My Blendzilla rig & HT room construction therea - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 197 Old 04-07-2007, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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After many months of planning I am setting up the equipment for my HT Room. I will update this thread with my progress.

On the video-side I am using the following:

- One 9500LC Ultra w/ MPv2 mods and new OEM tubes (to be fitted in)
- One 8500 Ultra that I am converting to a 9500LC Ultra (more on this later)
- One 9000LC that I am using as a donor's machine (basically for the mounting plates for the 8" -> 9" conversion)
- One 9500LC as a backup machine.
- Two sets of LCP OEM tubes fitted with red and green C-elements
- Blendzilla
- One HTPC for video-games and movies
- PS3, XB360, etc.

Some pics:

New OEM tubes ready for some blended action:


Poor 9000LC waiting to be dismantled:


9500LC Ultra (black) and 9500LC (pink!!!):


Equipment rack:


RGBHV cables (I will also run DVI-D and compare):


The floor in the equipment room is suspended so I can easily run cabling beneath it:


Rear view of rack, I need to clean-up the mess:


8500 Ultra waiting to be transformed into a migthy 9500LC Ultra:


So far I have put the B and G tubes that were on the 9000LC (which worked before) into the 8500 Ultra; but I do not see any image. I have swapped the HPVS, splitter, VIM and resetted the CLB but I still don't any picture (not even the "No Sync" one). Any ideas?

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post #2 of 197 Old 04-07-2007, 12:29 PM
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Wow this is an impressive project! I have to hand it to you CRT guys, you are certainly willing to do some work!

I'm to lazy to even put my anamorphic lens in front of my digital most of the time
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post #3 of 197 Old 04-07-2007, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antorsae View Post

............So far I have put the B and G tubes that were on the 9000LC (which worked before) into the 8500 Ultra; but I do not see any image. I have swapped the HPVS, splitter, VIM and resetted the CLB but I still don't any picture (not even the "No Sync" one). Any ideas?

Andres

The tubes you moved, are those P19's? Are any diagnostic leds going red?

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post #4 of 197 Old 04-07-2007, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Tim,

These are the tubes that came from the 9000LC, and worked well there (yesterday). The first time I fired it up (just with the G tube) both V Fail and H Fail were red, but I just unplugged and plugged back (firmly) the two boards that go between the tubes (HDM and VDM I think) and the leds went away. I have also reset the CLB.

The LVPS has a lot of leds (in a row) but none of them are on.

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post #5 of 197 Old 04-07-2007, 01:41 PM
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Andres

Are all three tubes in and connected or just green? It will not run without all connected, the yokes at least.

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post #6 of 197 Old 04-07-2007, 01:50 PM
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AWESOME ANDRES!!!!

LOL, your equipment rack is just like mine!

Cliffy
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post #7 of 197 Old 04-07-2007, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim View Post

Andres

Are all three tubes in and connected or just green? It will not run without all connected, the yokes at least.

I didn't know that I just connected G first... it didn't light up; then connected B, didn't light up either... so tomorrow I'll connect R too :-)

I wanted to test the 8500 Ultra with the tubes from the 9000LC first to make sure the it would not kill the tubes. Once I verify the machine works, I will put the new OEM tubes in it.

I will try to make a few pics of the actual HT room, but it is so dark that the camera can't pick up anything.

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post #8 of 197 Old 04-07-2007, 08:35 PM
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It begins! .... BlendZilla global domination

Hope you get the Ultra's up and running soon before I get there

( B ) ( G ) ( R ) BlendZilla DownUnder ( R ) ( G ) ( B ) - Tubes of Fury
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post #9 of 197 Old 04-07-2007, 08:38 PM
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Yummy Fresh Minty Tubes......

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post #10 of 197 Old 04-07-2007, 08:53 PM
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Guys!

Our BlendZilla User Group is small but intense, if we add just one HT enthusiast in 10,000 then it will be fantastic!!!!!!!!

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post #11 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Tim - thanks for your suggestion re: 3 tubes at once... it did the trick. The 8500 Ultra is now a 9500LC Ultra in disguise. :-)

Next...

1. Vent some glycol off the new tubes
2. Install MPv2 VIMs in the Ultras
3. Install the new tubes in the Ultras

One question for the Marquee experts out there. I have noticed that when I turn the PJ off the red tube displays a small dot in the center that gently faints off. Is that normal? I do not recall seing that on my other PJs and the red and green don't do it. Is this the infamous "spot kill"?

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post #12 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antorsae View Post

Tim - thanks for your suggestion re: 3 tubes at once... it did the trick. The 8500 Ultra is now a 9500LC Ultra in disguise. :-)

Next...

1. Vent some glycol off the new tubes
2. Install MPv2 VIMs in the Ultras
3. Install the new tubes in the Ultras

One question for the Marquee experts out there. I have noticed that when I turn the PJ off the red tube displays a small dot in the center that gently faints off. Is that normal? I do not recall seing that on my other PJs and the red and green don't do it. Is this the infamous "spot kill"?

Andres

It may be spot kill; try that neck board on a worn tube; if that is clean then it is the tube itself, we have seen the problem both ways.

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post #13 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Tim. I don't have any "worn" tubes but I do have a good reserve of neck boards, so I'll put a different neck to see if it does the trick...

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post #14 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 07:27 AM
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*sigh* I SOOOO want to try it . I almost have enough parts other than the blendzilla unit

Andres, what size screen are you shooting for?

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #15 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm going to shoot for a massive 5 meter wide (16'), 2.40:1 AR. I'll be using the SMX screen, so I think the extra gain (1.16) of the SMX will help me out vs. the unity gain screens generally used when blending.

The Blendzilla is a solid device, from my testing it gets the job done. Initially in my research I pondered the option of doing the blending with a PC-based approach, but I decided to play safe and get the best usability possible.

I will be using two sets of HD10GT17 lenses... or two sets of HD10F ones, if I can procure another one before Gino's visit...

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post #16 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim View Post

Andres

It may be spot kill; try that neck board on a worn tube; if that is clean then it is the tube itself, we have seen the problem both ways.

I replaced the neck and now the spot is just barely visible upon switch off... so it might be the tube. Not too big of a problem since this is not one of the tubes that I will be using.

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post #17 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antorsae View Post

I'm going to shoot for a massive 5 meter wide (16'), 2.40:1 AR. I'll be using the SMX screen, so I think the extra gain (1.16) of the SMX will help me out vs. the unity gain screens generally used when blending.

The Blendzilla is a solid device, from my testing it gets the job done. Initially in my research I pondered the option of doing the blending with a PC-based approach, but I decided to play safe and get the best usability possible.

I will be using two sets of HD10GT17 lenses... or two sets of HD10F ones, if I can procure another one before Gino's visit...


Hehehe......the Personal Imax!!!!!!!!!

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post #18 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antorsae View Post

Rear view of rack, I need to clean-up the mess:

well don't stop at the rack, make sure you get the rest of the room too That's a lot of fun equipment you have there, I know that row of 9" tubes and Ultra chassis's have everyone here envoius. I hope you plan on painting both machines 1 color and it's not Pink?

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post #19 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antorsae View Post

I'm going to shoot for a massive 5 meter wide (16'), 2.40:1 AR. I'll be using the SMX screen, so I think the extra gain (1.16) of the SMX will help me out vs. the unity gain screens generally used when blending.

The Blendzilla is a solid device, from my testing it gets the job done. Initially in my research I pondered the option of doing the blending with a PC-based approach, but I decided to play safe and get the best usability possible.

I will be using two sets of HD10GT17 lenses... or two sets of HD10F ones, if I can procure another one before Gino's visit...

You have good taste in screens.

I just put mine up last night. Love it.

Cliff
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post #20 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draganm View Post

I hope you plan on painting both machines 1 color and it's not Pink?

Dragan

You got a problem with Pink?

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post #21 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antorsae View Post

I'm going to shoot for a massive 5 meter wide (16'), 2.40:1 AR. I'll be using the SMX screen, so I think the extra gain (1.16) of the SMX will help me out vs. the unity gain screens generally used when blending.

If you can distiguish between 1 gain and 1.16 gain you are impressive indeed. This should be indistinguishable.

Like I said earlier I would have to see actual lab results to believe any acoustically transparent screen without an optical coating is above 1 gain.
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post #22 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryg View Post

If you can distiguish between 1 gain and 1.16 gain you are impressive indeed. This should be indistinguishable.

Like I said earlier I would have to see actual lab results to believe any acoustically transparent screen without an optical coating is above 1 gain.


YAWN....
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post #23 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 09:48 AM
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YAWN....

Sorry, I didn't mean to inadvertently wake you up to reality
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post #24 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by madpoet View Post

*sigh* I SOOOO want to try it . I almost have enough parts other than the blendzilla unit

Andres, what size screen are you shooting for?

Paul,

Would you go 8" or 9" blendzilla? I don't recall anyone here with 8" yet. You gotta blaze the trail, man!



- Steve O.
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post #25 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 10:15 AM
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Sorry, I didn't mean to inadvertently wake you up to reality

It's ALLLLL GOOD big dog.

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post #26 of 197 Old 04-08-2007, 12:41 PM
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Paul,

Would you go 8" or 9" blendzilla? I don't recall anyone here with 8" yet. You gotta blaze the trail, man!



- Steve O.

I'ts not the machines that is dissuading me, it's the $15k price tag on the blendzilla unit .

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #27 of 197 Old 04-09-2007, 09:02 AM
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Guys!

Let me share some recent history with you.......I spent many years in Michigan, we were Electrohome dealers selling to the car companies, GM, Ford etc. and their stylists wanted to see cars full size on screens like bloody twenty feet long. This predates DLP so it was either Talaria or Hughes or....two or three Marquees employing edge blending. The SGI computers rendered the image segments and a contrast modulator box (then $20K itself) faded the segments together. Our group in Michigan had five such sites going, and four of them were rigged for active stereoscopic with shutter goggles, which ruled out the lamp projectors. So with two or three Marquees we could do very wide screens at useable footlamberts.........fast forward to 2000 and I am now in Arizona and people are asking me how to do ten foot and wider screens at high Fl. and I am thinking Dang, what if a processor was able to split an HDTV image for edge blending? I run across an announcement from a California firm, Folsom Research, and they are announcing a box called DisplayPro HD and it is designed for exactly what I want to do. I have a demo brought here but they tell me DisplayPro HD will have the circuitry of two other devices, and those two devices are sent over and demo'd and the demo looked good and if i wish to order thirty systems they would be happy to build them......(big frown)....their gear was exceptionally complex and very hard to set up.

I order one DisplayPro HD and never see it, but we called that rig BlendZilla for an element of humor and the name stuck for a second demo of the same two boxes about eighteen months later. The DVX I discovered in October 2005, and saw it run here a month later. My DVX arrived Christmas Eve of '05 and I am loving it on a nine foot wide screen with two M9500LCs ever since........and that sport fans is the saga of BlendZilla!!!!

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post #28 of 197 Old 04-09-2007, 04:13 PM
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Guys!

I ran across an old bookmark-----Vince had bought a Vision One here in Phoenix and we put some MP magic to it before shipping it away......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince M View Post

Recently i purchased a Vidikron Vision One-which of course is Marquee 9500LC in a Pininfarina designed case.

Though not really a cost effective excercise,I decided I wanted to see how good the Mike Parker mods-The VIM and neckboard mods et al-were.
So I sent the unit to To Tim Martin in Arizona(Had the Tim Martin fan mod as well).

Now I have always been a fan of the Marquee series and long advocated their quality-and was selling them- when others were quite dismissive of them.(No names mentioned )

So I am very familiar with the pic. a Marquee can put out,8500LC`s,9500LC`s,Ultras etc..

Now the claim is that the Mike Parker mods can increase blacks and shadow detail by 15%-20%..which to me is an astronomical difference and one I was quite dubious about.

Well...set up the beastie yesterday.
I looked at "Fellowship,Gladiator,Last Samurai and Fifth Element"-all well known from an evaluation point of view.

The first thing I noticed was that the overall dynamic range seemed far better..blacks were indeed more black..and whites seemed crisper..but the big..big improvement for me was in the delineation of the greyscale,shadow details that I recall looking a tad muted on a "bog standard" 9500LC -again seemed to stand out more..It just ALL had so much more punch-but still that customary silky smooth moiseless appearance Marquees are famed for.
When Mila takes her dive off the building in FE. its the best ive seen that scene look-It was almost holographic...it looked really clean with everything rendered perfectly.
Gladiator looked to me..very very..close to how I had seen it look on a Cine 9 Recently-not the ultimate light output of course-but if anything a tad less noise in the image..

But getting back to the blacks..watched the Saruman battle with Gandalf in the tower and to date..this was the best I have seen it look-It was almost stomach churning and pulled you right into the scene- :thumbsup:

When i looked at Last Samurai I saw graduations within the cloud scenes(the final battle) I had never seen before on ANY Marquee .

Now this Vision One did not have a red "C" element-so reds were not quite so red as with one,having said this having a red "c" element cuts down the light output of the red-and of course you have to bring the green and blue in line(or should)..the upshot of having a red "c" element is that you can lose upto 20% in overall light output.

..But do you know what? I think I prefer NOT having a red "c" element now with these Mike Parker mods..the standard reds looked more punchy to me and took that miniscule "orange" look away..In fact the reds looked great..possibly the better blacks darkened things a tad..just enough..so for me this was a great "compromise"..and no lost light output.

Certainly ones eyes were being tricked into thinking there was more light output BECAUSE i guess of the better dynamic range.

In fact..think a G90 picture without the "grain" but much better blacks..In short,it was absolutely awesome!!! whisper quiet because of the fan mods,Ultra LVPS.,.,.and sure the whizzy case..now I quite like the look of Marquees anyway but have always hated that horrible piece of two quid foam at the front..it spoils the whole thing-but many others have remarked on the industrial look of the Marquee and not liked it.

In short -for me-this was what a Marquee could be/should be..Magnificent picture & Magnificent look!!

Now what of the 15%-20% improvement claim? IS IT TRUE?

..I have to say.as mad as it sounds..quite possibly..what i can definately say being ultra picky,is that its at LEAST a 10% improvement in blacks and shadow presentation..but in the overall picture..the effect these facets are having on the colours,the dynamic etc..The claim I think is justified.

Nevertheless,attempts to qualify a % improvement are almost always doomed to failure-what I can say is that its one BIG improvement.

A lot has been said about the yanks in other threads..but these Mike Parker mods are -as they say-the real deal!

In fact what i am going to find really hard now is going back to when I watch a "normal" Marquee pic..it has spoilt me without a doubt :god:
.................


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post #29 of 197 Old 04-09-2007, 04:24 PM
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Heh, making me question the C element now....

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #30 of 197 Old 04-09-2007, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Tim,

That was a great post - I was actually looking for it the other day.

I'm in madpoet's boat now when it comes to C-elements... especially in my situation in which I am going to need all light output.

What do you recommend? I have a good reserve of tubes so I can either go with or without C-elements without much of a hassle; and being the reds those look absolutely pristine (even not being new as the ones w/ C-elements).

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