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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Panama City, FL
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After two long days of working on the 5000ES stack with Ken Whitcomb, there is only one thing to say. The effort is certainly worth the reward. It is F***ing incredible!
As good as the 5000ES is, seeing two stacked is like watching a 200" LED flat panel TV.
Living in mostly the digital world, since CRT projectors were a little before my time, I thought what can be so hard. I know I can align a digital projector perfectly, so I just do that twice and I'm done. Well not even close! I certainly couldn't of accomplished this task without Ken.
Even with Ken spending hours on alignment, it was only at about 90% perfect. The corners weren't perfect, and there was a visible loss of sharpness in those areas, especially with text. But yet the rest of the image looked so incredible, I literally couldn't sleep for thinking about how to improve the setup.
I started to go back through some old 5000ES Youtube videos, because I remember Sony having a side by side stack at one of the trade shows. Well it was CES2016, and that video helped fill in the missing piece of the puzzle. While listening to the Sony rep, he explained that the Sony could not only be stacked side by side or over and under, but actually both ways in a quad stack. AND... that Sony had created software to help perfectly align up to 4 units.
So after sending emails out to 5 Sony engineers early this am, they sent back the latest version of Projector Calibration Pro software. This software is the missing piece of the puzzle as it allows alignment of not only Red and Blue, but also of Green, and White (RGB all together). This allows you to perfectly setup one projector as the reference. You then get the second unit lined up as perfectly as possible to the reference. No tilting, no keystoning, no skewing, both must be perfect. This part is 80% of the job. Then you use the software to tweak the image of the second projector to perfectly align with the first. And with Ken in the driver's seat, the only touch-ups that were required was around the perimeter of the image. After this was complete, you absolutely can't tell the difference between one or two units. I spent an hour just having him cover and un-cover one projector as I looked at different 4K still images, and even with my nose to the screen, there is no visible loss of sharpness.
I absolutely am moving forward with a permanent install. This will require a fair amount of work to cut out a wall and install a header, built a larger platform, possibly relocate some electrical and even a plumbing vent. But even if I have to remove a large amount of sheetrock, I intend to get this done.
From the temporary position I could only fill 14' of the 17' wide screen. But with a 14' wide image on ST130 perf (so 1.2 gain) we had 107.2fL. So when I can put them in their permanent location I will have 67fL with ST130 perf or around 50fL with ST100 perf. With a single unit I get 33fL on my 17' wide ST130.
Viewing the stack was honestly like lifting a veil from over the lens. The worst part is going to be dis-assembling the stack and being without it until I can get the room modifications complete and can get Ken back on site.
All I can say is don't look at a stack setup unless you are prepared to move forward, because once you see it there's no turning back. As Art so eloquently told me today, "Once you stack, you never go back"
Last edited by ccool96; 12-04-2017 at 05:34 PM.