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I posted in Where to compare in SF Bay Area? that I was looking for well set-up projectors so I could make an informed purchase decision.


Several forum members have graciously offered to let me view their projectors, and I'm in the process of clearing enough time to be able to visit all of them.


Dean McManis's was the first full-blown home theater I've had a chance to see other than a store showroom. I was very impressed. Here's a copy of an email I sent to a friend just after seeing Dean's projector.

Quote:
I got to see Dean McManis's G15 with an ISCO anamorphic lens tonight. Dilard-tweaked. Calibrated by someone who Knew What They Were Doing. Driven from a Radeon. Source materials included several DVDs via WinDVD, the Sachs aquarium (really fun), and the DirecTV HDTV demo loop followed by 5 minutes of the PPV movie (DTC-100). 15-foot Greyhawk micro-perforated screen. WhisperFlow hushbox. In a basement with a wonderful surround sound system, including a sub-woofer right behind the couch we were sitting on.


Have I ever told you that in the mid-80s I ran engineering for Visulux, a startup company that manufactured laser-based projection systems for government customers? That stint did teach me a fair bit about evaluating seeing conditions.


What I saw at Dean's: Crisp Windows desktop text. Brilliant colors. Subtle textures even in dark scenes. No scan lines. A better picture than most cinemas I've been in recently.


Repeatedly, I found myself unable to focus on picture evaluation because I kept getting absorbed in the content of the DVDs that he demo'd.


Sure, if I looked for it, I could occasionally see a very slight screen door effect, but we were only 14 feet from the screen. Aymk, JVC's D-ILA sales brochure recommends 1.53 times screen diagonal. I've seen other video vendors recommend *2* times [edit: I've seen 3x, too]. I *liked* sitting that close.


Sure, no white light or phosphor color system can ever cover as much of the perceptible color space as separate monochromatic R, G and B laser sources, but these colors were very, very good. (The Visulux laser-based projector had better colors, but only 1280x1024i - pretty darn good for '86, but not 1365x1024p like the G15. And, that drift-prone fossil cost $600,000 in 1986 dollars plus $4/hour for consumables plus a 50-Amp 3-phase 208-volt AC circuit - got one of those handy? - plus a refrigerator for the water coolant plus an 8-hour alignment every 100 hours of operation.)


But, to wrap things up: Boy! Wow! Golly!


I haven't seen the competition yet. (Can there be anything competitive?) But I have invitations to see a Sony VPL-VW10HT and a Sony G90.


Good thing Dean doesn't sell these systems. Otherwise, the Sony's might never get a chance, and it'd be that much longer to replace my 5-year-old car.


(I will *not* buy a G90, no matter what! And the person who offered the demo knows this. But he's the one who set up Dean's G15, and he does sell G15s, darn it.)
Re-reading this, I see I forgot to repeat an oft-used term from this forum: "silky smooth."


I don't know which of the many, many details contributed most significantly to the quality of the experience, or whether it was the sum of all those incremental efforts, but this room is a heck of a nice place to visit.


For the courtesy of spending literally hours with me, answering my questions, flipping source material upon request or to illustrate a point (and Dean has an amazing collection of DVDs to flip through), all Dean asked is that I post my impressions. He didn't ask me to shade those impressions in any way. I think he feels that reviews by uninterested parties (for example, me) are more reliable to other forum members.


OK, now, and for the record:


"Dean McManis has the kind of home theater I wish I could have."


(But I bet by the time I get close, Dean's system will be even better.)


-yogaman


[This message has been edited by yogaman (edited 06-21-2001).]
 

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It's my pleasure guys. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


Scott,


It was fun having you drop by and I'm glad that you got to see the D-ILA technology setup.


It would be great to hear back from you when you've seen the Sony VPLVW10HT, and the G90.


With William's setup of his G90 I'm sure that you will be impressed. He has quite a talent for programming and calibration.


It was a great sign that you got caught up in the movies because ultimately the best end-result is for the A/V technology to fade into the background and have the viewer get immersed in the movie.


-Dean.
 

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William also has developed quite a talent for calibrating the G15 as well!


Hmmm, I wonder if we could set up a comparison side by side, a Wm-tweaked G15/GrayHawk/HTPC and a Wm-tweaked G90/StudioTek130/Faroudja, how many forum members would vote for the D-ILA and how many would vote for the CRT.


Even more interesting would be to have a "price is no object" vote, then a vote taking into account the price delta.


Best,


Pat


[This message has been edited by hifipj (edited 06-21-2001).]
 

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"Good thing Dean doesn't sell these systems. Otherwise, the Sony's might never get a chance, and it'd be that much longer to replace my 5-year-old car."


I find this quote really funny. Last year when I was looking for a projector, Dean had an open house for a couple of us to show off his system. I suddenly knew what I wanted to buy, but a G15 was more than I wanted to spend. I also noticed an older system, a G1000 sitting on a table. It was for sale!!!!! A short time later Dean was kind enough to help set it up at my place.... A short while later I took a look at his Grayhawk....I didn't get the microperf, but I did get an 8' wide Grayhawk. So be
WARNED if you go to Dean's place, you'll want to buy new stuff for your system!!


Once again, thanks to Dean for getting me into this.


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

JVC G1000 DILA

Stewart Greyhawk

Sony: SAT-B3, DTC-100,STR-DA777ES Receiver

Toshiba: SD-3109 DVD

Proscan 27" TV

B&W: DM601, CC6, DS6B, 800ASW speakers
 

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Pat,


William did calibrate my G15.


If you set them both up on a 8' wide screen I would be quite surprised if the G90 did not look better.

But I'm not sure if it could hold that edge on a 13' wide perforated screen, especially with some outside light thrown in.


Similarly, with a price is no object vote I wonder how the G90 setup would compare to the new QXGA D-ILA FPTV on a 40' wide screen. Hmmm.


I'd suggest that the G90/Faroudja setup and G15/20 with a HTPC are probably not going to be cross-shopped, and each represent the best of CRT and digital FPTVs within their own design restrictions and price ranges.


-Dean.
 
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