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I had asked about digital projectors' ability to create the illusion of depth, and I took up Dean MvManis on his offer to show me his D-ILA setup.


I needn't have worried; there was depth galore. This was surprising, as I still found the lowest black level slightly wanting (Dean's D-ILA is calibrated and has measured contrast ratio of 500:1. Dean, I presume that's that full on/full off, not ANSI checkerboard; correct?) I had expected the full illusion of depth to only be obtainable with really black blacks.


But the real story is the overall experience. The picture is just gorgeous, no pixelazation at all, rich beautiful colors, and more involving than a large movie screen, Dean's screen occupies essentially the entire back wall (13' wide x 7 1/2 ' tall).


I think this has an important psychovisual effect because your eye can't move beyond the image sideways in its plane; the side wall is there. With good material (HD or DVD), the effect is that there is no wall and you're looking out into the movie world. I wonder if a similar effect without an actual wall-to-wall screen can be achieved by using masking which comes forward to form a dark tunnel with an alternate reality visible at the other end.


Back to Dean's theater, the great sound complete's the esxperience; it's pinpointed across the front and all around as well. It was really cool in Dinosaur to hear them behind you (interesting in that there are no actual rear speakers that I remember, just directly to the sides), feel the couch shake as they rumblerd by, and then have them appear near life-size on the screen.


Simply a mesmerizing and delightful HT experience.


And as others have said, Dean is a great guy. From his very knowledgeable, reasoned, and articulate writings I had expected that he might be somewhat cerebral and detached, but I he's a very down to earth and enthusiastic person.

Kind of like me, I guess; in person I'm a laugh a minute (just kidding).


So for the ne plus ultra HT experience, pay Dean a visit (you don't mind me inviting 10,000 people over to your place, right, Dean?).


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

Noah
 

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Thanks for the write-up Noah.


It is interesting how far digital projection and scaling technologies have come in the last few years.


Yes the contrast is rated at 500:1 full-on/off.


It's not perfect, but it is enjoyable enough to forget about the technology and get sucked into the movie.


I also enjoyed our conversation and it was good to meet you after bantering together on the net so long. I am always surprised how the time flys when HT visitors come by because our topics of conversation are not limited to a particular technological question in a post/thread.


See ya,

-Dean.
 
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