How many D-Box system owners here? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-29-2005, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I know Mr. Poindexter has D-Box and loves it. Who else is using this system? I just ordered a 340c controller, 136" wide platform and the 4600p actuators. I was told that the wider the platform, the less the effect. I am going to go this route for starters and can add additional actuators if needed. So back to my question, who else here has it and what is your confguration?


Thanks
Chris White

PS
I have a few shots of my room up on my website www.AdmitOneCinemaDesign.com
I need to say also, I am a home cinema dealer/installer. I guess I need to go ahead and list my equipment since I know that will come up.

Digital Projection Highlite Gold
(ISCO III ORDERED)
Harkness Hall 16' Wide mini-perfed 2.35 screen
Faroudja DCS (built-in DVD)
Pioneer LD-S9
JVC D-Theater
DirecTV HD-TIVO
Arcam AV8 Pre Pro
Sherbourn 7.1 Amplifier
(2) SVS Subs
Custom Sub and ADA Amplifier
(2) Buttkickers and Buttkicker Amps (these are being relagated to the back row)
JBL commercial cinema speakers
Crestron control system and CentraLite lighting control

I am adding an Escient DVD controller in a few weeks as well as a full lobby eventually :) .
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-29-2005, 08:07 AM
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Hi Chris

Off topic to D Box..wow what a theater..just like the real thing. I wish I had the space Id do the same thing.

A few questions. What is the width of your screen and if I am not mistaken your projector is not 16x9. Adding the isco 3 will give you just a little over 16x9. How do you handle scope. I keep thinking I need to add an addition to the house. Every time I see a theater like yours it give me the incentive needed to get going on the project.

Very nice :)
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-29-2005, 10:08 AM
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I know several forum members here who have D-BOX systems. Some haven't posted about them and I don't want to necessarily tell people what they have if it isn't listed in their profile or if they haven't mentioned it in posts.

Free has an Odyssee with 4 platforms using 4400p actuators.
Russ Rubman has a platform Odyssee using 4600p actuators.
Edward Jung (ekjg) has a platform Odyssee using 4400p actuators.
I have two Odyssee systems (4600p platform and 4400i vertical) and will be ordering 2-3 additional systems when the theater is finished. I will get another Odyssee vertical and a Quest Extreme, as well as a standard Quest.

Off the top of my head, I know of two additional members who haven't posted publicly about their theaters that have 2 axis systems - one with a Quest and another with an early Odyssee 2-axis unit, as well as another member who has an Odyssee w/4600p actuators and another with the 4400i in a loveseat.

If I were going to have to fathom a guess, I would estimate perhaps 5 "regular posters" have Odyssee systems, about 10 infrequent posters and there may be as many as 15-20 lurkers who have systems as well - although the lurker number would just be a complete guess.

The wider the platform, the smaller the angle of total deflection one can acchieve. There is a way around this but it involves other things that don't make it ideal for every installation.
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-29-2005, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Alan,

My screen is 16' wide and no the projector is not 16:9. Right now, I am using the programmable lens (focus, shift, zoom) to switch from 16:9 to 2.35. The projector is 1280 X 1024 and I only use 1280 X 720 portion. That will not change. However, with the lens I will be able to use 1280 X 720 for 2.35 programming as well. I will motorize the lens so that I can move it in and out of place. For non anamorphic titles (a few on DVD and all my scope laserdiscs) I will still utilize the zoom, shift and focus of the projector. Eventually, I will change out the Faroudja and go with the new processor from Digital Projection which, if I understand correctly, will allow me to leave the lens in place for non-anamorphic titles.

Mr. Poindexter,

Thanks for the reply. I am really excited to get the system up and running. You made one comment that piqued my interest: "The wider the platform, the smaller the angle of total deflection one can acchieve. There is a way around this but it involves other things that don't make it ideal for every installation." Please share. I would love to make this as effective as possible on my budget.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-30-2005, 11:41 AM
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Mr P,

How well does the system perform when there is no programming for that particular film?

Do you use it for every film?

Any other comments on how it adds to your enjoyment of a film? Or is it a fun gimmick you get bored of after a while?

Thanks,

Mark

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My kit: 15' 2.35:1 Screen Research CP2 4-way mask, JVC Z1, Lumagen Pro, Meridian 861/621/7x5500/2xSW5500
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-30-2005, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Mark,

Mr P is definitely the person to answer that and hopefully he'll chime in here. I have done and done and redone the demos of this system in every conceivable way (platform, 2 axis chair, 3 axis chair). I haven't watched an entire film but I can honestly say that after every demo I was wanting more. I can only compare this with a buttkicker in that with the BK, I am definitely enjoying the movie alot more that without it and I never get bored with that extra sensory information. This of course is at the extreme but I can't see getting bored with it just as my theater never gets boring because I can always have a new experience in there with each new film I view. Just my $0.02. I'll let you know what I think again after a couple of films with the D-Box.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-30-2005, 01:49 PM
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Mark,

When there is no existing set of F/X codes, the system can run in audio mode where it examines the LFE from the subwoofer input as well as either the front or surrounds for steering information. I use the surround for audio mode and if the film I have isn't in surround sound it is probably a VERY old film that doesn't have much to add in the way of motion (think: The Philadelphia Story). It will examine not only the frequency and amplitude of the signal, but also channel seperation and phase shift and runs through an algorithm to generate a set of motion commands for the controllers on the fly. It works much better than a buttkicker, but nowhere near as well as the pre-programmed films.

I don't use it for every film, but almost all. I didn't use it for Napolean Dynamite, for example and I don't use it for films that have a very poor soundtrack as those films are generally not mainstream so they are not in the library of F/X codes and don't do well in audio mode due to the poor soundtrack. Outside of really old my daughter's educational videos, B&W films and some Indie stuff, I pretty much use it on all films.

I have heard lots of people say it is a gimmick that you would get tired of after a couple of hours, but not once from anybody who has sat in one for a couple of hours. Generally I hear that from dealers who don't sell them. Those same dealers will tell me why brand X their competitor sells is nowhere near as good as brand Y that they sell.

I can tell you my progression with D-BOX. I went to the Widescreen Review open house to see the JVC D-Theater. While there, I got to sit on the Odyssee. I decided I had to get one and was more impressed with the Odyssee than the D-Theater (although the D-Theater was impressive). WSR said they would review the motion codes for each title that was programmed.

A little while later, I purchased my Odyssee. (I wasn't yet in the business so I bought it as a consumer and not a dealer). I asked WSR where the reviews were and they told me they didn't have manpower to do them. Since I planned on watching all their films, I volunteered and started reviewing the films.

Later, when I got into the custom home theater business, I became a D-BOX dealer. I continued reviewing the codes for a while, but since I wasn't getting paid to do them and the last batch of 20 or so reviews never made it into WSR's disc review database, I stopped writing the reviews.

I purchased a 2-axis Odyssee - the pre-curser to the Quest system. I also went through the entire library of films at the time (around 450) and increased the number of versions of CD's that they would be able to sync with since I owned every title they programmed (and I am still around 95% of the full list owned today).

Later, D-BOX was looking for somebody to train new dealers, although the system is so simple that there isn't really that much to train people on except how to sell them, how to give a good demo and the best ways to explain how the system works and why it is so revolutionary. They called me to see if I was interested and I went through the training at the facility and met all the programmers, saw all the steps in manufacturing, etc. It was amazing.

I did a little testing with the PC3 series 3 controller before it was shipping - series 3 in the control software is a monumental upgrade and anybody who runs series 2 really needs to upgrade.

I now own 2 of the 3-axis Odyssee systems. I will be getting in a Quest and a Quest Extreme in a few months once my theater is finished and I will continue to work with D-BOX on new products and improvements on old products whenever they would like help or feedback.

I am a 100% believer in this product and while I sell them and have done work for D-BOX, I was a big time fan before that. If I was worth a lot more than I am, I would have been advertising it like Norelco - I like the product so much I would buy the company.

The only complaints I have heard from people that I think are credible are the following:

1. It is too much/too intense: This is generally caused by demos of The Matrix Reloaded or Super Speedway - the most intense titles (and now Rendezvous) and the solution is simple - there is a level setting. Think of it like volume for the motion and turn it down if it is too much. These things have a tremendous amount of power - my XL system can lift 1.2 tons with 2 G's of force. Still, these complaints are not very common. If you get motion sick from watching a plane fly overhead, don't expect to not get motion sick feeling like you are in the plane. Take a dramamine if you are that sensitive, but I have only had 2 times this has come up - one from a person who was very sensitive watching Super Speedway on at 1.2x width and the system on full blast. The other time was my wife getting morning sickness. A week later I could say "Cruise Ship" and she would have to run to drive the porceline bus.

2. It is distracting: I thought the same thing about surround sound the first time I heard it. If you haven't ever experienced something, it does get disproportionaly noticed. Also people will sit down for the first time and concentrate on the movement and then tell me they couldn't concentrate on the film. I have read where people said the same thing when "talkies" first came out in the theaters. Once you experience it for a little while, it is very natural and not at all distracting.

3. It is too expensive: Isn't everything we really want? There is a lot that goes into these, both in hardware and R&D plus the F/X programming that is ongoing.

4. It is difficult to install in a retrofit: This is very true of the platform system, but with the vertical integrated systems it isn't so hard except that it would often require new seats since they have to be built to withstand the intense torque and "G" forces. If you already have a riser platform, it isn't intrusive to the room although it means working on the platform a bit to install it.

I had Odyssee in 2 rooms in my old house. I will have it in 2 rooms in my new house once the theater is finished in a couple of months.

The only other comments I have heard deal with watching porn. Sorry people, but it moves your whole body, not isolated areas. They aren't F/X programmed and well, read what I said about poor quality soundtracks...
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-30-2005, 02:54 PM
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Great reply, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Poindexter
Mark,
I don't use it for every film, but almost all. I didn't use it for Napolean Dynamite, for example...
I would have thought it perfect for the scene where Napolean tries to jump his friend's bike over the ramp and ends up getting slammed in the nuts! :D Love that film.

My cinema: The Cave!
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-30-2005, 03:37 PM
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Yeah, I could've caught like 3 feet of air that time. ;)

The thing with that movie is that the soundtrack doesn't have any audio clues in the surround sound channels that would denote any steering information. Lower budget indie films rarely are going to have a guy working on the sound who is that good. Aside from that scene and granny riding the dunes, there are not many scenes to add motion to. Any film that is character and dialog driven will have very limited benefits from a D-BOX motion simulator, a surround sound processor, a massive subwoofer, etc. Driving Miss Daisy, Steel Magnolias and just about any movie with Emma Thompson would fall into that category.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-01-2005, 06:18 AM
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Actually, I am not using platforms at all, but have the actuators directly under my LazyBoy love seats. :)

I now have the 340c controller, and it is worth the extra money over the PC3 IMO. I am planning on getting Quest in the near future, for another home.

One thing that I have found helpful, in relation to the intensity issue, is to dial back the vibration slightly. Personally, I find the vibration set a bit high as default, and prefer the motion to the vibration. Making the vibration just a hair more subtle, makes it less likely to be distracting.

Phil
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-01-2005, 08:50 AM
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Instead of springing for a D-Box, I just hired 4 really strong guys to lay on the floor and jiggle my chair during appropriate moments in the film.

Their training is arduous, but the results are much more realistic at about a $10,000 savings! Only downside is occasional workman's comp claims (I weigh >225 lbs) and when they miss a scene due to a potty break..

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post #12 of 14 Old 10-26-2005, 03:23 PM
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anyone know a place I can get a fair deal on the D-Box quest chairs?.. I like to get maybe two chairs and a controller. I am located in south georgia.
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-26-2005, 07:32 PM
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By "fair" do you mean "heavily discounted"?

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post #14 of 14 Old 10-26-2005, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K.G.
anyone know a place I can get a fair deal on the D-Box quest chairs?.. I like to get maybe two chairs and a controller. I am located in south georgia.
Why don't you ask Mr. Poindexter from this thread?
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