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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

My goal is to build an AV system that can deliver all my AV needs in one room regardless of different format anytime any day.

My plasma displays all the OTA and pay channels content from Comcast via a CableCard and DVD/BD movie content from my HTPC. The same content can be easily switched between the plasma and projector. On the projector side, with 2 different gain material in different projector screens, I can pull down my back 16:9 screen, 2.8 high gain power, for day time viewing even with a lot of ambient light inside the room. In the evening, I can pull down my front 2.35 screen, 1.0 gain matte white, to enhance the black color for the 2.35 CinemaScope movie. The screen set up is so versatile, I can watch everything anytime I want and not to worry about the light condition in the room.

I have been thinking to get a projector that can accomplished the 2 screens set up. Panasonic AE4000 and RS20/750 are top of my wished list. Based on my my research, picture to picture, I believe RS20/700 will be able to deliver a better black and overall picture than Panasonic AE4000. Unfortunately, JVC does not offer lens shift and zoom features that Panasonic AE4000 offers. More info here. Why? Since this is NOT a CIH, Constant Image Height, set up instead of a CIW, Constant Image Width, set up, it does require the projector to resize and lens shift to different image sizes; between 16:9 and 2.35 image.


With Panasonic AE4000, I can easily switch between 2 format images, 16:9 and 2.35. When I want to watch 16:9 content, all I need is to press a 16:9 preset button from the remote and Panasonic AE4000 will resize the 16:9 image I saved before - that's it!

When I want to watch 2.35 CinemaScope movie, all I need to do are:

(1) Press a 2.35 preset button from my remote then Panasonic 4000 will resize the 2.35 image I saved before.

(2) Press the V-fit button, vertical stress the image for the anamorphic lens.

(3) Slide the anamorphic lens in front of the projector then I will have the 2.35 image in front of me. No more black top and bottom bar and using all the pixels Panasonic AE4000 offers.


In 1st quarter of 2011, Intel introduced the 2nd generation of the I3, I5 & I7 CPU and H67 chipset a.k.a. Sandy Bridge. Thanks for such specifications, HTPC will be able to bitstreaming all the HD codecs such as DTS MA and Dolby TrueHD, without any downsampling, from HDMI MB port natively without any additional sound card such as Xonar HDAV before. Other additional features of H67 are USB3, SATA 6 Gbps... More info here.

Also, in last quarter of 2010, after years of 3rd party R&D and speculations, a fully working CableCard finally released. This is a great news for the HTPC user in US who want to watch all the HD pay channels natively inside Media Center, not S video, RCA or Firewire input from cable box to HTPC. Other benefits are HTPC will be able to record the pay channel content such as CNN, ESPN & HBO into our own hard drive instead of the cable box's hard drive. Last but not least, with CableCard, we don't need the cable box anymore since HTPC CableCard will be able to do just the cable box does and much more. More info here.

Since my HTPC is the main AV streaming device, I spent a lot of time to choose the best components I can find today. My HTPC is near silent since I'm using a Seasonic X-400 fanless PSU and only operating with a single 120mm 9db fan that share with Corsair Hydro Series H60 CPU cooler. As a result, it is a close-to-silent, drawing as little AC power as possible and all the features that HTPC can offer today.


To conclude, a dual screen format system to accomplish different time of the day viewing with 16:9 & 2.35 materials plus a 15 TB server connects to HTPC, I can easily enjoy 2 channel music file, OTA, pay channel programming or bit stream BD/DVD HD codecs to my pre-amp, Onkyo Pro 885, and powered by a 7 channels power amp, Theta Dreadnaught II, to 7 speakers, Martin Logan, via MIT Shotgun interconnect and speaker cables, the result is a powerful but yet multipurpose AV system that I can enjoy anytime of the day.

Room and Projector Data

Room size: 17' X 20'

Ceiling height: 9'

Projector to screen: 16'

Projector drop from ceiling: 14

16:9 with 2.8 gain screen: 110 96 X 54 with 14 black drop from top.

2.35 with 1.0 gain screen: 104 96 X 41 with 20 black drop from top & 7 black drop from bottom up.

Throw ratio: 2

Video Equipment
Panasonic AE4000 Projector
Panamorph UV200 Anamorphic Lens
Chief projector and anamorphic lens mount

Da-Lite 16:9 110 High Power screen

Da-Lite 2.35 104 Matte White screen

NEC 1080i 50 Commerce Plasma

Audio Equipment

Pre-Amp: Onkyo Pro SC885P

Power Amp: Theta Dreadnaught II

7.1 Speakers: Martin Logan

Cables: MIT Shotgun interconnect and speaker cables

Power Conditioner: PS Audio Power Plant Premier

HTPC Compontents

CPU: i3 2100 (2nd generation)

CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Motherboard: Asus P8 H67-M Evo Motherboard (Sandy Bridge 1155 H67 B3)

Tuner Card: Ceton InfiniTV 4 CableCARD Tuner

RAM: Corsair 8G DDR3 1333 RAM

PSU: Seasonic Fanless X-Series 400W

SSD: Crossair 60G

BD/DVD Player: LG H20L Blu-ray Drive


OS: Windows 7 x86 Ultimate

BD/DVD Decryption: AnyDVD HD

ISO Mount: VCD

BD/DVD Player: Arcosft TMT5

MCE Library: MyMovies4 PR8

Screen drawing/planning

Custom enclosure (2 screens inside)

Panasonic 4000 with Panamorph UV200 Anamorphic Lens

Receiving TrueHD codec from BD material from my HTPC to Pre-Amp

Day time using plasma

Day time using 16:9 screen

Day time using 2.35 screen

Night time using plasma

Night time using 16.9 movie

Night time using 2.35 movie


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With a 16TB movie server combine a HTPC as my player, streaming a 2 channels MP3 from Foobar2000 or playing back a Blu-ray ISO from Arcsoft TMT3 with SimHD bit streaming DTS MA or TrueHD to Onkyo Pro 885 (replacing Theta Casablanca III HDMI edition preamp available end of summer) then powered by a 7 channels Theta Dreadnaught II amplifier to 7 Martin Logan speakers via MIT Shotgun interconnect and speaker cables between them, the outcome is a powerful but yet multipurpose movie theater system that we have been looking for a long time!


With that set-up with your HTPC, do you lose any capabilites when playing a Blu-Ray movie compared to if you were playing the Blu-Ray disc in a standalone player (such as menus, extras, BD-live etc.)?

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Originally Posted by sipester /forum/post/16878704

With that set-up with your HTPC, do you lose any capabilites when playing a Blu-Ray movie compared to if you were playing the Blu-Ray disc in a standalone player (such as menus, extras, BD-live etc.)?

Same thing as the standalone player. I can access the menus, extras, BD-Live & etc. before I change the V-stress from the Panny 3K and slide the a-lens in. Sometime, I will just slide the a-lens in and instead using the V-stress from the Panny 3K, I will use 16:9 or 4:3 mode to access the menus, extras, BD-Live & etc.
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