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Sanity check and advise on new CIH setup

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 
Howdy,

I've been in my new house for about 9 months now and the other day my lovely wife told me I needed to get on the stick and build out the media room before the kids don't have any time to enjoy it before they grow up and move out. In the spirit of trying to be a better husband, I acquiesced to her request

I spent the last couple of weeks in heavy research mode, crawling through this AVS forums and other sites until my eyes are bleeding. I'm getting close on most things, but it's time for me to seek the wisdom of those that know more about this than what I can learn in 2 weeks of internet reading!

On to the parameters and the toys...

The room is 13.5' x 18'. The front wall is 7'10" tall, but the ceiling is 10' (sloped wall from the ceiling to the front/screen wall). The room will be a dedicated HT used primarily for movies but there is probably the occasional big group sports event or video games when the kids have sleepovers.

I'm planning to do a 2.35 setup, but I'm going to hold off on the anamorphic lens for now and just zoom initially. I know I'll lose light, but my other big hobby is photography and things like CA and pin-cushioning will drive me nuts so that will keep me out of the cheaper anamorphic lenses.

Budget-wise, I'd like to keep the equipment costs around $10K (ignoring furniture, labor, etc.) but that's not a hard-cap.

I'm not planning to move any of my AV equipment from the living room, so I'm doing this from scratch.

Projector: JVC DLA-RS20
This is the one I'm lusting after if I can get everything else to fit inside my (soft) budget. Other projectors on my short list are:
* InFocus IN83
* Epson Home Cinema 7500UB
* Panasonic PT-AE3000U

Updated list (7/3/09):
- InFocus IN83 (not enough zoom)
+ JVC DLA-RS10 (in case of overall budget pressures)
- Pansonic PT-AE3000U (good projector, but liking the others more)

Screen: Seymour AV F120
I'd really like to have the front speakers behind a fixed/flat AT screen. I haven't done any major research specifically on AT screens other than knowing some of the major brands, so suggestions here would be particularly helpful.

Originally I was thinking the screen would be ~120" - 130" diagonal, but that was before I started looking at having the speakers behind the screen. With that sort of setup, I've got room on the sides to go larger, but I haven't tried to figure out yet whether that's too tall or if I have enough depth for the projector throw ratio.

Seating will probably be around 13' from the screen, but that's easily adjustable if need be.

Updated (7/3/09): Settled on the Seymour AV after recommendations and research.

Speakers: Atlantic Technology in-walls
Planning on the IWCB-727's for the mains and center. The IWTS-30 SRs for the side surrounds and ICTS-8.3e for the backs (in-ceiling).

No ideas on what to do on the subwoofer yet...

A/V Receiver: Yamaha RX-V3900

Blu-Ray Player: TBD
Probably either an Oppo or PS3, but haven't researched the current generation of players yet.

Updated list (7/3/09):
Either the Oppo BDP-83 or Panasonic DMP-BD60.

Power Conditioner: None

With the projector, receiver and speakers I've layed out here, that's just shy of $9K so I'm getting tight. Any recommendations on reasonable ways to fill in the holes or tweaks/changes to the setup I'm looking at would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Jay
post #2 of 96
Thread Starter 
Hate when I make spelling errors in the title like that. Tried to fix it, but apparently can't edit the thread title.

/sigh
post #3 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolette View Post

Howdy,

I've been in my new house for about 9 months now and the other day my lovely wife told me I needed to get on the stick on build out the media room before the kids don't have any time to enjoy it before they grow up and move out. In the spirit of trying to be a better husband, I acquiesced to her request

I spent the last couple of weeks in heavy research mode, crawling through this AVS forums and other sites until my eyes are bleeding. I'm getting close on most things, but it's time for me to seek the wisdom of those that know more about this than what I can learn in 2 weeks of internet reading!

On to the parameters and the toys...

The room is 13.5' x 18'. The front wall is 7'10" tall, but the ceiling is 10' (sloped wall from the ceiling to the front/screen wall). The room will be a dedicated HT used primarily for movies but there is probably the occasional big group sports event or video games when the kids have sleepovers.

I'm planning to do a 2.35 setup, but I'm going to hold off on the anamorphic lens for now and just zoom initially. I know I'll lose light, but my other big hobby is photography and things like CA and pin-cushioning will drive me nuts so that will keep me out of the cheaper anamorphic lenses.

Budget-wise, I'd like to keep the equipment costs around $10K (ignoring furniture, labor, etc.) but that's not a hard-cap.

FWIW, you can get a good lens, screen, and projector in that budget. Pincushion can't be avoided (can be compensated for with a screen though). You might want to investigate AVScience's lens, or a Panamorph.

Quote:


I'm not planning to move any of my AV equipment from the living room, so I'm doing this from scratch.

Projector: JVC DLA-RS20
This is the one I'm lusting after if I can get everything else to fit inside my (soft) budget. Other projectors on my short list are:
* InFocus IN83
* Epson Home Cinema 7500UB
* Panasonic PT-AE3000U

Personally, if the RS20's on your list, I'd toss the AE3000, and I'd probably stick the Planar 8150 on there.

Quote:


Screen: TBD
I'd really like to have the front speakers behind a fixed/flat AT screen. I haven't done any major research specifically on AT screens other than knowing some of the major brands, so suggestions here would be particularly helpful.

Originally I was thinking the screen would be ~120" - 130" diagonal, but that was before I started looking at having the speakers behind the screen. With that sort of setup, I've got room on the sides to go larger, but I haven't tried to figure out yet whether that's too tall or if I have enough depth for the projector throw ratio.

Take a look at Seymore AV. I've got SMX material for my screen and it's awesome stuff. Unfortunately (well fortunately for Ruben) it's gone quite high-end. I'd suggest combining a DIY frame with some good AT material like the Seymore AV stuff.

Quote:


Seating will probably be around 13' from the screen, but that's easily adjustable if need be.

~120-130" wide would be about perfect for that seating distance, right at 3 screen heights.

Quote:


Speakers: Atlantic Technology in-walls
Planning on the IWCB-727's for the mains and center. The IWTS-30 SRs for the side surrounds and ICTS-8.3e for the backs (in-ceiling).

No ideas on what to do on the subwoofer yet...

A/V Receiver: Yamaha RX-V3900

Blu-Ray Player: TBD
Probably either an Oppo or PS3, but haven't researched the current generation of players yet.

Power Conditioner: TBD
Panamax? No idea here yet really...

I wouldn't bother, just get a decent surge protector.

Quote:


With the projector, receiver and speakers I've layed out here, that's just shy of $9K so I'm getting tight. Any recommendations on reasonable ways to fill in the holes or tweaks/changes to the setup I'm looking at would be appreciated.

The Seymore AV material will get you a nice AT screen for inside the budget. I think it would be well worth your time to give AV Science a call about the projector/lens side of things.

Should be a great setup when you're done though.
post #4 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolette View Post

I'm planning to do a 2.35 setup, but I'm going to hold off on the anamorphic lens for now and just zoom initially. I know I'll lose light, but my other big hobby is photography and things like CA and pin-cushioning will drive me nuts so that will keep me out of the cheaper anamorphic lenses.

Budget-wise, I'd like to keep the equipment costs around $10K (ignoring furniture, labor, etc.) but that's not a hard-cap.

Projector: JVC DLA-RS20
This is the one I'm lusting after if I can get everything else to fit inside my (soft) budget. Other projectors on my short list are:
* InFocus IN83
* Epson Home Cinema 7500UB
* Panasonic PT-AE3000U

If you plan on zooming, you can't use the Infocus IN83 since it doesn't have enough zoom. You need at least 1.33x zoom. An RS20 + anamorphic lens will take more than 50% of your budget.

To have a zooming CIH setup, I'd recommend the Panasonic AE3000U or the RS10. RS10 is just shy of the performance of the RS20 and has motorized zoom and lens shift to make CIH easier. Me personally, I just ditched my panamorph lens and went back to zooming on my RS10... zooming is less convenient but the PQ is better. The light difference b/t zoom and lens is negligible. You gain more light as you zoom the image, just like you would if you used a lens. Also, if you play dark first person shooter games, then the RS10/20 is the clear choice since it does so well in dark scenes.
post #5 of 96
You are looking at very good equipment. However, even at the best pricing (which mind you I typically have so I know), $9k is tough with a 2.35:1 setup. That is assuming you go with a lens. For a 16:9 that is more reasonable. I only mention this as you are in the 2.35:1 section.

I use AT speakers myself and find them quite pleasing.
post #6 of 96
Greetings:
I enjoyed your post and think that your pretty much on the right track.
I've been using the zoom to 2.35 method with an RS-1 projector for about two years. Like yourself I figured I would eventually go the lens route. PQ to date has been fine with SD content and outstanding with BD to date, so I'll skip the lens. My screen is a 106" Carada, so YMMV.
Love my Atlantic Technology Mains. May I suggest that you check out SVS for a sub.
Recently received the Oppo BD-83. Excellant pq both for upscaled SD and Blu.
Be sure to talk to Jason and the folks at the AVS store. You shouldn't stray to far from your $ goals.
Good luck.
Tony S...
post #7 of 96
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses, stranger. Comments inline below...

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

FWIW, you can get a good lens, screen, and projector in that budget. Pincushion can't be avoided (can be compensated for with a screen though). You might want to investigate AVScience's lens, or a Panamorph.

I haven't looking into AVScience's lens specifically, but I understand they are rebranded and I've looked at most (all?) of the anamorphic lens options out there. Right now, when I balance my budget vs. quality goals, I'm mostly coming down on the "hold off on the lens for now... maybe next year".

The CA and distortion from prism-based "lenses" will eat at my soul. Moving up to an ISCO or Schneider lens is outside of my budget given everything else that I have to get.

Quote:


Personally, if the RS20's on your list, I'd toss the AE3000, and I'd probably stick the Planar 8150 on there.

The RS20's mostly on my list because I've got access to some seriously discounted pricing on it. Even then it's "just barely" on the list. Probably only still there from sheer lust.

I read up on the Planar 8150 and it definitely looks good and seems to play in the same ballpark as the RS20. I don't have access to any "special" pricing on Planar equipment though.

Quote:


Take a look at Seymore AV. I've got SMX material for my screen and it's awesome stuff. Unfortunately (well fortunately for Ruben) it's gone quite high-end. I'd suggest combining a DIY frame with some good AT material like the Seymore AV stuff.

Thanks! Will definitely check them out.

Quote:


~120-130" wide would be about perfect for that seating distance, right at 3 screen heights.

So no sense in going bigger then? I don't have a good feel for the trade-offs between bigger == more immersive and "oh my gosh, I'm stuck on the front row!" overwhelming.

Quote:


I wouldn't bother, just get a decent surge protector.

That makes the engineer in me happy to hear.

Quote:


The Seymore AV material will get you a nice AT screen for inside the budget. I think it would be well worth your time to give AV Science a call about the projector/lens side of things.

Should be a great setup when you're done though.

Thanks for all the feedback. I'm excited about getting this done!

Jay
post #8 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocoloco View Post

If you plan on zooming, you can't use the Infocus IN83 since it doesn't have enough zoom. You need at least 1.33x zoom.

Good point! That's a shame because if it weren't for the mediocre black levels, I really like the IN83. The excellent colors + awesome lumen power are a beautiful combination.

Quote:


An RS20 + anamorphic lens will take more than 50% of your budget.

Yeah, that's why I'm planning to stick with zooming for now.

Quote:


To have a zooming CIH setup, I'd recommend the Panasonic AE3000U or the RS10. RS10 is just shy of the performance of the RS20 and has motorized zoom and lens shift to make CIH easier. Me personally, I just ditched my panamorph lens and went back to zooming on my RS10... zooming is less convenient but the PQ is better. The light difference b/t zoom and lens is negligible. You gain more light as you zoom the image, just like you would if you used a lens. Also, if you play dark first person shooter games, then the RS10/20 is the clear choice since it does so well in dark scenes.

Good to hear on the zooming front. I've been wondering if I'm going to regret zooming and whether I should go back to 16:9. If zooming works reasonably well without major sacrifice, I'd really like to get a scope setup.

Thanks,
Jay
post #9 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Turk View Post

You are looking at very good equipment. However, even at the best pricing (which mind you I typically have so I know), $9k is tough with a 2.35:1 setup. That is assuming you go with a lens. For a 16:9 that is more reasonable. I only mention this as you are in the 2.35:1 section.

Thanks, Jason.

The only reason I have hope of doing the setup I'm looking at is because of a good friend that can get me dealer pricing on some of the expensive parts of the system - primarily the RS20 and the AT speakers. Unfortunately they don't have access to the Yamaha receiver, BD player and most likely the sub.

If you are interested, once I get the rest of the component selection finalized more, I'll contact you for a quote as well. Just didn't want to waste your time if that level of pricing on some of the major components kills it for you. That said, I can't get several parts through him so the overall deal might still be of interest. Just let me know (I've heard nothing but good things about you and your company).

Quote:


I use AT speakers myself and find them quite pleasing.

Thanks. A good friend of mine has them as well and I like them. It's been a little tricky trying to listen at his house, then run back home real quick and play the same source material through my Paradigm's in the living room to compare!

Also good to have folks that likely have more critical ears than mine confirm things

Jay
post #10 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolette View Post

Good to hear on the zooming front. I've been wondering if I'm going to regret zooming and whether I should go back to 16:9. If zooming works reasonably well without major sacrifice, I'd really like to get a scope setup.

Thanks,
Jay

Assuming you get an RS10/20... the only thing you'll regret about zooming is the convenience factor... zooming and lens shifting is somewhat of a PITA. Using a lens is no doubt way more convenient.

Regarding strictly PQ... zooming will give you a better picture than using a lens. Light output differences are negligible (RS10/20 get brighter as you zoom it) and pixel structure is a non issue given LCOS + 1080 unit. Any amount of CA or geometric distortion that a lens introduces will be completely avoided.
post #11 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolette View Post

I haven't looking into AVScience's lens specifically, but I understand they are rebranded and I've looked at most (all?) of the anamorphic lens options out there. Right now, when I balance my budget vs. quality goals, I'm mostly coming down on the "hold off on the lens for now... maybe next year".

The CA and distortion from prism-based "lenses" will eat at my soul. Moving up to an ISCO or Schneider lens is outside of my budget given everything else that I have to get.

Yes it's a rebranded/customized Prismasonic HD5000. CA should be a non-issue since (this is all coming from my research, unfortunately not experience yet) it's got a CA corrective element.

I really suggest you read some of Aussie Bob's posts on lenses (here's a good one), they're quite enlightening. Basically from what I gather, pincushion and grid/geometric distortion are inherent in anamorphic lenses, regardless of design (prism/cylindrical) and can only be "corrected" for with a curved screen. The only things that can be fixed with a lens are CA and astigmatism, and the HD5000 does both AFAIK.

FWIW, I'm not trying to talk you in or out of anything, waiting to get what you want is a very good plan. But from my research (in looking to change/upgrade my P752 VC lens) I've come to the conclusion that in this sort of price range (RS20 "class" projectors) the extra cost of something like an ISCO isn't justified. Just food for thought, maybe holding out for an ISCO won't get you as much as you think.

Quote:


The RS20's mostly on my list because I've got access to some seriously discounted pricing on it. Even then it's "just barely" on the list. Probably only still there from sheer lust.

I read up on the Planar 8150 and it definitely looks good and seems to play in the same ballpark as the RS20. I don't have access to any "special" pricing on Planar equipment though.

Yeah, if the RS20 is "just barely" on your list with "special" pricing, I'm betting the 8150 isn't close. My feeling is it's a bit more than the RS20's normal discounted pricing. The RS10 might be worth consideration too, though depending on the price difference, I'd take the RS20 for it's CMS.

Quote:


So no sense in going bigger then? I don't have a good feel for the trade-offs between bigger == more immersive and "oh my gosh, I'm stuck on the front row!" overwhelming.

The biggest trade off with larger is it's harder to light, especially when you're going with an AT screen. The Seymore material is about as good as it gets with AT, having a 1.16x gain. At the 120" wide size, you're going to need a healthy 500-600 lumens (with a lens), 600-750 without (for the 12-16 ftL). Of course with most of the projectors on you list, they "help" since their aperture opens up as you zoom making them brighter.

If you go much bigger you'll start having trouble lighting it with "normal" HT projectors.

Quote:


That makes the engineer in me happy to hear.

Me too. Despite being an EE by education I got caught up in the "audiophile" mindset. Bought separates (Anthem) shortly after I got my job after college. Ironically, it was that that convinced me my EE knowledge was right, I love my Anthem gear, and will/would buy it again, but not for SQ reasons.

Quote:


Thanks for all the feedback. I'm excited about getting this done!

I know the feeling.
post #12 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocoloco View Post

Regarding strictly PQ... zooming will give you a better picture than using a lens.

That's far from a consensus. IIRC CAVX did a test of zooming vs lens with some film/movie pros and the lens won handily.
post #13 of 96
Thread Starter 
BTW, I'm trying to not violate the forum rules about listing prices and such. Hopefully discussing things in terms of the overall price I'm seeing vs. my budget allows folks to make recommendations based on my constraints without breaking the house rules.
post #14 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

That's far from a consensus. IIRC CAVX did a test of zooming vs lens with some film/movie pros and the lens won handily.

I am not making an absolute statement as it varies case by case. Specifically regarding the RS10/20, I stand by my statements.
post #15 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Yes it's a rebranded/customized Prismasonic HD5000. CA should be a non-issue since (this is all coming from my research, unfortunately not experience yet) it's got a CA corrective element.

I really suggest you read some of Aussie Bob's posts on lenses (here's a good one), they're quite enlightening. Basically from what I gather, pincushion and grid/geometric distortion are inherent in anamorphic lenses, regardless of design (prism/cylindrical) and can only be "corrected" for with a curved screen. The only things that can be fixed with a lens are CA and astigmatism, and the HD5000 does both AFAIK.

Thanks for the link, that's helpful.

Quote:
FWIW, I'm not trying to talk you in or out of anything, waiting to get what you want is a very good plan. But from my research (in looking to change/upgrade my P752 VC lens) I've come to the conclusion that in this sort of price range (RS20 "class" projectors) the extra cost of something like an ISCO isn't justified. Just food for thought, maybe holding out for an ISCO won't get you as much as you think.

No worries. I appreciate the input on this stuff. Truthfully, the arguments for using a lens vs. zooming make sense to me assuming you use a curved screen and the lens doesn't exhibit CA or focus issues.

I'll follow up with Jason on the AVS lens. Maybe it's cheaper than I'm expecting.

Quote:
Yeah, if the RS20 is "just barely" on your list with "special" pricing, I'm betting the 8150 isn't close. My feeling is it's a bit more than the RS20's normal discounted pricing. The RS10 might be worth consideration too, though depending on the price difference, I'd take the RS20 for it's CMS.

I considered the RS10 for a bit but I read enough posts from folks concerned about the colors on it to get nervous about it. Folks kept talking about getting Lumagen's and such to get the colors under control. The RS20 starts of better on the colors and with the CMS, should avoid the need for post-processing.

Also, the price difference between the two wasn't as large as I might have thought.

Quote:
The biggest trade off with larger is it's harder to light, especially when you're going with an AT screen. The Seymore material is about as good as it gets with AT, having a 1.16x gain. At the 120" wide size, you're going to need a healthy 500-600 lumens (with a lens), 600-750 without (for the 12-16 ftL). Of course with most of the projectors on you list, they "help" since their aperture opens up as you zoom making them brighter.

If you go much bigger you'll start having trouble lighting it with "normal" HT projectors.

Gotcha. I saw a few references to lower gain on AT screens, but no hard numbers. Nevermind the lack of in-person visual comparison of screens with different gains to give me a feel for this

Quote:
Me too. Despite being an EE by education I got caught up in the "audiophile" mindset. Bought separates (Anthem) shortly after I got my job after college. Ironically, it was that that convinced me my EE knowledge was right, I love my Anthem gear, and will/would buy it again, but not for SQ reasons.

I was EE in school as well, but virtually all of my professional career has been in software (well, and management lately). At least the EE background let's me talk intelligently to the board designers and FPGA guys at work.

I'm definitely not an audiophile. I certainly appreciated the improvement going from the traditional college Bose bookshelf speakers to Paradigm Monitor 7's, but going up from there would be wasted on me unless it was just due to needing to fill a bigger volume of space.

On the flip-side, I'm seriously into photography so I spend loads of time analyzing/critiquing images so I'm more picky on the video side. Nothing like most of the folks that hang around here of course.

Thanks again, stranger!

Jay
post #16 of 96
I think you are very wise to hold off on getting an A-lens. Maybe at one time the A-lens offered a real improvemnt in PQ, but with todays 1080p projectors and blue-ray discs, this is no longer the case. In fact, unless you use the highest quality (and most expensive!) cyclindrical lens - (the Isco 3 at $11,000.00 ) you are probably going to see a softer image and some level of distortions with a prism -based lens.
Go ahead with your set up and base it on zooming the lens. You will probably need a projector with a 2x zoom lens. The new Panasonic AE3000 has a whole lot to recommend it, particularly the lens memory feature which enables a single push on the remote to get from a 16:9 set up to a 2.35 set up both with constant image height and automatic recentering of the picture on the screen. This projector negates the only real remaining advantage of the A-lens - convenience.
Try zooming first, and put a little of that lens money into a good screen and the Carada CIH masking system - which in fact will add much more impact to your films than any A-lens on the market!
In all probability, zooming is going to totally satisfy your requirements - and save you a bundle of money. You can always add an A-lens later if you think you are missing something. Even then, don't expect to see a huge improvement - maybe none.
post #17 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolette View Post

Gotcha. I saw a few references to lower gain on AT screens, but no hard numbers. Nevermind the lack of in-person visual comparison of screens with different gains to give me a feel for this

Well you can get non AT screens with over 2 or even 3x gain (eg Dalite High Power), comparatively a 1.16x AT screen is pretty low. Of course I think many AT screens are even lower than that.

Q
Quote:
I was EE in school as well, but virtually all of my professional career has been in software (well, and management lately). At least the EE background let's me talk intelligently to the board designers and FPGA guys at work.

That's eerily familiar, though I've avoided management (and will with my last breath ), I've ended up doing Systems Engineering on the software development side, and actually do a good bit of "coding" in the process. Of course the other half the job is "generating paper" as a colleague once told me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by taffman View Post

I think you are very wise to hold off on getting an A-lens. Maybe at one time the A-lens offered a real improvemnt in PQ, but with todays 1080p projectors and blue-ray discs, this is no longer the case. In fact, unless you use the highest quality (and most expensive!) cyclindrical lens - (the Isco 3 at $11,000.00 ) you are probably going to see a softer image and some level of distortions with a prism -based lens.

I'm sorry but that's bunk, you don't need to drop $11,000 on an ISCO to get a sharp, quality image. Even my "lowly" P752, which doesn't have any CA or focus can show perfectly focused pixels. It's not without it's issues, which is why I've got an AVS lens on my list of pending upgrades, but I have no doubt the Panamorph/AVS/Prismasonic lenses with CA and Astigmatism correction can show every bit of detail any projector we commonly talk about here can show.

I bet if we duplicated Mark P's multiburst/histogram test with any of those lenses they wouldn't impart any significant degradation.
post #18 of 96
Rolette...

Don't get too caught up in the technical nuances of the zoom/lens debate. In the end both methods can look great. All I'll say is that as long as you can deal with the inconvenience of zooming, you won't be disappointed. And you can always add on a lens in future so just bite the bullet and go CIH.

The RS10's colors aren't the most accurate but it's hardly as bad as it's made out to be. For the extra price of an RS20 + calibration, I'd rather save the dough and use that towards an upgrade in a few years... but that's just me. Also, if you are really concerned about accuracy, you should figure in the cost to have it recalibrated throughout the life of the projector's lamp.
post #19 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocoloco View Post

Rolette...

Don't get too caught up in the technical nuances of the zoom/lens debate. In the end both methods can look great. All I'll say is that as long as you can deal with the inconvenience of zooming, you won't be disappointed. And you can always add on a lens in future so just bite the bullet and go CIH.

Well put, zooming can work great. And you can always add the lens later and make things better
post #20 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocoloco View Post

Don't get too caught up in the technical nuances of the zoom/lens debate. In the end both methods can look great. All I'll say is that as long as you can deal with the inconvenience of zooming, you won't be disappointed. And you can always add on a lens in future so just bite the bullet and go CIH.

That's pretty much where I'm at.

Quote:


The RS10's colors aren't the most accurate but it's hardly as bad as it's made out to be. For the extra price of an RS20 + calibration, I'd rather save the dough and use that towards an upgrade in a few years... but that's just me. Also, if you are really concerned about accuracy, you should figure in the cost to have it recalibrated throughout the life of the projector's lamp.

I'm not quite so fanatical that I'll be recalibrating multiple times like that (well, at least not yet... give me time maybe ). Depending on where pricing comes out on the rest of the system, it's possible I'll fall back to the RS10. For all I know, I'll be shocked by the pricing on AT screens and have to make big adjustments to my plan.

I know I'm amazed at how much automated CIH masking systems cost. Much like the anamorphic lenses, a masking system is on my "maybe one day" list.

Jay
post #21 of 96
Also, be aware that he AE3000 will probably deliver one of the softest least detailed images of any of the 1080 projectors, due to the softscreen technology used to hide the relatively large interpixel gaps inherent to LCD technology.

Vern
post #22 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Well put, zooming can work great. And you can always add the lens later and make things better

My thoughts too. And I zoomed for exactly one day - royal PITA for me. (immediately bought a lens and never looked back)
post #23 of 96
Rolette - some have a vendetta against the AE3000 and it's smoothscreen technology but when I got mine, I did a side by side against an RS1 and it was equally as sharp. Now maybe an AE2000 isn't in the same league but to me, they greatly improved the technology with the 3000 and it's sharpness is not compromised.
Plus you add in all the other features such as lens memory (perfect for what you want to accomplish), CMS, FI (which works great), etc and it's a great piece of equipment.
post #24 of 96
Not only a vendatta against the AE3000, but against zooming in general. The common sense answer is that with todays 1080p technology, zooming does indeed look incredibly good, and will satisfy 99% of the CIH population. The remaining 1% will spend a small fortune convincing themselves that they have acheived a superior PQ by adding A-lenses, curved screens, and motorized sleds. All great fun of course and , if you have unlimited funds, by all means go for it. But for the best bang for the buck, zooming is unchallenged, and your audience will see absolutely no difference.
post #25 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by taffman View Post

But for the best bang for the buck, zooming is unchallenged, and your audience will see absolutely no difference.

I don't think anyone ever challenged Zooming on "bang for the buck", but lenses are for more than (to paraphrase) "those with unlimited funds looking to 'convince' themselves of superior PQ".



For a very concrete example, some of us find DLPs to throw a better picture than the competition (LCD/LCoS), there's no way to zoom with many DLPs, so a lens is a necessity, unless you're content to shrink 1920x1080 into 1440x810.
post #26 of 96
In my case, my lens + 720p DLP projector cost not much more than the AE3000. In a couple of years, I can get a 1080p DLP and I'll still have the lens. A few years more, I can get a projector better than anything out today under $20K and I'll still have my lens.

At least, that was part of my thinking when deciding. That and I'm sure I would be the one attacked by dust blobs.
post #27 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

so a lens is a necessity, unless you're content to shrink 1920x1080 into 1440x810.

Don't knock this method until you've tried it with a quality scaler in the right setup. If you already sit where SDE is a non-issue using the zoom method, it can work amazingly well. The BD Defiance looked stunning the other day in "shrunk" mode on my RS1/HDP combo. Compared to when I was zooming, I actually almost look forward to 1.85:1 films now. (Not that I have a vendetta against the zoom method, or lenses for that matter)
post #28 of 96
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the feedback so far guys.

I'm trying to cut down on the number of TBD's in my list, so I spent the last couple of days diving into BD players, AT screens and subwoofers.

BD Players
For the BD player, I'm pretty much down to the Oppo BDP-83 and the Panasonic DMP-BD60.

I have the older BD30 hooked up to my 50" plasma in the living room and I've been very happy with it. It's only so-so for upconverting DVDs (definitely a step down from my even older Denon DVD player with a Faroudja scaler), but for BD material, it's been great.

The BD60 seems like about the same story... Excellent on BD, so-so on upscaling.

The Oppo is clearly the best-in-class below $1000, but at 2x the price of the DB60, I'm not sure it is worth it. Here's how I'd rate the differences:

* Significantly faster load times are a nice-to-have. Load times on the BD30 are annoying, but at a few times a week, I can live with it.

* BD playback is probably a wash. I'm sure the Oppo is slightly better, but probably not in a material way for me.

* Assuming I understand the new world order in audio correctly, audio for movies should be a wash. I should just be bitstreaming over HDMI and letting the Yamaha RX-V3900 handle the audio, right?

* I don't care about the "universal player" aspects of the Oppo in a dedicated HT room.

Which boils down to the one big difference that might matter to me: DVD upscaling. Oppo is clearly the hands-down winner, but is it worth 2X? I realize that's one of those "only you can decide how much something is 'worth'" sort of things, but given this screen is going to be 2.5x bigger than anything I've ever had, I may need to weight it more heavily than I expect.

Most of the movies we watch these days are Blu-Ray, but we still occasionally watch older DVDs. Given it's probably only 10% of the movies we watch, I'm ok with "less than optimal". I'm not ok with "wow, just can't watch this because it sucks so bad".

The best comparison I can think of is with HD channels on the 50" plasma. The kids watch a fair bit of SD material on there (usually with a bad aspect ratio selected... nasty!), but for sports, I pretty much won't watch non-HD anymore.

How big of a deal is the difference in the scaler between the Oppo and the Panasonic on a 120" screen?

From the looks of things on screen pricing, I'm probably going to exceed my budget, so this was one place I was thinking of actually containing myself. OTOH, the delta here is only ~$250 so "containing myself" may just be "fooling myself"

Dang I'm long-winded on this stuff. I'll go through the screen and sub in different posts.

Jay
post #29 of 96
Look at it this way, I've got a Pioneer 51FD, which has a great scaler for DVDs, better than the Reon VX in my W5000. But that said, DVDs are still DVDs and still SD. You can't work miracles on them.
post #30 of 96
Thread Starter 
I should have known AT screens were going to be a pretty penny. Seymour AV looks to be the best bet for me (thanks for the suggestion, stranger).

The design of the SmX screens is excellent, but at over 2x the cost of Seymour for 120" wide fixed screen.

Given that I'll be painting the walls behind the screen dark, is there any reason to get the black backing on the screen? I tend to think no, but not sure...

Are there other places to buy Seymour AV screens or just direct?

Thanks,
Jay
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