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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK folks, I've been hinting in these forums over the past year about what I've been building, and now it's done. First, here's what the theater entrance looks like:

http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallMarquee.jpg


From the back:

http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallFromBack.jpg


And from the front:

http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallFromFront.jpg


With curtain up:

http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallScreen.jpg


Concession area:

http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallConcession.jpg


Closeup of the projector porthole:

http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallPorthole.jpg


We decided early on to use the JVC QX-1 projector for the 11' wide 16x9 ratio screen. You can see the small projector porthole above the exit sign at the back of the theater. Those black grilles at the back top are the rear speakers while the front has Dunlavy SC-IVs for L/R and a pair of modified Dunlavy SC-IVs for 2 center channel speakers (one above and one below the screen, placed horizontally).


The QX1 delivers 7000 lumens with 2048x1536 resolution, so we actually use only part of the panel when showing full HDTV resolution. The projector is bright enough to watch football games with the lights on, but we always dim the lights for movies. Contrast ratio, color and pixel structure are all great in that the blacks look really black, with nice shadow detail (but not awesome shadow detail, might have something to do with the negative gain screen we have), the colors are superb, and the picture looks continuous, no screen door, no pixel structure, no color blocking (on HD material anyways).


The projector is heavy at 200 pounds, so we bolted a 1/4 steel panel to the concrete ceiling to act as its base - the projector is housed in a permanent hush box with sound deadening flexible lead imgregated foam material on all interior surfaces. We have a dedicated chiller unit blowing cold air onto the projector and into the main AV rack.


One of the architectural requirements (ie we screwed up in the planning) was that the projector was mounted higher than the top of the screen. The QX1 does have a lens downshift, but this only allows the projector to be at the same level as the top of the screen. Most of the remaining distance above the screen was made to work by the fact that we only use the bottom 2/3rds of the LCOS panel (it has 1536 vertical pixels and we only use 1024 even for HD). We still needed to tilt the projector downwards a little bit, but the internal trapazoid corrector works and doesn't seem to impact the image noticbly.


Currently, the only recommended input into the QX1 is HD-SDI (DVI is still several months away), a broadcast video standard. This pretty much dictated the choice of an upconverter to a Teranex or a Snell&Wilcox Ukon. For complicated reasons, we ended up using the Snell, but recently, I had a chance to demo a Teranex and after some A-B comparisons, the Teranex seemed every so slightly better for video quality. I'll post more info if people are interested.


You'll notice the chandelier which happens to clip the top of the image, so we put the chandelier on a winch and steel cable - it lifts up when the curtain goes up to watch a show.


All lighting is controlled by a Vantage lighting/dimmer control system and the electronics are controlled by a Crestron. The Crestron tells the Vantage to do things via an RS-232 control connection.


One of the things I wanted to do is to provide a true cinema experience for movie showing parties. So I have three DVD players. One is used to show the theater intro (Welcome to the Regency Theater, etc.) which was done by Digital Forge, the other DVD player is used to show a movie trailer as a preview of an upcoming movie, and then the third DVD player shows a DVD if we're playing a DVD that night (alternatively, we show movies on the JVC 400 D-VHS player). The main DVD player was modified by JVB Digital to output SDI for the Snell. Anyways, I have a Crestron program that does the whole movie playing experience: raise curtain/chandelier, dim lights, start theater intro, switch DVD source and play trailer, switch source again and play rest of theater into ("Feature Presentation" display), switch source again and show main movie. I have to set up all the sources at the right spots and pause the players beforehand, but it all works.


I opted not to use subwoofers, just using the 25hz woofer drivers in the Dunlavy SC-IVs. The speakers are driven by 4 McIntosh amps. THe big McIntosh 602 is used just for the woofers L/R drivers. Three McIntosh 352s are used for the L/R, center and rear channels respectively. This seems to work just fine - makes music very tight (stereo imaging in the theater is awesome!), wile giving enough rumble for the movies.


Enough for now, more later.
 

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Not what I would do with that budget, but truly stunning nonetheless.

I haven't studied the Dunlavy's, but I am surprised you didn't opt for sub-woofers. For me, the woofers in the Wilson X-1s wasn't near enough, though impressive. And my room is smaller than yours to be sure.


Anyway, great work. Would love to see that HD picture from the QX-1....

Just watched U571 last nite, er this morning (some folks insisted we roll the DVHS tape at 0100) and the SX-21 never ceases to amaze me with it's image quality. But the QX-1 and the Snell together must just leave people slack jawed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The theater is 16' tall at the front (slab to concrete ceiling), and 11 1/2' tall at the back. About 21' wide and 29' long. This was an addition to the house - we basically dug this huge hole in our front lawn and partially into the driveway, while also gutting a study on the main floor. From the main floor, you have steps down to the basement where you see a sitting area where the marquee is and thenonto a concession area and theater. So the superstructure of the theater is a 12" to 18" complete concrete shell.


In 20-20 hindsight, we should have made the theater 2-3' longer (to accomodate the recliner chairs better on the 2nd and 3rd rows and to give more depth for the center channel speakers), and 1' higher (which would have allowed us to raise the screen higher resulting in no projector tilt). The architecture and design really drove the theater with the equipment doing the best it can to fit in. In the end, the compromises haven't impacted (that I can tell anyways) the A/V results.


I was wondering if the Dunlavy's would be enough without the subs and so far I'm happy. I'm not a true earth shaker kinda guy anyways. But the chairs do shake during explosions, so that's pretty good. The fact that the woofers have a massive dedicated amp probably helps.


More pictures soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, I added three pics to the original post up above one of which shows the theater front with the curtain up.


Yes, JVC's technical folks asked for pics to show off what a QX1 can do for your theater :)


And yes, a friend of mine also pointed out (correctly I think) that buying a real theater would have been cheaper. But it wouldn't have been as much fun!
 

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This is connected to your house? I thought it might be Disneyland or something;) Stunning accomplishment!
 

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I would have replied sooner, but I was stunned.


The only thing you need to add to that theater is an Odyssee motion simulator. In fact, it would be a travesty not to have one, considering you have arguably the most top end HT on the board here.


In the future, you will find people who claim they will be able to surpass the performance, but I seriously doubt that many would ever pass the aesthetics and style.


Sorry Art, but you are no longer top dog in the style category.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the kind words guys. I agree, over time the equipment in this theater will become pedestrian, which is one more reason why we spent the time and effort on the architecture, which if executed properly, can be timeless.


We thought seriously about Odyssee (we got a great demo at Widescreen Review), but in the end decided we can add version 3.0, or whatever, later. One negative of the first version that we looked at was that it raised the chairs a not-insignificant amount. Anyways, we'll take another look at it when the dust settles some more.
 

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ptrubey-


That's quite an architectural accomplishment there, and I'm sure a wonderful room to "get lost in." Might I inquire as to the team assembled to pull everything together so far as design, installation and calibration?


Congrats,
 

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Absolutely fabulous!



What type of acoustical consideration where taken?
 

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I too would love to know the "ballpark" figure with respect to cost simply because I am always curious about what different rooms cost to construct/set up.


Oh and you're a pro athlete/celebrity, aren't you?;)
 

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Only for the sake of the other forum members :) and since I live very near you, I will be happy to come over to 'critique' your theater :)....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We didn't put in any specific acoustical treatments. Actually, the room sounds fairly dead - I was worried that given it's start as a concrete box, that it would be too live. But I guess due to the room volume, and the side drapes, the side fabric (between the side drapes is padded fabric), and the nooks and cranies everywhere, the room calms down.


JVC calibrated the projector in their facilities and the theater installer did the final tweaking (although I've done some little tweaks too). At some point when I'm happier with the DVD display path, I should get a proper calibrator in here. James Conlin of the Home Theater Store in San Diego did the initial design concepts. He basically drew great front, side, and ceiling flat 2D drawings. Our architect just didn't "get it" and by this time had fobbed us onto a draftsperson, so we gave up on him producing proper architectural drawings for the finish work from James' drawings. So we relied on our general contractor (Wardell Builders) and a few talented sub-contractors to pull it off - building prototypes of the ceiling coves, for instance, and a lot of on-site meetings to design by the seat of our pants. While this was a frustrating experience sometimes (more for the workers, I think, than us), it did result in us incorporating lots of finish detail that we otherwise wouldn't have thought of (these good subs kept suggesting different ideas). The coves in particular were very time consuming to pull off since they are constructed of three different elevations of plaster (and each plaster layer is composed of three coats), along with a lot of curved wood.


If you guys are that keen, I'd love to have an AVS night. Sometime in the new year.
 
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