News

Screen is Center Stage in Family Room Theater

Some people plan their home theaters around a dream projector, a favorite set of speakers or a special movie theme or design concept. The piece of gear that drove Sam Manessis’ home theater was one that many enthusiasts hardly even think about—the screen. The screen Manessis had his heart set on is Screen Innovation’s Black Diamond Zero Edge (see the Electronic House review here). He’d seen it featured in past Electronic House articles and read about it online. He was attracted to idea of having a cinema-sized screen that looked cosmetically like an LCD panel and could be viewed in normal room lighting. In his months of research about the screen, he asked manufacturers to recommend the best installer for his new system, and time after time the same name came up: Todd Anthony Puma of The Source Home Theater in New York City. Manessis had a contractor gut and redo his bonus room with guidance from Puma, and then Puma and his team (including star technician Jason Johnson) came in to install the electronics and turn the extra room into a media-centric hangout. The room’s build-out included some soundproofing and planning for the speaker and subwoofer installation. There was one obstacle to making the perfect room—a large HVAC duct runs along the ceiling. Since that couldn’t be moved without major changes, Puma worked carefully to select a projector and mounting option that would fill up the room’s 115-inch screen without light path problems from the duct work. He and Manessis settled on a Wolf SVC12 projector, also called the Gray Wolf. It’s a DILA projector, based on a JVC e-Shift 4K light engine, and produces deep blacks while still being very bright. Sound was also a major consideration for this room. The owner wanted powerful bass, but didn’t want to see a big subwoofer. Puma installed an SVS PB12-NSD subwoofer in a front wall as well as a Paradigm MilleniaSub behind the second row of seats. Being up against the seats, the Paradigm adds a bit of impressive rumble to movies. Manessis said he used to be a big Bose fan. “After listening to this Paradigm system, it’s just unbelievable, such a difference,” he says. Another key component of the room is the automation. Manessis had decided on a control system until he visited Puma’s home, which also doubles as a demonstration space, and saw Puma’s Crestron system. The simplicity of operation and the system’s iPad app sold him on it. Puma installed a Crestron MC3 processor and three Crestron dimmers. One iPad, mounted outside the room in an iPort allows the family to turn the system on before they even enter the room. Once inside, an iPad Mini serves as the main controller. The easy-to-use GUI was designed by Rich Fregosa of Fregosa Design. Speaking of design, because sports viewing was going to be a major part of the room, the homeowner filled it with his favorite sports memorabilia. That helps get visitors in the mood when they come over for a game. Since the room is more of a family room than a man cave, Manessis didn’t want the walls to be too dark. Puma suggested making the front as dark as he could to help the screen pop, so they went with a dark chocolate paint. The walls and ceiling are painted a lighter brown. Even though the white wainscoting does reflect some light and brighten up the room when the projector is on, the Black Diamond screen’s ambient light rejecting qualities prevent light from degrading the picture. Manessis also really likes how the screen’s color LED lighting kit outlines the image. It’s a showpiece of the room. So now that the room is done, what do you think will be the first thing on screen? Probably a kids’ movie, says Manessis. “My daughter beat me to the punch. She invited seven or eight girls over to watch a movie.” (read more)

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Staples To Add Home-Automation Section To Stores

Framingham, Mass. — Staples today is introducing a home-automation concept dubbed Staples Connect that it will initially roll out in a limited number of stores and online. This will have the office superstore chain selling products that range far from its normal assortment of paper and inkjet toner and will include door locks, garage door openers and window blinds. The new additions will have a high-tech edge with the ability to be networked and controlled from any connected device. Staples Connect is a family of products that utilize a software backbone created by the technology firm Zonoff to tie together a series of home-automation products that can all be controlled via a single iOS or Android app, said Peter Gerstberger, Staples senior category merchant. The products come from a variety of vendors that worked with Zonoff to make their existing devices compatible with the Staples Connect apps. These are now available from Staples’ web store. Starting in November, Staples Connect will receive a limited physical rollout at first — Gerstberger would not give an exact figure on the number locations receiving the update — and will sell via Staples online. There are plans to increase the store presence, but those plans are also being tightly held at this time. The display areas will consist of a 12-foot display case prominently located in the store’s technology section. As new products are added, the display area will be expanded. Gerstberger said no existing products will be supplanted by these displays. There will be an attached tablet running the Staples Connect app as a demo tool, as well as specially trained personnel to assist customers. The tablet will run through all the products available by turning on a light to indicate the device, and will then run through how it works. Although the Staples Connect products are designed for the do-it-yourself customer, some products — such as light switches and door locks — may require a level of installation skill beyond that of the average consumer. Staples will contract with licensed third-party electricians to handle that aspect of the sale. The first batch of products are: • lighting and shades from Lutron • lighting solutions from Philips, including Philips Hue, and GE • climate control from Honeywell • safety products from Yale and First Alert • EcoLink motion sensors and door/window sensors • Aeon Labs surge protectors and water sensors • DoorBot wireless doorbells • D-Link cameras • Ivee alarm clock with voice activation Gerstberger said Staples is already looking to incorporate additional products into the Staples Connect family, including health and fitness and possibly audio and video.

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Cinedream Awards 2013 – Stem mee voor “Nostalgia” & “Future” Award

Awards Cinedream Stem nu mee voor uw favoriet homecinema product in de categorie "nostalgia" en "future"... en win ! Cinedream bestaat 10 jaar, en dat mogen we uiteraard niet zomaar voorbij laten gaan. Ons succes hebben we mede te danken aan onze fabrikanten en daarom willen we hen 'ns extra in de spotlight plaatsen. Op onze Home Cinema Happening zullen op zaterdag 10 november om 18u voor het eerst in de Cinedream geschiedenis de Cinedream Awards uitgereikt worden. Hieronder vind je alvast de genomineerden voor de categorie "Nostalgia" (lees: spraakmakende home cinema producten tijdens de eerste 10 home cinema jaren) en "Future" (lees: revolutionaire nieuwigheden die een duidelijke stempel zullen drukken op de homecinema van de toekomst) U kan uw stem uitbrengen via Facebook door eenvoudig één of meerdere "likes" uit te brengen. En misschien word jij dan ook wel de winnaar van een prachtige prijs ! Mis de officiële uitreiking zeker niet, tijdens de Cinedream Home Cinema Happening (Zaterdag 9 november om 18u) te Mechelen. Nominaties Cinedream Nostalgia Awards: Sharp XV-Z90 DLP Projector Focal Chorus 800V Luidspreker systeem Toshiba HD-DVD formaat Buttkicker Bass Shaker system Marantz SR7500 a/v receiver Epson EMP-TW2000 LCD projector Wharfdale Diamond 9 luidsprekers systeem Beamax A-velvet luxe frame projectiescherm ThemeScene H77 DLP Projector Stem hier voor de "Nostalgia" Awards Nominaties Cinedream Future Awards: Optoma HD91 LED projector Oppo Bluray BDP-103D met Darbee technologie Sony VW-500 4K projector JVC met 4K e-shift technologie projector Kaleidescape Cinema One met webstore applicatie Popcorn Hour A-410 Pro met High-end DAC processor BenQ W1070 DLP projector met tripple flash technologie Screen Innovation Black diamond - Zero Edge projectiescherm Stem hier voor de "Future" Awards

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BenQ W770ST 720p DLP Home Video Projector Review

The BenQ W770ST is a lightweight, portable 720p projector with a short-throw lens that's perfect for living room and gaming use. Producing 2500 lumens in its brightest mode, the W770ST has the power to overcome ambient light, while its 13000:1 contrast and solid color performance make it a respectable movie projector when the sun goes down. Full HDMI 3D compatibility and a ten-watt speaker round out the projector's features, while its $799 price tag makes the W770ST a great option for those on a budget.
Setup
The W770ST comes wrapped in a sturdy soft carrying case, complete with a front pocket to hold the remote control and any necessary cables. The remote itself is a small "candy bar" model that feels good in the hand, but might get lost in the couch cushions if you're not careful. The "ST" in the projector's model name stands for short throw, so you will want to place it on a table fairly close to the screen. A 60" diagonal image, which is about the right size for a room with moderate ambient light, can be displayed from a throw distance between 3' 2" and 3' 9" depending on zoom. That doesn't give you a lot of wiggle room, but as a portable projector, the W770ST can usually be physically moved if the zoom range is inadequate. The W770ST places the bottom edge of the projected image a few inches above the lens centerline -- on a 60" diagonal image, it's a 2" offset, for example, assuming the projector is level.
The Viewing Experience
The W770ST produces a bright, powerful image from the get-go. Light output is sufficient to illuminate a 60" diagonal screen in moderate ambient light or a 80" diagonal screen in low ambient light. Black levels are excellent for such an inexpensive projector, and SmartEco mode can make them even better in scenes with low average illumination. The W770ST's default color calibration is slightly under-saturated but accurate, averaging around 7000K across the grayscale without any adjustment. Color brightness in the W770ST's Cinema mode is only about 630 lumens, or 35% of white, but knocking BrilliantColor down can make the image appear much better balanced at the cost of white light output. (read more)

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Mitsubishi Closes Projector Division

Mitsubishi announced today that it is terminating the manufacture and sale of digital projectors... The company is committed to full maintenance and warranty support of all units currently installed. Projector inventory that is currently in the distribution channels will continue to be sold with full warranty support. This is unfortunate news. Mitsubishi has been a premium designer and manufacturer of both LCD and DLP projectors for many years. We have had the opportunity to develop good friendships with some great people there. We are saddened at the news of their departure from the industry, and we wish everyone at Mitsubishi who is affected by this shutdown the best of luck in their next ventures.

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Report from CEDIA 2013 Projector Central

The annual CEDIA home theater trade show wrapped up yesterday in Denver, CO. This is normally the biggest show of the year for new home theater projector releases, but this year the show was surprisingly sparse. Several vendors were not heard from including Mitsubishi and Sim2. Runco, the perennial king of the CEDIA floor, had no presence in the exhibit hall. Panasonic, a company that never actually attends CEDIA but releases home theater projectors concurrent with the show, maintained radio silence. Those anticipating an AE9000 are (so far) out of luck. And now for the good news: Among the products that were released at this show there are some blockbusters. Taking the prize for show floor buzz, and for unquestionably the most dazzling display of jaw-dropping video imagery was Sonywith its new 4K projector, the VPS-VW600ES. This 1700 lumen projector was presented on a whopping 180" diagonal 1.3 gain Stewart Studiotek 130 screen. One particular video clip of the Carnaval in Rio taken on a Sony 4K video camera, showed the true potential of very large screen 4K projection when the source material is native 4K. This particular video clip had insane amounts of detail, dynamic range, rapid motion, and variations of low to extreme high saturation color. There is only one word to describe the product managers that would dare use this clip as a demo: fearless. Sony is not the first vendor to bring spectacular large format 4K projection to the CEDIA show, but it is certainly the first vendor to deliver it in an accessible commercialized product priced at a more than reasonable $15,000. This is cutting edge stuff. The other over-the-top buzzworthy new product on the CEDIA floor was the Epson Pro Cinema 6030, priced at a comparatively paltry $3500. On Saturday afternoon, the third day of the show when most attendees had gone home and the vast majority of idle booth workers were twiddling their thumbs and praying for the closing bell, there was still a long line of dealers waiting in line to see the 6030. This projector wins the award for the Best Picture for the Money at this show, hands down. It is not 4K, and it is not in the same league as the super-premium 1080p 3-chip DLPs, but the Epson 6030 produces a gorgeous picture for $3500. Black levels are extremely deep, and detail definition in dark shadows is impressive. Color appears refined, accurate and natural. And for classic film fans, the 6030 has a BW Cinema mode that auto sets the color temp to 5400 Kelvin for the authentic display of BW films as they were seen in the theaters back in the day. Very cool. The Epson 6030 at the show was displayed on a 1.3 gain Stewart Studiotek 130, 11-foot wide, 2.4 Cinemascope format. It was also being demo'd with a Panamorph CineVista anamorphic lens. Another astounding and quite memorable experience at this year's CEDIA wasDigital Projection's Titan 1080p-LED-3D, the world's first 3-chip DLP projector driven by an LED light engine. Digital Projection's moves video quality into pure Nirvana territory with this release, and if you can pony up $80,000 for a projector and want the absolute best, don't miss it. We won't ever review this model for the simple reason that it is priced the rarified atmosphere of pure dream rather than financial reality for all but a tiny fraction of mortal humans. On the other hand, if you happen to be a rock star, a supermodel, or a hedge fund manager, you are beyond clueless if you don't give the Titan-LED-3D a serious audition as the next upgrade for your super high-end home theater. JVC is always a formidable player at CEDIA. This year they debuted a new series of 3-chip D-ILA projectors featuring their proprietary 4K eShift3 technology that approximates 4K resolution using 1080p chips. JVC promotes these projectors as having the highest native contrast (contrast within a single frame) in the industry, as well as extremely high dynamic contrast. These JVC models neatly fill the price gap between the Sony VS600ES at $15,000 and the Epson Pro Cinema 6030 at $3,500. They include the DLA-X900R at $11,999 (1,500,000:1 dynamic contrast, and 150,000:1 native contrast), the DLA-X700R at $7,999 (1,200,000:1 dynamic, 120,000:1 native), and the DLA-X500R at $4,999 (600,000:1 dynamic, 60,000:1 native). JVC had the X900R set up in their demo theater, and while I'm certain this is a superb projector (JVC doesn't build much else), the proprietary video source used for the demo did not seem to push the projector to its limits and I was left wondering what it might truly be capable of. Runco had two new models appear at this year's CEDIA, but you wouldn't know it unless you were paying extremely close attention. They were deployed in "performance audio" booths. One, the Runco LS-12d, was used in the ProAudio booth, which was designed to show how many decibels can be created in a tiny 400 square foot room with 19 audio channels and 10,000 watts of power (it's a lot). The ProAudio folks were there to sell audio, not video, so the demo clips were chosen for their audio characteristics. Other than some momentary vignettes inThriller from Jackson's This Is It the material presented in the ProAudio demo was not intended to show off the capabilities of the projector. Another Runco projector appeared in the Wisdom Audio room, where they demonstrated how quickly an audience can be rendered physically ill from aggressive seat vibration and non-stop massive explosions. With audio this loud and physically abusive, you no longer care what you are seeing. Great for night clubs maybe, but not home theater. Truth is, the Wisdom demo did mercifully include one beautiful video segment of Sting that showed the true (and quite impressive) potential of the $30,000 Runco LS-12HBd projector. But the rest of the clips were of marginal interest visually and had, again understandably, been chosen for their audio dynamics. ProAudio and Wisdom Audio sell sound on steroids, so I don't blame them for pushing the limits for their dealers. It just left me hoping that next year, Runco will return to the CEDIA floor with its own theater designed to show off their formidable product line to best advantage, with a presentation of video and audio in aesthetic balance. (read more)  

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Sony VPL VW600ES

www.screeninnovations.com Sony’s next 4K home theater projector provides additional flexibility to work in an array of rooms, bringing immersive 4K images into places where projection may not have worked before. Including the 4K media server with hours of movies and shows, you can enjoy the full Sony 4K experience. Bring the astonishing resolution of your Sony 4K Ultra HD TV to life with movies that are four times clearer than HD. 4K Ultra HD movies and TV shows are delivered directly from the Video Unlimited 4K service. Exclusively for use with Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs.

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Screen Innovations: From the Back, the Front, Above, and the Sides

Screen Innovations has you covered with products that hit from all directions. Their signature Black Diamond motorized screens drop from above and provide a gorgeous, bright picture that can retract into a flush mount in the ceiling, virtually disappearing from sight.
Paired with an affordable but high performing projector from the likes of Epson, Sony, or even Wolf, you can have your clients into 2-piece projection with 4x the viewing area of a 55-inch TV for under $10,000. We've sold several of these packages to our clients and they couldn't be happier with the performance and wow-factor, and we couldn't be happier with the fact that we actually have some margin on displays and give the client something they thought was out of their financial reach.
Add to the Black Diamond lineup the new curved screen which provides an amazing viewing cone because of the curve. People sitting to the side of the normal viewing cone have more straight on view of the other side of the screen, improving their viewing angle. For anyone in the commercial space or looking to enter it, SI introduced two great products this week. The rear projection screen is a film that either can be purchased from them adhered to a glass or acrylic substrate or can be purchased as just a film that the integrator can adhere on-site (say to a window in a storefront). The image produced looked as bright as TV screen. This could even have a great application in residential outdoor applications as a screen near the pool or in the gazebo. Another great commercial product is Black Diamond Tiles. These magnetic tiles attach to a frame that installs quickly. This solves a lot of problems. Have a job where getting a 120-inch screen up the stairs and to the room is near impossible because the stairs are too narrow? Black Diamond Tiles. Have a location where maybe they will want a bigger screen in the future but can't afford it today — you can always buy additional tiles later and increase the size of the screen. A client who needs to regularly break down and rehand the screen — maybe a touring event or a house of worship? Tiles come down easily. The one drawback is that they aren't great for a residential install, as there is a very slight seam where the tiles join together. (read more)

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Epson to Unveil New Home Theater Line Next Week

Got ambient light problems in your home? You already know that 1080p home theater projectors are not bright enough for ambient light situations where a LOT of lumens are required... So you'll probably be happy to hear that Epson will be unveiling three new very bright 1080p video projectors at the CEDIA trade show next week: The Pro Cinema G6900WU (6000 lumens), the G6550WU (5200 lumens), and the 4855WU (4000 lumens). Epson will also be upgrading its premium home theater line with two models that will be available from custom installers and home theater speciality retailers: the Pro Cinema 6030UB (600,000:1 contrast, 2400 lumens, under $4000) and the Pro Cinema 4030 (120,000:1 contrast, 2000 lumens, under $3000). Also, Epson will be showing two new home theater projectors for wider distribution: the Home Cinema 5030UB (600,000:1, 2400 lumens, under $3000) and the 5030Ube (a wireless version for a bit more). These models will be available online and through dealers in mid October. Having had the opportunity to preview all of these models, I can say two things: First, this new line of premium home theater units produce an elegant, seamless, high dynamic range image that videophiles will marvel at--this is clearly the finest video quality ever to come from Epson home theater projectors. Second, the new ultra-bright Pro Cinema 1080p models will be a welcome relief for those who have been trying to solve home video ambient light problems with brighter commercial/conference room models. (read more)

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ANSI Lumens vs Color Light Output Technical Issues and Competitive Debate

You may have noticed that several projector makers now publish a controversial new specification known as Color Light Output (CLO), along with the traditional ANSI Lumen ratings on their spec sheets. Why do we need two different ways to measure a projector's brightness? In this article we'll explore how Color Light Output differs from ANSI lumens, and what it means to you as the projector buyer.
Does Color Light Output (CLO) matter?
Advocates of the new CLO spec argue that since three-chip projectors and single-chip projectors create white and color values differently, the ANSI lumen spec is not a valid way to compare their brightness. Certainly, if a 3LCD projector and a DLP projector both measure 3000 ANSI lumens (which is a measure of white brightness only), that means they can both project a white test pattern of equal brightness. But, they point out, who watches a white test pattern? Isn't it more important to know how bright projectors are when displaying full color images? And though the 3LCD and DLP both produce 3000 ANSI lumens of white, the color images on the DLP projector will often be dimmer than they are on the 3LCD. The CLO spec, it is argued, takes color brightness into account and gives buyers more info about the projectors they are evaluating.   "Not so fast, there bub," say those who object to the CLO spec. Though CLO measures color brightness, it does not take into account color accuracy. In order to get the highest ANSI lumen and CLO ratings out of a 3LCD projector, you must run all three chips wide open. And if the UHP lamp behind them has a green bias as they typically do, then the white light on the screen will have a green tint. So you may have a projector rated at 3000 ANSI lumens of white light and 3000 lumens of Color Light Output, but the picture looks bad anyway because the color balance is way off. Since the CLO spec does not address color balance, it gives buyers nothing new or important about the projectors they are evaluating. Meanwhile, DLP engineers can compensate for green lamp bias with a larger red filter, so the white light from DLP is often a cleaner, more neutral white than you'd normally get from a 3LCD projector with all chips wide open. And if you try to calibrate out the green bias on the 3LCD its lumen output drops, sometimes a lot, and the ANSI lumen and CLO specs may no longer be relevant. So how does the introduction of a new brightness spec that is flawed in the same way the ANSI lumen spec is solve anyone's problem? The thing is, people on both sides of the CLO debate have excellent points. But it is much easier to understand the controversy when you can actually see the differences in actual images rather than just talk about the concepts. So that's what we will show you in this article.   Definitions: ANSI Lumens vs Color Light Output ANSI lumens: The ANSI lumen spec measures the brightest white that the projector can produce. It is measured by taking meter readings on a projected 100% white test pattern. The number you derive from the readings, say 3000 ANSI lumens, is the maximum brightness of white that the projector is capable of. Color Light Output ("CLO"): The CLO method is similar, but instead of using a 100% white test pattern, one uses red, green and blue test patterns instead. Separate meter readings are taken for red, green, and blue, then added together. This time if we end up with 3000 lumens, that is the maximum brightness of color that the projector is capable of. So it is called color brightness, or color light output. (read more)

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