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Well, it's just a little over 24 hours since I had the experience I've been waiting for a long,long time to see....a non cinema environment with the capability of producing very large, high resolution, often lifelike and stunning images and sound....and the ability to easily choose what exactly you feel like experiencing at any point in time in that environment.


"This" would be Dean McManis' Home Theater. I was fortunate to be able to drive south myself approximately 33 miles to Dean's house this weekend to meet he and his lovely wife....while on a 360 mile drive north to see a friend that my wife and I were visiting, and to be given a "tour" of what he has at his disposal on a DAILY basis. I expected to be really impressed from everything I'd read from others who have seen it, and what I saw did not disappoint in the least! My expectations honestly were exceeded. I think I have good perspective from owning a not yet fully calbrated, but not badly tweaked G1000 at 7 foot wide display, with a reasonably performing scaler and having also just gone to Infocomm and and seen several times the new 1000 to 1 contrast JVC QXGA D-ILA and the new 1000 to 1 M5100SC SXGA projectors put through their HD paces on the 20 foot wide screen at the show. Wow!! on them....and "WOW" on Dean's theater at a fraction of those projectors' prices!!


I knew Dean's screen would be huge. What I didn't know was that it would be virtually the whole front wall!! Seemed to fill it entirely with about a foot border side to side and top to bottom. Maybe the top of his screen area was right at the top of this room which is one level below his living space, I'm not sure about that.


That stunning effect in his theater is coupled with, from what I saw, virtually flawless scaling from his HTPC. Echoing what others have said about S.O.T.A. processing with 480P DVD and D-ILA projection, it looks on the best material almost like Hi Definition or at least in the same "impact" league as HD. It really was truly amazing to be seated 12 feet from a the 15 foot diagonal wide screen, seeing the detail and clarity that he gets from 480P.


Then, I was treated with samples of HD programming as well, that he could find to show at that point in time, and this gorgeous, huge display on the perforated GrayHawk, thrown up by his calibrated G15 [even at 800 hrs on his bulb] through his Isco lens.....was nothing short of stunning!!!!!! WOW!! Loved the Direct TV loop with the "Echo Challenge" footage. Loved the other HD material we sampled and the CGI 1080P, 13 ft. wide saltwater acquarium effect. If I could have sat dead center without my head casting a shadow, I would gladly have moved 2-4 feet closer. He has comfortable seats four or five feet closer that where we were at 12 ft. but by necessity, off to the left and right sides of the screen to keep from creating shadows in the projection path to the bottom of his screen.


To this phenominal visual experience he adds an outstanding surround theater sound system and the very accurate soundstage created by his ability to have the front speakers located behind the screen. The performance of the sub woofer behind our sofa made me ask if he had those in-the-floor monster bass shakers. You don't get that in your local cineplex!


HT is like boxing in that with two fighters of equal ability....the good big man will generally win, while with HT, the larger image will be the one you probably would opt to sit in front of...if it remains as highly resolved as a smaller image next to it.


Thank you, Dean, for the great experience and the interesting conversation we had!! Your HT produces big time thrills and chills! I only regret there was not time for seeing even more, and that I didn't see any of your Dreamcast simulation of that slashingly quick boating experience through exotic locales that you told me you love to play, being a boat lover myself. I can only imagine the whole 4x3 center of your front wall filled up with adrenaline pumping images!




------------------

Ron


[This message has been edited by RonF (edited 07-08-2001).]
 

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Ron,


You are quite welcome.

I also had an enjoyable time talking with you about HT and sharing various video ideas.


If you are back traveling up here sometime in the future we can try out some games. Hydro Thunder and Crazy Taxi do look great on the big screen, and actually I just keep the ISCO lens on as the slightly stretched image from the Dreamcast/VGA box combo looks quite good in widescreen format.


Probably this week I'm going to be getting the PS-2 and Gran Turismo 3, which should look very good blown up big as well.


-Dean.
 

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Dean,


That's the first mention I've heard of your wife. I don't know why, but I guess I just assumed that you were a rockin' bachelor.


Is she as into home theater as you are? Does she enjoy the huge immersive picture? I know that my wife (to be) is actually usually the one to come home from work and say:


"Movie Tonight?!?"
 

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Yep I've been playing onimusha on the ps2 and g11. It's just a stop gap until my pre order of Gran Turismo 3 arrives.


Make sure you get component cables at least. I sure wished that sony would make VGA cables and also made games with progressive output. As it stands right now all games are produced as interlaced. The ps2 potentially can do 1280x 1024.
 

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"we sampled and the CGI 1080P, 13 ft. wide saltwater acquarium effect."


Dean,


is that serenescreen saver by jim sachs? how did you get 1080p out of that. I have this acuarium also but it only goes as hi as 1360x1024?



"I knew Dean's screen would be huge. What I didn't know was that it would be virtually the whole front wall!! Seemed to fill it entirely with about a foot border side to side and top to bottom. Maybe the top of his screen area was right at the top of this room which is one level below his living space, I'm not sure about that."


I am trying to picture Dean's theater, according to this, that would put Dean's front wall 17 feet wide by 8 feet tall(standard building 8feet ceiling). since he has a 15feet wide screen leaving 1 foot on each side of the screen and a 7 feet tall screen leaving him with 1 foot space left at botton of screen. right Dean? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


I wish Dean will post some pics of his front wall set up soon. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif


seng
 

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Mark,


Yeah, we have been together forever, and one of our common loves is movies.


She has ZERO interest in the technical aspects of home theater, but we watch movies together almost every night.


She enjoys the social aspects of home theater and likes to entertain friends, usually handling munchie preparation, drinks and treats.


Bluedevils,


This is one thing that has been disappointing for me.

The PS-2 was touted from the beginning as having superior graphics, with potential HD resolution capability, but it seems that none of the programmers have taken advantage of coding their games for higher resolution output (maybe a couple with 16:9 formatting).


I'm hoping that GT3 has some hooks in it to allow high res progressive display support so that this can be taken advantage of soon. Maybe when MS releases their X Box with higher resolutions then Sony will get going promoting higher resolution video output for the PS-2 and games.


Seng,


Yeah, it's Jim Sach's aquarium. He came out with a special version for registered deluxe edition owners that is designed for 16:9 displays, and the easiest 16:9 resolution to output from my Radeon card that the G15 will lock onto is 1080p, which looks quite good.


My screen is 13' wide X 7.8' tall, and there is a 3" border all around for the frame. It fills the whole back wall. I will try and post some pictures soon.


-Dean.


[This message has been edited by Dean McManis (edited 07-09-2001).]
 

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Thanks Dean for the reply,


one more question and please try to answere this? I'm just curious


What is the throw distance from your screen to your projector? i.e. what is your theater room dimention?


thanks alot


seng
 

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Dean,


On the upside, Gran Turismo 3 has support for anamorphic output! 2 player side-by-side on a 15' screen? Or just one big widescreen view. <drool> It's just like being there and GT3 is looking *really* nice. I only wish there was some way to get progressive output.


The Xbox should have a pretty good shot at outputing 720p60Hz, 1280*1024 is pretty realistic on a GeForce2 Ultra/GeForce 3. 720p30Hz could definitely be done, anyone remember back when 30 fps was acceptable in games?


Regards,


Kam Fung
 

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Dean,


Milori referred me to the Bigger is Better thread. I am new and I have only slightly more interest than your wife in the technical details of HT. I can't even tell from reading the other posts what kind of projector you have. In simple laymen's terms what kind is it and what is "a fraction of those projectors' prices!!"
 
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