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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are few pics of a dual screen theater I just finished up for a customer. This is the first time I've installed two screens and it worked out great. Please note that the customer has not installed grills for the main speakers or the subs. The white behind the center channel is insulation I placed in the cabinet. I did not do the room construction, just designed it, and sold and installed the components.


The speaker system is a Klipsch THX Ultra2. The projector is the Panasonic PT-AE4000u which as most of you know has a lens memory that allows you to position and focus on different formats/screens sizes and save it. It will automatically detect whether its a 2:35 sourced material or 16:9 and adjust accordingly. I placed a 115" fixed 2:35 screen and a 110" electric 16:9 screen. I first placed the 16:9 screen and made the correct lens settings, then placed a 2:40 sourced DVD in and placed the 2:35 screen to fit according to where the image was being projected. I did the screen placement in this order because although the projector has the ability to zoom and focus by memory, the vertical adjustment has to be done manually, so I wanted the screens placed in such a way that no vertical adjustment was necessary. Another nice feature of this projector is the vertical and horizontal masking. Since it was a 2:35 screen and most of the DVDs are 2:40 aspect, I made the image fit vertically, while the sides bled off a little. I then used the left and right side masking feature to black this out completely. Sorry, no screen shots. You will note that the 16:9 does not completely hide the 2:35 screen as it is slightly wider. This might be addressed with curtains behind the 16:9 screen if the customer chooses to, but it was not noticeable at all with the lights off. The projector is dialed into the 16:9 screen and not enough light reaches to the 2:35 screen to see it. It isn't as bad head on as the angled photo appears.


Just wanted to show a couple pics and make people aware of a simple dual format setup at a cost of less than an anamorphic lens/sled. Basically the cost of the additional screen is all that you incur and you don't have to mess with masking, anamorphic lenses, etc.







 

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mccabem,


That looks like a great solution, I'm suprised more aren't considering this for reasonable CIH or CIA set-ups. The Panny is really the catalyst to making this happen, a few years ago it would have required a scaler, lens, lens slide, and 2 or 4 way masking system to get this level of functionality, and those 4 items would easily cost 10K or more.


I know, I know, all those here are going to say that zooming is no good, but the two main issues are easily correctable with this setup. A)Increased pixelation, but I doubt that's an issue with the Panny smooth screen and B)loss of light. That could be an issue, but with a manageable screen size and light-controlled room, that can be avoided.


End result of what you have is a great bang for buck CIH automated system that although could be beat in performance by a scaler/lens/lens slide/masking system, it would likely require many more times the cost to do so in an automated fashion.


That said, the one critic is the center channel speaker, is that it sitting on the floor? Since there isn't the typical media room issue of trying to put the center channel below or above the plasma/lcd, I'm surprised you didn't consider going with something like SeymourAV's AT screens. If you had done that, then the center channel could have been right behind the screen at the same height as the left & right, any reason why not?
 

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Hi, mccabem: I am obligated to say you have a great theater, since I have almost identical setup: Panny PT-AE4000, a 114" fixed frame, and a 106" electric dropdown. I got some pictures and screen shots linked in my sigature.


Mine is a part of the basement as a non-dedicated home theater. Yours is the first one I have seen implementing a dual screen/CIA setup in a dedicated home theater. BTW, the decor is also fantastic.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sipester /forum/post/18194066


mccabem,


That looks like a great solution, I'm suprised more aren't considering this for reasonable CIH or CIA set-ups. The Panny is really the catalyst to making this happen, a few years ago it would have required a scaler, lens, lens slide, and 2 or 4 way masking system to get this level of functionality, and those 4 items would easily cost 10K or more.

+1.


Another benefit is that dual screens at variable heights allows one to mount the projector as high as possible, otherwise you'd have to mount it inside the single 2.35:1 screen height.


Meanwhile, I am really enjoying the added height of the 1.85:1 movies, such as Gamer, Hurt Locker, Valkyrie, Chicago, .... IF 3D sports really picks up, this option would make even more sense for home theaters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sipester /forum/post/18194066


That said, the one critic is the center channel speaker, is that it sitting on the floor? Since there isn't the typical media room issue of trying to put the center channel below or above the plasma/lcd, I'm surprised you didn't consider going with something like SeymourAV's AT screens. If you had done that, then the center channel could have been right behind the screen at the same height as the left & right, any reason why not?

I didn't do the center channel behind the screen for a couple reasons. First, the seating distance is approximately 11.5' and with the 115" screen, I didn't want to push it any closer to the seating area. Second, I wouldn't have a problem putting the speaker behind just one fixed screen, but I didn't want to have it going through an acoustic fixed screen and an acoustic electric screen. Yes it is on the floor, but it is hard to tell that it is slightly angled to wear it is aimed exactly at ear level of the front row. The Klipsch THX Ultra2 KL650 has a very wide dispersion, so the current placement of that speaker works fine. Appreciate your feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmbxkb /forum/post/18194262


+1.


Another benefit is that dual screens at variable heights allows one to mount the projector as high as possible, otherwise you'd have to mount it inside the single 2.35:1 screen height.


Meanwhile, I am really enjoying the added height of the 1.85:1 movies, such as Gamer, Hurt Locker, Valkyrie, Chicago, .... IF 3D sports really picks up, this option would make even more sense for home theaters.

First of all, you have a very nice looking setup. Very clean looking. I had read the posts from ziptie cowboy about how this projector had to be mounted at or below top of the 2:35 screen to make this dual format setup work and I couldn't figure out why it worked out for me when my projector was mounted higher. It finally made sense when I saw this image in another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtousign /forum/post/18190869


Here is whats happening though. The top image is what it looks like in 16:9 mode. The bottom is what happens when I switch to 2.35:1 and zoom in. I have tried using the vertical (electronic) shift, but I cannot get it to the top of the screen...




Ziptie was correct if you are using a dual format and the 16:9 screen is smaller in height than the 2:35 or mounted lower. In my setup, since the 110" 16:9 electric screen was larger in height than the 115" 2:35 fixed screen, and was mounted with the top higher than the 2:35 screen, I was able to due a normal ceiling mount.


Pixelation and brightness were not issues at all. The AE4000U shot an excellent image and the black bars completely disappeared onto the black velvet frame and black wall. Again, the advantages are: Electric Screen cost less than Anamorphic Lens/Sled. No Masking systems necessary. Screen and Format changes are completely automated with remote control of the electric screen and Panny projector. You can have a larger 16:9 image than what are limited to using a single 2:35 screen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccabem /forum/post/18194641


First of all, you have a very nice looking setup. Very clean looking.

Thanks very much. It's been working out great, and I found myself rediscovering movies.

Quote:
Ziptie was correct if you are using a dual format and the 16:9 screen is smaller in height than the 2:35 or mounted lower. In my setup, since the 110" 16:9 electric screen was larger in height than the 115" 2:35 fixed screen, and was mounted with the top higher than the 2:35 screen, I was able to due a normal ceiling mount.

Exactly. The trap with zooming under a ceiling mount is: When you zoom in to fill the 2.35:1 screen, the entire 16:9 image area moves down. This dimension combo (width of scope / height of flat screen = ~2:1) works out perfectly. In my room, without using this CIA dual screen setup, I will have to lower my projector 20". With the back open to the rest of the basement, it would have been a nightmare.

Quote:
You can have a larger 16:9 image than what are limited to using a single 2:35 screen.

Again, +1. It MAY make sense for a movie theater to emphasize the scope format, for artistical and/or cost reasons. However, many great movies are in 1.85:1, and I found watching them with relatively taller screen a fantastic experience, whether intended or not. Plus, at home, people get TV programs. Looking ahead, there is also the promise of 3D sports, IF it ever worked out.


Thanks for posting. Like you said, folks need to understand there is such a cost effective option for home theaters. You mentioned you were doing this for a customer, so are you a professional HT installer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmbxkb /forum/post/18195069



Thanks for posting. Like you said, folks need to understand there is such a cost effective option for home theaters. You mentioned you were doing this for a customer, so are you a professional HT installer?

Nobody's ever asked me if I'm a Professional HT Installer. In the realm of this forum, I would not consider myself a professional. In Central Kansas, I guess I am. I always tell people this is a hobby that got out of control. I don't do this full time. I have a full time job doing public relations for an agricultural lobby firm and have strange hours, but a lot of flexibility. I studied this forum for hours and hours preparing to build my own dedicate HT, taking in all the info I read. I went all out and had so much fun doing my own theater I wanted to do more, so I started a custom home theater business. I didn't think the other company in our area new more or did things better than I could. I'm now a Klipsch Residential Contractor and have a showroom available by appointment only. Here is a link to my website: www.soundadvicehtc . I don't do all the very technical sound treatments and video calibration, but I do very affordable, detailed, and clean Home Theater installs ranging in price from $3-20K. My customers give me a budget, I recommend what I think will work best for their listening environment and what will give them the most bang for their buck. I'm not ISF or CEDIA certified, but I have fun doing it and I've never had anybody hand me a check that wasn't thrilled about what I had just done for them. I wish everybody could experience the joy of having a home theater.
 

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Im very surprised that people havent found this solution sooner, I used dual screens almost two years ago. I used a 133" diagonal hipower 2:35 and a 110" diagonal 16:9 hipower that dropped down in front. In the begining I thought it was a cheaper solution that getting a masking system and it was except that I did start to notice the edges of the scope screen that was not covered when the 16:9 came down in front. My room has since changed around and although I still think that this is the cheapest way to go I still say there is no substitute for a well done CIH masking system.
 

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mccabem: Home theater give people a absolutely joyful experience. I told my wife I am moving out,
, to the basement, listening to music and watchihng movies.


I checked your web site ( www.soundadvicehtc.com ), and recognized the picture on the cover page. You or someone must have posted the build process for it. Very cool design, and like you said, clean, practical install. I am jealous of you for the opportunity to make a business out of your passion and hobby.


Regarding your recent 2 screen install, did your customers asked for it, or you suggested it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The theater on the first page of my website is mine and yes I've had it on a few threads in AVS in the past. It is a room within a room, doubled studded, 2 layers of 5/8 drywall with greenglue, completetly sound isolated room I built with all the info shared on AVS. Works perfect. My wife and I can watch whatever movie we want at a loud level at midnight and we have never woke the boys up. It is very sound tight. I didn't want to buy the Klipsch THX Ultra2 system and have somebody tell me to turn it down.


I actually recommended the dual screen format for this customer. I've always been a big fan of the panasonic projectors. They're such a great value. I had read from zipties post the challenges faced with dual screens with this projector and happened onto my setup working out like it did by accident. I just mounted the projector to the ceiling and started messing with it and everything worked out perfect. Didn't realize that by using a larger 16:9 screen is why it worked. Seeing the diagrams posted above made sense. In fact I've got my 2:35 fixed screen and 4000U ordered and will be updating my own theater very soon. I can't have customers with nicer theaters than my own!!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccabem /forum/post/18209374


I actually recommended the dual screen format for this customer. I've always been a big fan of the panasonic projectors. They're such a great value. I had read from zipties post the challenges faced with dual screens with this projector and happened onto my setup working out like it did by accident. I just mounted the projector to the ceiling and started messing with it and everything worked out perfect. Didn't realize that by using a larger 16:9 screen is why it worked. Seeing the diagrams posted above made sense. In fact I've got my 2:35 fixed screen and 4000U ordered and will be updating my own theater very soon. I can't have customers with nicer theaters than my own!!!!

The AE4k is actually not as projector placement limited as I initially thought.


I was able to get my CIH setup working without resorting to manual vertical lens shift and my AE4k lens is 5 above my 2.35 screen. It did cost me about 1 cropped off the top of my 16x9 image, but I've yet to notice it.


The dual screen setup with the 16x9 screen being slightly higher than the 2.35 screen is an ideal solution to an AE4k mounted tight to the ceiling. If I were designing from scratch again, I definitely consider it, but the unmasked sides of the 2.35 screen peeking out from behind the 16x9 screen might be an issue.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by funlvr1965 /forum/post/18209069


Im very surprised that people havent found this solution sooner, I used dual screens almost two years ago. I used a 133" diagonal hipower 2:35 and a 110" diagonal 16:9 hipower that dropped down in front. In the begining I thought it was a cheaper solution that getting a masking system and it was except that I did start to notice the edges of the scope screen that was not covered when the 16:9 came down in front. My room has since changed around and although I still think that this is the cheapest way to go I still say there is no substitute for a well done CIH masking system.

Hi, Wayne: What a great looking theater and amazing equipments! I wish I had the skills to go the DIY route. To be featured on magazine speaks volume for what you have accomplished with your home theater!


I agree with the cost effectiveness. I'm surprised too, and that's why I am so excited to see an identical setup. Mccabem did a great thing to start this thread in order to introduce this option, to do CIH, CIA, or if one just doesn't want to throw away their existing screen.


Thanks very much.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccabem /forum/post/18209374


... I actually recommended the dual screen format for this customer.

From the pictures, your client is a big sports fan. If 3D sports actually takes off, he would have even more appreciation of your unconventional install of a taller 16:9 screen.

Quote:
I've always been a big fan of the panasonic projectors. They're such a great value.

They are very good value for the price, and they keep driving the prices down. I was debating whether to get the AE3K or the 4K late last year before the 4K pricing announcement. With the 4K priced at $2,000, it was a no brainer. When I fired it up, I was so taken away by it. I notice it is right now backordered with almost all online retailers.

Quote:
... I just mounted the projector to the ceiling and started messing with it and everything worked out perfect. Didn't realize that by using a larger 16:9 screen is why it worked.

I wish a thread like this had existed when I was trying to figure out a solution, that allows me to use the Panny 4K lens memory, have balanced aspect ratio sizes, full masking, and a high ceiling mount.

Quote:
... I can't have customers with nicer theaters than my own!!!!

Not to make it difficult for you, but you don't want to wait for the Panny 5K?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziptiecowboy /forum/post/18209540


I was able to get my CIH setup working without resorting to manual vertical lens shift and my AE4k lens is 5” above my 2.35 screen. It did cost me about 1” cropped off the top of my 16x9 image, but I’ve yet to notice it.

I hope your experiement will help our friend on the other thread to go scope screen. It's a very worthwhile experience. There must be some settings on his projector, or defects.

Quote:
... but the unmasked sides of the 2.35 screen peeking out from behind the 16x9 screen might be an issue.

It is an issue. My plan was to use curtains to cover them, like mccabem indicated. So far my experience is they are only so with ambient light. But it depends on the person. Funlvr1965 found them a problem in his 2 screen CIH simulation. In my and mccabem's case, the taller 16:9 image happens to result in smaller scope sides peeking out, and that might have helped.


In my gallery linked in the signature, I actually have a screen shot of the 1.85:1 movie Gamer, to highlight the issue. It was taken when there was bright daylight shedding directly on the right end of the scope screen. I shrank the original picture so I can post it here. Hopefully you can still make out the details.




With light directly on the near side, it is very distracting to me, and the far side is much less so. However this was the only time so far I noticed them. Without the ambient light, the 2 sides are even darker than what the far side appears, so I am not installing any curtains, at least not for this reason.
 

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I'm wondering if you ever considered a single case solution like Stewart's Horizontal ElectriScreen ElectriMask where the 1.78 screen deploys and then a horizontal mask can be lowered to create whatever aspect ratio you want (constant width). When you deploy the masking, the main screen retracts just enough to maintain the image center point relative to the projector. The screen stays on the same plane, so you don't have to refocus.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmbxkb /forum/post/18209918


It is an issue. My plan was to use curtains to cover them, like mccabem indicated. So far my experience is they are only so with ambient light. But it depends on the person. Funlvr1965 found them a problem in his 2 screen CIH simulation. In my and mccabem's case, the taller 16:9 image happens to result in smaller scope sides peeking out, and that might have helped.


In my gallery linked in the signature, I actually have a screen shot of the 1.85:1 movie Gamer, to highlight the issue. It was taken when there was bright daylight shedding directly on the right end of the scope screen. I shrank the original picture so I can post it here. Hopefully you can still make out the details.


With light directly on the near side, it is very distracting to me, and the far side is much less so. However this was the only time so far I noticed them. Without the ambient light, the 2 sides are even darker than what the far side appears, so I am not installing any curtains, at least not for this reason.

Yes, I see what you mean.


Very nice looking basement build BTW.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete /forum/post/18211053


I'm wondering if you ever considered a single case solution like Stewart's Horizontal ElectriScreen ElectriMask where the 1.78 screen deploys and then a horizontal mask can be lowered to create whatever aspect ratio you want (constant width). When you deploy the masking, the main screen retracts just enough to maintain the image center point relative to the projector. The screen stays on the same plane, so you don't have to refocus.

Yes, I thougt about all options, CIW with horizontal masking, CIH with vertical masking, and CIA with 4-way masking.


The refocusing wasn't a concern for me, as focus setting is loaded automatically from memory. Thanks.
 

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Thanks, ziptiecowboy. I checked out yours while researching and designing mine. You got an amazing dedicated home theater. Really nice screen wall. The pool table area, lounge, and bar flow together really well. What a great space to hang out!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziptiecowboy /forum/post/18209540



The dual screen setup with the 16x9 screen being slightly higher than the 2.35 screen is an ideal solution to an AE4k mounted tight to the ceiling. If I were designing from scratch again, I definitely consider it, but the unmasked sides of the 2.35 screen peeking out from behind the 16x9 screen might be an issue.

Why not just get dual electric screens, one 2:35.1 and one 16:9. Added benefits include:

* Can pick whatever size 16:9 and 2:35.1 size suite you best, without seeing the other one overlap.

For those with a dedicated theater, ability to have center channel behind screen, but only have to go through 1, not 2 AT screens.

* For those with a media room, ability to have plasma for daytime and/or SD viewing.

* For media room without plasma, could have HP gain 16:9 screen for daytime and white screen for 2:35.1 (or whatever you want based on needs).


The options go on and on and even the most expensive of these options such as dual electric screens (not super high-end, I'm thinking along the lines of SeymourAV AT screens) is a very minor incremental cost compared to what it would cost to get comparable features in a 4-way masking system.


So assuming you already have a projetor and screen, incremental cost for CIH/CIA is:


High end CIH projector system = 5K - 10K for a good lense and slide

High-end masking = 5K -20K for good 4 way electric and AT system.

Total High-End CIH/CIA Incremental costs = 10K - 30K


Bang for buck CIH projector system: Zero if you get the Panny

Bang for buck masking: Second screen, such as electric SeymourAV AT screen, approximately 2K - 3K.

Total Bang-for-buck CIH/CIA system incremental costs = 2K - 3K.


So in my mind, the dual screen approach with the Panny is a perfect match for features and prices.
 
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