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Who is completely satisfied with their home theater?

post #1 of 103
Thread Starter 
I am... for once in my 20+ years of the home theater hobby and 5 systems... totally satisfied.

Since I bought my first real home theater set up while an electronics salesman at Sears during my grad school years, I think I've finally reached my undefinable goals of an ideal home cinema. Yep. I was demoing a Pioneer laser disc player playing Top Gun through a Pioneer receiver and Bose 5.1 (the Dolby Pro Logic / Dolby Surround days) back in the early 90s! It was great fun!! That's where it all began

It finally hit me a few months ago that I am totally satisfied with my video, sound and setting. I thought it a fleeting thought but it is still there with me. I haven't really thought of adding anything to my set up (except that I am replacing my $4K RTI remote system with a $49 iPad app called IRULE)!

Retrospectively, the biggest turning points in my complete satisfaction are a couple pieces of equipment: Stewart Vistascope. I could never go without programmable masking / Constant height in any set up ever again. It makes my theater a true cinema. No black bars is the biggest deal. The Cineslide is also a feat of engineering that still amazes me with it's speed and reliability. Thanks, Scott.

I don't know how long this will last but it has been many months now. As much as I liked my Halcro SSP, my final turning point to this realization was adding my current SSP. Though sonically fantastic, I think it was the reliability that was more of the turning point. Though my speakers (and subs), recommended and installed by Mark Seaton, are 7 years old, my projector 2 years old, amplifiers 5 years old, QSC DSPs originally programmed many years ago, all has unexpectedly come together in the last few months. I'm not pining for anything. There isn't the "only if I could have this product' while watching a movie anymore... just pure enjoyment and deeper involvement in the movie.

I think my next major purchase will be a new bulb for my Lumis. Hooray!

Honestly, I never thought I would post such. And I started this thread to encourage other hopeless fanatics that there can be full satisfaction! And I hope this feeling lasts me for many more years (fingers crossed)!

How about you??
post #2 of 103
I've been pretty much satisfied. I believe that once you reach a certain level that you just settle in and use the SOB instead of looking for the next thing that may or may not end up as an upgrade.Honestly there aren't really many upgrade paths anyway.

I am looking at several significant changes but enjoying my room without much feeling of if I only had that going on.



Art
post #3 of 103
Thread Starter 
Art, I have found my auto masking screen the single most indispensable piece of equipment. How about you?

What are the big updates?
post #4 of 103
Well no doubt the 14' wide scope screen is a joy.


You have a PM

Art
post #5 of 103
I am completely satisfied, my biggest improvement was implimenting a dual screen setup with my DPI Titan ILS lens. While the Stewart Directors choice set-up would have been more ideal, the cost/benefit of that vs dual screens was a 5 to 1 factor.

DPI came through last year with a free in the field upgrade to triple flash 3D, I was also able to upgrade my Lumagen Radiance to 3D.

The final pieces to the puzzle came this year with Theta's upgrade to HDMI, and a fantastic audio calibration by Adam Pelz.

So I Have:

3D 12' 1.78 Screen
2D 12' 1.78 Screen
3D 14' 2.35 Screen
2D 14' 2.35 Screen

All set with seperate memories for 2D calibration vs 3D calibration vs 12' 1.78 vs 14' 2.35......


Come to think of it my only original pieces of equipment that have not been replaced or upgraded is my AMX Phast Landmark System that controls all the equipment. I would however like to get some 2 way feedback as the CB3HD has no On Screen Display
post #6 of 103
I'm completely satisfied with my system after a couple of martinis, but it's still a never-ending process.
post #7 of 103
Satisfied until we get 4K sources, LED or Laser projection and then the fun starts all over again
post #8 of 103
What about a D-Box Motion System?, lol
post #9 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petedwitt View Post

What about a D-Box Motion System?, lol

Tried it... almost puked...
post #10 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post


Tried it... almost puked...

Geez, you must get motion sickness extremely easily as D-Box was designed to never induce such a feeling.

What clip did you watch during your demo?
post #11 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drvais View Post

Geez, you must get motion sickness extremely easily as D-Box was designed to never induce such a feeling.

What clip did you watch during your demo?

I dont recall but it was at CEDIA D-Box booth (or Runco) years ago... I think Art had a similar experience.
post #12 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post


I dont recall but it was at CEDIA D-Box booth (or Runco) years ago... I think Art had a similar experience.

Well, years ago they had the Odyssee (sic) system, and I think their current models are perhaps the best representation of the technology. I would suggest that you give the system another try.
post #13 of 103
There are some people who get motion sick easily. I have had 3 people get such reactions on my system but I have shown it to a tremendous number of people over the last 8 1/2 years. Of course, I also keep my system set at full intensity.

The system is capable of setting motion effects and vibration effects seperately if somebody gets motion sickness easily. It effectively turns down the intensity of effects below 5Hz which is more motion based and less vibration based.
post #14 of 103
Good Thread. I was more or less thinking the same thing the other day. While not in the same ballpark as some of the theaters in this part of the forum, I don't know that there is anything that I want to do to the theater right now. I just recalibrated the projector and ran ARC again on the Anthem pre-amp....and am finally to the point where I can turn the theater on, and enjoy a movie without checking to see if the latest/greatets upgrade is working correctly, or needs some sort of tweaking. Honestly, It is a nice place to be (literally)


The last major upgrade was going to an SMX AT screen with thier masking panels. Speakers are 5-6 year old Paradigm Studio's... Velodyne Sub, Anthem D2 pre, JVC RS-20 projector, SMX AT Screen, Oppo Blu-Ray, RTI remotes. I considered 3D, or upgrading my Anthem pre-amp...but the D2 handles Blu-Rays fine...can't see spending a few grand just to bistream. I looked at an automated masking system, but the SMX system works fine, and again can't see dropping a few grand on one at this point. I think that will have to wait until theater 2.0...and with 3 kids in Catholic school starting next year, theater 2.0 is looking like it is a long way off. Glad I can enjoy my current setup. Pehaps like Jeff, I'll pop for a new bulb

Anyone care to guess what the next "gotta have" is going to be??
post #15 of 103
I am satisfied for what my theater is, although there is always an itch to upgrade something. I finally got around to redoing the entry hall and have been totally satisfied there so I went and redid the equipment room to match. I still need to finish the bathroom so it matches with the changes elsewhere.

My only want right now is to upgrade my projector but I have been holding off as long as I can given how projectors keep getting better and/or cheaper so waiting is going to make sense financially.

I was totally satisfied for many years on the theater to the point that I skipped the DTS-MA upgrade on my pre-pro but I am guessing I need to update the electronics a little now as well.
post #16 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Tried it... almost puked...

You weren't the only one. I tried it last year at Cedia and still don't really care for it. I also tried it at Peter's place about two years ago. I guess if you like it then you love it.
post #17 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericglo View Post

I guess if you like it then you love it.

I absolutely concur. I feel that it definitely adds something to my theatre and sets it apart from other home theatres I (or my guests) have experienced in the past.
post #18 of 103
Always a good topic.

Not that I swim with the Big Boys here but...I'm a long time audiophile and av geek so I certainly know "The Curse" whispered of in this thread.

I was so incredibly picky about pulling off what seemed like an impossible project in my HT room that I just about drove myself insane. I almost hated my room before it was finished, simply out of the sheer drudgery and aggravation it put into my life (anything that can go wrong did).

But now that I've been living with it for 1 1/2 years I'm beyond satisfied. Ecstatic. All that pickiness worked for me in the end as the room just feels "perfect" for me in every way.

Equipment-wise I've shed many excess speakers (I'm a speaker-whore) so now I'm down to my main Hales Transcendence line for HT duties, a pair of MBL 121 monitors for some fun 2 channel, and sometimes some Waveform (Canadian egg-shaped midrange, for any old schoolers here) monitors. Tube system drives the 2 channel stuff.

I've been enjoying playing my library in surround in the HT so much that my 2 channel stuff has been sitting a bit neglected recently.

I'm incredibly happy still with my JVC RS20 projector. It still puts out one of the best images I've seen and it's features are a perfect fit for my home theater, especially remote controlled Aperture and Lens zoom/shift/focus features, which work flawlessly for my Variable Image Size set up, using 4 way masking.

Like many, I agonized about screen choice and ended up with the Stewart ST-130...around 124" wide and 62" tall available screen space (rest is covered by side masking).

I found that realising the possible image performance of my projector/screen came somewhat gradually, as I added more room reflection killing treatments. I finally got around to killing back wall reflections last week, so the room is virtually a "bat cave" when watching movies. The image is jaw dropping (for me) and it finally feels like I can let go my "what ifs"...since I've done the last possible steps and found the rewards gratifying.

I'm not in a position to buy a new projector yet and not dying for 3D at the moment, so I feel fortunate to be so satisfied with the RS20 projector.

Like thebland, for me the big "keeper" in the entire system is my 4 way masking system. It has such a great effect on the image quality and over all presentation I couldn't live without it now.

BTW, I'd like to ask thebland: What advantages do you expect to get in switching from the RTI to the iPad iRule app?

I have the RTI system and it feels indispensable in terms of it's programming power and how it has been able to command my system (especially complicated screen size change macros). I also like having buttons on the T2C remote. So why are you switching? Seduced by that shiny new big iPad screen?

(I just picked up an iPad 2 recently. Lots of fun. I'm using it, and my iPhone, to control Apple TV, iTunes streaming to my home theater, etc).
post #19 of 103
My "theater" is an open family room with ambient light issues

The video set-up is a SIM2 C3X-E and a Dalite High Contrast Cinevision (gray screen that is not as effective as the Firehawk at ambient light rejection, but is better for off-angle viewing and might be a bit better at keeping colors true). I'd like to upgrade to 1080p, and if possible improve the 'lights up' look of the picture without compromising the 'lights down' quality. I'm using black out blinds where I can, but I don't think darkening the walls and ceiling is going to fly with the spouse. If anyone has a suggestion for a screen that might improve the ambient light performance without restricting the viewing area as severely as the Firehawk I'd love to hear about it.

I'm pretty happy with the audio set-up; it's a Meridian 568, Pass Labs X series amps, Von Schweikert speakers, and a Velodyn sub. If I could get 85%-90% of the way there with in-walls I would consider it. I don't know if that's possible yet, but I'd be interested in knowing if it is.
post #20 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post


BTW, I'd like to ask thebland: What advantages do you expect to get in switching from the RTI to the iPad iRule app?

I have the RTI system and it feels indispensable in terms of it's programming power and how it has been able to command my system (especially complicated screen size change macros). I also like having buttons on the T2C remote. So why are you switching? Seduced by that shiny new big iPad screen?

(I just picked up an iPad 2 recently. Lots of fun. I'm using it, and my iPhone, to control Apple TV, iTunes streaming to my home theater, etc).

2-way control. For $49 and the price of a cache, I can have it.

iRule app works as advertised. MOreover, I can control my theater from the ipad or iphone when I am out of the house (wife and kids appreciate that)!!. After you get the hang of the software, it is as fine tunable as the RTI Integration Designer (but not as polished). RTI will soon have an ipad app but you will need the hardware with it. None is needed with the iRule (just an cheap cache).

I have an XP-8, T4, T1, T1-B. The RTi is very reliable but there is no 2 way for my components. I have a beta 2 way for iRule and it works great with my ADA SSP.
post #21 of 103
Jeff:

The XP-8 is -- I thought -- 2-way compliant...the issue is likely the version of the T-4 that you have in that the older RF version [which I have] is not 2-way capable but the newer Zigbee version is 2-way capable...
post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc View Post
Jeff:

The XP-8 is -- I thought -- 2-way compliant...the issue is likely the version of the T-4 that you have in that the older RF version [which I have] is not 2-way capable but the newer Zigbee version is 2-way capable...
XP-8 is two way: you are correct the T4's that Jeff & I have are 433mhz one way. I have several K4 in wall touch panels that are 2 way and they work nicely

RTI has already released their virtual panel which is part of the work toward release of the the iPad app: they claim the app is complete waiting for Apple to approve it

still it seems like it is taking forever...
post #23 of 103
Quote:
I've been pretty much satisfied. I believe that once you reach a certain level that you just settle in and use the SOB instead of looking for the next thing that may or may not end up as an upgrade.Honestly there aren't really many upgrade paths anyway.
That's how I feel. The Lumis is great, can't complain about my audio.
post #24 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc View Post

Jeff:

The XP-8 is -- I thought -- 2-way compliant...the issue is likely the version of the T-4 that you have in that the older RF version [which I have] is not 2-way capable but the newer Zigbee version is 2-way capable...

It is 2way but their aren't drivers for all components (2way). No ADA, Stewart nor SIM2 Lumis last I checked.... just mainstream ones. Eventually they'll have them but for now I'm going to try the iRule. It has a very fast response to commands and is as reliable as the RTI (very reliable).

The idea of using my ipad to surf and change channels is of interest to me. Controlling my system (or just volume) from my phone if, for example, my kids are playing it too loud while leaving the theater door open is a nice thing. I can lower the volume or power it down from bed>Certainly a bonus - especially if I'm out and the wife can't figure out which player to load the DVD into or how to get subtitles... I can do it remotely.

More curious is if this $49 iPad can give me everything RTI or Crestron can in terms of 2 way theater control. for thousands less using the great interface that is the iPad. An experiment for me.

RTI has been at it with the app for a while. I understand it takes 1-2 weeks (or less) for Apple to approve apps.
post #25 of 103
Unless if I could get a 100 foot wide scope screen and high brightness Laser projector, no... no I won't be completely be satisfied.
post #26 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

... More curious is if this $49 iPad can give me everything RTI or Crestron can in terms of 2 way theater control. for thousands less using the great interface that is the iPad. An experiment for me. ...

I would imagine that's why a company like Phillips dropped the Pronto line.

I was reading just the other day that researchers at Harvard University and MIT developed a handheld scanner that can detect potential cancer cells and diagnose them with an iPhone app. Amazing!
post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

It is 2way but their aren't drivers for all components (2way). No ADA, Stewart nor SIM2 Lumis last I checked.... just mainstream ones. Eventually they'll have them but for now I'm going to try the iRule. It has a very fast response to commands and is as reliable as the RTI (very reliable).

The idea of using my ipad to surf and change channels is of interest to me. Controlling my system (or just volume) from my phone if, for example, my kids are playing it too loud while leaving the theater door open is a nice thing. I can lower the volume or power it down from bed>Certainly a bonus - especially if I'm out and the wife can't figure out which player to load the DVD into or how to get subtitles... I can do it remotely.

More curious is if this $49 iPad can give me everything RTI or Crestron can in terms of 2 way theater control. for thousands less using the great interface that is the iPad. An experiment for me.

RTI has been at it with the app for a while. I understand it takes 1-2 weeks (or less) for Apple to approve apps.

Well to start, I think Jeff probably likes Itai. I do to. It is kind of neat to talk with the owner of a business that is very passionate about his product especially in the early stages. It is also nice to have quick access to the owner and developers to get questions answered promptly.

I had dinner with Itai, Steve Crabb (a Irule developer) and Mark Seaton (another person who is really passionate about his business) at Cedia. I asked what was different from Irule and Crestron. The answer was that Crestron is great, but do you really need that much horsepower. The Irule should be able to do everything you need at a fraction of the cost and complexity.

On the app approval time, my friend got his approved in less than a week. His app is a new game from someone with no track record with Apple and a new business. I am not an Apple fanboy by any stretch. It sounds like it is on the developers end.
post #28 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

It is 2way but their aren't drivers for all components (2way). No ADA, Stewart nor SIM2 Lumis last I checked.... just mainstream ones. Eventually they'll have them but for now I'm going to try the iRule. It has a very fast response to commands and is as reliable as the RTI (very reliable).

The idea of using my ipad to surf and change channels is of interest to me. Controlling my system (or just volume) from my phone if, for example, my kids are playing it too loud while leaving the theater door open is a nice thing. I can lower the volume or power it down from bed>Certainly a bonus - especially if I'm out and the wife can't figure out which player to load the DVD into or how to get subtitles... I can do it remotely.

More curious is if this $49 iPad can give me everything RTI or Crestron can in terms of 2 way theater control. for thousands less using the great interface that is the iPad. An experiment for me.

RTI has been at it with the app for a while. I understand it takes 1-2 weeks (or less) for Apple to approve apps.

No arguement from me as I have and use such functionality throughout the day and every day through my Crestron system which while a PITA to get "just right" is great once there...
post #29 of 103
Satisfied except for the light loss and color change of the projector bulb over time. LED can't come fast enough for me.
post #30 of 103
I satisfied with my theatre. I agree with mhafner bring on LED.
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