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Posted Fri Dec 10, 2010, 12:32 PM ET — By DJ Gerling
You never know where a service call can take you. We were called out to install additional wiring to add satellite receivers to other rooms in the homeowner’s house. While there I happened to ask the owners if they had any plans for the room where they currently had a Sony projection TV. They said they wanted to replace it with a plasma and while a dedicated theatre interested them, they didn’t know the first place to begin. Well, that’s where we come in.
I convinced them to consider a projector/screen combination rather than a plasma. They didn’t want to always be in a dark environment and I explained how current projectors and screen combos provide a high level of quality even in high ambient light conditions.
Since both the homeowners were unanimous that The Terminator was their favorite movie, it seemed natural to transform their 14’ x 21’ bare room into a “Terminator” themed theatre. The adventure had begun. This had to be an over-the-top theatre so I watched all the Terminator movies from the beginning that night well into the morning, taking notes on set design, shooting locations, and what elements we could integrate into the design. The majority of the design elements were inspired by the second movie: T2 – Judgement Day.
Our design team was to give a fresh spin on the vault in the Cyberdyne building where the T-800 arm and chip were housed in the movie. Seeing as this was supposed to be a vault, the original door was replaced with a steel door, the door frame was built out and covered in aluminum plate with the trademark vault bolts surrounding the frame on both sides of the entrance. A decoy security camera pans back and forth activated by a motion sensor. A customized “Skynet Research Containment Facility” sign was placed next to the entrance to complete the illusion.
The colors and decor were based on the lobby entrance of the Cyberdyne building. Special drywall techniques were used to replicate the ‘layered’ effect of the lobby wall panels. The “research components” consisted of a full-scale endoskull modified to have the eyes glow red at the push of a button. There is a ½ scale Sideshow collectible Endoarm and a custom-fabricated Neural Chip placed here. Specially machined metal serial number plates with fabricated tech specs flank the airtight sealed display boxes. A custom made stainless steel /acrylic LED Cyberdyne logo is located above the screen.
The electrical panel was stealthy installed inside the theatre behind the cabinet doors to the left of the front wall. However, all the electronic components were housed in the mechanical room, three rooms away. Since this was going to be an industrial style decor anyway, the decision was made to run an oversized exposed armoured electrical cable across the ceiling and into the cold air return. A second hollow armoured cable run would be used to house the video and control cabling to the projector . The cabinet doors were trimmed with diamond plate inserts and Halon control/First Aid signs to hide the electrical panel location. To further the industrial look, large laser cut foam gears were designed as a centrepiece on the ceiling to take attention away from the conduit runs. The entire ceiling was surrounded by a custom made “I-Beam” made of MDF, with a metallic look. The LED lighting was installed in the I-Beam to provide the appropriate eerie blue glow. The LED lighting is controlled via a URC MX-3000 touchscreen through 6 RF dimmers and switches.
The standard hush box we normally use to house the projector would not work with this design, so an open design was utilized to ensure adequate ventilation. The hydraulic arms used to hold the diamond plate shelf were custom built from scratch using various types of metal rods, piping, wiring, hoses, MDF and assorted hardware. Using the Panasonic PTAE4000 projector’s quiet fan and superb picture helped maintain the design and kept the video under budget. A Screen Innovations Black Diamond HD fixed screen was coupled with the Panasonic to enable the video system to be used with the lights at any desired level without sacrificing picture quality.
The robotic plane appears to come out of the back wall of the theatre and is a full-scale (6 ½ feet wingspan) replica of the Hunter Killer aerial drone that flies through the hallway of the Skynet facility in the third Terminator movie. The plane was painstakingly carved entirely out of high density Styrofoam over two weeks. Various metal and wood elements were used to create the underwing missiles, cameras, spot lights, machine guns and plasma cannons. Remote controlled LED lights give the “Eyes” the red evil color. Time consuming sanding & painting techniques and multiple coats were used to create the brushed metallic finish.
Finally, over $2000 worth of diamond plate aluminum sheeting was used to cover the entire proscenium, door inserts, and speaker columns. Using all of this metal should have had an adverse affect on the sound quality, but actually improved it by creating the perfect reflection points so very little had to be done as far as acoustics after calibration.
Panasonic PTAE4000 1080P Projector
Screen Innovations Black Diamond II HD 1.4 wall screen
DVDO VP50 THX Pro Video Scaler
Octava 1080P Active HDMI Video Balun
Onkyo Pro THX ultra2 PR-SC55886 Preamplifier
Parasound THX ultra2 M5125 5 CH Power Amplifier
Audiocontrol Bijou THX Room Correction Equalizer
BG Radia PD-6LCRi Planar In-Wall Speakers with PDR 3” ribbon tweeters
BG Radia PD-6i Planar In Wall Surround Speakers
Velodyne SC-IW Vibration Cancelling In-Wall Subwoofers
Velodyne SA-200 Subwoofer Power Amplifier
Buttkicker LFE Transducers
Buttkicker BKA 1000-N Power Amplifier
Universal Remote MX-3000BLK RF Touchscreen and MSC-400 RF Basestation
APC H15 Power Conditioner and J15 Power Conditioner/Battery Backup
Sony Playstation 3, X-Box 360 and Nintendo Wii game consoles
Bell Express Vu 9142 Dual Tuner PVR
Sony Blu Ray Disc Player
Monstercable THX/Ethereal cabling
Netgear can wirelessly distribute 1080p video throughout a 5,000-square-foot home with its new 3DHD Wireless Home Theater Networking Kit.
November 15, 2010
Netgear says the system can wirelessly send multiple streams of high-def with “carrier-grade” range capable of covering homes as large as 5,000 square feet.
“Video consumption in the home has increased at a phenomenal rate and is shifting to the Internet from conventional cable, over-the-air and satellite sources,” says Som Pal Choudhury, Netgear director of product marketing for Core Networking Products. “Our customers are routinely viewing online video content, either stored locally or streaming to their high-definition televisions, and are also moving to broadband digital TV Services.”
“We created 3DHD Wireless technology to keep home networks from becoming a bottleneck for such demanding streams, while eliminating the expense and effort of running Ethernet cables through walls, floors and ceilings. This makes 3DHD Wireless technology an ideal solution for consumers, professional home theater installers and broadband service providers.”
The 3DHD wireless technology features:
Four transmitters and four receivers built into each 3DHD Wireless adapter for Multiple Input Multiple Output transmission (4×4 MIMO), significantly increasing WiFi range and reliability.
Dynamic digital beam forming to steer and target WiFi signals toward the receiver rather than broadcasting the signals in all directions, boosting range.
Space Time Block Coding (STBC) to send multiple and redundant copies of the same data across different paths, minimizing packet loss and improving video reliability.
A feedback control loop that allows the transmitter to adjust its activity based on responses from the receiver, for reliable video streaming even in a high-interference wireless environment.
WAYNE, NJ, November 9, 2010 – Four new JVC home theater projectors are the world’s first to gain THX® 3D Display Certification. The four projectors, announced at CEDIA Expo in September while undergoing THX testing, will be available later this month.
The new THX 3D Certified projectors are the Reference Series DLA-RS60 and DLA-RS50, to be marketed by JVC’s Professional Products Company, and the Procision Series DLA-X9 and DLA-X7, to be available through JVC U.S.A.
During the THX 3D certification process, more than 400 laboratory tests are conducted, evaluating color accuracy, cross-talk, viewing angles and video processing to ensure the high quality 3D and 2D display performance that home theater enthusiasts demand. The JVC projectors have simple, one button solutions for optimized playback of 3D and 2D movies – THX Cinema Mode to ensure that color reproduction, luminance, blacks, gamma and video processing matches what the filmmaker intended, and THX 3D Cinema Mode, which extends this same level of accuracy for 3D broadcasts and Blu-ray Discs. THX 3D Cinema Mode is designed to deliver highly accurate color in 3D, while minimizing sources of cross-talk and flicker. For further fine-tuning, all THX Modes on JVC projectors can be accessed by THX Professional Calibrators.
For 3D content, each projector includes two HDMI 1.4a ports and supports side-by-side (broadcast), frame packing (Blu-ray Disc), and above-below 3D transmissions. An external 3D Signal Emitter (PK-EM1) syncs the projected image with JVC’s Active Shutter 3D Glasses (PK-AG1). The external 3D signal emitter ensures solid signal transmission to the 3D glasses for a superior 3D experience, no matter what type of screen is used or how the home theater has been configured.
The new flagship projectors, the DLA-RS60 and DLA-X9, are built using hand-selected, hand-tested components and provide a 100,000:1 native contrast ratio. For 3D display, both models come with two pairs of 3D glasses along with a PK-EM1 3D Signal Emitter. Both projectors also have a three-year warranty.
The DLA-RS50 and DLA-X7 offer 70,000:1 native contrast ratio, come with a two-year warranty and are compatible with JVC’s PK-AG1 Active Shutter 3D Glasses and PK-EM1 3D Signal Emitter (sold separately) for 3D presentations.
All four projectors feature three 0.7” 1920 x 1080 D-ILA devices and are designed around JVC’s third generation D-ILA High Dynamic Range optical engine that is optimized to provide exceptional native contrast ratios without a dynamic iris to artificially enhance contrast specifications. A directed light integration system and wire grid polarizer ensures optimum light uniformity and minimal crosstalk in the light path. A 4-step lamp aperture is combined with a 16-step lens aperture to allow more precise management of lamp output, which further improves black level and native contrast.
With a new short arc gap, lamp brightness has been increased from earlier JVC models to 1,300 ANSI lumens. To reduce motion blur, JVC’s double-speed 120Hz Clear Motion Drive technology uses a newly developed LSI for frame interpolation black frame insertion.
These same four models also include a new seven-axis color management system (R, G, B, C, M, Y and orange) that allows precise color tuning, especially in skin tones, and a choice of color profiles, including Adobe RGB, DCI and sRGB/HDTV. They have also been designed for ISF certification and will include an ISF C3 mode for professional calibration. Ninety-nine screen correction modes match the projector to 99 specific types of projection screens.
All four models share a completely new design, with a center-mounted lens and rear power, signal and control connectors for improved cable management and more versatile positioning and mounting options. Rear-to-front airflow also allows more placement flexibility while reducing thermal concerns.
The new JVC D-ILA projectors will be available later this month at the following prices:
JVC’s PK-AG1 3D glasses ($179) and PK-EM1 3D Signal Emitter ($79) will also be available in late November.
Besides the four THX Certified models, JVC announced two additional new 3D-enabled projectors, the DLA-RS40 and DLA-X3, also to be available later this month at $4,495 each. Both offer 50,000:1 native contrast ratio, come with a two-year warranty and are compatible with JVC’s PK-AG1 Active Shutter 3D Glasses and PK-EM1 3D Signal Emitter (sold separately).
JVC U.S.A. and JVC Professional Products Company are both divisions of JVC Americas Corp., based in Wayne, New Jersey and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Victor Company of Japan Ltd. JVC Professional Products Company is a leading manufacturer and distributor of a complete line of broadcast and professional equipment. JVC Company of America markets a complete line of consumer video and audio equipment. For further product information, visit JVC’s website.
Choosing the Right Size Screen
If you read the previous article on screen aspect ratios, you know that your choice of aspect ratio is a vital decision in setting up your home theater. However, you can’t make a final decision on aspect ratio without also determining your screen’s optimal size, and your desired viewing distance from it.
If you have not set up a home theater before, it is easy to make one of two mistakes–either you go with a screen that is too small, or a screen that is too large. If you choose a screen that is too small, it’s not a critical mistake. Assuming your room could accommodate it, you will just find yourself wishing the picture was bigger from time to time.
However, going with a screen that is too large can be a serious headache, literally. Over a long period of viewing time, a screen that is too large for the viewing distance will produce eyestrain, fatigue, headaches, and a desire to take breaks or stop watching the picture. The last thing you want is to get weary of your own home theater because you overdid the screen size.
Now here is one of the most important points to be made in this article:
The optimum screen size and viewing distance
for your theater depends on the aspect ratio you choose.
Let’s focus on this for a moment. Say you choose to go with an 8-foot wide 2.4 Cinemascope screen. You will find that you can sit closer to it without getting eyestrain that you can if you go with a 16:9 screen of the same width. Why? The 16:9 screen has more surface area, more vertical height–35% more to be exact. So the eyes need to work harder to absorb everything on that larger screen.
To compensate for this, most people will instinctively want to sit back another couple of feet in viewing distance. For example, if you are comfortable sitting ten feet from an 8-foot wide 2.4 screen, you will probably have a similar comfort level (as far as eyestrain is concerned) sitting twelve feet from an 8-foot wide 16:9 screen.
Therefore, the potential viewing distance you have available is an important key to the puzzle. That means the ideal screen size depends not only on the width of the room, but the depth of the room. In many rooms it is easy to install a screen that fills the full width of the wall, or at least 90% of it, only to find that the room is not deep enough to position the seating comfortably for long term viewing.
With this as a preamble, let’s go to Part 2 and focus on just how big your screen should actually be.
Create the Ultimate 3-D, 2.40:1 Immersive Experience with Panamorph and Lumagen
As you know, both 3-D and anamorphic are about delivering a fully immersive, “you are there” experience to the viewer. Unfortunately, up until now it was impossible to deliver both experiences at the same time. The vast majority of 3-D projectors are not capable of delivering the necessary vertical stretch scaling while simultaneously displaying a 3-D image. Now, thanks to Lumagen that problem has solved.
Beginning in November Lumagen will be shipping updated versions of their Radiance XS and XE scalers that will support 3-D anamorphic processing and the HDMI 1.4 spec. Details on the current models can be found here. Based on preliminary information, the new versions of these scalers will have identical capabilities only with the addition of 3-D processing.
To find out more about these products - and the 3-D / anamorphic opportunity – please attend our exclusive webinar, featuring Jim Peterson of Lumagen! (read more)
Choosing the right screen is an important part of any high-end video system. Other factors such as ambient room lighting, screen size and projector type plays into the decision on a screen. The Screen Innovations Black Diamond II is available in two difference screen gains (0.8 and 1.4). For this review we decided to go with the 0.8 gain to get the deepest blacks possible. (read more)
- Double Vision
- Black Diamond I