday. I am taking all of your suggestions under advisement. I really appreciate your taking the time as I know you get asked these questions all the time.

DLP never used to bother me with rainbows and such but my dad has an older 720p Optoma HD70 and I find it does exhibit a more digital look that I would like to stay away from. I guess it's all what you get used to. The bright punchy image is nice but I pick up on the pixel structure at closer seating distance which is something I don't have a problem with in CRT.

I found an older Prismasonic H1200R lens on Craiglist here locally but the seller hasn't responded to my emails so it may be sold. I was hoping to find something like this to experiment with.


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post #17 of 146 Old 04-02-2011, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

Mark, thanks to you also for your very detailed and helpful email yesterday. I am taking all of your suggestions under advisement. I really appreciate your taking the time as I know you get asked these questions all the time.

Your welcome

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DLP never used to bother me with rainbows and such but my dad has an older 720p Optoma HD70 and I find it does exhibit a more digital look that I would like to stay away from. I guess it's all what you get used to. The bright punchy image is nice but I pick up on the pixel structure at closer seating distance which is something I don't have a problem with in CRT.

You don't think you will see that kind of effect on a 1080 DLP although watching 2 Scope films last night at 2x the image height, I did notice "jaggies" on the text of the credits.

I think you get used to RBE as when I first got that W5000, I saw flashes of RGB almost every time I blinked and I questioned just how long I would keep the projector. I don't seem to see it at all on projected images these days.

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post #18 of 146 Old 04-03-2011, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX

I think you get used to RBE as when I first got that W5000, I saw flashes of RGB almost every time I blinked and I questioned just how long I would keep the projector. I don't seem to see it at all on projected images these days.
I sure hope I can adjust like that as my new W6000 does the same thing for me too.
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post #19 of 146 Old 04-03-2011, 03:54 PM
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I sure hope I can adjust like that as my new W6000 does the same thing for me too.

The same thing is happening for me with 3D. I still see flicker from the shutter glasses, yet the more I watch, the less I see to the point where I want 3D now.

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post #20 of 146 Old 04-03-2011, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, my wife just confessed to me that she was "underwhelmed" during our presentation of Avatar a few months ago. She doesn't appreciate the softer image of CRT and prefers the brightness and over-saturated colors of digital. This may work to my advantage as I start floating the idea of buying new equipment...


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post #21 of 146 Old 04-05-2011, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

This may work to my advantage as I start floating the idea of buying new equipment...

I am so blessed My fiance (soon to be wife) sat in with me during the time we had the HC9000 (to test Scope in 3D) and as I packed it up, asked "why can't we just buy this one?"

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post #22 of 146 Old 04-05-2011, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

Yeah, I am nowhere near being in that league. I was just looking through local Craigslist ads here and found a guy selling a Prismasonic H1200R lens. He is asking $800 for it. Any idea if that's worth going after?

Okay guys, I need an honest answer. This lens is still available and the seller has agreed to take $500 for it. Is this a fair deal? Any clue if this lens would even work in my room? Again, my throw distance is probably going to be in the range of about 14-16' and I'm hoping for a 124-125" wide scope screen.


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post #23 of 146 Old 04-05-2011, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

Okay guys, I need an honest answer. This lens is still available and the seller has agreed to take $500 for it. Is this a fair deal? Any clue if this lens would even work in my room? Again, my throw distance is probably going to be in the range of about 14-16' and I'm hoping for a 124-125" wide scope screen.

It is CA corrected and for that price, a very good (I can't even make one for $500) deal. You can always add the FE later on. and your getting the remote too.

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post #24 of 146 Old 04-18-2011, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been driving myself nuts with these projector calculators and trying to figure out what will and will not work in my little room. Reading back through some of the responses I was scanning Vern's post and realized that maybe I'm not going about this the right way. I keep thinking diagonal which he said not to do. I guess I just need to find a projector with the correct range of throw for my 1.77 or 1.85AR width and a constant image height which is the whole point of this exercise. Then the lens does it's thing to make up the full 2.35AR width, not the projector. If this is the case then there are more projectors that will work for me than I first thought. Using Vern's example of an 11' wide screen, a CIH of 55" and a 16:9AR width of approximately 98", I can mount for example a JVC RS2 at 13' from the screen and zoom at 1.69 to achieve this 16:9 image size. Then the lens will expand the width to the full 132". The calculator shows the 16:9 image size would be at 14 foot lamberts using a screen gain of 1.1. I assume that would be down to 12 or 13 foot lamberts by the time I filled a 2.35AR screen. However, would I not also get some brightness back with using the lens?


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post #25 of 146 Old 04-19-2011, 05:29 AM
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Vern is right. Use the width or height, not the diagonal. And yes, if you enjoy the size of the 16:9 screen you currently have, then you want your Scope presentations to be larger and certainly not "smaller than the evening news".

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post #26 of 146 Old 04-20-2011, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

I have been driving myself nuts with these projector calculators and trying to figure out what will and will not work in my little room. Reading back through some of the responses I was scanning Vern's post and realized that maybe I'm not going about this the right way. I keep thinking diagonal which he said not to do. I guess I just need to find a projector with the correct range of throw for my 1.77 or 1.85AR width and a constant image height which is the whole point of this exercise. Then the lens does it's thing to make up the full 2.35AR width, not the projector. If this is the case then there are more projectors that will work for me than I first thought. Using Vern's example of an 11' wide screen, a CIH of 55" and a 16:9AR width of approximately 98", I can mount for example a JVC RS2 at 13' from the screen and zoom at 1.69 to achieve this 16:9 image size. Then the lens will expand the width to the full 132". The calculator shows the 16:9 image size would be at 14 foot lamberts using a screen gain of 1.1. I assume that would be down to 12 or 13 foot lamberts by the time I filled a 2.35AR screen. However, would I not also get some brightness back with using the lens?

I'm not sure what calculator you are using or what PJ, but keep in mind that except for higher end projectors with constant aperature lenses, the zoom position affects the light output, substantially. The JVX RS35 for example ranged from 872 at the shortest throw, down drastically to 645 at the longest throw. Works in your favor if you plan to zoom. However, simultaneously the CR is typically affected the other way (worse at shorter throws). And longer is better for the A-lens. A balancing act if the PJ is photon limited for a "big" screen. I prefer more than the 16ftL used as the model point by many. But it's a personal thing.


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post #27 of 146 Old 04-21-2011, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

I'm not sure what calculator you are using or what PJ, but keep in mind that except for higher end projectors with constant aperature lenses, the zoom position affects the light output, substantially. The JVX RS35 for example ranged from 872 at the shortest throw, down drastically to 645 at the longest throw. Works in your favor if you plan to zoom. However, simultaneously the CR is typically affected the other way (worse at shorter throws). And longer is better for the A-lens. A balancing act if the PJ is photon limited for a "big" screen. I prefer more than the 16ftL used as the model point by many. But it's a personal thing.

Well, keep in mind that my current CRT setup on a larger than ideal screen for an 8" machine (120" diag.), I'm getting something like 6 to 7ftL. I suspect that even under less than ideal conditions for a digital setup I'm going to see a noticeable increase in brightness. I'm pretty happy with what I have as my room is very dark aside from the white ceiling, everything is black fabric so I get pretty good perceived contrast. I just really can't get a grasp for what is going to work in my room. I have maybe 16' to work with for throw unless I mount the projector in the closet at the rear of the room and cut a porthole for it gaining another 2' maybe. I really want the screen to almost fill the wall, I'm hoping for 126.9" wide x 54" high. I'm willing to compromise to get the scope setup as my current setup has been a host of compromises and while I fear a loss of try lifelike colors and fades to black in going digital, I think the other benefits will balance out the setup. My CRT shows no signs of stopping anytime soon and it's been delivering a great image for over 4 years now so I'm trying not to rush into anything. However, I know that scope is what I really want and though it's probably not the best idea for my room, I'm going to be in this house for at least 5 more years and I don't want to wait that long to go scope.

This is what the room looks like now aside from the screen. This was a DIY screen which was replaced a while back by an Elite fixed frame model.



This is just a drawing of the dimensions and shape of the room, just an extra bedroom really but all I have to work with for the time being. The screen covers a window which I have insulated and masked heavily to block out light and protect the screen. With the doors closed and lights off you can't see your hand in front of your face.



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post #28 of 146 Old 05-05-2011, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, it never fails that anytime I start to consider an upgrade to my toys, some huge expense comes knocking. Last week it was car repairs, this week it's HVAC repairs at home. There goes my play money! Oh well, I am still going to do this but it may be a bit longer than I had hoped now. At least this gives me more time to research and lust after the equipment I hope to have one day. Lately I have been thinking about creating some sort of very shallow false wall to mount in wall speakers into so that I can do an AT screen. I really want to maximize the screen width and I think this is the only way in my room. However, the in wall speakers are the only way to minimize the amount of depth I lose in the room.


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post #29 of 146 Old 05-12-2011, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I wish there were more pictures of CIH setups to look at here on the forum. The dedicated thread that Alan started is pretty dated now. All I can do is window-shop right now so I'm itching for inspiration and real world examples, especially of those using JVC DILA projectors and anamorphic lenses. I still don't have a real sense of whether or not my room will accommodate what it is I have in mind.


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post #30 of 146 Old 05-15-2011, 03:06 PM
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I wish you could drop by. I think you would be happy with what you would see.

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