DES Pulsar 1.4 Solid Surface On Order - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 98 Old 03-24-2018, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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DES Pulsar 1.4 Solid Surface On Order

Just a little background:

I am new to the projector world. I don't have any loyalties yet. I started to post this in LumensLover's review thread but didn't want to hijack it. And then my post turned into a novel...

Last fall our house was struck by lightning and caught on fire. Thankfully we were home, no one got hurt, the fireman arrived very quickly and limited the damage. We didn't have a total loss, however it was a large loss. The basement was finished by the original owner with a Pioneer plasma and Pioneer Elite 5.1 surround circa 2008. Needless to say the insurance company is paying to have everything replaced, USAA for the win! The good news is I get to decide how that money is spent, which of the destroyed items in our house are replaced directly, differently, or not at all.


After all my research my first plan was to do a Sony VW-285ES with the SI Black Diamond 2.35:1. I ended up deciding I wanted to go with the VW-385ES to get the dynamic iris and position memory as I really want to do CIH. However after buying all the audio gear first (almost exclusively through Black Friday and Christmas specials): Denon AVR-X6300H, fronts 2 x Klipsch RF7-II, center Klipsch RC64-II, rear 2 x K R-5800-W II, sub K R-115SW, (surround 2 x K RP-250S, and 4 x in ceiling hadn't even been purchased yet) my better half realized I was beginning to stretch the budget we had set , and suggested I needed to get "creative" if I wanted to get the projector I had envisioned. That's when I decided maybe I could compromise on the screen, if I could get close to the same performance at a reduced cost. And "resigned" myself to the 285, I say resigned because I can only imagine that the 285 would have still BLOWN me away.

So I went back into research mode. I found several people comparing DES to SI Black Diamond. I also found Montucky in the unfortunate position of trying to relinquish much of his inventory. He is a wealth of knowledge, patient, fair, and really took the time to hold this rookies hand and help reassure me on some of the decisions I was wavering on. Thanks Montucky! We discussed the SI Black Diamons and how it has been an industry leader for years, good company, great customer service, and easy to work with. BUT I was nearing my ceiling and needed to explore options. I ended up buying the VW-665ES that Montucky need to unload at a fantastic value! 4 RBH in ceiling speakers, Kaleidoscape Encore 4k (Pretty STOKED about the KScape!), a sub amp (to go with my planned expansion of low tones after we are back in the house) and one of his shelving sets. This really ended up saving my plans, and put an AMAZING projector in my hands.

My next call was to DES to find out if what they had, would meets my needs, at the budget I was trying to meet. I no longer had the 4.5K left that I was originally planning to spend on the SI BD. My first call went to an answering service, I left my msg, anxiously awaiting the call back. Interestingly 15 mins later I received a text, saying it was Stephen at DES, he was sorry to miss my call, but was now a good time to talk? I really thought this was pretty cool, just for the fact that if I had missed his call back we would have been playing tag, vs, he texts me from his direct mobile, now I have the option to communicate with him via text or call and we can coordinate much better.
So I call and tell him about my plan, he asks me what projector I was planning to use, mounting distance from the screen, viewing distance for the audience, how much control of the light I would have (which honestly is pretty good, only two windows in the basement neither directly facing the screen). I told Stephen I was really interested in the Solid Surface option, something that will never change with time, heat, cold, or humidity. But I was worried about getting it into the basement. And was thinking I may need to go the Fixed Frame route. We discussed the layout of the stairway and making it around they corner, and that at the dimensions we discussed (130" diagonal 2.35:1 (51" x 120")) I should be able to make it. Also he told me about a customer that ended up doing a curved setup, and I can get some flex out of the screen to round the corner without causing damage to the screen and still mount it flat. His final reassurance to me was that if I couldn't get it down there, he would cover the cost to have it sent back and we could go to the fixed frame or he would reimburse me if I decided and could go another route entirely. That was all I needed to hear.

Stephen quoted my the price with shipping included, which was significant because the thing is a solid 10 foot piece of metal 51 inches tall. So I asked him if I drove down there from Indianapolis with my trailer (7ish hours driving) if he would cut out the cost of shipping. He said absolutely, didn't even blink an eye, I asked him the price without shipping and was even happier! In the end my boss decided with trying to move back into the house, possibly taking off or work, and getting there and back it was worth the piece of mind to just have it shipped to our door. Happy wife, happy life. However I was pretty excited about the idea of driving down there, meeting Stephen, and checking out his facility.

The purpose of this post is to not only hopefully show the quality of the product (I'm assuming the quality will be there), but to share the great customer service I've had with the company so far.
I don't know how many employee's he has working for him, how long he's been in business, Stephen has never asked for a review (positive or otherwise), I did not let him know I would be posting any of my thoughts on the screen online. I honestly didn't know that the prices weren't widely available until after I ordered my screen, and read about all the hoopla on these forums. I registered with the forum, hopefully to be a worthwhile contributor at best, and an apt student at least.

When I first visited the website I agree it could use some work. BUT it got me to call in and ask for more information. Stephen provided that information, answered all my questions, and offered what i feel was a great price for essentially a custom screen (as it isn't one of his normal sizes).

Please feel Free to ask questions. If you want to know prices, PM i have no problem telling you. I may even post them. I haven't talked to Stephen about any of that at all. I do respect him, appreciate that he's trying to offer a competitive product, and don't want to throw a wrench in it for him. So I'll leave that open for now.


Attaching a few pics to get started.

Look forward to learning from you all!

Very Respectfully
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post #2 of 98 Old 03-24-2018, 05:04 PM
 
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I'm in here first. And I'm very excited for you.
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post #3 of 98 Old 03-24-2018, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks LumensLover! Hoping to have the shipping info the beginning of this week, ordered on 2/12/18. We just started moving back in this past Thursday. My in-laws drove into visit and help unpack, so Dad and I got to start installing some equipment today!
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post #4 of 98 Old 03-24-2018, 07:20 PM
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What color are your walls?

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post #5 of 98 Old 03-24-2018, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Sherwin Williams “Summit”, satin finish
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post #6 of 98 Old 03-24-2018, 09:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FamMann81 View Post
Thanks LumensLover! Hoping to have the shipping info the beginning of this week, ordered on 2/12/18. We just started moving back in this past Thursday. My in-laws drove into visit and help unpack, so Dad and I got to start installing some equipment today!
You are going to have a very impressive home theater when everything is set up. Your projector is my favorite projector out of any I've seen. And I've seen many projectors. I first saw your projector demoed with a Black Diamond screen with custom masking system. The deep colors and awesome blacks of the Sony contrasted brilliantly against the dark substrate of the Black Diamond material. So I know your projector combined with the Pulsar material is going to look spectacular.

I also love your choice of wall color. Gray is now the hottest base and accent color used in all model homes I've seen as of late. I think it's amazing all the different shades of gray that we can use nowadays for both accent walls and base wall color.

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post #7 of 98 Old 03-25-2018, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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It has been quite the journey! Thank you, I have to give credit for the color to my wife, she chose 3 great shades of grey upstairs and then tied the Summit in downstairs, also found a great carpet to pair with the walls.

I am super excited about the Sony, as soon as it arrived we blasted it up on the wall of the rental house and watched Thor Ragnarok in 4K, that was pretty awesome, can’t wait to see it up on the Pulsar!! Unfortunately I have not gotten anything done yet in the basement today, just finished up telling airplanes where to go. I hope to get a few more pieces in place before my head hits the pillow tonight!

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post #8 of 98 Old 03-25-2018, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, noob question.... How do I edits my posts? I’ve found a few spelling errors and they are driving me crazy!!
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post #9 of 98 Old 03-25-2018, 06:44 PM
 
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Alright, noob question.... How do I edits my posts? I’ve found a few spelling errors and they are driving me crazy!!
Click on the edit button which is right next to your reply button. These two buttons should be underneath every one of your posts.
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post #10 of 98 Old 03-26-2018, 03:16 AM
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You probably won't have an "Edit" button until you have 10 posts...after that, it'll appear.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #11 of 98 Old 03-26-2018, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Lumens, and Ftoast you nailed it, the edit button has appeared.
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post #12 of 98 Old 03-27-2018, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamMann81 View Post
Sherwin Williams “Summit”, satin finish
First off, hello FamMann and I am enjoying hearing about your new setup and seeing your thread. Also, my condolences about the lightning strike but so glad none of your family was hurt! I experienced a direct lightning strike in my previous home last year in June. I did not have a fire, but it did a lot of damage to the house (2 trees killed, fried some electrical wiring, blew out LED light fixtures and destroyed most of my home theater equipment, audio system and computer equipment). Like you, my insurance company covered everything, even waived my deductibles so I was able to replace everything that was lost.

I want to say that you (or your wife!) have great taste and the paint colors in your pictures are exactly what I'm looking for. I will get a sample of that gray color and see how it will look in my new home theater.

I think your projector/screen combo are going to be excellent. I have owned 2 Sony projectors although they were only 1080p. I now have a JVC RS520 and an SI black Diamond screen. There were not as many alternatives available when I purchased 4 years ago, but the BD has served me well.

Please keep up this thread and share your progress with more pictures!
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post #13 of 98 Old 03-28-2018, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you jrlnc for your kind words! Yes we feel very blessed and thankful that no one got hurt, and everything that was damaged is replaceable, it could have been much worse. That said the rebuilding process has been fun in many ways, but also stressful. We’re back in the house now, but the punch list isn’t complete....

Upstairs my wife tied in the “March Wind” (lighter grey), “West Minister” and “Peppercorn” (both darker greys) from that same color line. Before she decided we had 8 1ft x1ft color swatches painted on the walls in a grid. She kept on going back to check in daylight, twilight, and cloudy days to make sure she was satisfied with the color. The last time we painted the living room the color was nice but it didn’t come out the way she had hoped.

Well I’m off work today and tomm, my plan is to finish hanging speakers and get everything plugged in. Dad and I’ve got the PJ mounted yesterday. Here are some baseline pics on the wall, lights on and off. The paused scene looks a little blurred but what can you do from DirecTv? This PJ is amazing and I feel so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to pick it up from Montucky!

I phone pics.... I’ll be taking pics with the Nikon soon.
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post #14 of 98 Old 03-28-2018, 09:55 AM
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DEA in Indy !

Last time the DEA was there I skedaddled out of town.

Being a Indy native, it's great to hear someone up there has a Pulsar coming! There is a Live Music venue, RadioRadio...down on Talbot that has 2 -110" Light Fusions, and 2 DEA screen are on the agenda soon.

It seems they will be in good company!

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post #15 of 98 Old 03-28-2018, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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DEA in Indy !

Last time the DEA was there I skedaddled out of town. [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/tongue.gif[/IMG]

Being a Indy native, it's great to hear someone up there has a Pulsar coming! There is a Live Music venue, RadioRadio...down on Talbot that has 2 -110" Light Fusions, and 2 DEA screen are on the agenda soon.

It seems they will be in good company!
Lol, sorry to hear you were run out of town! The boss and I will have to get over there and check it out! We’re still learning the area and where we like to go hang out, just moved here from FL panhandle a couple years ago. Next time you’re up here you’ll have to come by and check out our setup!

Progress has been slow today, as other “higher priority” items keep on getting put on my plate. It’s almost like some people think it’s more important to unpack boxes and arrange the house before taking care of the electronics!!?!? Who knew? My goal is to have the theater room setup, except the screen, before I pass out tonight. Here’s hoping!
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post #16 of 98 Old 03-29-2018, 08:34 PM
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I'm looking forward to your impressions of the Pulsar as I've emailed back and forth with Stephen about using it with a 285ES in our new basement finish (flat, dark colors and full lighting control). Enjoy your space--looks like it's going to be fun!

Basement bat cave: JVC RS2000, 100" 16:9 Stewart StudioTek 130, Denon AVR-X4400H, Oppo UDP-203, Polk RTi A7 towers/CSi A6 center/65RT in-wall side surrounds (2)/70RT in-ceiling Atmos (4), dual PSA V1811 subwoofers
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post #17 of 98 Old 03-29-2018, 10:30 PM
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I'm looking forward to your impressions of the Pulsar as I've emailed back and forth with Stephen about using it with a 285ES in our new basement finish (flat, dark colors and full lighting control).
With a bright, high-contrast projector hitting a ~100" screen in a dedicated, dark-colored theater with lighting controlled to avoid hitting the screen, I'm kind of hoping Stephan steered you toward a less aggressive light-fighting screen option if not a white screen instead of something as aggressive as the Pulsar.
The pulsar will be able to hold deeper blacks in the presence of lights and/or reflections than a significantly lighter-colored/less-aggressive screen with similar peak-gain (for hometheaters that benefit from those qualities), but the lighter-colored screen will almost always hold higher brightness for folks seated farther from the center and better uniformity (which may be the bigger concerns in a dedicated enough theater that keeps lights/reflections off the screen). I'm not sure how controlled and dark-colored you're going with your theater, but that might be worth looking into if it hasn't already been mentioned by Stephan or someone else.
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Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #18 of 98 Old 03-30-2018, 05:18 AM
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With a bright, high-contrast projector hitting a ~100" screen in a dedicated, dark-colored theater with lighting controlled to avoid hitting the screen, I'm kind of hoping Stephan steered you toward a less aggressive light-fighting screen option if not a white screen instead of something as aggressive as the Pulsar.
The pulsar will be able to hold deeper blacks in the presence of lights and/or reflections than a significantly lighter-colored/less-aggressive screen with similar peak-gain (for hometheaters that benefit from those qualities), but the lighter-colored screen will almost always hold higher brightness for folks seated farther from the center and better uniformity (which may be the bigger concerns in a dedicated enough theater that keeps lights/reflections off the screen). I'm not sure how controlled and dark-colored you're going with your theater, but that might be worth looking into if it hasn't already been mentioned by Stephan or someone else.
In an effort to not highjack the thread, I'll say Stephen has provided all screen options and thoughts to each But I still have questions. I'm probably three months out from being ready, so I've got time to make an informed decision.
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post #19 of 98 Old 03-30-2018, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I'm looking forward to your impressions of the Pulsar as I've emailed back and forth with Stephen about using it with a 285ES in our new basement finish (flat, dark colors and full lighting control). Enjoy your space--looks like it's going to be fun!
Thanks Todd! Got the tracking info now! I don’t expect to see much movement with the Holiday weekend and all, but fully expect to have it mounted this time next week. With its size and being solid surface, it took little to find a freight carrier to move it. Still wish I could have taken the road trip down there to pick it up! Anyway I’ll try and take lots of pic’s, or more likely have my wife or daughter be my documentor while I unpack it.

I saw questions about the shipping before, it may have been Bud. Any specific request on shots, before and after unboxing?

We watched Thor: Ragnarok on the wall last night, loved every second of it, even though we were sitting on the floor and in lawn chairs (couches will be here here on wed) The audio came out better than I could have hoped, it was truly immersive! The image was great just up on the wall, I can’t wait to see it on the Pulsar!
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post #20 of 98 Old 04-02-2018, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Just got the call, the screen will be delivered tomm after 2. Pretty excited gents!!

The couches will get here on wed morning, then no more picnic style at the movies!
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post #21 of 98 Old 04-02-2018, 07:11 PM
 
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Just got the call, the screen will be delivered tomm after 2. Pretty excited gents!!

The couches will get here on wed morning, then no more picnic style at the movies!
Yay!
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post #22 of 98 Old 04-05-2018, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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It’s in!!! After a massive rainstorm on tues and a miscommunication with the freight guy yesterday, the screen has been delivered!

Initial thoughts, it was packaged well. The box took some damage in transit, but the screen is immaculate! Wood frame to box it in, sandwiched between foam insulation on both sides, with rolled foam along the edges.
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post #23 of 98 Old 04-05-2018, 01:37 PM
 
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It's almost show time.
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post #24 of 98 Old 04-05-2018, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Christmas in April?
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post #25 of 98 Old 04-05-2018, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Please ignore the goofy ogre looking guy on the left, and remember the hotty on the right is married! Lol

Also I have no idea what song that is up on the screen, I showed my 17 yo daughter how to use the Denon to AirPlay off her phone. It just happened to be what was up last.
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post #26 of 98 Old 04-05-2018, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Last one for a bit. Included mounting hardware. The bright silver pucks are REALLY strong magnets, so much so I started getting worried about pulling them apart after I played with the first two. They came wrapped in paper towels, I’m assuming so that they are easier to work with! Lol My Bad.

The black pucks are hard plastic.


There are 5 mounting locations evenly space along the back side.

Also just noticed on the back there is a date (I’m assuming of production) and another # I’m guessing is a way Dark Energy can identify that it’s one of theirs.
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Last edited by FamMann81; 04-05-2018 at 03:38 PM.
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post #27 of 98 Old 04-05-2018, 05:53 PM
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Nice all this talk of this screen has me very curious if ill see an improvement over my Seymour matinee silver 2.1...

Looking forward to ur review too.
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post #28 of 98 Old 04-05-2018, 07:43 PM
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I'm curious how the Pulsar looks compared beside a sample of Seymour MatineeBlack.

This solid, borderless version looks extra cool. The magnetic mounting sounds interesting too...a lot nicer-looking than the original mounting (holes near the top) of the Blade.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #29 of 98 Old 04-08-2018, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for the delay in updates! We are absolutely loving the Pulsar! Did you know Princess Leia as freckles on her nose and cheeks?? Never realized, lol! Now I will be the first to admit my opinion doesn’t really mean much, this is my first projector and screen, but it is pretty awesome from my perspective. If I want the lights on we get a great image, which will be perfect for game days and parties, and with the lights off it’s like looking through a window into whatever imaginary realm we want to go to!

The install was a breeze, it was essentially a one person operation until I needed to lift it to the mount location. Just grabbed my laser level, set the middle location first, then marked my locations on either side. Stuck all the foam spacers on the back to keep the screen at a uniform distance off the wall. Then called the boss downstairs to help me set it in place. All total I bet the screen weighs less than 25lbs, that’s only a guess though.

Here’s a few pics, I know the most important part is how the Pulsar performs with the lights on so I’ll be working on some pics of that next. So far all these pics are with my phone, but I’ll break out the Nikon and tripod for the ambient shots to hopefully capture of the environment more accurately.

Note, the planet earth shot was taken before adjusting the image and saving the memory position for 1.85:1 and 2.35:1. Zoom, shift, and blanking are all set for CIH now. Had some friends over yesterday and they were blow away watching Star Wars: Eps IV A New Hope.
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Last edited by FamMann81; 04-08-2018 at 06:38 PM.
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post #30 of 98 Old 04-08-2018, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Mounted

Also we had a ton of left over carpet so instead of buying the risers I’m going to build them myself and cover them with the matching carpet.
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