This is William chiming in. About a page back, Mike had mentioned the blended MP mod'd Marquee Ultras that I've got. The 6 year development is just about done. We (Mike and I) started in 2007 to create a Marquee 9500 Ultra blend. We started with my old Marquee 9000, and a Marquee 8500 Ultra I bought from Mike. Over the years, the 8500 Ultra was converted to a 9500 Ultra, the 9000 was replaced by a 9500 (which was then upgraded to a 9500 Ultra), and successive sets of Mike's VIM, neckboard, LVPS, HVPS, and various other mods have been added. At times development would occur quickly, then stop over exended periods of time. Sometimes the stoppage occurred because Mike had sickness issues, or other family issues. Other times, stoppage would occur because I was working on first an MS in System Engineering, then a PhD in System Engineering. There was one year (2010) when the MS and PhD programs overlapped. That year I had a full time job, and took 11 graduate engineering courses (8 PhD, and 3 MS). No development occurred in 2010. I graduated with the MS in 2011 May. On January 31 of this year I turned in my PhD dissertation. I defend on March 5th, and will graduate in May. After I had turned in the final version of my scholarly journal publication (describing major aspects of my PhD dissertation research results) in early December, I got back with Mike in late December, and he has provided me with his latest neckboard mods. My 50-2035-03 VIMs had the latest level of MP mods already, and Mike verified this last Thursday. Mike also completed the latest round of LVPS and HVPS mods, removing a lot of noise in the Marquee video chain, at the source.
Late in December, Mike brought over one set of latest mod neckboards, and we installed them in the left projector. He had also attempted to convert 6 of my previously mod'd neckboards to the latest mod level. That did not work so well, and this is where Mike learned about starting with stock neckboards to do his latest level of modding. We did install upgraded neckboards on the green and red CRTs on the right projector. The blue CRT had a stock neckboard. I could easily see the difference in the image between the left (fully modded) projector and the right (partially modded) projector. The left projector had a sharper image with no blooming at higher constrast levels, with exceptional low IRE detail. In 5th Element, the main villan wears a clear plastic skullcap. The skullcap really stands out after the latest neckboard and power supply mods. It was not even visible before the modding process began.
Three weekends ago, I met Mike at a local church (where he was working) and picked up a new set of neckboards for the right projector. Two weekends ago (Sunday, February 10) I spent the afternoon installing them. That night my wife and I watched the live HDTV broadcast of the Grammy Awards. I was using DirecTV as the source, so we were looking at my worst source (the OPPO BDP-83 is the best, the Toshiba HD-XA2 is second, the Samsung OTA tuner is third, with the DirecTV tuner last). Since both projectors now had the complete mod'd video chain for the first time, the images matched. I sat there all night with a big smile on my face, watching that 12 foot wide image. Ever notice how in the morning, if the Sun light is streaming in through the window at a low angle of incidence, you can clearly see the dust particles and other small crap floaing around in the air (due to preferential scattering)? At one point in the broadcast, one of the performers was on a dark stage, and in a bright spotlight. We could clearly see the dust particles and other crap floating in the air around the performer. I have never seen anything like this in the Home Theater on any broadcast or movie before Mike's latest video chain mods. The clarity, brilliance of the colors, and low level IRE detail during that broadcast were unbelievable!!! (Hence the smile on my face.) The blendzone had almost completely disappered in all scenes, and this without the geometry perfectly matching in the blendzone, and with the projectors not properly grayscale calibrated. (The only time during the Grammy Awards broadcast I could see any blendzone at all was when a full screen of a secondary color was broadcast. Then there was a slight mismatch in the secondary color being projected by the left and right projectors, resulting in a very faint "blendzone" showing up.) The next morning, I called Mike up to thank him for the quality of the image I was now able to see in the Home Theater.
Left yet to do is to complete the geometry setup, then redo the grayscale calibrations of both projectors, matching them to each other. Mike has heard me say for a number of years now that once the geometry setup and grayscale calibration were properly completed, the blendzone would completely disappear, without the use of any CMS anywhere in the video chain, or the use of any image intensity softedge curve adjustments in the blendzone.
Anyone in the Northern Virginia area is welcome to stop by and see a demo of the blend in operation, most any time. I am at home almost all the time, preparing for my PhD dissertation defense. It would be well worth the time to travel here. There is no other setup like this in the world. I would like to have a Spring Meet, if I can get the geometry setup and grayscale calibration done to my satisfaction (and I can get my new powered Seaton surround speakers installed, and Mark Seaton out to complete the audio integration of all 9 Seaton speakers in the Home Theater.) Mike is intending to come by in the not-too-distant-future, take some pictures of the blend in action, and post them in this thread. Those images might begin to convey some semblence of what we are seeing on the screen.
Edited by wkosmann - 2/20/13 at 5:18pm