Why do many high-budget theaters often have "small" screens? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 06:10 AM
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"Big budget" does not imply, in any sense of the phrase, "wise expenditure". Several factors may contribute to such results: (1) those involved don't understand these rooms are engineering exercises and without proper engineering, all the fine interior decorating will not overcome the lack of engineering; (2) the homeowner has been filled with something between misunderstanding to incorrect fables; (3) the "outsider" has no knowledge as to what the homeowner's real priorities might have been; and, (4) rooms that photograph well get priority in publications with very little regard to sound or video quality (neither of which will show up in a photograph). Recently, I have seen photos of an "award winning" room which did indeed look nice but it was very obvious the room acoustics were horrible and reflections from surfaces in the room would have provided the homeowner with the "feature" of being able to watch multiple copies of the movie reflected from flat, shiny surfaces between the screen and the seating locations. Oh, and let me add a fifth reason for such nonsense ... "here's a picture of a room I like, duplicate that" ... a method which tends to further replicate pretty rooms with horrid sound, bad video performance and, in the end, fall into disuse because no one can stand to be in the room.

My two cents (or less).
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post #32 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 07:01 AM
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^^^ Thas wu'm talkin' 'bout.

Makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

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post #33 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

"
My two cents (or less).

Actually it's more like a quarter. Too much sense for 2 cents.


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post #34 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 08:33 AM
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This isn't exclusive to high end HT's. The world is full of examples of people paying more and not getting more. "A fool and his money . . . " biggrin.gif

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post #35 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post

This isn't exclusive to high end HT's. The world is full of examples of people paying more and not getting more. "A fool and his money . . . " biggrin.gif


LMAO biggrin.gif Some years ago when i saw the kipnis theater article i was thinking...."There's a sucker born every minute" ....after i finished my theater some of my friends..who don't care much about HT were saying the same thing to me! biggrin.gif


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post #36 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

George,

While your input can be informative, sometimes condescension can taint your message. Starting with this response to DL4567:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

The answer is painfully simple and embarrassingly fundamental.

Which projects the attitude: "you painfully obtuse person who hasn't grasped the simple answer, you should be embarrassed to ask this question." (After all, why reply with the words "painful" if it doesn't portray your disdain for the question, and "embarrassingly" if you are not implying someone ought to be embarrassed by asking such a question?).

DL4567's question was fair enough. This forum is filled with enthusiasts, many quite informed and/or who are familiar with issues involved in their goal to attain excellent picture quality. And yet many are using image sizes and viewing angles that are closer than the ones you describe as "reference." That includes some reviewers, calibrators as well, as I remember (especially those employing CIH systems).

You mention this reference parameter: "A 1920 x 1080 image should generally occupy a 30 degree viewing angle for average 20/20 vision." But many here have noted, upon experimenting with image sizes, that excellent 1920 x 1080 is certainly not limited to that size. As I mentioned, I can watch numerous Blu-Ray sources that remain spectacularly sharp, detailed and clean at much larger viewing angles (and being able to compare the image directly with the smaller viewing angle you describe). And with no pixelation. This has been the experience of many others as well.

Yes, you may wish to point out "Well then, anyone doing this departs from the reference criteria numbers I have supplied, and I'm only talking about IF someone wants to achieve that goal." Ok, but the point is that it's not necessarily the general experience here that such viewing angles ARE always or ought to be the goal. Hence that goal itself is not obvious. So it CAN seem a bit weird to see super expensive theaters offering less immersive viewing experiences. Even though certain pro standards exist, it's not obvious that everyone would be, or want to be, abiding strictly to those standards, especially given the success (as owners see it) of not being tied to the viewing ratios you suggest.

Further, it's also not obvious that the professional theaters DL4567 and I are talking about ARE totally concerned with replicating a reference experience. All too often the decor choices are total head-scratchers in this regard. Be it ill-advisedly light decor choices (which as I said I see so often in many professionally-designed set ups), reflective or distracting surfaces near the screen etc. Little of which you'd ever get in any professional "reference" setting. When I've asked why these types of compromises seem to appear in so many professional installations I've sometimes been told "We would have done X or Y differently, but that's what the customer wanted." Which is understandable...but the point is that, nonetheless, a good number of professional installs I see do not actually SUGGEST they are so intensely concerned with a reference image experience. And so the assumption "the screens are of a smaller size since the goal is obviously a reference experience" isn't so "painfully" and "embarrassingly" obvious. We can't usually know from pictures precisely what the viewing angle is on the theater so the screen may look small because it was made to reference viewing angles...or it may be small as one of any number of compromises that occurred in the design process.

So, again, all this considered I think DL4567's question could have been met with language that did not strongly imply the answer is obvious and someone asking that question on this forum ought to be embarrassed.
You have an active imagination when it comes to inventing what I meant by my opening remarks. I wasn't referring to the OP's questions, but the entire context of the previous 18 posts. I wasn't criticizing the OP, but howling at the moon. It's painful for me to observe how frequently video system design discussions lose sight of the basics. I'm embarrassed for our cinephile community to realize how little has been learned about the imaging fundamentals taught for so long by its leaders. This is the AV Science Forum. It's science in the service of art. Ignore the science and the art is not well served.

The purpose of imaging industry standards, engineering guidelines, and recommended practices published by SMPTE, ITU, etc., is to foster program production and delivery excellence, unity, consistency, repeatability, and fidelity. Deviate much from best practices and diminished performance quality results. There is certainly no shortage of assertive contributors to this forum who consciously or unknowingly ignore best practices. They are free to choose less than reference performance, and frequently find such performance sufficiently enjoyable for their frame of reference, hierarchy of priorities, or personal taste. In the context of AV Science, fidelity is more reliably achieved by starting from a foundation of industry best practices. Studying magazine photos is a poor substitute.

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post #37 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

While we are theater bashing, whats up with those loose weave curtains over the windows in this space? Must be a theater for show not for actual use. The more I look at this picture I suspect they are using a rear projection set-up to deal with the ambient light issue.


While I agree with the comments on the rest of the theater that is some nice carpet right there....just sayin.

Just because you have money does not mean you have taste. Kim Kardashian comes to mind or Bieber with his chromed Fisker Karma. As with any design whether interior, web, print or video you are restricted by satisfying the client. This can end up badly but it pays the bills, you just try to minimize the client stupidity and hope for the best.


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post #38 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

You have an active imagination when it comes to inventing what I meant by my opening remarks. I wasn't referring to the OP's questions, but the entire context of the previous 18 posts.

You quoted the OP's questions, which sets the context for your comments.
Quote:
I wasn't criticizing the OP, but howling at the moon. It's painful for me to observe how frequently video system design discussions lose sight of the basics. I'm embarrassed for our cinephile community to realize how little has been learned about the imaging fundamentals taught for so long by its leaders. This is the AV Science Forum. It's science in the service of art. Ignore the science and the art is not well served.

To which "basics" and "imaging fundamentals" are you referring to? Without providing some context, your comments don't exactly come off well...

Jeff
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post #39 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 11:47 AM
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[just piling on]...and one of the panels under the screen appears to be sitting on the floor, out of place.[\jsut piling on]

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post #40 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

You have an active imagination when it comes to inventing what I meant by my opening remarks. I wasn't referring to the OP's questions, but the entire context of the previous 18 posts.

You quoted the OP's questions, which sets the context for your comments.
Quote:
I wasn't criticizing the OP, but howling at the moon. It's painful for me to observe how frequently video system design discussions lose sight of the basics. I'm embarrassed for our cinephile community to realize how little has been learned about the imaging fundamentals taught for so long by its leaders. This is the AV Science Forum. It's science in the service of art. Ignore the science and the art is not well served.

To which "basics" and "imaging fundamentals" are you referring to? Without providing some context, your comments don't exactly come off well...

Jeff
I quoted the OP as a refresher on the topic. Should I have quoted all 18 previous posts?
Provide some context? How about what determines screen size for reference viewing? I provided the context by my previous comments. How do you define context?
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post #41 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

While we are theater bashing, whats up with those loose weave curtains over the windows in this space? Must be a theater for show not for actual use. The more I look at this picture I suspect they are using a rear projection set-up to deal with the ambient light issue.



Oh, my. That looks rather suspiciously like a room I refused to work with the owner on (that house BTW is up for sale). What a POS.

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post #42 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

I quoted the OP as a refresher on the topic. Should I have quoted all 18 previous posts?

Not quoting would have given your post the appearance of continuing the discussion, instead of a direct reply to the OP's question...
Quote:
Provide some context? How about what determines screen size for reference viewing? I provided the context by my previous comments. How do you define context?

Just trying to get some clarification, not attacking. Saying things are obvious / basic without including some mention of the criteria in the same post is where I lost you...

The THX / SMPTE (or whichever body produced the chart originally) viewing angle/distance chart that BIG quoted - is that not considered a reference-quality measurement in your definition? Certainly there's resolution, image brightness, etc. as well. But in terms of viewing angle, are you suggesting that the smaller screens, which would seem to be outside the 'ideal' according to the chart, are "more correct"?

Jeff
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post #43 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

I quoted the OP as a refresher on the topic. Should I have quoted all 18 previous posts?

Not quoting would have given your post the appearance of continuing the discussion, instead of a direct reply to the OP's question...
Quote:
Provide some context? How about what determines screen size for reference viewing? I provided the context by my previous comments. How do you define context?

Just trying to get some clarification, not attacking. Saying things are obvious / basic without including some mention of the criteria in the same post is where I lost you...

The THX / SMPTE (or whichever body produced the chart originally) viewing angle/distance chart that BIG quoted - is that not considered a reference-quality measurement in your definition? Certainly there's resolution, image brightness, etc. as well. But in terms of viewing angle, are you suggesting that the smaller screens, which would seem to be outside the 'ideal' according to the chart, are "more correct"?

Jeff
Assume what you want about my meaning. It's impossible to avoid misinterpretation of any statement. I won't be responsible for others' projection and misinterpretation.

I'm also not responsible for a reader's lack of ability to follow a context. Brevity is the soul of wit. It's also good for public forum discussions.

That chart looks like it was intended for commercial cinemas, not consumer video systems. Film/DCI imaging should not be 100% equated with HDTV performance. THX is not a standards body, but a consulting firm who digests industry standards, engineering guidelines, and recommended practices for companies who hire them (originally- Lucasfilm). THX reinterprets the science as they deem appropriate. I don't agree with some of their recommendations.

When I work with a client to design a video system for them, imaging science is the basis for all my recommendations. If they desire a feature that will result in specific consequences to performance, I explain what the consequence will be and they have the final say on whether they consider the compromise acceptable. One of the steps in the process of deciding screen size includes me demonstrating for them what viewing distance will work for them. Most forum readers don't have that capability. It's my position that general public discussion and recommendations should default to proven, general reference, imaging science principles, standards and best practices. Personal preferences and opinions may work for the person offering them, but should not be considered broadly applicable for most viewers. Popularity should not be automatically assumed to indicate quality. The consumer video arena is widely dominated by marketing hyperbole, uninformed consumer focus group derived designs (ie: colored lights behind the screen), fads, trends, uninformed anecdotal observations. etc.

My business model is centered around offering consumers reference, or near reference, picture and sound performance within their personal constraints. What is "ideal" or "more correct" has to fit within that mission. I have turned clients away who convinced me in the initial consultation that they weren't interested in performance issues. They wanted a "pretty" room with too many serious compromises to qualify as a project I would want representing my company. There are plenty of installation companies out there who are a better fit for such consumers.
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post #44 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

Assume what you want about my meaning. It's impossible to avoid misinterpretation of any statement. I won't be responsible for others' projection and misinterpretation.

I'm also not responsible for a reader's lack of ability to follow a context. Brevity is the soul of wit. It's also good for public forum discussions.

..........

FWIW, my interpretation of your original post is the same as R Harkness and jautor. I was surprised you took such a derogatory tone with the OP (you did quote him after all) for asking a legitimate question. Your experience and feedback are certainly appreciated, but I'm not clear why the persistent derisive comments are necessary.
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post #45 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 02:05 PM
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Randomly came across this Theo Kalomirakis interview on Home Theater Geeks. He talks about the first theater specifically.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty4n5eMEtGo
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post #46 of 52 Old 06-26-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

You have an active imagination when it comes to inventing what I meant by my opening remarks. I wasn't referring to the OP's questions,

You quoted the OP, which included his plea "Can anyone shed some light? Please explain to me if there is a reason," and then followed with your answer.
It doesn't require an overactive imagination to reasonably infer you would actually be responding to the person you quoted in your own post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

I wasn't criticizing the OP, but howling at the moon.

Then why quote the OP? If someone where "howling at the moon" but was mentioning my name while howling, it would be quite understandable to think the howling was directed at me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

It's painful for me to observe how frequently video system design discussions lose sight of the basics. I'm embarrassed for our cinephile community to realize how little has been learned about the imaging fundamentals taught for so long by its leaders.

Ok, so your disparagement casts a wider net than the person you quoted, to include many others in the thread who could only ask this question on ignorance of the basics, and for whom you are embarrassed. That fixes things.

George, all I'm saying is that you could have easily contributed a useful viewpoint, but without soaking it in such disparagement/condescension for the people in this thread. It's clear I'm not the only one who noticed the tone of that post. Of course you are totally free to lament the apparent naivete of anyone here, but you should expect some push-back rather than mere "thank you" if that's the tone you wish to adopt.


Your post essentially asserted that the answer to the OP's question SHOULD have been simple and obvious if people here just knew of the basic reference standards to which you appealed.
But I've already pointed out in the previous post why that is not so. Dennis Erskine himself has pointed out: "THX or no, one must consider beam spot width, pixel density and size, resolution and the viewer's own preferences as being the primary factors associated with seating distances." And there are actually Good Reasons, available to someone who is not naive but who is quite cognizant of image quality and image presentation, to want to have a larger available image size than the restriction to the standard you recommended. (e.g. for more immersion, a closer approximation to gaining the same sensation of watching the movie in a larger cinema, the fact some 1080p source material can hold up to scrutiny at larger viewing angles than you referenced, etc). And since these good reasons exist, and since Mr. Erskine and even yourself have mentioned that the viewer/customer's preference is involved as well, it's not OBVIOUS
that a professional home theater installation WILL be designed to strictly the specs you reference. Which, again, means the OP's question wasn't deserving of so disparaging a tone as yours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

Assume what you want about my meaning. It's impossible to avoid misinterpretation of any statement. I won't be responsible for others' projection and misinterpretation.

I'm also not responsible for a reader's lack of ability to follow a context. Brevity is the soul of wit. It's also good for public forum discussions.

You know what's also good for public forum discussions? Taking responsibility for the tone of your posts, instead of insisting, ever more condescendingly, that it is only the failing of others
to take any issue with your writing. If I had the same number of people telling me my tone was condescending or derogatory, and I didn't mean to be that way, I'd be taking a closer look at
myself and how I'm communicating with others.
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post #47 of 52 Old 06-27-2013, 05:46 AM
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Besides, it seems obvious to me that in a multi-row home theater, you might want to optimize the back row(s) for visual acuity, and the front row(s) for screen size, and then everyone can have their cake and eat it too. Some of those pictures would seem to show a relatively tiny viewing experience even from the front.
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post #48 of 52 Old 06-27-2013, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by cRock HT View Post

Randomly came across this Theo Kalomirakis interview on Home Theater Geeks. He talks about the first theater specifically.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty4n5eMEtGo

Theo specifically mentions that the screens appear small due to the wide-angle camera lenses.
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post #49 of 52 Old 06-27-2013, 09:18 AM
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Theo specifically mentions that the screens appear small due to the wide-angle camera lenses.

I was kind of wondering about that. Normally you wouldn't get such a field of view with say an 18mm lens.


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post #50 of 52 Old 06-29-2013, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DL4567 View Post

In my opinion this screen is perfectly sized to the room.

A lot of high budget theaters start in large rooms and you don't size the screen to the room. The screen is sized to the owners personal preference for FOV. The other seats are either to big or too small. Guests can choose where they want to sit. Too large a FOV can be uncomfortable. Too small is less immersive, but there is no discomfort. So if you value your guests experience, it's safer to err on the side of too small a screen (FOV) for them vs too large.

FWIW, Dennis did my design. My screen covers just over half the front wall. He had input on the room dimensions, so it wasn't a case of doing the best he could with a problematic space. It's a properly engineered room by AVS standards, and my screen will look smaller than some of the rooms getting bashed. But it will be perfect for the 45 degree horizontal FOV that I asked for with eyes centered vertically on the screen.

As for room aesthetics vs performance, let he among us who hasn't compromised throw the first stone wink.gif. Any color scheme other than "all black" is a compromise in performance for athletics. We all do it. Some people go further than others. Here is a thread from a few years ago with some good honest introspection from a lot of people on having a dedicated performance oriented space (and the downsides that come with it). http://www.avsforum.com/t/1155415/i-think-i-might-hate-my-bat-cave

 

 

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post #51 of 52 Old 06-29-2013, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rx-8 View Post

Theo specifically mentions that the screens appear small due to the wide-angle camera lenses.

Theo also emphasizes how he strives to make for the largest, widest image he can, for the theatrical immersion effect "wall to wall" as he says. The screen should be a prominent focus.
So I'm sure the wide angle lenses of cameras used to try to capture all the architectural glory in the same shot are to blame for lots of the screens looking too small.

Rich H


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post #52 of 52 Old 06-29-2013, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rabident View Post

As for room aesthetics vs performance, let he among us who hasn't compromised throw the first stone wink.gif. Any color scheme other than "all black" is a compromise in performance for athletics. We all do it. Some people go further than others. Here is a thread from a few years ago with some good honest introspection from a lot of people on having a dedicated performance oriented space (and the downsides that come with it). http://www.avsforum.com/t/1155415/i-think-i-might-hate-my-bat-cave

Agreed that there is always some compromise, even if the compromise ends up being the amount of money one has to spend to get a "perfect" home theater. (But, then, I guess some people have so much money even THAT isn't a compromise. Anyway...I guess I'm talking about us mere mortals).

And one persons perfect or near perfect room will be a compromise to someone else's sensibilities and criteria.

That said, for me personally, though my home theater build was agonizing in it's design and construction, the end result has been as close to perfect, for my goals, as I could possibly ask for. I personally did not want a dedicated room somewhere off in the house that felt detached to get to: I wanted an all purpose media room and hanging out room, but with maximum (within budget) performance. The screen is very large and alters shape so I never have the "which row will give the best image" problem. It's incredibly comfortable. It has the funky hang out room aesthetics I crave by day, but for watching a movie once the hidden black velvet curtains are pulled, it becomes truly a black box, for fully realized image potential and immersion into the image. And it's casually, easily accessible; it draws us in and I use it every day either for listening to music, reading, or watching movies or sports. It suits my desires so perfectly that I virtually never look at
those ultra-expensive home theaters with envy. They are super fun to look at for sure, but nothing fits as well as a home theater you've been able to design to exactly your own desires.

(And, like I said, as perfect as my room is for me, someone will look at my room and say "not what I'd want.")

Rich H


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