Raleigh, NC - Triangle Area Hi Tech Mecca for HT - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 04-21-2003, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Who else on these forums is from the Triangle (the Silicion Valley of the East) Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area (including Cary) .

My theater is almost done and I'd like to get some hands on reviews of how I did, network with some others and share thoughts and suggestions.

Let's find out who's here. Who's here? Tell us your level of involvement and what you'd like to see in a Raleigh HT Club?
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post #2 of 39 Old 04-21-2003, 07:50 PM
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I'm in Durham.. close to the Streets at SouthPoint and RTP.

I've just got a moderate HT setup, but am really into HDTV, DirecTV and TiVo.

"There's such a fine line between stupid and clever" - David St. Hubbins
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post #3 of 39 Old 04-22-2003, 05:25 AM
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I'm really closest to the center of RTP. I'm Morrisville, my subdivision literally shares a property line with an undeveloped section of RTP, from my front door, I could probably reach RTP property with a good potato gun. ;)

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post #4 of 39 Old 04-22-2003, 06:01 AM
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I just moved from Portland Oregon to Cary. We are located near Prestonwood Golf course, off of Cary Parkway and High House road. We have a very small setup (RCA F38310) that we have had for about a year. Our old house in Portland was a bit small and I couldn't talk my wife into a larger set, however now that she has been exposed to HD, my next sale to her should be much easier.

We have a simple rooftop antenna and get all the major digital broadcasts with the exception of UNC/PBS 4.1-4.x That seems to come and go for us.
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post #5 of 39 Old 04-23-2003, 06:21 AM
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I'm in the Triangle area and hosted a front projector meet last year. We had a turnout of about 25 local HT enthusiests from AVS. Do a search in the under 5K Front PJ forum for Apex Meet to see who came and the results of our reviews. I have a full blown dedicated FP HT (see links in sig) and have seen maybe a half a dozen other local enthusiests setups. There are more of us around than you would think :D
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post #6 of 39 Old 04-23-2003, 12:22 PM
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I'm in Cary, off the Cary Parkway up by Harrison. I'm in the final process of building my dedicated HT. It's just awating carpet and the equipment. And hopefully those will be coming soon.

Rob
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post #7 of 39 Old 04-23-2003, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in Cary also. Barco CRT Projection System with HTPC Just waiting on the last shipment of furniture and need to add few pieces of trim molding on the wall size cabinets that I'm building and I can call it done (one year later).

Robertmee, I couldn't find your post about the meeting you had last year. Must have gotten archived. Gallery is offine for now, I would have liked to see your final product.
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post #8 of 39 Old 04-23-2003, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dafra
I'm in Cary also. Barco CRT Projection System with HTPC Just waiting on the last shipment of furniture and need to add few pieces of trim molding on the wall size cabinets that I'm building and I can call it done (one year later).

Robertmee, I couldn't find your post about the meeting you had last year. Must have gotten archived. Gallery is offine for now, I would have liked to see your final product.
Dafra,

Here's the original thread that started it all:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=155056

And the follow up thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=159436

I don't have any pics in the gallery, but if you click on the ALMOST DONE link in my signature, you will see almost completed photos in my Yahoo Album.
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post #9 of 39 Old 04-24-2003, 12:00 PM
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Hey,

I'm in N. Raleigh. I've been a lurker in this group for months, and have just now made a purchase.

I bought the Sammy HLN507w from Now Audio/Visual. They have a delivery date of May 10. I'm pretty excited about it.

I'm looking to build a PCHT to go with it, and use the system some for PC games. I'm not sure how that will pan out, but I'm a casual PC hacker and looking forward to the challenge.

I just purchased the Avia DVD off the web (should be here sometime next week). I'm interested in seeing someone that has an HLM or HLN set up. I probably need to manage my expectations some when it comes to SD and DVD, but it's always nice to see if someone else has been able to get a better picture to know for sure if you haven't hit your PQ ceiling.

Does anyone here use their DLP or GW II for PC Gaming?

Bill
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post #10 of 39 Old 04-30-2003, 12:51 PM
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I live in NW Raleigh and attended Roberts gettogther last year.

I just purchased a Sony HS10 and am in the process of building a
screen and mounting it in my dedicated HT.
Should be finished this weekend.
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post #11 of 39 Old 05-03-2003, 08:37 PM
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Right now i live in off of Glenwood Ave near the car max dealer. I am building a house in North Raleigh though shuold be done in August. I have a decent audio set up in my aprartment but plan on building a dedicated home theater in my new house.

--Corey
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post #12 of 39 Old 05-05-2003, 08:40 PM
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I've just finished up my hvac, carpet, hung the projector etc. Now I just need reciever/speakers. So where does everyone shop locally. I've been to "Now" but wasn't that impressed. I've heard audio advice is good, but haven't had a chance to check it out. (hopefully this doesn't violate the who has the best price rule) I was just curious as what local shops were good.

Rob
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post #13 of 39 Old 05-06-2003, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rfreitag
I've just finished up my hvac, carpet, hung the projector etc. Now I just need reciever/speakers. So where does everyone shop locally. I've been to "Now" but wasn't that impressed. I've heard audio advice is good, but haven't had a chance to check it out. (hopefully this doesn't violate the who has the best price rule) I was just curious as what local shops were good.

Rob
I furnished my HT exclusively through Ebay, AVS classifieds, HomeTheaterForums classifieds and the usegroup Triangle.Forsale. I scored some phenomenal deals of barely used equipment, many with warranties still intact. With many HTers smitten with upgradeitus, there are always bargains to be found.

Unless you have deep pockets, I wouldn't recommend any of the local AV stores, but that's just me, cause I'm cheap :D
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post #14 of 39 Old 05-06-2003, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Prat
I live in NW Raleigh and attended Roberts gettogther last year.

I just purchased a Sony HS10 and am in the process of building a
screen and mounting it in my dedicated HT.
Should be finished this weekend.
Congrats! How did you hold out for a full year :)
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post #15 of 39 Old 05-06-2003, 02:23 PM
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I'm in North Raleigh between Six Forks and Falls. Modest setup, I guess. Barco 808s CRT projector throwing a 115 inch image at 1440 X 960P desktop resolution, being fed by HTPC.

Audio is still two channel because I'm a tubehead and can't stand the sound of solid state electronics. However, currently I'm using a couple of computer speakers because my last customer bought my main speakers right out from under me. Ahhhhh, the joys of building custom speakers and educating unknowing people that Circuit City and Best Buy are not where you want to shop :) I always love it when people can't get their jaws up off the floor....... had a few kids as part of Big Brothers/Big Sisters over this past friday night for pizza and Harry Potter..... it was a riot to see how big their eyes got when they saw the movie on the big screen... made my day...

I just got into HDTV this past week when I ordered a couple HD tuner cards for a computer I was putting together for someone. As anyone who's visited the RTP OTA thread can attest, I'm hooked and now am going full bore to try and get good reception to tune all the channels....

-------------------
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post #16 of 39 Old 05-07-2003, 10:36 AM
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"Congrats! How did you hold out for a full year "

Thanks, I really wanted to get one last year since my HT has been
finished for about 2years(been using an old 42" RPTV), but having a baby
put it on hold for a while, plus I was still on the fence as to what PJ I
wanted.
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post #17 of 39 Old 05-07-2003, 10:54 AM
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"I've just finished up my hvac, carpet, hung the projector etc. Now I just need reciever/speakers. So where does everyone shop locally. I've been to "Now" but wasn't that impressed. I've heard audio advice is good, but haven't had a chance to check it out. (hopefully this doesn't violate the who has the best price rule) I was just curious as what local shops were good.

Rob"

Rob,
I've purchased AV components from both NOW A/V and Audio Advice, and I
will never buy anything else from NOW A/V ever again.
Mainly because the manager of the Raleigh store screwed me over one
time, plus all the salespeople in there are clueless. Not to mention that
when they have "sales" they are basically discounting products not much
lower than MSRP.

If you want quality components and knowledgeable staff, Audio Advice is
the place to go. Granted that they are not for the budget minded person,
but they will discount most items by 10-15%, only if you ask/bargain with
them.
Although I have not bought much HT gear from Audio Advice, I have purchased 2 pairs of speakers and my whole house audio components from
them.
Another place in the triangle to look, especially for amps or speakers, is
the guy on Hillsborough St(Audio exchange, I think its called).
He has some pretty good brands, and is reasonably priced.
There is also a guy in Cary on Kildare Farm + Cary Pkwy, who's kinda
flakey and very opinionated, I wasn't impressed with anything he has
either, but it's worth a look.
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post #18 of 39 Old 05-07-2003, 11:16 PM
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I am a former student here in Durham. I don't have anything like the setups you guys do (projectors), but like to look. I really don't have room. I work a bit at the local CC for now. We should setup a meet.
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post #19 of 39 Old 05-08-2003, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Shane (ssangste):
Our configs may be similar - I've got a Barco Graphics 800 with HTPC, but am running:
- HTPC 1280x720p
- TimeWarner HDTV 1080i

I'd love to tweak the HTPC up to 1440x960, but it's so fragile that I'm a bit afraid to try. My PC Display (not the Barco) only supports 1280 x 1024 and I've "accidentally" managed to get the Radeon 7500 to output 1280x720 via the overlays.

Do you like the results of 960p over 720p?
Is it worth risking the stability I've got right now?
Do you find the Barco 808 focus stable enough for 1440 Or are you constantly tweaking?
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post #20 of 39 Old 05-08-2003, 10:40 AM
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dafra,

I really like 1440 X 960. It's definitely starting to push the 8 inch tubes to their upper limits, but it doesn't exceed them at all.

My 808s has just turned 1200 hours on the chassis. I got lucky and picked up one that had 300 original hours on it. In truth, I don't run it all that much because I am usually so busy with other things. But it has definitely been put through its paces the past week watching hi def stuff...

anyways, I mention this to say that if I haven't been using it regularily, it takes a couple hours of warm up before it sharpens up and the convergence drifts back into perfect alignment. The truth of the matter is that since I just moved into this new place not long ago, I stuck the projector in the air, took about 30 minutes and roughed it in with no exact measurements, and it has been good enough that I haven't felt the need to go through a full blown setup... it's on my "To Do" list, but it keeps getting superceded by other things. It still needs to be done, but the desktop is really sharp as it is now. It's mostly corner focus that needs to be worked on just a little.

I tried 1280 X 720 and didn't really like it as much. 1440X960 looked better scaling DVDs and I liked the larger desktop area. One added benefit of the 1.5 aspect ratio screen just came to light watching HDTV. The WB and UPN (as well as some fox stuff) is broadcasting 4:3 stuff in a 16:9 aspect ratio. By setting the screen to 4:3 fixed in the Fusion software, instead of having an exaggerated horizontally stretched image in a 16:9 area, I am getting a full 115 inch *slightly* horizontally stretched image that looks really really good. I like the effect.

the 800 uses the MEC tubes does it not?? I had a regular 808 just before this 808s with the MEC tubes and it liked 1440X960P as well. Wasn't quite as sharp when fully focused as the 808s, but it was pretty good.

do everything electronically and test out 1440X960p. unless there is something different about the 800 it should have stored memories that remember each resolution. As long as you don't have to change anything mechanically, you should be able to test and then revert back if you don't like it....

-------------------
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post #21 of 39 Old 05-08-2003, 10:53 AM
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oops... double post... sorry!

-------------------
Shane
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post #22 of 39 Old 05-09-2003, 11:22 AM
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Thanks for the input on the local stores. I've already bought most of my stuff online, but I still need to pick up some speakers and seating. Hopefully within the month my theater will be complete.

Rob
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post #23 of 39 Old 05-19-2003, 02:03 PM
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Hi folks, just poked my head in the HT Meets forum for the first time in months! Looks like some momentum is slowly building to try for another Triangle HT meet; I made it over to Robertmee's in Apex last year and definitely enjoyed it, so I'd love to do another one. Maybe Mark Hunter could be talked into bringing his expertise and some of his goodies again. :)

I'm in SE Durham, near Hwy 55 & Carpenter-Fletcher (1 mile north of 54/55 intersection). Don't have a dedicated room, but I've enjoyed my "LT150 enhanced" living room for close to 2 years now.
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post #24 of 39 Old 05-19-2003, 02:14 PM
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On local stores... particularly speakers. IMO, by far the best selection locally is at Audio Advice. While they certainly live up to the high end, high price aura for the most part, they do have some reasonably priced models and their annual sale is in the fall. (October I think.) Good folks and will treat you well, plus they have a policy that you can get 100% credit for your speakers toward an upgrade within 1 year. For various reasons I don't much care for speaker selection (Now, except for Martin Logan) or service (Advanced Audio in Cary) at other local stores, except for one tiny store on 15-501 in Durham (Dashboard Audio, mainly car gear) that sells Paradigm.
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post #25 of 39 Old 05-31-2003, 03:05 AM
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Hi guys!
I'm in Cary, very close to the Y. I have an NEC 9200 on the ceiling with the cover hanging open and two boxes of HTPC parts quietly waiting their turn. But the room itself is pretty much done and the beer is cold! Anyone want to do any kind of get-together - large, small, planned, or impromptu - just let me know. I probably walk or drive by some of your houses regularly, and vice-versa :)
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post #26 of 39 Old 05-31-2003, 03:08 AM
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Now that I think of it, I'll bet a hands-on-setup-calibration-and htpc-building meet would be a great idea ;)
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post #27 of 39 Old 05-31-2003, 09:27 AM
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Im down for the HTPC setup meet. I don't have either a projector or a HTPC yet but I know computers very well and could probably help and or learn alot about it.

--Corey
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post #28 of 39 Old 06-02-2003, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm interested in a session to learn to calibrate, too. I've got a complete room (there's always more to do) and a Barco Graphics 800 on the ceiling just demanding to use more of it's 1600x1200 capability (it's at 1280x720p right now).

Is beer is conducive to calibration? ;)

Regards, Dave (in West Cary)
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post #29 of 39 Old 06-02-2003, 01:18 PM
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Holy wopping crap, I am interested in moving to this area and I had no idea that there were so many HT enthusiasts around.
Any future meets and I will drive down.

The Entertainment Cave II coming soon.

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post #30 of 39 Old 06-04-2003, 06:45 AM
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I live in south Durham close to South Point mall. I am just completing my dedicated 19x20 HT room. My wife and I attended Robertmee's Apex meet which was very imformative and fun, and I would love to do it again!

I have had 4 individuals (from the RTP area with HT rooms/plans) over to demo my speakers, and I believe AdilM is next on my list of visitors.:D I am running a Sharp Z10000 on a 92x52 screen. My next puchase would be an upgraded DVD player, so I would really be interested in learing more about these HTPCs and DVI DVD players. Mark Hunter is more than welcome to come over with his gear anytime! ;)

As for local stores, Mr_Prat pretty much nailed it. NOW AV pretty much sucks. Audio Advice is a great place to go for ideas, but a bit over my price range, and the guy in Cary is VERY opinionated and likes to hear himself talk but he does have some good advice from time to time. I believe he sell mostly Theta and Marantz stuff.
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