Rob Hahn Theater build - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by UK Dreamer View Post
Wow. Just wow! A truly impressive project.

I'm laughing at myself for the faux pas going on in my head: - when I first started reading the thread, and you said "the first 4 are of the projection room" - I thought you meant, these 4 photos are of the theatre with a projector in it, like we're more used to seeing (I actually thought, 'well, it's a bit tall and narrow, but we're used to seeing people make best use of their limited available space.')

It was only as the thread continued that I realised, you really did mean 'the projector room' - and not the theatre! Talk about 'go big, or go home!'

Brilliant! Just brilliant.
I guess I should have opened with the big room! :-)
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post #32 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skrill View Post
One question -- why frame in and install windows then board over them? Did you intend at first to have windows and use a lighting control (curtains)?
Yeah, it doesn't make sense, right? You'd have to see the other side (the exterior side of the wall with the windows) to know why those windows are there... The theater is over our garage. The outside (exterior) wall of the theater looks like a monolith, a big mass. We needed something to break up the huge clapboard wall above the garage doors, so we put in fake windows. Well, they're actually real windows - just boarded up and non functional. Below the windows, we even put in fake shutters to help break up the space.

-Rob
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post #33 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jimmyk36 View Post
WOW - Super Cooool!

What part of the country are you located in?
We live in Connecticut.

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post #34 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob Hahn View Post
I guess I should have opened with the big room! :-)
Actually, I'm now thinking you missed a trick. You could have simply shown a few photos of the projector room with 'so this is what we started with' - just showing the build of the projector room.......

And then Bamm,.....'and here's the theatre!'

As it is, I'm sure I wasn't the only one thinking 'I wonder where the seats are going to go?' and 'Not sure he's going fit much of a screen there!'

I'm still chuckling this morning!
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post #35 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I just want to thank everyone for your kind words - they are very much appreciated! I will upload more pictures soon... I was hoping to do it chronologically, but I just haven't been able to find the right amount of time to do it properly. My apologies for presenting everything piecemeal like this. I've been lurking for _years_, enjoying reading about all of your theater building adventures, making it that much more satisfying to be able to contribute... It's so much fun to share this with all of you!

-Rob
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post #36 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 12:56 AM
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We live in Connecticut.
Can i move into your theater?
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post #37 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 06:02 AM
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Absolutely gorgeous. What time is BvS showing

S~

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post #38 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 05:44 PM
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Wow, absolutely killer theater room. Really just beside myself and at a loss for words - everything is just beyond top notch! Extremely well done to put it mildly.

I particularly enjoyed seeing that you used 24" subwoofers on the bottom end.
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post #39 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 07:02 PM
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I am speechless. That is not a home theater. That is a theater.
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post #40 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 10:21 PM
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Stunning!!


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post #41 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I am speechless. That is not a home theater. That is a theater.
You know, calling it a theater and not a home theater (thank you!) brings up something I wanted to say. The motivation for doing this has to do with my experience as a DP (Director of Photography). You work for months and months away from your family, 20 hours a day, shooting the movie, angsting (not a word, I know) over a zillion details only to see your movie displayed in movie theaters on screens with dim bulbs, incorrect framing and out of focus lenses.

Not always, of course, but way more often than not. I can't tell you how many times I've had to go into the booth at a theater because the film was out of focus, only to find no one's there!

I shot Marlon Brando's last film, "The Score" with Robert De Niro & Edward Norton. I worked very, very hard on that film and I'm really proud of it. When I saw it at my local Cineplex in Norwalk, CT I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Not only was it out of focus, but the bulb was so dim, the visuals had no life. It's a very dark movie, so this was a disaster.

I talked to the manager and said, "Look, I shot this movie you're showing & I plan on bringing many industry people to see it here, but only if you change some things." He said they do have a projectionist but he only comes once a month to check on all the pjs. So I asked him if I could get the guy's phone # and talk with him. Amazingly, he gave it to me. I called him and the projectionist made a special trip to meet me at the theater.

He was horrified by the bulb issue and agreed it should be changed immediately, which he did. Then I asked him if _I_ could focus the projector myself. I used binoculars and focused the projector with the new bulb. It was like night & day. The image looked fantastic.

From then on, I invited anyone I could, to come to this theater to see the film & my work.

I don't live close-by to a state of the art theater. If I did, I would have been way less motivated to build my own. But there's another reason I wanted to do it: I can't stand hearing people say "I watched 'Apocalypse Now' on my phone!" As a Cinematographer, that goes against every molecule in my body!

I truly want to turn friends and family onto watching great films on a huge screen with awesome sound, the way the filmmakers intended. And by building my own theater, I can completely control the presentation to make sure the film is presented in the best possible way. We screened "West Side Story" recently for friends and neighbors and most had never seen it on a big screen. They were awestruck.

The best thing, though, was that every one of those people started rattling off dozens of movies they wanted to now watch for the first time (or watch again). I remember seeing 2001 in 70mm in a print struck off the original negative (when it was first released) - I'll never forget it. I wanted to create a theater environment that would recreate that awesome experience...

-Rob
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post #42 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Electrodynamic View Post
Wow, absolutely killer theater room. Really just beside myself and at a loss for words - everything is just beyond top notch! Extremely well done to put it mildly.

I particularly enjoyed seeing that you used 24" subwoofers on the bottom end.
Thanks so much!

Yeah those subs are unbelievable. It's not only the quantity of sound they produce, but the quality. Very tight, no overhang, extremely quick...

-Rob
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post #43 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Can i move into your theater?
I'll get the cot ready - or you can just use the reclining chairs. :-)
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post #44 of 443 Old 07-23-2016, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Absolutely gorgeous. What time is BvS showing

S~
Thanks! (7:30 tomorrow night...)
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post #45 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Hahn View Post
You know, calling it a theater and not a home theater (thank you!) brings up something I wanted to say. The motivation for doing this has to do with my experience as a DP (Director of Photography). You work for months and months away from your family, 20 hours a day, shooting the movie, angsting (not a word, I know) over a zillion details only to see your movie displayed on screens with dim bulbs, incorrect framing and out of focus lenses.

Not always, of course, but way more often than not. I can't tell you how many times I've had to go into the booth at a theater because the film was out of focus, only to find no one's there!

I shot Marlon Brando's last film, "The Score" with Robert De Niro & Edward Norton. I worked very, very hard on that film and I'm really proud of it. When I saw it at my local Cineplex in Norwalk, CT I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Not only was it out of focus, but the bulb was so dim, the visuals had no life. It's a very dark movie, so this was a disaster.

I talked to the manager and said, "Look, I shot this movie you're showing & I plan on bringing many industry people to see it here, but only if you change some things." He said they do have a projectionist but he only comes once a month to check on all the pjs. So I asked him if I could get the guy's phone # and talk with him. Amazingly, he gave it to me. I called him and the projectionist made a special trip to meet me at the theater.

He was horrified by the bulb issue and agreed it should be changed immediately, which he did. Then I asked him if _I_ could focus the projector myself. I used binoculars and focused the projector with the new bulb. It was like night & day. The image looked fantastic.

From then on, I invited anyone I could, to come to this theater to see the film & my work.

I don't live close-by to a state of the art theater. If I did, I would have been way less motivated to build my own. But there's another reason I wanted to do it: I can't stand hearing people say "I watched 'Apocalypse Now' on my phone!" As a Cinematographer, that goes against every molecule in my body!

I truly want to turn friends and family onto watching great films on a huge screen with awesome sound, the way the filmmakers intended. And by building my own theater, I can completely control the presentation to make sure the film is presented in the best possible way. We screened "West Side Story" recently for friends and neighbors and most had never seen it on a big screen. They were awestruck.

The best thing, though, was that every one of those people started rattling off dozens of movies they wanted to now watch for the first time (or watch again). I remember seeing 2001 in 70mm in a print struck off the original negative (when it was first released) - I'll never forget it. I wanted to create a theater environment that would recreate that awesome experience...

-Rob
That makes total sense. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to perfectly display your work when the end equipments are not up to the standards.
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post #46 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 01:31 PM
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So, if Dolby had built a Cinema near you, then you would have forgone your own theater? You would have been annoyed at the Exit signs, unless you have Exit signs in your theater.

Speaking of 2001, have you been to Trumbull's theater? I think he is somewhere up in your neck of the woods.

Did you look at different AT screens before going with the Stewart microperf? I have never been a fan of microperf and have only really liked the Seymour Enlightor for AT screens. Mike Garrett of AVS says they have a new AT screen that exceeds the Enlightor for image quality, but I haven't seen it yet.

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post #47 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 01:55 PM
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where is your favorite place to sit and is it different than where you usually sit? stunning theater and the photos are top notch also, did you take them?

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post #48 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 04:52 PM
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I thought about my smalll reply above and how "blah" it was so here is a little more than I posted previously.

The attention to detail (larger A/C ducts to reduce noise, huge heavy doors, the room within a roon, the equipment room, the lights on the front speakers to show them off when desired, the overall layout of the entire project, etc) is what I am most impressed with. It re-defines the level of detail and specifics of a dream theater to everyone.

The bass [subwoofer] section sounds incredible too...especially being able to put up the decibel levels at those low frequencies is very impressive and no easy task. Your theater is one that I am certain I will still be thinking about when I'm 90 years old - just laying there and then smiling thinking "man that Hahn theater was so epic", haha.
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post #49 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 06:08 PM
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great theater, a lot of members here would be happy just having your projection room!

Just wondering : what' s your favorite seat in the room? is there a sweetspot?
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post #50 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ericglo View Post
So, if Dolby had built a Cinema near you, then you would have forgone your own theater? You would have been annoyed at the Exit signs, unless you have Exit signs in your theater.

Speaking of 2001, have you been to Trumbull's theater? I think he is somewhere up in your neck of the woods.

Did you look at different AT screens before going with the Stewart microperf? I have never been a fan of microperf and have only really liked the Seymour Enlightor for AT screens. Mike Garrett of AVS says they have a new AT screen that exceeds the Enlightor for image quality, but I haven't seen it yet.
You're right about the exit signs!

I actually have been at the Trumbull theater - it's pretty good. But now I just have to walk up the stairs...

You know, I didn't really do my due diligence with the screen material, which is kinda weird considering the amount of detail I attended to in the theater. I only saw Stewart screens when I went on my sojourns. I think I just went with Stewart's reputation and Geoff Franklin's recommendation on the screen. I knew I wanted a screen with no gain, but was worried that any pj I chose that had good black level would have trouble lighting up a 19' screen. That would have certainly been true with the Sony 1100. So at first I knew I would have to use the Stewart 1.3.

I think what sold me (and gave me a level of confidence) was when I saw the 1100 in Minneapolis on a 19' screen (when I was auditioning the JBL M2s). They were using a 1.3 gain Stewart - the _exact_ setup I was going to be using. The sound was very, very nice and the image was excellent. I remember turning to Keith while we were watching "West Side Story" and saying, "Am I crazy or does this image look amazing?" So I guess when the Sony 5000 became a reality for me, I knew the 1.0 gain screen would look even better. That's what sold me.

If I hadn't liked what I saw I in Minneapolis, then I absolutely would have researched other options, like the Seymour.

Frankly, pjs and screen materials can always be changed (albeit expensive). Getting the room right is the big thing... Not to say that the screen isn't essential and highly important, but you know what I mean...

-Rob
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post #51 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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"great theater, a lot of members here would be happy just having your projection room!

Just wondering : what' s your favorite seat in the room? is there a sweetspot?"

=========

"where is your favorite place to sit and is it different than where you usually sit? stunning theater and the photos are top notch also, did you take them?"

Thanks Audiman & torii! (Yes I took all the photos myself).

We designed the room to sound best in the 2nd row, center. Originally the screen wasn't going to be 19'. I don't like to sit super close to the screen normally (partly because you see the flaws when you're up close - like if the projector isn't perfectly focused, for example). When I visited Art Sonnenborn and Jeff (thebland) to see their theaters (they have 14' screens), I spent hours with them (thanks again guys!) sitting in different positions to help determine the optimal distance for my tastes.

It turned out I responded well to a 1.3 or 1.4 ratio. So a 14' screen 19' from the screen would be perfect, and that's how we determined the distance of the 2nd row center seat to the screen.

As we proceeded, we found we were able to fit a much larger size, so we figured, "Let's do it, because we can!"

Knowing I would have the ability to do 4-way masking, I figured I can make the screen any size I want, based on the quality of the source material and the aspect ratio. For films that have huge vistas and slow moving cameras ("Lawrence of Arabia", "2001") I can watch on a 19' screen. For action films with a lot of hand-held work (the Bourne films), or that have less than pristine picture quality, I can make the image smaller.

What I found, however, is that I _never_ make the screen smaller than 19'. For those films that have a lot of movement, I sit in the 3rd row. What's interesting is that even though you see the room a little more from the 3rd row (moldings, columns), it doesn't detract or distract from the experience. In fact, in some ways I prefer it because you see the screen in relation to the surroundings it's in. In other words, having the frame of reference of the room as part of your field of view somehow sends a signal to the brain that the screen is _really_ big.

It also happens to be a 1.4 ratio from the 3rd row.

All that said, I do find that I watch more and more films from the 2nd row, which is a 1.0 ratio, and it's true that the sound is a little better in the 2nd row, but not by a lot actually. That's the beauty of what Keith has achieved. There really are no compromised seats in the theater. We did make different audio presets in the Trinnov that I can call up depending on which row we're in, which is really cool...

-Rob
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post #52 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 08:41 PM
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I hear you. As long as it looks good to you, that is all that matters. You are probably sitting far enough back that the perfs aren't an issue.

As a DP, do you have any thoughts on Trumbull's new 3D 120fps?

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post #53 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I hear you. As long as it looks good to you, that is all that matters. You are probably sitting far enough back that the perfs aren't an issue.

As a DP, do you have any thoughts on Trumbull's new 3D 120fps?
I'm embarrassed to say I haven't seen it yet - mostly because we've been working on the house for the past 3 years. I haven't had time to check cool stuff like that out. And now I've got a huge backlog of films to catch up on!

But I will check it out. It must be amazing...
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post #54 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrodynamic View Post
I thought about my smalll reply above and how "blah" it was so here is a little more than I posted previously.

The attention to detail (larger A/C ducts to reduce noise, huge heavy doors, the room within a roon, the equipment room, the lights on the front speakers to show them off when desired, the overall layout of the entire project, etc) is what I am most impressed with. It re-defines the level of detail and specifics of a dream theater to everyone.

The bass [subwoofer] section sounds incredible too...especially being able to put up the decibel levels at those low frequencies is very impressive and no easy task. Your theater is one that I am certain I will still be thinking about when I'm 90 years old - just laying there and then smiling thinking "man that Hahn theater was so epic", haha.
Thank you!- what's been so nice are the comments from the guys who worked on and built the theater - none of them has ever done something like this and there were hundreds of very stringent details that had to be followed to the nth degree, courtesy of Keith Yates Design. They didn't know why certain things had to be done in the way prescribed, but as we got closer to the end, they could hear the difference in the room, just when they spoke to one another.

Then when we showed "Gravity" - well that kinda blew everyone's mind!
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post #55 of 443 Old 07-24-2016, 09:05 PM
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Epic !

Cheers,
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post #56 of 443 Old 07-25-2016, 07:56 AM
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Keith had very stringent requirements for the fabric for the walls. It had to be acoustically transparent to allow the acoustic treatment to do its thing, and I wanted it to be the right color and have some texture. There wasn't a lot to choose from frankly. We got tons of samples and Keith had to ok each one. It was vastly important to find what we were going to use because the choice would ultimately drive the color of the carpet, the wood stain color, etc.

I used Lucifer recessed fixtures in the main part of the theater. I had originally spec'd these fixtures to be more recessed because I didn't want the trims to be visible during a film (from the screen reflection). But when we did that, you couldn't see the light from the fixture when you entered the theater. You just saw these black holes in the ceiling fabric - it looked weird. So we had to make custom sleeves to lower the fixtures. We had to do that because the ceiling fabric had already been installed. It can be removed, but it's a much bigger deal than removing the side panels.

Speaking of which, we came up with a great solution to access all the side & rear speakers and acoustic treatments - the fabric is attached to frames that are held in place by magnets. We sewed in little tabs at the bottom of each panel that you just pull on to remove the panels. Even the large black fabric panels that flank the screen are removable.

For lighting the speakers and treatments behind the fabric, I used these mini-cylinder spotlights - Juno is the company - on tracks.

The lighting behind the screen was much more complicated. I used 6 SORAA Vivid 2 miniature spotlights on tracks shooting straight down on the acoustic treatment between the JBL M2s. To light the M2s and the UberSubs, we came up with a system using the Juno fixtures. We attached the fixtures to a black plate that was attached to the baffle wall. The black plate acts as a shield blocking the fixture from view when sitting in the seats. We mocked this up very carefully before committing because once the screen is attached, it isn't trivial to get back behind there just to do some tweaking.

I also decided to use all LED fixtures behind the screen, because they last much longer than halogens. Generally I don't like the color temperature of LEDs but in this case, it made sense. I used halogens when I lit the sides & rears cause we can easily get to those.

The ceiling was a lot of work to light. We used LED strip lighting along the beams and mocked these up very carefully as well. I had at least 6 separate lighting zones so that I could dim different areas at different levels. I wanted this amount of control because we couldn’t mock up the ceiling lighting beforehand. You could only tell what the lighting effect would look like _after_ the ceiling fabric was installed. Then it would be too late to make adjustments. So I wanted the ability & flexibility to have dimming control in many areas of the ceiling.

Here are some pictures:











Thanks for the info on the lighting. I am still years away from getting to build (in the saving stage still for a home build) and no where near to this size level, but things like that are fun to research for later. Is all the fabric by the same manufacturer? As others have said as well, simply amazing!
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Last edited by NanPatterson; 07-25-2016 at 10:53 AM.
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post #57 of 443 Old 07-25-2016, 09:07 AM
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Quite possibly the most impressive HT system I've seen online, ever.

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post #58 of 443 Old 07-25-2016, 08:18 PM
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Hi Rob,

Thanks for taking the time to share your build. I see that you have most of your movie library on Kaleidoscope servers, but as an industry insider, do you have the capability and access to 4k DCP content?

Have you found any of the studio screening rooms to have comparable technical signatures to what you have achieved at home?

Amongst your professional circle, have you seen other home theaters that have inspired you? What's the general trend in overall quality, based on theme, audio soundfield and video presentation?

Have you had a chance to sample some concert Blu-rays in the theater? What's your impression? How about SACD releases of some of your favorite artists, does it engage you or do you prefer the 2 channel originals instead?

You mentioned that you also created a 2 channel audio room. What media do you prefer, vinyl, CD, or high bitrate downloads? What are your favorite music genres?

Anyway, I appreciate your time and look forward to following your thread.

Regards,
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post #59 of 443 Old 07-26-2016, 04:17 AM
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So so cool! i can't even describe what i feel when i look at these pictures. In person it has to be mind-blowing. no way it can't be.

the lighting behind the side wall speakers is what has got my attention. so unique. did you have to use special material for the side black panels? is it the same as the front screen side materials? can i ask what kind of material u used?

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post #60 of 443 Old 07-26-2016, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NanPatterson View Post
Thanks for the info on the lighting. I am still years away from getting to build (in the saving stage still for a home build) and no where near to this size level, but things like that are fun to research for later. Is all the fabric by the same manufacturer? As others have said as well, simply amazing!
Thank you! I can't tell you the amount of links I saved over the years from this forum as research for a possible future theater - it can get overwhelming, can't it?

(No, the fabrics are all different actually).

-Rob
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