Golden Triangle Theater - Redo - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 72 Old 03-07-2017, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Golden Triangle Theater - Redo

Well, I'm starting over in my theater room. The B-Stock theater was the name of my former room, as you can see in my signature. The room is still in the same house so it won't be a huge elaborate build like some of my good buddies on here but I've definitely taken inspiration from those setups. My former (current?) room has what I would consider to be the "high end of the mid class" gear, a decent size (19' x 11') and of course, mostly B-Stock stuff. I felt like I had some unique ways of doing things in the B-Stock theater such as having the equipment in the room, but under the screen and out of sight because I didn't have anywhere else to put it, to be honest. I also have a fabric panel ceiling and a weird 70's style bay window that I turned into a media/accessories/charging station shelf with removable fabric panel covers. All of these things were sacrifices that I had to make at the time to still get what I wanted, which was a pretty good looking and sounding room. The new room will hopefully correct some of the mistakes I made in planning my last room. Here are some of the mistakes:

Equipment in the room with no way to pull the hot air out:


Screen size is too small. I mean it's not TOO small, but by the standards on this forum, 100" wide isn't big enough. You gotta maximize room width nowadays. I also did not plan projector location very well. It's way too close. 106" is the max screen width so that will need to be fixed. You can see the screen width in first photo.

The room gets too hot. I have two 7" supply lines coming in and no active return. It doesn't get sticky or humid in there because I have an inactive return but the cooling is inadequate after watching more than one movie and of course sporting events with more than 3 people in there gets tough after 3 hours or so.

I bought Berkline chairs and they are awful. The manual recline broke for crying out loud. How does that even happen?


The fabric ceiling looked great but didn't allow for an easy Atmos/DTS:X upgrade. That's unfortunately gotta come down.

No true acoustic plan was put in place other than bass trapping behind the screen wall.

So, needless to say, I've got some rearranging and upgrading to do in there. Here are some of the guys with their rooms that have really re-inspired me since I thought I was kinda done after the first rendition:

@kblaw -room is the max on here
@TMcG -the neatest and cleanest carpenter on this Earth - Keep those updates coming!
@BrolicBeast -The most passionate home theater guy. I thought I loved this hobby.
@doublewing11 -He builds whole houses by himself and WANTS to move to Alaska. The Chuck Norris of AVS! That's gotta be a future hashtag by the way. Also inspired my organic garden.

@damelon -The first thread I followed with real enthusiasm. The whole house is ridiculous!
@granroth -the DIY king in my opinion. He single handedly debunked the sand in the stage procedure! A lot of guys are probably still mad about carrying hundreds of pounds of sand down to their basement. Back surgeons aren't happy either.

I'll outline what the plan is in the next post. More to come.
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post #2 of 72 Old 03-07-2017, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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The new theater will still have the same basic layout of the last one. Seating will remain the same with the exception of buying a new front row. My front soundstage will not be M&K as I am wanting to go DIY. I'm pretty sure my surrounds will be a different brand as well. I'm not sure if I'm going in wall or if I will keep them exposed like a traditional cinema. I like the exposed look but a big part of that is that M&K designed a very fashionable speaker with the 750 series. I'm not sure if another brand or DIY will look quite as nice.

Here are pictures from when I finished my room. The projector is different now and the front row of chairs have fallen apart now though.








Basic Construction & Decor Details

Room Size - 19x11x8
Electrical - Currently one 15 amp circuit - I will add another 20 amp when I move the equipment to the hall closet. The lights introduce a slight but annoying hum into the speakers so I'll be looking to separate equipment from lighting for sure.
Double solid core entrance
Single step 7.5" riser
HVAC - 2 Supplies in the front of the room and one 10x10 return near the projector
False wall - 2' - I will be looking to build a proper baffle wall with reveal lighting behind the screen
Carpet - Carpet is black and I'm hoping I don't destroy that when I'm doing this remodel. If I do, I'm going gray.
Walls will be fabric with a currently undecided color scheme.

This post will be changing quite a bit as the build evolves.

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post #3 of 72 Old 03-08-2017, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I want to talk in this post about my goals and how I'm going to correct mistakes that I made previously in this room. Some I can correct, some I can't.

Goals:
1. Atmos/DTS:X
2. Bigger screen - 10 footer which would max this room out. I want curved and I'm not sure yet on 16:9 or scope
3. Keep the room cooler
4. 4K projection
5. Power recline seating for the front row
6. All speakers hidden
7. NO CREDIT CARDS!!

Phase 1 - The first upgrade has already happened. I have an Xbox One S and I've ordered an Epson 4040 projector. It got excellent reviews and the e shift or whatever they are calling it, is on par with the JVC's.

Phase 2 - I'm going to talk to a couple of the experts on here about a possible acoustic design. I'm looking at something fairly basic. I won't go with full on construction plans because the room is already built for the most part, and I think for the scale of what I'm trying to get accomplished, spending several thousand dollars will be overkill. Also, room width is going to make it difficult to put a lot diffusers and stuff like that up so I just wanted some reassurance that I'm at least getting some basic absorption where needed and speaker placement.

Phase 3 - I'm going to tear the room down to it's painted black shell. I will leave the carpet intact as that's actually pretty good stuff. The shell is just OSB painted black. I will have someone come in and drywall over this shell. If I ruin the carpet during this phase, or any other phase for that matter, then I'm going to a gray carpet. Having black carpet is like having a black sports car. When there are no visible specks of dirt or lint, it looks better than any other color. But it gets dirty faster than any other color too.

Phase 4 - HVAC will be corrected in this phase. Currently there is a passive return that is functioning as needed but it's not the best thing for a theater room with a projector blowing hot air the entire time you're in there. This vent will be the future active return. It's currently a supply line and will be converted to an active return. This will also hopefully pull the hot exhaust from the PJ out of the room.



This is the main return. I will route a flex duct line with an inline fan from the theater room to the ceiling right above the main return in the hallway. It will be controlled via Insteon.



I will also add 2 more supplies to the front of the room as well.

Phase 5 - I'm moving the equipment rack to a hall closet and will have an active cooling solution in there. It will probably be a simple bathroom exhaust fan ducted to a whirly bird on in the attic. I have two 21U Middle Atlantic Slim 5 racks. I'm only using one right now. I haven't decided if I'm going to sell them both and buy a 37U or stack them and create a 42U rack. The only problem with stacking them is getting the rack in and out of the closet because it would be too tall at that point. I'm more than likely selling them but we'll see. I will have to run power to the closet which shouldn't be an issue. I will also look at multiple zone audio and video. I will probably at least put speakers on my patio but I may run HDMI to my master bedroom as well.

Phase 6 - With the room back to a shell and sort of a blank canvas, I will be able to start the fun stuff. This is the phase where I will decide which speakers I'm using for this go around. I like my M&K's but I would like to go DIY and like many others, I'm going with DIY Soundgroup speakers for my LCR's. After deciding on LCR's I will design and build a baffle wall. This phase will also include deciding on surrounds and Atmos speakers. So far, I'm thinking Klipsch in wall and in ceiling. I can get them cheap and they have compression drivers which is what I'm going for.

Phase 7 - Mount the projector again and figure out which screen I'm going with. I'll have a functioning room at this point.

Phase 8 - This should be the final phase where trim and fabric happens. I'm going with fabric track this time instead stapling it and covering with trim. I haven't decided on colors but it will more than likely be blue again. I'm also going to try and work on some kind of interesting design for the fabric track. I have a fabric panel ceiling now which is unique, so I would like to try to bring something unique again to the table.

So that's it! I'm hoping to be done within a year. This is going to be a cash build so it may take some time. Any suggestions, I'll gladly take them.
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post #4 of 72 Old 03-08-2017, 07:53 AM
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Normally I'd only post in threads whose owners have at least two 24" subs, but I'll make this one exception... :roll eyes:

Since you asked, I will definitely provide some feedback on your plans in the next day or so. Fixing the Level 5 Swampa$$ problem is the clearest initial priority to me. Can you provide some details around your current system specs, including the size and relative position of the two supply lines you have coming into the room? A simple hand sketch would suffice for how these things get into your room and the relative location of any other ductwork trunklines you could tie into. Generally speaking, you should NOT need to go up to four separate supply lines, just keep the two appropriately-sized supply lines and add an appropriately-sized return. Tying into an existing return using your proposed method is also something I would rethink. Do you have an anemometer to measure your current supply CFM and temperature from each supply duct when running? As a final note, simply running the fan on the HVAC is normally plenty to ventilate the room when you are not in a heating or cooling cycle.

Any plans to update the lighting to non-heat producing LEDs with requisite Insteon switching??

Last question...why buy the Epson 4040 now when you are just going to tear up your room until the end of the year? I would cancel that purchase ASAP and hunker down for the releases this Sept/Oct when the new models are announced at CEDIA and when your room is ready.

By the way - I'm just an e-mail jockey and nowhere near the talent of a pro carpenter. Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I just hack my way through the task.

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post #5 of 72 Old 03-08-2017, 11:30 AM
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Looking forward to seeing how this build turns out. There's one thing that is absolutely invaluable when building a new theater: experience building a theater already. Man, I'm happy to be inspiring anything other than missed deadlines! Lol...never let the passion die....never!!!

Dude, I'd definitely suggest going with a curved 16:9. You can always mask to 2:35, but the IMAX-like experience is just amazing. ESPECIALLY for front-row viewers. It's not for everybody though. What will your new seating distance be? I can tell you that 12.5' from a 10' wide screen is juuust about as close as you'd want to go. Any closer (even from leaning forward) and you'll see pixels in 1080p...4k is probably a very different story though! The Xbox One S is a great 4k player. It's the most used 4k blu ray player in our house, and it looks pristine.

I want to second Tim's point above on LED lighting with Insteon integration. The room will be cooler (perhaps measurably so) and you can control it all with your voice! :-). Get a set for your bedroom too, and install without letting the wife know. Generate a catchy name for "the mood." Then, on date night when you get home, say the phrase, watch the lights dim, hear the music start, and it's on. (Need Harmony to control the audio zones you're talking about installing)

I totally feel you on the no credit card rule. One of the reasons my build is taking so long is that I haven't used a single purchase on a credit card. Not even screws. I just save, and get what I can when I can without impacting family savings and investments. You will thank yourself once the build is over, not to owe anything for building it.

BTW--my wife and I were talking about starting an organic garden this spring. We are willing to dedicate our entire back yard to it. Any resources you can point me in the direction of?


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post #6 of 72 Old 03-08-2017, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post
Normally I'd only post in threads whose owners have at least two 24" subs, but I'll make this one exception... :roll eyes:

Since you asked, I will definitely provide some feedback on your plans in the next day or so. Fixing the Level 5 Swampa$$ problem is the clearest initial priority to me. Can you provide some details around your current system specs, including the size and relative position of the two supply lines you have coming into the room? A simple hand sketch would suffice for how these things get into your room and the relative location of any other ductwork trunklines you could tie into. Generally speaking, you should NOT need to go up to four separate supply lines, just keep the two appropriately-sized supply lines and add an appropriately-sized return. Tying into an existing return using your proposed method is also something I would rethink. Do you have an anemometer to measure your current supply CFM and temperature from each supply duct when running? As a final note, simply running the fan on the HVAC is normally plenty to ventilate the room when you are not in a heating or cooling cycle.

Any plans to update the lighting to non-heat producing LEDs with requisite Insteon switching??

Last question...why buy the Epson 4040 now when you are just going to tear up your room until the end of the year? I would cancel that purchase ASAP and hunker down for the releases this Sept/Oct when the new models are announced at CEDIA and when your room is ready.

By the way - I'm just an e-mail jockey and nowhere near the talent of a pro carpenter. Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I just hack my way through the task.
I'll never live down my decision to go with puny 15" subs. Oh well. As long as I get free advice I can deal with the ridicule.
The 2 supply lines are on separate rigid trunks that are 7". When I built the room the first time, I just found a joint in the rigid duct and unscrewed it and then converted over to flex from there. The house was built in the '70's so I have to go to a supply house to get flex duct for these odd sized lines. It won't be a problem to go down to 6" or up to 8", though. They have all the reducers and stuff at these places and at good prices compared to Lowe's and HD. Here's what we're looking at: I took 3 pictures of the sketch because one photo would have been hard to read the writing.







The only reason to add 2 supplies will be for symmetry by the way. Having one return vent and 2 supply vents would look, I don't know, not good. I don't think it would increase the amount of air in there since they will be coming from the same trunk. It would, I guess change the flow of air in the room if that's the right wording. As far as tying into an existing return, my house doesn't have return ducts in different rooms. It has a central return for the whole house. My home is 1600 square feet and is one story. The theater room does not have a gap under the door at all and therefore needs an actual return line. But, there is no way to tie into the unit's return without tearing up a bunch stuff. I don't have any super fancy test equipment because I'm not really wanting to hardcore engineer my 3.5 ton HVAC system for smaller home like mine. I was wanting to add a true return to pull the hot air out of the room, put it near the central return, and hopefully get the room close to where it needs to be. I know it will be better than what it is now for sure. It may not be perfect however. It's not causing level 5 swamp a$$, more like level 2. So, I'm wondering if the return should be where I plan it being, or should it be in the front of the room?

I have Insteon lighting now with a Hub and LED's. I went with LED's early on because I was afraid of incandescent or halogen starting a fire with my fabric ceiling panels.

Buying a 4040 now is because:
1. I want 4K. Now. I've waited long enough. I can't imagine prices plummeting on these units or JVC's next year. The Epson Pro line is a great value and prices just don't seem to fluctuate much on them. It comes with a spare lamp and a mount. It doesn't have the black levels of the JVC's but it should hold its own.
2. This process may take a year but I plan on having a functioning theater up until Phase 5 which I'm hoping will begin by the end of the summer. Phase 5, 6 and 7 will probably happen pretty close together. The big thing will be the ceiling which is Phase 4. After drywall and paint, I will install ceiling speakers and re hang the projector. The baffle wall won't be affected. I can just easily take down my screen during this phase, store it in it's container, and rehang it when I install the projector.
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post #7 of 72 Old 03-09-2017, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post
Looking forward to seeing how this build turns out. There's one thing that is absolutely invaluable when building a new theater: experience building a theater already. Man, I'm happy to be inspiring anything other than missed deadlines! Lol...never let the passion die....never!!!

Dude, I'd definitely suggest going with a curved 16:9. You can always mask to 2:35, but the IMAX-like experience is just amazing. ESPECIALLY for front-row viewers. It's not for everybody though. What will your new seating distance be? I can tell you that 12.5' from a 10' wide screen is juuust about as close as you'd want to go. Any closer (even from leaning forward) and you'll see pixels in 1080p...4k is probably a very different story though! The Xbox One S is a great 4k player. It's the most used 4k blu ray player in our house, and it looks pristine.

I want to second Tim's point above on LED lighting with Insteon integration. The room will be cooler (perhaps measurably so) and you can control it all with your voice! :-). Get a set for your bedroom too, and install without letting the wife know. Generate a catchy name for "the mood." Then, on date night when you get home, say the phrase, watch the lights dim, hear the music start, and it's on. (Need Harmony to control the audio zones you're talking about installing)

I totally feel you on the no credit card rule. One of the reasons my build is taking so long is that I haven't used a single purchase on a credit card. Not even screws. I just save, and get what I can when I can without impacting family savings and investments. You will thank yourself once the build is over, not to owe anything for building it.

BTW--my wife and I were talking about starting an organic garden this spring. We are willing to dedicate our entire back yard to it. Any resources you can point me in the direction of?


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Okay, so 16:9 curved it is. I'll be at a 12 foot viewing distance but I think I'll be okay.

As far as lighting, the first rendition of my room has LED bulbs with Insteon lighting and IRule. After watching your video on lighting and Alexa, I switched from IRule to the Logitech Elite with an Insteon Hub. From basically the beginning, I never really cared for IRule for some reason. I guess because wifi is just not stable enough for my liking. It seemed like something wasn't working almost all the time or I had to reboot the router or whatever. IR is rock solid. Some parts of Logitech are dependent on wifi but controlling the components so far for me, has been great. And like you said in the video, it really is the best remote I've ever owned.

Organic gardening is definitely rewarding. And hard work. I grow everything from seed that I can. I guess since this build is gonna take a year or so, we can talk about gardening in between. It really is a rewarding hobby.

My garden is all raised beds. The soil in Southeast Texas is a lot of clay and is not good for growing anything excepts oak trees and weeds apparently. The old timers around here call it gumbo mud.

Here are some pictures from last year.

These are black eyed peas:



San Marzano Tomatoes:



I got four or five of these harvests last year:



Youtube is a great resource with a lot of people on there that have good product suggestions and things like that. I would recommend building raised beds out of cedar if you can. If not, treated lumber will work fine and no, it won't kill you. They stopped using arsenic in treated lumber many years ago. If your grass has been fertilized or had insecticides used on it, then remember, that's in the soil now and inorganic products can build up over time as opposed to washing away. There are 2 types of raised beds. There are the most common, which dig down into the existing soil about 15 to 24 inches and you back fill that hole with really good organic soil and compost. Then, there's what I have which are just essentially giant containers. I laid down a layer of plastic, then a landscape fabric, then built my beds on top of that out of 2 x 10 treated lumber. They are 20 inches tall, 3' feet wide, and I have four beds that are 16' long and four beds that are 8 ' long. After that came the hard part: hauling bags of soil back there. Lots of bags. My first year I only had four 8 foot beds and I recommend to anyone that they do the same. In other words, start small with just 3 or four crops so you can get a feel for what needs to happen, i.e., when to water, when not to, fertilizing, etc. The first year (2 years ago), I waited until May to start my small garden and it was already 95 degrees down here every day. The roots could not get established and therefore very little happened. In other words, I started too late. Last year, I expanded my garden and added the 16 foot beds. I also started in Late February/early March. I had more than I could handle to say the least. I have to get to work but we'll definitely talk more about this if you want. It's become kind of my second passion. And not to mention, it's a lot more useful than 10 foot wide televisions.
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post #8 of 72 Old 03-09-2017, 05:34 AM
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Looks like you're going to have your hands full! Good luck with it.

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post #9 of 72 Old 03-09-2017, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like you're going to have your hands full! Good luck with it.

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post #10 of 72 Old 03-10-2017, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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@TMcG , have you had a chance to look at my awesome professionally engineered drawing of my entrance hall and theater room? I was hoping my plan will work or at least would like to know what you thought of it now that it's been actually drawn out. I know it's not really ideal, but in my mind, it seems like what's best but I would definitely like an outsider/experienced builder's (or email jockey's) opinion.
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post #11 of 72 Old 03-10-2017, 04:44 PM
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Been slammed at work and with two sick kids so my time on the Forum has been very, very limited. Right now I am T-minus 45 minutes from getting the last kid bathed and down for the night. I'll be on later and give you my thorough reply on most aspects of your theater and plan as I see it.
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post #12 of 72 Old 03-11-2017, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Epson Pro 4040 Unboxing and Near Success With the Xbox

I received my Epson Pro Cinema 4040 yesterday and got it set up. Well, almost set up. It's mounted, it's half calibrated and ALMOST ready for 4K content. By half calibrated I mean no meter or Calman, just brightness, contrast and using HD Essentials color filters to adjust the tint and color. And by ALMOST ready for 4K content, I forgot that my Marantz receiver won't pass 4K and that my HDMI cables that go from component to the receiver, aren't 4K compatible. I will say, the Xbox One S has a lot of great features. It's far more than a gaming machine. Microsoft wasn't lying when they said these things can be living systems. The one thing it lacks however, is a second audio only HDMI output. So, what I have to do is rig up a stop gap solution so I can take advantage of my shiny new projector's capabilities. Luckily, I ran 2 Monoprice Redmere cables from my rack to the PJ location when I built the room. It was one of the few things that I planned correctly. My temporary solution for 4K content will be to connect the Xbox One S to directly to my PJ on HDMI 1 (which is the HDC 2.2 input) and connect the receiver's output to the standard HDMI 2 input and use the switching capabilities of the receiver for the Roku and my Tivo Mini. As I was working through this last night, I realized that I won't have audio to go along with my nice new video system because the Xbox doesn't have that second HDMI output. It does have an optical output though. I didn't think people still used those to be honest. I used one 15 years ago in my first setup. Today, I will go buy an optical cable from Best Buy but this certainly will not be permanent. So last night, I went ahead and ordered a Samsung UBD 8500. Got a great deal for under $200 on it. I guess the Xbox will be moved to the living room. Before we move on to the unboxing, I will say the Xbox may not be quite ready for the hardcore HT guys like us, but it has some great features in it's design. First, Logitech can control it as easily as an Xbox controller. Second, there are some pretty good patterns and very helpful explanations for a basic video calibration. The system helps you set up brightness, contrast, color, and tint. For the color and tint, you need one of those blue filters or a blue only mode on your display. The one thing that I really liked, is that it told me with my different orientations of my cabling, whether or not I could watch 4K, HDR content and what bit depth my setup could handle. This is an excellent tool. Just for everyone's info, according to the Xbox, the original Redmere HDMI cables that I have can handle 4K content, but not the full 60Hz or HDR. I'll have to order from Monoprice and fish another cable or 2 through the attic to resolve this.

Onto the unboxing:

Big box with separate PJ box inside. There is the spare lamp, the mount, and a rear cover to hide the inputs and cables


Here is the projector box


The Chief Mount - I thought it would be some cheap version but it's the real deal.


Very well laid out remote. Reminds me of Sony PJ remotes






The first thing I noticed when I took this out of the box is how wide it is. Nearly 20 inches! It's not overly heavy but it's wider than any projector I've owned thus far.
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post #13 of 72 Old 03-11-2017, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Mounting the Epson Pro 4040 and Initial Impressions

Mounting the Epson 4040 was really simple with the custom Chief mount. I've owned a couple of other mounts that were universal but they don't compare to the quality and ease of use of a custom made-for-your-model projector mount. My previous mount was a universal Sanus mount that I got from Best Buy. It was okay. It was heavy duty and well made, but the arms were difficult to deal with and the adjustments for roll, pitch and yaw, were not that great either.



One bit of luck that I did run into was the that I didn't have to change the ceiling plate when switching to a Chief mount. That would have been the most work out all of this due to my fabric panel ceiling. The new extender pole that came with the Chief mounted screwed into the Sanus plate just fine. Either Sanus and Chief are kinda one in the same (Like Honda and Acura), or I lucked out.

Either way, original plate and below that is with the Sanus cover snapped into place





The projector top plate is screwed into the body of the unit with I think 9 screws and then lifted and snapped into place. You can then lock it to make sure it doesn't work itself loose somehow. I guess guys with 24" subs may need to use that and keep up with that key. Here's a terrible picture of the mounting plate.



After firing this thing up and making all the pitch and level adjustments, etc., I noticed right off the bat how bright this thing is. I'm going to have a lot of headroom there even when I go with the 10 foot screen. The Sony 40es was an exceptionally bright projector but the Epson puts it to shame. Like I said in the previous post, I went through a very basic calibration and threw John Wick in the Xbox. This is a very sharp projector. Even at 1080p, this unit is very strong. The black levels may not be on par with the JVC's, but they are still very good. And I don't mean good for it's price, I mean, they are just good. I'll try to get this properly calibrated soon with a meter and software, and show some before and after charts. Unfortunately, I'm not going to calibrate HDR until I can pick up a C6 meter from Spectracal. 1080P will be out of this world when calibrated though.

All in all, I have to say that Epson has put together one great projector and a prize package that comes with it that is unlike any other manufacturer right now at under $5000. The spare lamp and mount are a $400 to $500 value and is really what swung me from JVC's RS400. The 6040UB was a little out of my price range so I went with the 4040 and slightly less blacker blacks but so far I'm not disappointed.
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post #14 of 72 Old 03-12-2017, 06:24 AM
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Ever consider taking that HVAC sheet metal back further?

You could plate over the one opening, and get a piece of matching main trunk and insert it, to shrink the soffit on the right hand side. Pretty cheap to do.
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post #15 of 72 Old 03-13-2017, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Ever consider taking that HVAC sheet metal back further?

You could plate over the one opening, and get a piece of matching main trunk and insert it, to shrink the soffit on the right hand side. Pretty cheap to do.
Hi Tedd. I don't have soffits in this room.
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post #16 of 72 Old 03-14-2017, 10:12 PM
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I second the recommendation for a 16:9 screen. Unless you have an extremely wide room, you will always get more "usable" space out of a 16:9 screen than a scope screen since any scope movies will still be as big as they would normally be but your 1.85:1 and 16:9 content will be full sized and not shrunken. I did the math somewhere but can't find any reference to it anymore. Heh.

Anyway, the two reasons for going with a scope screen would be if a) you have an extremely wide room relative to the height or b) you are a purist and feel that since the intent of a scope screen is to be the biggest possible size, then having a 16:9 movie even bigger than that is not respecting the director's vision. I guess another way of thinking that last one is "16:9 movies don't deserve to be physically bigger than a scope movie".

I went with 16:9 since a) my room isn't wide enough to justify scope for maxed screen size and b) I am as far from a purist as you can get

BTW, I think Tim's suggestion to wait for the projector is because there are legitimately 4K reasonably priced projectors coming down the pipe, later this year. That is, your 4040 is a "Faux K" projector, as are all "4K projectors" right now that don't cost an arm and a leg. But Optoma is releasing their UHD60 this summer that will be a true 4K (well, true UHD anyway, if we want to not bow down to the diluting of the term "4K" -- it's 3840x2160) and it'll be or under $3,000.

That's not me saying that you should regret buying your 4040 since you're very likely going to love it and who can argue with that. It's more that there IS actually a reason to wait for those that are willing to wait and want the true UHD resolution for a reasonable price and that hasn't been true until very recently.
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post #17 of 72 Old 03-15-2017, 03:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes I read an article about the UHD60 and sounded promising. Of course there were already guys arguing about it "true" 4K abilities and all that but it did sound intriguing. The only thing I noticed, and I don't understand why these companies do this to us theater guys, is it's white. At least, as of today it is. That's a deal breaker unfortunately. My room isn't suited for a hush box because of the removable panels in the rear of the room. I was also looking at the Epson 5040UB which has similar specs and black levels to the 6040 pro version but it too is white. I'm assuming Optoma is going to release a higher version that is black that will be more than $3K but I could be wrong.

But yes, I do enjoy what I'm seeing out of the Epson so far. I watched Passengers last night in Faux K and it was phenomenal. I've got my new HDMI cable arriving today so I may be HDR compatible when I get that thing fished through the attic this week. Right now, I'm 4K but no HDR due to having an older cable. Next up on the wish list will be a Spectracal C6 HDR colorimeter so I can give this thing a proper full calibration.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVoth View Post
Yes I read an article about the UHD60 and sounded promising. Of course there were already guys arguing about it "true" 4K abilities and all that but it did sound intriguing. The only thing I noticed, and I don't understand why these companies do this to us theater guys, is it's white. At least, as of today it is. That's a deal breaker unfortunately. My room isn't suited for a hush box because of the removable panels in the rear of the room. I was also looking at the Epson 5040UB which has similar specs and black levels to the 6040 pro version but it too is white. I'm assuming Optoma is going to release a higher version that is black that will be more than $3K but I could be wrong.

But yes, I do enjoy what I'm seeing out of the Epson so far. I watched Passengers last night in Faux K and it was phenomenal. I've got my new HDMI cable arriving today so I may be HDR compatible when I get that thing fished through the attic this week. Right now, I'm 4K but no HDR due to having an older cable. Next up on the wish list will be a Spectracal C6 HDR colorimeter so I can give this thing a proper full calibration.
came here from your post in the official 4040 thread JV. I am sure you are gonna love the 4040 as I know I do and I am with you, the mfrs should get their heads on straight....there is no way I would want a white projector in my theater room. Good luck with everything!
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post #19 of 72 Old 03-16-2017, 03:47 AM
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I remember following your first build.
Always interesting to see the priorities of a second build.
I particularly liked your last objective, "No Credit Card".
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post #20 of 72 Old 03-16-2017, 05:23 AM
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Would love to see how it turns out. Keep posting the pictures.

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post #21 of 72 Old 03-16-2017, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Good to have you along. Due to my impatience, I decided to buy the projector early but I will be waiting on a pre/pro or receiver. Those things drop in price quickly. Accessories4less is a great way to pick up Onkyo, Integra, Denon and Marantz stuff for several hundred less than MSRP. Right now a Denon X4300 is $1300 on Amazon. By the end of the year, it will be a 2 year old model but will still have everything I need. 11 channel processing/pre outs (only 9 amplified though), HDMI 2.0, Atmos and DTS:X, and Audyssee Platinum. I foresee models similar to this going for under $1000 very very soon.

Also, due to impatience, as I said in an earlier post, I decided to order the Samsung 4K player this past weekend. The Xbox One S is a really nice player but right now I need 2 HDMI outputs. I'm sure there will be more models next year, but I guess I've taken an early adopter attitude on theater 2.0. Plus, I got it for under $200. I had an Oppo in Theater 1.0, and I'll be honest, I couldn't tell the difference in sound or video quality between it, a PS4, or a 4 year old LG blu ray player, so, I decided I'm not dropping $500 on a player when one for $200 gets the job done.
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post #22 of 72 Old 03-17-2017, 04:43 AM
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OK, just now coming up for a gasp of air with sufficient time to post. Last weekend could be summed up in two words: projectile vomit. Ahhhh...the joy of young kids, right?

A best practice for HVAC is supply at the front and return at the rear. Given your room layout and supply ducts, I would absolutely shorten them so they discharge near the front of the room. You need to use a diffuser which blows away from the screen so the screen material itself doesn't act like a sail and 'flap' in the HVAC movement. If you are using two 7" flex supplies in the front, a single 8" return line will be sufficient in most cases (hard to say exactly without measurements and full detail of your system). Put the rear return slightly behind the seating area and off to either one side or another.

Your response to Tedd above confuses me since your home is a single level and you have full access to the theater ceiling from the attic above. Your supply and return takeoffs would attach to the main trunk lines, go into the attic and down through the theater ceiling. Easy peasy.

Are you looking to enclose the projector as a way of removing projector heat from the room? If so, there are stand-alone systems to force ventilate the box, discharging outside the theater...OR...you can attach a 4" flex duct extension off the new return air box to pull the heat into your HVAC's return system. This is what I am doing, FYI. I can get into more detail later, but you will need to introduce an in-line damper to tailor the amount of air you are pulling through the projector box with the HVAC system.

For speakers, I'd highly recommend 1099s for your LCRs. You would be hard-pressed to find any better for the price. Volt 6s or Volt 10s for sides / rears...assuming you can build them into your room to meet your goal of all speakers being hidden. This also makes them tough to use for Atmos if your goal is to hide the speakers. The bottom line is you may want to consider exposing the Atmos speakers so you can get the proper positioning toward the MLP. Otherwise you are left with some very pricey in-ceiling speakers which have the necessary polar response / dispersion to properly do Atmos while pointing straight down and flush with the ceiling.

For the screen, have you considered a constant image area screen size of 2.0:1. This will give you the best of both worlds....the largest 16:9 image possible in your room and the largest cinemascope image possible in your room. Going with a 2.40:1 screen is going to limit the size of your 16:9 image. Since you game and watch a lot of TV, this could be a big minus. Just something for you to consider before selecting your next screen.

How do you plan to get the power to your new powered reclining chairs?
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post #23 of 72 Old 03-17-2017, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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OK, just now coming up for a gasp of air with sufficient time to post. Last weekend could be summed up in two words: projectile vomit. Ahhhh...the joy of young kids, right?

A best practice for HVAC is supply at the front and return at the rear. Given your room layout and supply ducts, I would absolutely shorten them so they discharge near the front of the room. You need to use a diffuser which blows away from the screen so the screen material itself doesn't act like a sail and 'flap' in the HVAC movement. If you are using two 7" flex supplies in the front, a single 8" return line will be sufficient in most cases (hard to say exactly without measurements and full detail of your system). Put the rear return slightly behind the seating area and off to either one side or another.

Your response to Tedd above confuses me since your home is a single level and you have full access to the theater ceiling from the attic above. Your supply and return takeoffs would attach to the main trunk lines, go into the attic and down through the theater ceiling. Easy peasy.

Are you looking to enclose the projector as a way of removing projector heat from the room? If so, there are stand-alone systems to force ventilate the box, discharging outside the theater...OR...you can attach a 4" flex duct extension off the new return air box to pull the heat into your HVAC's return system. This is what I am doing, FYI. I can get into more detail later, but you will need to introduce an in-line damper to tailor the amount of air you are pulling through the projector box with the HVAC system.

For speakers, I'd highly recommend 1099s for your LCRs. You would be hard-pressed to find any better for the price. Volt 6s or Volt 10s for sides / rears...assuming you can build them into your room to meet your goal of all speakers being hidden. This also makes them tough to use for Atmos if your goal is to hide the speakers. The bottom line is you may want to consider exposing the Atmos speakers so you can get the proper positioning toward the MLP. Otherwise you are left with some very pricey in-ceiling speakers which have the necessary polar response / dispersion to properly do Atmos while pointing straight down and flush with the ceiling.

For the screen, have you considered a constant image area screen size of 2.0:1. This will give you the best of both worlds....the largest 16:9 image possible in your room and the largest cinemascope image possible in your room. Going with a 2.40:1 screen is going to limit the size of your 16:9 image. Since you game and watch a lot of TV, this could be a big minus. Just something for you to consider before selecting your next screen.

How do you plan to get the power to your new powered reclining chairs?
Tim, thank you for taking the time to advise me. I know how busy life gets with 2 youngsters puking everywhere. Don't worry, though. The next 18 years will fly by. And then they'll be puking for other reasons. And hopefully that's not on the way home in a cop car like me. Or teen pregnancy like, well, me and my wife (we got lucky that we actually like each other after 20 years so it worked out ok for the Voth family). But that's enough about my life. Now down to business.

My plan for the return in the back of the room is what I was hoping would be a best practice so I'm good there. @Tedd 's suggestion was confusing to me. I hope he chimes back in because he's always very helpful as well. I'm not sure what the purpose of cutting into the main trunk would be in my situation so I've redrawn my HVAC plan. I have 2 lines going into the room already that I've pretty much converted to flex so I don't see the need to cut into the trunk and move lines around. Ted said I could shrink the soffits on one side. I don't have soffits in this room. Maybe I'm not understanding what he meant by soffits. I could move the lines if need be but I'm not sure I see why I would want to go through with that. I'm just wanting to cut some flex duct here and there and add little where needed but again, I'm willing to listen if there are better ways than what I'm thinking.





Also, do remember that I don't have a return trunk in the attic. I have a central return in a hallway and the inside a/c unit is in a bedroom closet. There is no reasonable way for me to tie into it all. Here are pictures of what I have.

Main Return


First closet in bedroom. You can see the riser that is actually the return. Yeah, it's weird.

Yes that's Santiago the chinchilla. He's good people.

Second closet in bedroom with A/C unit

It's hard to see the unit but its behind the clothes.

In my mind, the only thing I can do is to run a return from the theater room as shown in the drawing, to this location right above my main return and put an inline duct fan on the line to ensure that the air gets pulled out of the room.


I want to use some sort of Insteon controller to turn it on/off. Maybe the Insteon hub can do if/then statements. We'll have to see.

It will be essentially, a forced air return. The air will be pulled from the theater, to right where the return is in the hallway. Is it the best way to do it? I would say probably not. But I don't know of any other way to have a decent amount of return air in a room that is almost sealed off from the rest of the house. Every other room has a good sized gap under the door or no door at all. I hope the pictures make sense so you can tell if I'm headed in the right direction.

As far as the projector, I'm not really set up for a hush box in this room. I could modify my removable panels that cover up my shelves in the back of the room but I wasn't planning on building a box in my room.

Speakers - Still not sure what I'm doing there. I may keep my M&K surrounds since they don't look bad by any means. They are actually stylish and modern looking even though they are 15 years old. I do like those 1099's like you suggested for the LCR's. But there are a lot of good looking products from DIY Soundgroup so I'm going to have to agonize over the speaker quandary for a while it seems.

Screen - I'm going to research more about the CIA setup. I know it will be a bit more expensive because of the extra masking panels but that may not matter. I also have to ensure that if I go 16:9 or CIA, that the screen won't so tall that heads get in seats, get in the way. I don't think it will be a problem for CIA but it may be a problem for 16:9.

Seating - power recliners aren't a necessity. I would like them but it may not be in the cards. In order to get power to the chairs, I would buy super fancy looking end table and place it on the far side of the room (essentially blocking an aisle) and hiding the cord under that or possibly buying a sectional.
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post #24 of 72 Old 03-17-2017, 04:29 PM
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I dusted off and upgraded my TMcGoogle(R) SketchUp software to make you this drawing...uh....I mean, rendering....:



Here's what I would do, which mirrors @Tedd suggestions:
  • Remove all rigid pipe for your two current supplies
  • Reuse the existing take off on the right side (of the drawing) by converting to 7" flex directly from the main trunk line
  • Close off the second (left) supply at the main trunk line and remove all the rigid and flex line
  • Cut a new 7" take off in the supply trunk line for the left supply. Use a short run of 7" flex attached to this take off
  • Run 8" flex from your source location (see additional comments below) to a new 14x14 box in your theater ceiling at the suggested location. 8" flex can approach the duct box from the top or the side

Quote:
Originally Posted by JVoth View Post
Also, do remember that I don't have a return trunk in the attic. I have a central return in a hallway and the inside a/c unit is in a bedroom closet. There is no reasonable way for me to tie into it all. Here are pictures of what I have.


Yes that's Santiago the chinchilla. He's good people.

In my mind, the only thing I can do is to run a return from the theater room as shown in the drawing, to this location right above my main return and put an inline duct fan on the line to ensure that the air gets pulled out of the room.
I know you are trying to do this on the cheap and dirty, but I strongly urge you to consider this suggestion....in the back corner of this closet cut in an 8" rigid pipe into the return air plenum, running it straight up the back of the closet and into the attic. Convert to 8" flex once in the attic and run to your new 14"x14" theater return box. You can enclose this 8" pipe in the closet with basic framing and drywall...OR....simply insulate this rigid duct with insulative pipe wrap (silver stuff). This approach also allows for you to include a mechanical damper to tailor the amount of return coming from the theater room so it is in-balance with the amount of supply.

I believe you have a NEST thermostat in the hallway, correct? Well, you can easily turn on the HVAC fan (or the system itself) using your NEST app which will force-ventilate the theater room, even if the heating or cooling isn't running. Forget the Insteon switch, in-line Fantech fan, getting high voltage to this fan and all the other installation considerations you have to deal with. Force ventilating through the HVAC system is the overwhelmingly preferred option.

Bottom line...Santiago may be good people, but he'll have to take one for the team to help heal your Level 5 swamp a$$.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JVoth View Post
Speakers - I do like those 1099's like you suggested for the LCR's. But there are a lot of good looking products from DIY Soundgroup so I'm going to have to agonize over the speaker quandary for a while it seems.
I've done the research. You'll end up at 1099s....or at least you *should* end up at 1099s. For your size of room and performance with your new subs, they are the perfect fit and extremely good sound quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JVoth View Post
Screen - I'm going to research more about the CIA setup. I know it will be a bit more expensive because of the extra masking panels but that may not matter. I also have to ensure that if I go 16:9 or CIA, that the screen won't so tall that heads get in seats, get in the way. I don't think it will be a problem for CIA but it may be a problem for 16:9.
I'm with you on heads interfering with the bottom of the picture, but 99% of the time you are front row in the big recliners. Overflow is in the back, but even then heads are staggered. It's a compromise I would make for the relatively limited time you'll have a packed house and have someone complain that the very bottom of a 16:9 image is slightly chopped off by someone's head. If the people in the front are even slightly reclining or relaxing in the seat, heads will definitely not be in the way. To save a few bucks you could get the CIA screen now and then pop for the manual masking panels down the road.
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post #25 of 72 Old 03-18-2017, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I see what you're saying now Tim. Thank you for upgrading TMcGoogle(R) before posting, btw. It made a huge difference in the rendering.
In any case, I was in fact trying to avoid cutting into the return riser but I think it may be easier than running power to an inline fan, etc, now that you've explained it to me. It's probably just a few hours worth of work and it would be done the right way. I'm probably not going to drywall over the 8" rigid duct in the closet so I don't have to tape, float and try to match texture. I would just frame it, insulate it, cover with a nice smooth faced plywood caulk and paint it. My youngest is moving off to Austin to go to UT this summer so I could just work on it then.

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post #26 of 72 Old 03-19-2017, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TMcG View Post
For the screen, have you considered a constant image area screen size of 2.0:1. This will give you the best of both worlds....the largest 16:9 image possible in your room and the largest cinemascope image possible in your room. Going with a 2.40:1 screen is going to limit the size of your 16:9 image. Since you game and watch a lot of TV, this could be a big minus. Just something for you to consider before selecting your next screen.
I actually disagree with that assertion as-stated, since maximizing the size of any particular ration within the confines of a physical screen size is entirely dependent on the physical size of the room. That is to say, there's no one screen size ratio that is always going to be the best of both worlds.

For instance, let's say we have a room where we are going to use the entire front wall as the potential screen -- no stages, no soffits, nothing to get in the way. Let's compare a 2.0:1, 16:9, and 2.35:1 physical screen with both a 16:9 and 2.35:1 image projected onto it.

Wall Size: 15' x 8' - Slightly bigger than this theater

2.0:1 Screen Size: 15' x 7'-6" (112 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 13'-4" x 7'-6" (100 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 15' x 6'-5" (96 sq ft)

16:9 Screen Size: 14'-2" x 8' (113 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 14'-2" x 8' (113 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 14'-2" x 6' (85 sq ft)

2.35:1 Screen Size: 15' x 6'-5" (96 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 11'-4" x 6'-5" (73 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 15' x 6'-5" (96 sq ft)

What we see in this case is that a 2.0:1 screen has a notably bigger scope image than a 16:9 screen and only marginally smaller 16:9 image. Thus, if most of the video played in this hypothetical theater were scope movies, then a 2.0:1 screen could make the most sense.

Wall Size: 11' x 8' - More realistic for this theater

2.0:1 Screen Size: 11' x 5'-6" (60 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 9'-9" x 5'-6" (54 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 11' x 4'-8" (51 sq ft)

16:9 Screen Size: 11' x 6'-2" (68 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 11' x 6'-2" (68 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 11' x 4'-8" (51 sq ft)

2.35:1 Screen Size: 11' x 4'-8" (51 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 8'-3" x 4'-8" (39 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 11' x 4'-8" (51 sq ft)

Now we're into a maximum screen size that is more in line with JVoth's specific dimensions. Because of the room's width constraint, we see that a scope image is identical regardless of the physical screen size. But if we are watching a 16:9 source, then the 2.0:1 screen only allows for a substantially smaller image than a 16:9 screen. Therefore, regardless of the majority content played in this theater, a 16:9 physical screen will always permit the largest possible image.

If you have a room that's wider than 19' (assuming 8' height), then a scope screen will always give the most bang for the buck.

But maybe there are restrictions like stages or soffits or maybe there are columns in the way or speakers or maybe the height is actually 10' and not 8' or maybe the screen material is limited to 5'... and on and on. Every physical restriction creates new bounds for the math and each bound will create differently optimized sizes.

TL;DR - there is no "best of both worlds" screen size for all room sizes -- it's all math given physical constraints.
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post #27 of 72 Old 03-19-2017, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granroth View Post
I actually disagree with that assertion as-stated, since maximizing the size of any particular ration within the confines of a physical screen size is entirely dependent on the physical size of the room. That is to say, there's no one screen size ratio that is always going to be the best of both worlds.

For instance, let's say we have a room where we are going to use the entire front wall as the potential screen -- no stages, no soffits, nothing to get in the way. Let's compare a 2.0:1, 16:9, and 2.35:1 physical screen with both a 16:9 and 2.35:1 image projected onto it.

Wall Size: 15' x 8' - Slightly bigger than this theater

2.0:1 Screen Size: 15' x 7'-6" (112 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 13'-4" x 7'-6" (100 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 15' x 6'-5" (96 sq ft)

16:9 Screen Size: 14'-2" x 8' (113 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 14'-2" x 8' (113 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 14'-2" x 6' (85 sq ft)

2.35:1 Screen Size: 15' x 6'-5" (96 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 11'-4" x 6'-5" (73 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 15' x 6'-5" (96 sq ft)

What we see in this case is that a 2.0:1 screen has a notably bigger scope image than a 16:9 screen and only marginally smaller 16:9 image. Thus, if most of the video played in this hypothetical theater were scope movies, then a 2.0:1 screen could make the most sense.

Wall Size: 11' x 8' - More realistic for this theater

2.0:1 Screen Size: 11' x 5'-6" (60 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 9'-9" x 5'-6" (54 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 11' x 4'-8" (51 sq ft)

16:9 Screen Size: 11' x 6'-2" (68 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 11' x 6'-2" (68 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 11' x 4'-8" (51 sq ft)

2.35:1 Screen Size: 11' x 4'-8" (51 sq ft)
16:9 Image: 8'-3" x 4'-8" (39 sq ft)
2.35:1 Image: 11' x 4'-8" (51 sq ft)

Now we're into a maximum screen size that is more in line with JVoth's specific dimensions. Because of the room's width constraint, we see that a scope image is identical regardless of the physical screen size. But if we are watching a 16:9 source, then the 2.0:1 screen only allows for a substantially smaller image than a 16:9 screen. Therefore, regardless of the majority content played in this theater, a 16:9 physical screen will always permit the largest possible image.

If you have a room that's wider than 19' (assuming 8' height), then a scope screen will always give the most bang for the buck.

But maybe there are restrictions like stages or soffits or maybe there are columns in the way or speakers or maybe the height is actually 10' and not 8' or maybe the screen material is limited to 5'... and on and on. Every physical restriction creates new bounds for the math and each bound will create differently optimized sizes.

TL;DR - there is no "best of both worlds" screen size for all room sizes -- it's all math given physical constraints.
Granroth, room width is 11' and height is indeed 8' so you hit the nail on the head there. I love the research all of you guys put into stuff because it makes a real impact on how people design a room. I am going to follow TMcG's advice on the return air and probably the 1099's as well. Thanks @TMcG ! Screen size though, I'm still super nervous about because I've already made one mistake by getting a 2.40:1, 100" wide screen. Way too small. Then I went to 16:9. Still too small but still pretty freakin good. The 10' 16:9 may be too big. I know that "too big" may not sound feasible in today's HT landscape but I just thought about the bottom of the image if I'm reclined in the front row, which is 90% of the time. I think my feet may get in the way instead of my head. In fact, I just tested it, and mine or anyone else sitting in the front row will have that problem if it is actually a problem. Is that an issue you think or is it really nothing to worry about?

10' Wide Screen
16:9 = 120" x 68" - What I really want and least expensive due to Elite Screens' offering. I would rather a Seymour like I have now but we'll see how cash flows at that time.
CIA = 120" x 60" - Excellent but expensive compromise due to masking panels and the fact that I have to use Seymour. Not really a bad thing but they are about a grand more than Elite.
2.37:1 = 120" x 51" - We watch a ton of movies but 16:9 content suffers greatly so probably not happening.

Granroth, by the way, I took a page out of your book and did a little testing today. I'll share in the following posts.
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post #28 of 72 Old 03-19-2017, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post
For the screen, have you considered a constant image area screen size of 2.0:1. This will give you the best of both worlds....the largest 16:9 image possible in your room and the largest cinemascope image possible in your room. Going with a 2.40:1 screen is going to limit the size of your 16:9 image. Since you game and watch a lot of TV, this could be a big minus. Just something for you to consider before selecting your next screen.
I use a 2.0 ratio screen and love it. You are absolutely right; scope images lose the "Wow!" on a standard 16:9, and 16:9 images seem tiny on a scope screen. A fixed area screen ratio is the answer. I am surprised 2.0 screens are not more popular, but I guess high end installs would require 4-way masking and more average builds are looking for a more off the shelf solution.
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post #29 of 72 Old 03-19-2017, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Monoprice Luxe Series Cable Test

As you know the purpose of this thread is to upgrade my existing theater with more modern sound and video formats. The first phase has been to upgrade to 4K or Faux K and HDR. I bought an Epson Pro 4040 that I'm so far, very happy with. My source was going to be an Xbox One S. The only problem with that, I discovered, was that the Xbox has only one HDMI output and my Marantz receiver/pre pro is not 4K compatible. So, I had to buy the Samsung K8500 4K player. It was an unexpected purchase but it was under $200 so no big deal. At least I thought. Along with that, I had to buy a new HDMI cable that could supply the projector with the full HDMI 2.0 signal. I went to Monoprice, trusted their specs, and purchased a Luxe Series 40' HDMI cable that could pass 4K@60Hz/18GB. After reading some more, I found out that HDMI cable manufacturers are like speaker cable manufacturers. In other words, they aren't exactly honest about their claims. Some guys have posted on AVS the results from an article about HDMI 2.0 cable specs and whether they actually meet the specifications they claim to. Turns out, there a few that do meet the specs and many that do not. The only issue with the article as someone pointed out in Brolicbeast's thread, is that the cable lengths are all inconsistent. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about possibly wasting a bunch of time and $50 on a cable that may not work. As I stated earlier, my new cable is 40' long and advertised to pass the full HDMI 2.0 workload. My previous cable is a Monoprice Redmere 40 footer. It will pass 4K but not HDR, at least at that length, so I had to replace it. I climbed up in the attic and fished this down the wall. It was not easy. I have no idea how one guy could do this without someone down there receiving the wire. I bought some Klein fish rods and the job would not have been possible without them. It's a highly recommended purchase for those that DIY (or try to) jobs like this.

Got it finished, and fired up the Xbox and ran the little test it provides. Previously, it said I was capable of 4K@24Hz. Now it's saying 4K@60HZ so I know the cable made some kind of difference, however, no HDR, no 10 bit video. Weird. I tried everything. The Xbox and Epson just won't work together as far as I know.

I decided it was time to fire up, for the first time, my new dedicated K8500 and see what happens. It turns out these things have a lot of bugs, latest firmware or not. It did send my projector into HDR mode though. Finally!

Here's what I got from the Epson's Info Screen:



It looks like it didn't pass 4:4:4 up sampling but got other things right. With the Samsung it did not pass 60Hz but did pass 10 bit color depth. It says 12 but that's not a true 12 according to Epson. The Xbox passed 60Hz but nothing else. It does actually say "SDR" under Color Format with the Xbox, so another oddity. I have everything set to Auto on the Samsung source so I'll try different settings later to see what I can get. However things go, HDR is what I was truly after.

Like many others, I have an inconclusive test here. I have 4K and HDR but not the Chroma Upsampling (not that I could tell either way). I have 2 different players that seem to do 2 different things. I couldn't imagine it's the cable though. @lovingdvd said in another thread that different sources and different AVR's mean different results. I would have to agree here. I will say that I don't think it's the cable though. I think the main thing that I have taken from this, is that HDMI 2.0 isn't quite stable.
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Last edited by JVoth; 03-19-2017 at 03:40 PM.
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post #30 of 72 Old 03-20-2017, 05:40 AM
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The dirty little secret of front projection this side of $60,000 is that the projectors are not bright enough - and therefore not capable - of producing HDR. All of the projectors fall substantially short. You're much better off focusing on wide color gamut than anything else. It will bring you the most meaningful difference over standard HD signals. @lovingdvd can tell you all about it in greater detail. The bottom line is your projector may have the ability to recognize when it is receiving HDR and tell you as much on the info display....but you are definitely NOT reaching even the minimum HDR specs of 1000 nits.

One last comment regarding the screen....If you get the largest 2.40 screen you can, your 16:9 size will still be limited. CIA is the only aspect which allows you the possibility of getting the largest images of each. I can understand if you are FULLY reclined and specifically looking over your toes how part of the screen could be visually interrupted. But just like your theater is not filled to capacity 99% of the time, so too do you not watch most of your content fully reclined. Perhaps partially reclined, but your head is still well above your feet and giving you proper sight lines. Plus, even if there was a very minor disruption, is that any worse than a concert, public movie or live event??? Right now it seems you are ruling it out because of one extreme seating position which is almost never used for sustained watching.
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