New HT Room Advice

Posted by: grunt

New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 02:10 AM

Finally opened escrow on what I hope to be my house by the end of next month so I feel comfortable starting to ask for some advice about the room and setup. Itís bank owned but in perfect condition and they are only asking 85k for it when similar models in the neighborhood are on the market for 125k-150k. Maybe itís built on an old burial ground.

The HT room is 21.5 x 13.5 x 8 to 12.5 (vaulted ceiling). Below are some pictures.

Iíve already changed my initial plans based on some threads/info here and want to get some specific feedback before I get ďtarget lockĒ and go charging off in the wrong direction. So Iíll probably be starting some threads on specific topics looking for advice.

Iím going for a projector & screen setup, initially with an AT screen but recommendations to another member in a recent thread and comments/pictures by Randy about the PorterPlex V2 showed I could use a good size screen and still fit the M80s under it with a 9.5 foot ceiling. (thanks for linking to the PorterPlex V2 Pics Randy).

My plan is to make the first picture the front and build a false wall on which to hang at least a 120Ē x 68Ē 1.78:1 (16:9) screen. The false wall will run the full 13.5 width of the room but Iím not sure if I would need or benefit from completely enclosing that end of the room. Since the 3xM80s would fit under the screen I have complete freedom of placement so if they were far enough out that the first reflections off the side walls were symmetrical would the small opening that would be left to the kitchen and the larger one to the bedroom likely be a problem?

I also need some way to tame the reflections off the glass in pictures #2 and #3 as well as eliminate light intrusion. Not sure if curtains would be enough for either job?

Originally I planned to put the equipment in the closet in picture #3 but I will likely store all the media in the office through the double doors in the same picture. So Iím thinking now it might be easier (especially when wearing my eye patch) to have everything all in the same room.

Iím also going to be looking for info on the following:

Projector/screen combos (total noob here despite much reading)
Room treatments
HT furniture/accessories. (some ideas already at the end of the thread)

This end opens to a bedroom on the right and the kitchen on the left. The ceiling is 9.5 feet where it meets the closest wall.



The other end with an arcadia door to the backyard on the left, front door on back right and double door to an office on the right.



Side view of the office doors and hallway with double wide closet.



ACCESSORIES (so far)

Part of the garage (not pictured) will include something like this converted for natural gas.



And they tried to tell me that the gas hookup was for a dryer.

And the kitchen will have something like this.




Posted by: fredk

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 07:14 AM

 Quote:
and they are only asking 85k for it



200K gets you a starter home around here. I would be luckey to find a one bedroom condo here for that price.


Posted by: Adrian

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 10:23 AM

85K!! what's the catch? does Rosanne bar sunbathe next door?
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 12:24 PM

 Quote:
I also need some way to tame the reflections off the glass in pictures #2 and #3 as well as eliminate light intrusion. Not sure if curtains would be enough for either job?


I have been surprised by the light and acoustic control that good curtains plus "blackout" curtains provide. My room was very bright and I knocked it down dramatically with this simple addition. It also helped the reflections (audio) as it is a heavy drape that is non-rigid and non-uniform (pleats, etc). My plan is next to cover every doorway so that for "Daddy's happy time" I pull all the curtains closed and block the light and trap the sound. When the room must be seen by non-meís, then we open the curtains and reveal the windows and doors. Not cheap, but not ridiculously expensive. You can do your patio doors, for example, for the price of some Transparent Audio Speaker Cable! Oh, and plan to go wider than the window by a good 12" on each side with the top curtain so you don't get any light. The blackout curtain also comes with Velcro on the edges to make it tightly grasp the inside of the window frame. Very effective.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 12:37 PM

 Originally Posted By: Adrian
85K!! what's the catch? does Rosanne bar sunbathe next door?


You guys got me on whatís going on. It did sort of remind me of that episode of the X-Files where if your street light went out some monster from the HOA came and ate you. When my realtor and I first drove up we each looked up and down the street in opposite directions and then at each other and I said ďthatís creepy.Ē the neighborhood looked like it was ready for a Marine Corps IG inspection. No clutter or visible cars but ours and every recycle bin including for the empty bank owned houses were out and positioned exactly the same relative to the curb. Iím talking Twilight Zone/Stepford Wives creepy.

But seriously I am wondering what people think about the best way to build the false wall for the screen at the open end of the room (first picture). Iím inherently lazy so if I could just build the wall and not have to enclose the whole end of the room that would be nice but Iím worried that big doorway to the right will cause problems.

 Originally Posted By: Zimm

I have been surprised by the light and acoustic control that good curtains plus "blackout" curtains provide.


Hey Zimm, thanks for the info on the blackout curtains. Do you think the curtains could be set up to stop all the light intrusion or will they need some help. I ask because in my apartment I had a total blackout DIY setup and found that the darker I got it the more annoying even the tiniest amount of light was. I didnít know that some come with Velcro sides so I was considering both blackout blinds topped with blackout curtains to stop the light.

Thanks,
Dean
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 12:48 PM

That is going to be one awesome room Dean. The vaulted ceilings really open things up... I've thought about temporarily removing my front stage so I could move my 80's under the screen, and even consider a 3rd m80's for the center. Also, I could move my left/right m80 a bit closer and fit my 350's on the outside corners versus between the two. Or, maybe some day I'll get some SVS PC13 Ultra cylinders to fit in the corners..... ok come back to reality Randy. \:\(
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 01:28 PM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
That is going to be one awesome room Dean. The vaulted ceilings really open things up... I've thought about temporarily removing my front stage so I could move my 80's under the screen, and even consider a 3rd m80's for the center. Also, I could move my left/right m80 a bit closer and fit my 350's on the outside corners versus between the two. Or, maybe some day I'll get some SVS PC13 Ultra cylinders to fit in the corners..... ok come back to reality Randy. \:\(


When you mentioned in another thread that w/o our stage your M80s would fit under the screen that was the clincher for me to ditch the AT screen idea. I like the look the stage gives your setup but to have total freedom of placement for my front speakers Iíll forgo it.

One question, how far is your seating and how is the vertical viewing angle? The screen being to high was my only worry about this setup. If I go with one row of seats they will be about 14-15 feet back.

Also Randy, you are running your EP350s off the subwoofer out and not using stereo subwoofers correct? Just wondering as some time down the road I was thinking about trying stereo subwoofers.

I agree about the openness of the sound with the vaulted ceiling. The rooms in every other house I saw that had vaulted ceilings were very poorly shaped for HT/audio. I had held out 4 months looking for a rectangular room with a vaulted ceiling. That day I had given up and was going back to decide which of another model with a 12 x 16 x 8 master bedroom I would put a bid in on. Jami, my realtor said why donít we at least go look at this one that came on the market 2 days ago since itís the only floor plan in the development I hadnít seen. It was love at first sight.

And the added coolness was that when the people had that house built they elected to have the bedroom through the double doors made into an office/den. So instead of a closet thereís a built in desk and shelves. Perfect for a media/computer room.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 01:33 PM

 Originally Posted By: Zimm
"Daddy's happy time"


Wow.

Same phrase, totally different meaning here.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 01:47 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
 Originally Posted By: Adrian
85K!! what's the catch? does Rosanne bar sunbathe next door?


You guys got me on whatís going on. It did sort of remind me of that episode of the X-Files where if your street light went out some monster from the HOA came and ate you. When my realtor and I first drove up we each looked up and down the street in opposite directions and then at each other and I said ďthatís creepy.Ē the neighborhood looked like it was ready for a Marine Corps IG inspection. No clutter or visible cars but ours and every recycle bin including for the empty bank owned houses were out and positioned exactly the same relative to the curb. Iím talking Twilight Zone/Stepford Wives creepy.


First, donít kid yourself, that is creepy sounding. Check the backyard for recent signs of digging... 6x3 holes would concern me. Also check for scratching on the inside of closet doors etc. Finally, if they are so tight with their recycle bins, are they going to like 3 M80's plus who knows what sub-works you have, going off on Master and Commander? Just thinking, they may put you in the recycle bin.

 Quote:
Hey Zimm, thanks for the info on the blackout curtains. Do you think the curtains could be set up to stop all the light intrusion or will they need some help.


I don't want to oversell it so let me be more exact. I found the light blocking at all points except the edges to be 100% - i.e., the material is effective. At the edges you have two problems - seems down the middle of the panels and window edges. The middle seem has Velcro and then is covered by the outer nice looking drape so it is very dark, but I could not say absolute dark. The side edges, once velcroed, are as dark as the middle. You do have to work to get all holes covered, but once you do that it is dark.

Here is the one trouble spot I have not fixed - the top. Because the whole rig hangs on a pole, it is about 2 inches from the window frame. That is good for doors etc, as you don't have to impede their utility when opened, but you do have to deal with light coming over the top as the top of the drape does not got to the wall. If I was planning ahead, I would have bought a blackout about 12" longer than needed. Then staple/sew velcro across the top (horizontally) at the height of the window frame. That way you just run your hand across the top and around the sides to seal out the light by making contact along 3 sides (assuming it drops to the floor like mine).

I have a curtain over another opening that has the "blackout" built into the curtain, and it is only about 50% as effective as the double setup I am describing with the separate blackout drape under the "pretty" (and also heavy) drapes. Bought the blackout at Bed Bath and Beyond so nothing exotic (about $50 per 4x8 cover, I think???). Good news is a place like that lets you bring it back if it is not dark enough! Big plus.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 02:54 PM

 Originally Posted By: Zimm

Finally, if they are so tight with their recycle bins, are they going to like 3 M80's plus who knows what sub-works you have, going off on Master and Commander? Just thinking, they may put you in the recycle bin.


Yeah Iím planning to pull the moving truck right up to the garage so they canít see me unloading the audio equipment. No reason to have them looking for something to complain about.

You are right about possible sound leakage to the outside. All these houses are wood frame stucco and pass sound easier than Iíd like. I figure the false wall for the screen will help control the sound going out the kitchen wall (another reason I might just go aheaad and enclose that whole end of the room. After that the only really bad sound leakage to the outside will be through the back wall and the part of the side wall with the arcadia door. Iím thinking about enclosing the patio and installing a Jacuzzi which should also help attenuate sound leaving that way. That should just leave the back wall. Not sure what to do with that if itís a problem. Might have to cover it with an assortment of acoustical treatments since I donít really want to build another false wall back there.

Might be a mute point if it isnít that loud outside. Who am I kidding, Master and Commander will be as loud as hell out there. Well at least thereís no WAF issues to work around.

Thanks for all the info on the curtains Zimm thatís really helpful. Iíve been hoping that some sort of curtain based solution would work since I want to be able to let the light in when I want it. For some beer the guys at the parachute shop at work will sew custom curtains for me so if I can get the bulk material I can get them made-to-order relatively cheap. Cheaper if I do the sewing on their machines myself.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 03:22 PM

Sweet, parachute drapes. Man I would love parachute drapes. As a kid I had a parachute. Never found a use for it, but I loved having it.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/28/09 03:59 PM

 Originally Posted By: Zimm
Sweet, parachute drapes. Man I would love parachute drapes. As a kid I had a parachute. Never found a use for it, but I loved having it.


No use for a parachute? You find a big field tie that sucker onto the handlebars of your Schwinn and hold on for dear life. The dad of a couple kids down the street had 2 army surplus T-7s so we had races.

Actually I have been wondering if I should go with some sort of theme for my HT or just keep it standard. One thought that crossed my mind was a military field command post theme with camouflage netting on the walls but parachute would look cool tooÖ
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/01/09 06:15 PM

I just got done checking and saw that Iím eligible for the full 8k tax credit that was just passed for first time home buyers. That could trigger some upgrades.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/01/09 06:36 PM

Sweet. I hear Bryston has a new "First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit" Amp - $8000
Posted by: Adrian

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/01/09 06:40 PM

We have a tax credit this year for renovations in Canada. I'm sure a Home Theatre would apply, unfortunately excluding all the electronics ect., but the room reno's/buid would apply. Can't write off any tools to do it with either(crap!!).
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/01/09 09:06 PM

Unless you start a construction business for the project. \:\)
Posted by: Adrian

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/01/09 09:26 PM

\:D we think alike!!
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/04/09 03:28 AM

After 10 days (suppose to close on the 24th) of stupid bank games I finally have the keys to the house. Perfect timing so I can move on the weekend you say? Nope got guard drill this weekend which Iím pretty sure I could have gotten out of except for one little thing. Some college boy out of Luke AFB rammed his little lawn dart into the refueling boom of my aircraft.

Might not have been a big deal, as deals of this sort go, if he had used the ďusualĒ reporting language saying it was just a ďbrute force disconnect.Ē Instead he used two words you never ever ever say, ďmidair collision.Ē Talk about the mother of all can-O-worms. Oh well still beats the hell out of walking point.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/04/09 03:31 AM

Sorry about the series of circumstances, but I'm glad you have the keys, at least. I can't wait to see what you do with the place.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/04/09 07:16 AM

Want us to stay at the place over the weekend to keep an eye on it?


(pssssst....guys.... he won't have the brewery set up in the garage yet so one of us will have to pick up some kegs!)
Posted by: Adrian

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/04/09 09:38 AM

Congrats on getting the new place Dean, and tell them college bwwaahs to put their little darts somewhere's else!!
Posted by: doormat

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/04/09 12:57 PM

Ahh, the joys of the Flight Safety Investigation.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/04/09 02:50 PM

Congrats on the house, go nuts.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/13/09 01:01 AM

Well hereís my first post from my house. Gotta say that buying the thing and moving totally sucked but so far owning it totally rocks.

A couple things I learned about moving. Donít forget to have the power put in your name. Yup day two in the house and the power was shut off because unlike in Madison the gas and electric companies here are separate. Also make sure none of your hard drives come loose in your NAS during the move. Luckily it was set up as RAID 5 and rebuilt the array so I lost nothing.

Some first impressions in the new room:

Bigger IS better - although my new listening area is only 1 1/2 foot wider and 4 feet longer and now with a vaulted ceiling it makes a huge difference. Itís taking lots more power to get the SPLs I was use to not to mention now being able to turn it up. Also getting the M80s away from the side walls ( 3 3/4 feet) and the front wall (over 4 1/2 feet) makes the imaging much better.

Audyssey still sucks - well for me and my Denon 2807 it does. Itís still EQ-ing the 67 through 250 Hz ranges from -3 to -9 dB depending on the speaker, the center being the worst. Makes male voices sound hollow and flat. Also this time around the auto setup is setting all my speakers to large every time. And once it even set the subwoofer distance to 6.5í when it was sitting about 12í away.

Doors leak one hell of a lot of sound - I was afraid that the wood frame stucco construction would let out lots of sound but actually itís not so bad nor are the double pane windows. Both are attenuating the sound about 35 dB at the outer wall. At the property line to the closest neighbor itís down by about 45 dB. OTOH the front door leaks like crazy only down about 20 dB. Anyone got any ideas how to soundproof a door?

M22 center still beats the crap out of the VP150 for music - no contest even in a bigger room sitting farther away the M22 sounds so much better I stopped the A/B comparison after 3 tracks. OTOH for movies I think I prefer the VP150. It has a more ďwall-of-soundĒ quality that complements movies. Iíll compare this more later but for now Iím using a M22.

May not need a false wall for sound - having the L & R M80s over 12í and 4í from the front walls respectively seems to negate the unsymmetrical nature of the wall on the front soundstage. Now the question is if I need one for the screen.

Quite is good - I spent most of the last 3 days here and in that entire time the only outside sound I heard was the faint sound of something driving buy once. It helps that my end of the subdivision is off a dead end road that will never likely have through traffic because of the Agua Fria ďRiver.ď Also the walls must be well insulated because I never heard the many neighborhood kids even once.

The office ďMedia RoomĒ rocks - having a whole room dedicated to equipment and media storage keeps the HT room uncluttered. It allows my equipment rack to stick out at 90 degrees from the wall to both the fronts and backs of everything are accessible. Cabling was so easy I will never push a rack up against a wall again. With the doors closed no equipment sound makes it into the HT room and the heat dissipates out the other door into the hall and bedroom.

IR goes through glass and a curtain at the same time - I thought I was going to need an RF remote but the IR blasts through the office door even when covered by a curtain. Also, enough of the signal reflects back to hit the TV allowing everything to work perfectly.

Carpet sliders are even more cool than I thought - this time before setting up my equipment rack and TV I put carpet sliders under them. Makes moving them fairly easy w/o having to disassemble everything.

White walls and light leakage suck - boy was I spoiled by blackout setup I had in the apartment. I guess I could live with a little light during movies but not for video games.

One thing Iíve learned already is that many of my preconceptions about how things would work were wrong. Iíll take a step back and reevaluate some of my priorities and preconceptions before making any major improvements. I ended up doing much more work than necessary in the apartment because I jumped in with both feet. This time around Iíll take my time and do more things incrementally. Besides Iím going to get dragged off to Florida and Hawaii in a couple of weeks anyway. Damm work! Now whereĎd I put my sex wax. ;\)

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 07/20/09 01:08 PM

Got my blinds installed today and they are awesome. 9 sets of custom double cell blinds from Lowes including a horizontal slider for the arcadia door for $1700 installed. Not only were they on sale %20 off but they also gave me a 10% military discount.

Most are blackout blinds which work much better than I had expected. There is some light leakage around the edges but I had them made extra wide so itís minimal. Since the room will also be curtained, with blackout curtains where needed, that should take care of most of the leakage which I can fine tune as needed. BTW thanks for the Velcro idea Zimm.

A curtain store just down the street has already said I could buy a sample of each curtain I want to try and return the ones I donít want so that part should hopefully be painless.

Now I just have to decide if I want to take a minimalist approach (my nature) or do a theme.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 07/20/09 05:30 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
BTW thanks for the Velcro idea Zimm.


No problem Velcro or JB Weld can't fix! ;\)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/14/09 03:08 PM

Well I finally pulled the trigger yesterday.

- Preordered a Panasonic AE4000 from the projector people.
- Ordered a Carada Brilliant White 134Ē 1.78 Precision screen.
- Ordered a Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player.

On Saturday I made one last attempt to find some local retail furniture that would work for me before going with a local custom furniture maker and it finally paid off. Just last week Mor Furniture put out black leather reclining chaise lounges with firm padding. While there not HT (i.e. no cup holders) and way big they werenít that expensive so I got 3. Did I say theyíre big? No WAF no problem I say.

Should be emailing the dimensions for my curtains to Dazian tomorrow (thanks for listing them on your site Randy). Joan in fabrication has been a great help getting me on the right track. She sent me nice size samples to test out and has been a wealth of helpful information. Not only do they have the perfect fabric, ďCarbonite II,Ē theyíre total cost to make them is going to be 1/3 of what any local custom curtain makers were asking.

Iím making arrangements to paint the walls before hanging the curtains. Even though it will be 360 degree blackout with the curtains closed I just think the contrast with black curtains on white walls will be to stark when theyíre open.

Question for anyone interested. What colour walls do you think would work well with a black ceiling, curtains furniture and tan blinds.

I also need to replace the carpet but was going to wait to see how dark I really need it first. Would having matching carpet and walls look better than different colours if I broke things up by painting the baseboards and other trim another colour? Hereís where no WAF = Dean needs help.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/14/09 03:13 PM

That sounds like quite a step forward!
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/14/09 03:20 PM

I have always been told you want the drapes to match the carpet, but they may not have been 'aboat' HT. Considering you want to wear Ninja pants to hide the light from your legs, I would aim for dark carpet. To break it up, consider one with light patterns on a dark background.

Can't believe they already have a 4000 out. Damn, I though I would have a year without upgraditis.
Posted by: BigHonu

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/14/09 07:03 PM

Would battleship grey work out for the walls?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/16/09 12:34 PM

Oppo wins! The BDP-83 just got delivered.

Ok not a fair race since the projector isnít even shipping in the U.S and the screen is shipped freight. Didnít expect it this fast so I hadnít put any Blu-rays in my Netflix queue so now Iím going to have to go out and by one on the way to work.

Any suggestions for a first Blu-ray disk?
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/16/09 01:16 PM

Really depends on your taste, but have a look at this thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1168342

Pick something you like from the "Tier 0", those are all sure to impress.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/16/09 01:30 PM

While the story might not do much for you, I always find Apocalypto (sp?) to be a wonderful 2hr demo. The colors from the rain forest and paints used are vibrant and intense, and the sound is great fun for surround as the chase goes around the room.

And, of course, THE blu-ray = Dark Night. Filmed in Imax, your projector will present a better picture than any 35mm theater as they had to use scaled down prints. 1080p allowed the full Imax image for the BR. Crank it up, but watch out for the test fire scene, as the .50 cal damn near did in my entire system.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/16/09 01:57 PM

The Dark Knight, wasn't completely filmed in IMAX, only select scenes. And those are presented in 1.78:1 (IMAX screens are very close to square, so even 16:9 is a cropped frame) while the rest of the film is 2.40:1. So the black bars appear and disappear, sometimes very briefly. I found this to be distracting. Also the 35mm footage has edge enhancement applied so there are some halos or rings around areas of medium-high contrast.

The audio is absolutely suburb.

The picture issues, while minor, keep this disc from being rated as a Tier 0 title though.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/16/09 03:14 PM

Hooked it up to make sure it worked. Took less than 5 minutes and 8 button pushes from opening the box to playing an included demo disk. First impression is WOW! Iím sure they selected and mastered the demo to show off the audio but geez it sounded good. I only wish they had put a soprano on the demo.

Tossed in a sampling of all the disk types I have and it played them all flawlessly. No time to do any A/B comparisons with my Oppo 981 HD but first impression is same PQ on standard DVD but slightly better audio quality. Have to do some comparison when I get back.

Thanks for the feedback on the Blu-rays Iíll pick up a couple on the way to work and sit there wishing I already had the projector and screen.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/16/09 03:18 PM

 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
The Dark Knight, wasn't completely filmed in IMAX, only select scenes. And those are presented in 1.78:1 (IMAX screens are very close to square, so even 16:9 is a cropped frame) while the rest of the film is 2.40:1. So the black bars appear and disappear, sometimes very briefly. I found this to be distracting. Also the 35mm footage has edge enhancement applied so there are some halos or rings around areas of medium-high contrast.

The picture issues, while minor, keep this disc from being rated as a Tier 0 title though.


I heard that a lot, but the switching never bothered me. I was too fixed on the visual impact of the Imax scenes. I never noticed the halos, but I have not done a critical viewing in some time. I may go back and look for that.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/16/09 03:52 PM

 Originally Posted By: Zimm
I heard that a lot, but the switching never bothered me. I was too fixed on the visual impact of the Imax scenes. I never noticed the halos, but I have not done a critical viewing in some time. I may go back and look for that.

If you recall, Dean and I are freaks who can't not see our own legs when watching a movie.

Don't go back and look, and just forgot I said anything. Ignorance is bliss. \:\) That said, since I do a lot of photo processing, and part of the process is to apply a little sharpening to attempt to provide the illusion of recovering the detail lost of the low-pass, anti-aliasing filter in front of the camera's optical sensor. I know very well what an over-sharp picture looks like, and see it all too often in films. It was one thing to sharpen DVDs, but with Blu-ray so much actual detail can be retained, artificial enhancements actually obscure the real information.

Oh, the 70th Anniversary Edition of The Wizard of Oz. I figured I wouldn't watch that film again until I had my own children. But reading about all the technical work done on the restoration made me have to buy it. Not disappointed at all. It actually has more detail than some of the recent (lower budget) movies I've seen.
Posted by: Joebob

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/16/09 08:09 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
Oppo wins! The BDP-83 just got delivered.

...Any suggestions for a first Blu-ray disk?


It's too late for first but I vote for Baraka for your viewing pleasure any time. \:\)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/17/09 06:08 PM

 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon

I found this to be distracting. Also the 35mm footage has edge enhancement applied so there are some halos or rings around areas of medium-high contrast.

The audio is absolutely suburb.

I will no doubt rent it but the aspect ratio changes would drive me up the wall. The last thing I want in a movie is to be reminded Iím watching a movie.

Thanks Joe, I just put Baraka in my Netflix queue it looks interesting.
Posted by: fredk

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/17/09 07:24 PM

Baraka is quite captivating in standard DVD format. This will be one of my first views when I finally upgrade to bluray.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/17/09 07:54 PM

Baraka is definitely a nice showpiece, but after watching it three times, I don't know when I'll feel the urge again. But it's inexpensive, so I'd still consider it a good recommendation.
Posted by: fredk

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/17/09 08:37 PM

Fortunately I can borrow it from a guy at work. So far the only movie I own it the LOTR set.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/18/09 01:16 AM

I picked up ďThe 5th ElementĒ and ďBlade RunnerĒ (supposedly the absolute very last never to be another directors cut). ;\) Iím still using my 56Ē DLP so I imagine things will be even more noticeable on a projection screen. I compared my Oppo 981 and BDP-83 playing both standard DVD, and DVD vs Blu-ray. Both were calibrated as closely as possible.

Note that I really have liked my 981 but the BDP wins handily. In the DVD vs DVD comparison the up-scaling seems the same however, the BDP wins on the following: Less motion blur when panning. The colours on the BDP are more saturated lending to a more 3d appearance. Blacks are darker w/o loosing shadow detail. Contrast is better.

So far I canít tell any difference in the audio from CD, SACD or DVD between the two players

On the standard DVD vs Blu-ray ďThe 5th ElementĒ is noticeably better on Blu-ray. Not only does the BDP win in all the same categories in the DVD vs DVD shootout above the detail is also much better. Which really surprised me considering how awesome I thought it already looked. Things look much more real but not digitized. The best way I can describe it is like the difference between looking at a matte vs glossy finished photograph.

ďBlade RunnerĒ looks better in Blu-ray on the BDP for all of the above reasons. However, on the Blu-ray some of the special effects like the fireballs at the beginning look fake. Itís very obvious they are added over the background. Not a deal breaker considering the other improvements but definitely distracting.

I donít have a modern receiver yet so I canít comment on the new sound formats. Overall the audio on the Blu-ray seems better however, the 7.1 to 5.1 down-mix on blade runner looses some of the discrete surround sound queues. Iíll have to hook my back speakers up again and see how that does.

Here some examples of how the BDP performed better:

In the opening scene of ďStar Wars IIIĒ (something Iíve watched hundreds of times) the better contrast on the BDP showed that the light from the engines of the fighters flying over the cruiser is reflecting off the surface of the cruiser. Never saw that before.

In the opening scene of ďBlade RunnerĒ the sky has various colours showing through the clouds where on the standard DVD it just all looks orange.

On the included demo video the picture was like looking out an open window. Be nice if they would shoot all movies like that. Makes me really want to get my hands on Baraka. This time itís to bad netflix is so quick as I couldnít update my queue in time this morning.

Canít wait to get the projector and screen, but not looking forward to the prep work in the meantime.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/20/09 01:46 PM

 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon


Don't go back and look, and just forgot I said anything. Ignorance is bliss. \:\) That said, since I do a lot of photo processing, and part of the process is to apply a little sharpening to attempt to provide the illusion of recovering the detail lost of the low-pass, anti-aliasing filter in front of the camera's optical sensor. I know very well what an over-sharp picture looks like, and see it all too often in films. It was one thing to sharpen DVDs, but with Blu-ray so much actual detail can be retained, artificial enhancements actually obscure the real information.


Gotcha. I love the bliss.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/23/09 08:57 PM

FedEx freight delivered my Carada screen today. Shipping only took 3 days. Now Iíve got to get in gear paint and hopefully get my curtains before the AE4000 ships.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/26/09 12:08 AM

Finally discovering the joys of painting. Just finished painting the living room ceiling flat black. I thought it was going to look a little creepy but so far it looks nice and will probably look even better once the walls are painted burgundy.

I learned another lesson in why good cable management is important. As I was pulling one of the big monster chaise lounges back into place I heard a thump. Wasnít to loud so I thought I must have pulled over the M22 center. However, when I looked up I saw that the Samsung DLP had done a face plant right off itís stand.

Got it hooked back up and assessed the damage. The VGA connector screws were broken off but the port still works. HDMI 1 input is now INOP, however, HDMI 2 which wasnít hooked up at the time is still working. Doesnít seem to have done any damage to the PQ.

Iím both baffled and relieved that it fell forward. The wires obviously were hooked up in back but somehow it went over the front of the stand. Lucky for me since behind was tile and in front was carpet. It also seems to have fallen perfectly flat on itís face. Like I mentioned it hardly made a sound. Iím pretty sure had it hit at an angle something would have been twisted out of alignment.

Well as soon as I finish painting and get the curtains installed Iíll run the cables properly.
Posted by: Argon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/26/09 04:40 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
As I was pulling one of the big monster chaise lounges back into place I heard a thump.


Monster makes Chaise Lounges now?? They must be really expensive?
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/27/09 12:03 AM

Doesn't anyone make a chaise longue anymore? These lounges are all over the place.
Posted by: richeydog

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/27/09 12:15 AM

Did someone say Chaise Lounge?






Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/27/09 01:11 AM

 Originally Posted By: Argon

Monster makes Chaise Lounges now?? They must be really expensive?

Only when pre-wired for a Buttkicker.

 Originally Posted By: richeydog

Did someone say Chaise Lounge?


All thatís missing are the sock suspenders. ;\)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/29/09 02:36 PM

Just got the tracking number for my Panasonic AE4000 projector. It hasnít popped up in the tracking system yet but I requested 2nd day air so it might get here by Saturday. Looks like Iíll have a good excuse to take Friday off so I can paint the walls.
Posted by: richeydog

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/29/09 03:48 PM

Ooooohhh, aaaaahhh. Front projector. I've heard good things about the AE4000.

Would it be too much to ask for pics of the room after you've painted the walls and installed your screen/equipment? I like looking at the before and after process. Pretty please with sugar on top? ;\)
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/29/09 03:50 PM

Dang, I want one of those, but my trusty Sanyo Z2 won't die after about 6 years, same bulb. \:\)

I also have my Prismasonic Anamorphic lens for sale since I would not need it anymore if I get a Panny..
Posted by: richeydog

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/29/09 03:55 PM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
Dang, I want one of those, but my trusty Sanyo Z2 won't die after about 6 years, same bulb. \:\)

I also have my Prismasonic Anamorphic lens for sale since I would not need it anymore if I get a Panny..

Um, Randy, get up in the middle of the night and throw a freaking wrench into that sucker. She'll never know. Upgrade time. Booyah!

6 years is a long time for a bulb. How many hours do you have on it?
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/29/09 03:56 PM

Hey Michael, that is a good question, I haven't checked in a long time, I'm sure it has to have a couple of 1,000 hours if I were to guess.

hmmm sabatoge....now that is an idea..
Posted by: jahusker

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/29/09 04:05 PM

Let me know how the Panasonic looks, I am still trying to decide between the new Panasonic, and the new Epson. Too many choices!
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/29/09 05:27 PM

I just hung my 6500UB last night, along with the Carada 110"

Grunt be sure to post some pics! I am so jealous the Panasonics are black \:\)
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/30/09 01:35 AM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
Dang, I want one of those, but my trusty Sanyo Z2 won't die after about 6 years, same bulb. \:\)


Is your poltergeist on vacation, or does it simply play favorites with your toys?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/30/09 04:37 AM

 Originally Posted By: richeydog

Would it be too much to ask for pics of the room after you've painted the walls and installed your screen/equipment? I like looking at the before and after process. Pretty please with sugar on top?

No problem. The before pictures are in the first post of this thread. So far my lazy backside hasnít accomplished much. Installed custom blackout blinds and window tinting which knocked down about 95% of the light. Iím hoping the 360 degree blackout curtains take care of the rest if not Iíll make spot corrections. Swapped the 2í drop rod for a 1í drop rod for the ceiling fan and painted the ceiling from 8í up flat black.

I just emailed Dazian the specs for my curtains from work and will call Joan (she and Betty have been great to work with) for a final quote tomorrow.

Things left to do (damm IĎve been lazy).

Paint the walls and trim
Assemble and hang the screen
Mount the curtain rods and hang the curtains when I get them.
Search and destroy any light source that dare enter the room
Run the wires (will go behind the curtain rods so no need to crawl in the attic)
Find optimal projector placement and image size
Make appropriate masking for 1.78 image size if needed and for 1.33 and 2.35
Reprogram remote for new equipment
Replace carpet after determining how dark is needed to prevent reflected light.
Install telescope flocking on front of ceiling if any light reflects from black paint
Install telescope flocking on M80s if any light reflects from them.
Take a week off work
Don ninja suit
Play ďBioshockĒ for the first time (only owned it two years waiting for this)
Watch all of ďBattle Star GalacticaĒ (have only seen the first season and a half)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/30/09 04:44 AM

 Originally Posted By: jahusker
Let me know how the Panasonic looks, I am still trying to decide between the new Panasonic, and the new Epson. Too many choices!


I know the feeling about to many choices.

I went from liking an Epson to the AE3000 to a JVC to a Sony and now the AE4000 which with the improvements from the AE3000 made it a no brainer for my needs.

Lucky for me I vacillated on what to buy for long enough that the AE4000 came out.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/30/09 05:13 AM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
Lucky for me I vacillated on what to buy for long enough that the AE4000 came out.


\:\) Your experience with it could influence whether or not I get one. Thankfully, I have my computer to build first, but after that, everything's fair game again.
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/30/09 02:56 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
Play ďBioshockĒ for the first time (only owned it two years waiting for this)



Man, this game rules. RULES. Seriously. Go play it.


Now.




Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/30/09 04:53 PM

Love Bioshock. Be a nice person.


Oh, and warn your SO what you're playing... some of the sound effects are rather disturbing.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/31/09 03:03 PM

Iíve resisted playing ďBioshockĒ this long so I could play on the projector and screen w/full blackout. Just a couple more weeks (curtains will be the hold up)

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile

Oh, and warn your SO what you're playing... some of the sound effects are rather disturbing.

No SO, Iím free but should I warn the neighbors not to call the cops if they hear something? Not being in an apartment anymore I tend to play movies and games a bit louder. ;\)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/31/09 03:13 PM

Spent about 14 hours yesterday painting the walls burgundy. Still have to paint the trim and do some touching up. BTW painting sucksÖnext time Iím inviting some friends from across the border over to do the painting. ;\)

The primer I used was a sort of blue-grey which actually looked pretty good with the black ceiling so a shout out to BigHonu for the suggestion of battleship grey. However, I like the burgundy better as it doesnít remind me of being cooped up in an LST.

Got the tracking info and the projector wonít get here until Monday which is actually good news since I should have the painting finished and the screen hung by then.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/31/09 03:15 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
Spent about 14 hours yesterday painting the walls burgundy. Still have to paint the trim and do some touching up. BTW painting sucksÖnext time Iím inviting some friends from across the border over to do the painting. ;\)


Sean loves painting and whatever else needs to be done. I'm volunteering his help.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/31/09 04:13 PM

The sounds and dialog the little sisters have can be disturbing, and if someone thought it was real, it would undoubtedly result in a phone call to the cops.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/31/09 04:20 PM

Don't underestimate modern apathy!
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/31/09 11:54 PM

Man, I thought painting was pretty fun... The mudding and sanding was brutal though.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/01/09 12:34 PM

Back for another reality check.

Iím having second thoughts about painting the trim tan but now because of how dark and rich the burgundy looks Iím thinking that gold trim would look a lot nicer. This trim wonít just be around the baseboards and door frames but also inlaid on the doors.

 Originally Posted By: Potatohead

Man, I thought painting was pretty fun... The mudding and sanding was brutal though.

I probably would have disliked that more, however thankfully Iím not having to modify the room itself beyond painting. The areas that donít have walls will have curtain walls to simulate the effect of the room being rectangular. I already determined that not having a full front wall has no noticeable effect on the front soundstage as long as the one speaker with a wall behind it is at least 3 1/2 to 4 feet out.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/01/09 11:31 PM

I made the mounting frame for the screen today and it came out perfect if a tad over-engineered. I temporarily hung the screen frame it for a proof of concept before I put the screen material on it. I rigged it with a pulley system so I can install and remove the screen myself and also adjust the height should I ever choose to use the M22 center, however based on how it looked I doubt the screen height will be an issue for anyone.

Putting tape on the wall doesnít do justice to the impression a 134 1.78:1 screen makes even w/o the material on it yet. Iím so glad I didnít go one size smaller as this is a perfect fit.

The projector is in Phoenix scheduled for delivery tomorrow hope it arrives before I go to work as I requested they get a signature. Have to stop at Fryís and get another long HDMI and VGA cables on the way to work.
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/02/09 12:05 AM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
Back for another reality check.

Iím having second thoughts about painting the trim tan but now because of how dark and rich the burgundy looks Iím thinking that gold trim would look a lot nicer. This trim wonít just be around the baseboards and door frames but also inlaid on the doors.


Like this?



Great minds think alike \:D

 Originally Posted By: grunt

Putting tape on the wall doesnít do justice to the impression a 134 1.78:1 screen makes even w/o the material on it yet. Iím so glad I didnít go one size smaller as this is a perfect fit.



Absolutely the truth. Once the screen is up, you realize just how immersive it is, and it becomes real.


Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/02/09 12:16 AM

Nice! And yes very much like that. Black was actually the first colour I considered for trim because it would also match the ceiling. I moved to tan thinking it would look good matching the set of blinds covering the arcadia door but once I got the burgundy up on the walls gold started sounding like a nicer match. Although black is still a distinct possibility it would certainly hide any mistakes I make cutting in better than gold, but with the curtains I donít need to have the trim dark unless I miss-measured and the curtains come up short enough that the baseboards show.

I think I might hold off an the trim until I settle on a colour for the carpet and I wonít know that until the curtains are up and I can see how dark the carpet needs to be so it wonít show.
Posted by: BigHonu

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/02/09 01:04 AM

Sounds like everything is coming together nicely! Can't wait to see the finished room!
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/02/09 02:11 AM

Burgundy and gold would look nice IMO... Sort of a nice old school 20's/30's scheme.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/02/09 02:51 AM

 Originally Posted By: Potatohead
Burgundy and gold would look nice IMO... Sort of a nice old school 20's/30's scheme.


Thanks for that comment it just gave me one of those duh-I-coulda-had-a-v8-moments. Iíd been trying to come up with some sort of theme for a long time but none of my none of my interests really meshed with black curtains hanging from the walls even if they were open exposing the walls. I had just given up on the idea and decided to take a minimalist approach but with gold trim Iím already getting away from the so I could see going with a 20s/30s theme of sorts and it should be pretty simple at that.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/02/09 11:34 AM

Almost there...
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/02/09 12:51 PM

Says ďout for delivery.Ē problem is based on some Amazon buys I think Iím on the afternoon part of the UPS route, also Iíve seen the UPS truck driving down the street before as I was leaving for work. Might just have to be a little late today. ;\)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/02/09 04:34 PM

Itís here, now off to work \:\(
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/02/09 04:39 PM

Oh, that sucks! I'll be thinking of you was I fire up the monster tonight for the Saints game.
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/02/09 06:57 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
Itís here, now off to work \:\(


I hate this feeling
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/03/09 01:43 AM

Comfortably numb?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/03/09 06:34 AM

 Originally Posted By: jakewash
Comfortably numb?


Like I just drank a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. WOW!
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/09 01:57 AM

First, the obligatory details: This is the Panasonic AE4000U projecting onto a 134Ē diagonal Carada Brilliant White 19í 6Ē from the screen (on the back wall) with the seating 14í-15í from the screen. Three M80s L/C/R are arrayed below and out in front of the screen two QS8s and an EP500 round out the 5.1.

Setup was a breeze and so far the instructions are actually readable though the bulk of the operating instructions came on s CD which thanks to being at work are now a hard copy.

The first thing I popped in was the Blu-ray of ďThe Fifth Element.Ē blown away doesnít even begin to describe my reaction. This is the sharpest most vivid and perfectly coloured image Iíve ever seen, and it takes up 90% of the wall. Then I switched it over to ďcinema 1Ē and it got even better. Iím not prone to hyperbole but the PQ is just so insanely good words really canít do it justice.

I put in the standard def version of ďThe Fifth ElementĒ and just thought yuk at first. However, after a while and the mental impression of the Blu-ray wore off the standard def also looked extremely good just not outstanding. Other SD material looked equally good but I can see picking up a lot of Blu-rays at least if they ever release the ones I want on Blu-ray.

Hooked up my computer and found the first glitch. When the computer was powered up the splash screen was formatted correctly but when Windows loaded the image was compressed on the sides and not in 1920x1080. Using my KVM switch to move to another computer that had already been booted up while connected to my HDTV and the formatting was perfect. I havenít done much searching but did notice someone at AVS reporting this issue but didnít notice if anyone responded and since I have a workaround that doesnít present any problems for me IĎm not to worried.

And the whole idea of not using the projector/screen as a computer monitor lasted about 3 seconds. I donít care if I have to buy 3 bulbs a year thereís just no way I can go back to the Samsung even for web browsing. The image is so bright for the computer I switched it over to eco-mode and itís almost still to bright.

As if this wasnít enough shock and awe I fired up Elder Scrolls Oblivion on the Xbox. I didnít even recognize it the PQ was so much better. The image was sharper, better coloured, better black level, better shadow detail and so much more immersive. The same thing with ďMass Effect.Ē

At some point during all this I finally realized I had my M80 center up and running. After watching numerous clips Iím use to using for testing my audio calibration I realize how good the front soundstage sounded. The audio now follows the onscreen action better than Iíve ever heard before. Now that there is no screen or wall within several feet of any of my M80s the imaging and tonal quality is beautiful. Absolutely no problems with the sound seeming like itís to low and doming from under the screen.

So far I havenít done an picture calibration. Iím almost scared to it looks so perfect, but there is a default button which it says reseats most things back to the factory defaults.

One other possible glitch Iíve found is that the ďframe creationĒ feature doesnít seem to do anything. Perhaps I was expecting to much but from what Iíve read if itís turned up to high it makes the image look starkly real. However, Iím not seeing any change. I was just playing around when I noticed this so it could be something else needs to be set. So Iíll be checking this out and also seeing if anyone else had reported this.

I canít wait to get my curtains. This image is so bright I can read by it in eco-mode. Also the tan carpet is out. Might not even be able to use brown because of all the light. So far all the reflected light from around the room is so bright that I donít even notice ďblack barsĒ when using other then 1.78:1. So for now no need to make any masking but perhaps later once the curtains are up and the carpet is changed.

Meanwhile Iím just going to sit here and

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/09 02:10 AM

Sounds great Dean, wish I could drop by and see it for myself.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/09 02:24 AM

Man, I may have to get an AE4000U. Thanks a lot, Dean!
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/09 02:55 AM

 Originally Posted By: jakewash

Sounds great Dean, wish I could drop by and see it for myself.


Youíre more than welcome if you ever swing by the South West. Once I get the curtains and most everything else done Iíll see if Sean wants to drop buy and have a look/listen. I need someone to verify that Iím not exaggerating about any of this.

 Quote:

Man, I may have to get an AE4000U. Thanks a lot, Dean!


Glad to be of service. ;\)

Donít worry Iím not even close to being done singing the praises of this projector. This was a three day weekend for me and I just took the next two days off. So Iíve got 5 days. Tomorrow ďTransformers: Revenge of the Fallen,Ē ďG.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,Ē and ďMonsters vs. Aliens should arrive from Netflix. Thursday and Friday are set aside for ďBioshock.Ē Saturday and Sunday for whatever other Blu-rays I can get form Netflix on short notice (probably not new releases).

So any suggestions on good non-new-release Blu-rays to order for the weekend.

BTW I just measured my avatar and Itís just over 5Ēx5Ē and crystal clear.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/09 05:47 AM

Party at Dean's!
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/09 11:35 AM

So, you're looking for somebody credible - like SEAN - to substantiate your claims?

Ba-hahahahahahahahahaha!!



Glad you are enjoying it, Dean. I kind of hate it when people rekindle my projector lust, though.
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/09 12:32 PM

Wow, great to hear for you grunt, I hope I am as ecstatic with mine once she's up and running hopefully on the weekend at the latest. I can only imagine what having three M80's would sound like.

Do you find the 134" is pretty large for that viewing distance? I was constrained a little bit from a soffit covering the heating ducts so I maxed out at 110" before the beam from the projector would have been cut off by it. I am planning on watching from 13 - 14 feet.

Set aside a lot of time for Bioshock, that game is just fantastic. Definately a step down from Oblivion, but still a great, great game.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/09 12:56 PM

I think the 134Ē screen is the perfect size for this distance. This calculator even says 15í is the THX recommended distance for a 36 degree viewing angle for that size:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator.html

The image is crystal clear and Iím not noticing any artifacts based size vs distance but IĎm not using an AT screen. If thereís one problem Iíve found so far its that will a screen this big that covers about 75% of the wall it lights the room up during any bright scene. Iím running it in eco-mode right now while using the computer and itís so bright Itís like I have the blinds open w/sunlight coming in. I would not use this big of a screen vs room size if the walls/ceiling/floor are bright colours.

Iím looking forward to hearing about your projector, are you also getting the AE4000?

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/09 02:22 PM

Sounds awesome, I might have to move my couch a little more forward than planned \:D My room is very dark with black ceiling/black carpet and medium green walls, and I don't have a positive gain screen (Carada standard) so I hope reflection isn't too bad. I do hear the brightness on the newer projectors is more than what you need in most scenarios.

I have the 6500UB. I couldn't pass up on the rebate for $400 and a free bulb, plus I paid a good price to begin with. I was very close to waiting for the 4000, I love Panasonic and love that it is black, but their pricing up here is ridiculous. I can purchase it in the US for about $1000 less but then you have no warranty coverage. I actually did this for a 50" Panny plasma recently but I am more familiar with the TV's and they've been reliable, I am not familiar as much with projectors and didn't want to chance it. Even to purchase an AE3000 three months ago was $900 more than the 6500UB, and I think down there it's cheaper. My buddy has the 1080UB and is happy which helped my decision as well.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/05/09 04:49 AM

While researching I read about how Panasonic over charges in Canada. I was on the fence for a long time on whether to get the Epson or Panasonic. I was leaning toward the Epson because word on the street was that the 4000 wasnít coming to the U.S., but when it was announced and I read the specs my decision was made.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/05/09 05:43 AM

So my movie watching plans got all shot to hell when I went to buy a VGA and HDMI cable at Fryís and ended up bringing home an Onkyo TX-NR3007. Have to say so far Iím very impressed and between the Oppo BDP-83, Panasonic AE4000 and now this I have way to many new toys to play with and hopefully review.

First impression on the Ohkyo is that Itís heavy. Following that the next thing I noticed is that It was extremely easy to set up compared to my Denon. If you stay with the presets for inputs it pretty much sets up itself. 6 HDMI inputs means I can ditch the HDMI switch.

It auto detects the Audyssey mic being plugged in and loads the calibration screen. Took about 30 minutes to run the setup for 7.1. It set my L/R M80s to 40Hz, my center M80 to 50Hz and all 4 QS8s to 100 Hz.

I put in the usual movies/music I test with and immediately noticed that unlike my Denon this time Audyssey didnít make my speakers sound like crap. At first I really couldnít tell if Audyssey was doing anything until I got to some bass heavy scenes and clearly noticed how it smoothed out the bass. From what Iíve heard so far I feel no need to even check the auto setup with my SPL meter as it sounds that good. Based on the auto setup and Audyssey plus how Dolby PLIIx sounds on the Onkyo I can only assume something in my Denon is, as I suspected, defective. Actually the impressiveness of the sound from the Onkyo reminds me of how the Denon sounded when I first got it. So Iím suspecting something happened to it.

As for the Panasonic AE4000 I determined that the frame creation feature is in fact working. During an early scene in the 2001 Blu-ray as a satellite moves across the screen there was a lot motion judder. When I turned on the frame creation it just sailed smoothly across the screen. Iím still not sure if Iím noticing the hyper vividness people complain about. If I am seeing it itís not always happening but seems to come and go.

Iím now running in eco-mode for all inputs not just the computers. I tried out high altitude mode and could clearly hear the fan running, however under normal operation I donít hear the fan from my listening position about 4-5 feet away. I bumped up the brightness a little bit as some scenes seemed a little dark lacking some shadow detail. A nice surprise was that it didnít effect the VGA output a problem I had on my HDTV where to get the brightness right for the DVD input it made things to bright for the computers so I then had to calibrate them separately using the video card.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/05/09 04:05 PM

We can assume that the Onkyo is driving the M80s with out too much heat etc.? Crank it up and let us know how long before it shuts down if at all. \:\)

FWIW, You are also comparing against 2 different Audyssey systems, if I am remembering my Denon history.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/05/09 07:11 PM

Thanks for mentioning that. I should find out now if itís going to crap out on me while Iím still in the 30 day return window.

Iíve been playing ďloudĒ Psychedelic Trance (deep rapid bass beat) for two hours at 100dB average. First half hour was in 7.1 then switched over to ďpure audioĒ seems to be Onkyoís version of ďpure directĒ so only the L/R M80s are working. FYI my M80s are 11.5í from my listening position.

The amp section of the receiver is very warm but no hotter than the Denon 2807 would get playing around 85dB. Iím describing ďvery warmĒ as I can feel the heat but can hold my hand on it w/o a second thought.

When I first bumped up the volume I set it to where my ears told me I usually played the Denon. I checked the SPL meter and it was 8dB higher. Scary thing is I could really listen to the M80s at 100dBs now because it doesnít feel uncomfortable. Thing I really like about the M80s is unlike many other speakers Iíve heard which tend to have the high frequencies lag at higher volumes the highs on the M80s sound just the same when I turn them up.

Note my equipment rack it just an open storage rack in a den. The room is closed but the air is being exchanged with outside air via a dual fan. Iíve turned off the fan I usually have blowing on my equipment rack for this test.

Iíll have to read the manual more closely but apparently this has more than one amp which if Iím not using some combination of outputs I can bridge with the front L/R for more power. Not sure thatís necessary and then Iíd have to use double hearing protection.

So how long playing just the M80s is a good test, Iíd like to take my ear-defenders off now.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/05/09 07:19 PM

I would guess that 2 hours is probably a good time period.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/05/09 07:39 PM

Thanks.

I decided to go ahead and make it fail so just after posting that I bumped it up to 105dB and about 5 minutes later it went into protect mode. Never noticed any distortion. I let it cool down for about a minute and turned it back on and am now playing at a more normal for me anyway 80dB average.

I played my Denon 2807 that loud once but not even for 5 minutes but it was un-listenable above about 95dB. The Onkyo sounded fine right up till it stopped sounding at all.

I imagine if anyone was going to be playing 105dB at 11.5 feet their going to be buying an amp anyway. It got warm enough that I would recommend good ventilation but Iím not seeing any problem with how it performed.
Posted by: myrison

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/05/09 10:59 PM

Dean,

If you ever listen in multichannel stereo (or just want to do more screwing around) you might check how the results change if you run in 5/7 channel stereo mode (if you weren't already) and then crank up the volume.

That's the only way I've managed to get my Denon 3808 to shut down (also at crushing volumes), so it might be worth making sure that it doesn't shut down at lower volumes when running all channels at once.

Jason
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 12:03 AM

I thought that might be the hardest test but wasnít sure so I tried the two modes 7.1 Dolby PLIIx and 2ch the ones I mostly use. Iíve occasionally used multi-channel stereo for some TV shows. Just for kicks Iíll give it a try tomorrow as I donít think the neighbors will appreciate me pumping out 100dB though it was only hitting about 70dB at the nearest property line when I went outside and measured it during the earlier test.

I was very happy with my 2807 and would be happy to buy another Denon however no one seemed to have a Denon model I wanted locally and I didnít feel like ordering over the internet when another brand was available. Plus this gives me a chance to try something new. To many variables to know why (newer, better tech, Audyssey works/is better version) but this Onkyo blows my older Denon away. No need to compare them directly at all. Itís not as stark a difference as moving from the HDTV to the projector but itís about half way there.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: BigHonu

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 12:57 AM

Dean, sounds like you are having a blast with your new equipment! Only time I get to pump the volume up that loud is when the kids are out of the house.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 05:16 AM

Isn't the 3007 more on-par with the 380X series or now the 4310? this may account for the sonic quality difference or it could just be the Onkyo has a better/stronger amp section than Denon is using.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 05:44 AM

Yes it is, so itís probably not a fair comparison but Iím surprised at how much better this new Onkyo sounds compared to my older Denon. I just wish there was a way to tell what makes it sound so much better. It would give me more information for next time I upgrade.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 05:48 AM

I was just looking at the specs. That looks like a rockin' receiver, Dean.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 05:59 AM

 Originally Posted By: Dean
When I first bumped up the volume I set it to where my ears told me I usually played the Denon. I checked the SPL meter and it was 8dB higher. Scary thing is I could really listen to the M80s at 100dBs now because it doesnít feel uncomfortable.


Then....

 Originally Posted By: Dean
I played my Denon 2807 that loud once but not even for 5 minutes but it was un-listenable above about 95dB. The Onkyo sounded fine right up till it stopped sounding at all.


Interesting. Despite what seems to be only a 30 wpc advantage, the Onkyo is sounding "different" at higher volumes?

Damn, I'm going to have to get some outboard amps to test this theory, and the Outlaws have their monoblocks on sale.... !
Posted by: fredk

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 06:10 AM

Resist the urge to go to the dark side you must!
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 01:54 PM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson

Damn, I'm going to have to get some outboard amps to test this theory, and the Outlaws have their monoblocks on sale.... !
OOHH!!, I didn't notice that. They are one of the amps on my short list. I have also been looking at used Anthem MCA20's for about the same price as 2 M2200s, decisions, decisions.......
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 02:00 PM

Hurry up and buy a pair of 2200s, I want hear what someone thinks before I settling on them, vs. saving up longer to get the 7700.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 03:05 PM

 Originally Posted By: Marks Johnson

Interesting. Despite what seems to be only a 30 wpc advantage, the Onkyo is sounding "different" at higher volumes?

Colour me confused too, and ďdifferentĒ is an understatement. Above about 90=95dB average (depending on the genre) for music the 2807 started sounding really harsh. Never listened that loud so it wasnít an issue.

In the apartment I had the 2807 calibrated and played mostly at 75dB but when I moved to the house I upped that to 85dB which is when I started the ďdo I need more power threadĒ because it sound to me like it was clipping during loud movie scenes like the explosions in ďMaster and Commander.Ē

With those same scenes the Onkyo sounds loud but smooth, not harsh, and the loud parts no longer interfere with the more subtle parts of the same scene (e.g. the explosions donít wash out the surround effects) with Audyssey on or off.

I agree that 30dB shouldnít make a striking difference especially over a 10dB range. It must be a combination of factors.

 Originally Posted By: Marks Johnson

Damn, I'm going to have to get some outboard amps to test this theory, and the Outlaws have their monoblocks on sale.... !

Iíd love to hear your results. I donít see getting amps right now since this seem to be able to play louder than I would ever want to listen and still sounds great.

I havenít nor do I plan to do an A/B comparison partly since I have no easy way to do it. And also I canít discern a noticeable difference at lower volumes.

Note: before anyone goes all AVS on me Iím not claiming that Onkyo is better than Denon, just that thereís a striking difference in SQ between my older Denon 2807 and newer Onkyou 3007. ;\)

Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 03:14 PM

In your room, to your ears. Cheers!

I had a similar experience, with much humbler equipment. Went from a Denon 1804 to Onkyo 805 and got "improvement" which I attributed to the Audyssey MultiEQ XT.

When's the party, again?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 03:21 PM

I finally found my camera so I took a shot of the screen so you can see itís size relative to the room. Picture is from 19í back under the projector shelf. Sorry so dark, I need to figure out how to adjust the flash so itís not keying on the white screen and making the rest of the room dark.



The screen is a 134Ē diagonal Carada 1.78:1 Brilliant White. No screen artifacts, hot-spotting, or any other anomalies I can see. From 19í the AE4000 in cinema 1 and eco-mode is perfect. This screen is working perfectly. Iím glad I didnít pay more to get a Stewart.

Now that Iíve watch a few full movies and listened to more music I canít express how happy I am to have my M80 center up and running again.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 03:32 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle

When's the party, again?


Gotta get the home-brewery up and running again before I can have a real ďGrand Opening.Ē
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 04:03 PM

Do you have the 4000 mounted offset or is it far enough back the beam can get under the ceiling fan?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 09:14 PM

Itís about 4Ē below the center of the screen. The shelf is adjustable and I could probably line it up dead center but when I first put it up I wasnít sure so I dropped it a bit to make sure it wouldnít hit the fan. The screen leans forward slightly because of the way it hangs from the ceiling. I guess because of the distance 19í, the minimal offset and slight leaning I canít see any keystone issues.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 09:34 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt


Youíre more than welcome if you ever swing by the South West. Once I get the curtains and most everything else done Iíll see if Sean wants to drop buy and have a look/listen. I need someone to verify that Iím not exaggerating about any of this.



Augh! I missed this! Sorry, Dean.

Yes! I'd love to drop by and take a look at your set up. I think I'm going to develop a serious case of screen envy! Ha ha, go ahead and ruin my TV for me. \:D

Also, I'd love to listen to your M80s. Let me know when you get everything all set to go. I'm just up the road from you.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 09:36 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
So, you're looking for somebody credible - like SEAN - to substantiate your claims?

Ba-hahahahahahahahahaha!!



Glad you are enjoying it, Dean. I kind of hate it when people rekindle my projector lust, though.


Very funny. . .


;\)
Posted by: Adrian

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 09:48 PM

Looking good, Dean!

BTW, how high is your ceiling? looks more than 8+ ft.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 10:07 PM

Where the screen is hanging itís about 9í6Ē vaulted up to a peak of 11í. the back wall the projector is on is only 8í. one of the specific reason I bought this house was because of the layout of this room. Having a 9.5í screen ďwallĒ allows me to use the second largest 1.78 screen Carada makes and still allow my M80s to fit under it. This gives me complete freedom of placement for all 3 of my M80s something a taller standard screen or an AT screen wouldnít have allowed. I feel this gives me both the best video and audio w/o having to compromise either one for the sake of the other.

I wanted the vaulted ceiling for acoustics but the added benefits are less reflection off the ceiling do to it angling up and the high peak allows me to keep the ceiling van (love it) just with a shorter drop rod.

Based on a couple days viewing I donít see any problems with this screen height. Especially for other people coming over to watch 2.35:1 movies since I can just turn the dial on top of the AE4000 and it shifts the 2.35:1 image down from the center of the screen to the bottom edge which is eye level (big chairs) (didnít use the other term since Richeydog posted that rather disturbing picture last time ;\) ).
Posted by: JohnK

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 10:12 PM

Dean, I'm also thinking that maybe your 2807 wasn't in top shape. At the 95dB level that you mention, although it's too high for continuous listening without hearing damage, the 2807 should easily power the M80s(something on the order of 10 watts)with inaudibly low distortion. I've also wondered about the difficulties which you've described in the past in setting up its Audyssey MultEq XT, which also isn't really typical.

The new Onkyo has nominally the same MultEq XT as the 2807 with whatever improvements have occurred in past three years and which could improve the in-room results independently from power output. You didn't mention it specifically, but if you had Dynamic EQ applied with Audyssey this would also make a significant difference compared to the 2807.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 10:28 PM

Thanks for your response John, and for validating what I was thinking that the 2807 shouldnít have had any problems at 95dB. Iíve also thought for some time that my bad (not subtle but really bad) results with Audyssey were to atypical to for a system operating properly.

Not sure if I mentioned it but Dolby PLIIx also sounds much better on the Onkyo. So much so that Iím using it as my standard listening mode for now pending the myriad other modes available to try. With EQ Audyssey has applied to the subwoofer and the greatly improved soundstage from the PLIIx I canít see not using them now.

I turned off all the EQ functions when I switched the Onkyo over to test the M80s at 100dB. The comparison is between Onkyoís ďpure audioĒ and Denonís ďpure directĒ both with all EQ and bass management off.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/09 11:20 PM

 Originally Posted By: St_PatGuy

Augh! I missed this! Sorry, Dean.

Yes! I'd love to drop by and take a look at your set up. I think I'm going to develop a serious case of screen envy! Ha ha, go ahead and ruin my TV for me.

Also, I'd love to listen to your M80s. Let me know when you get everything all set to go. I'm just up the road from you.


Turn about is fair play as I totally missed your post too. Iíll PM you my info and we can make arrangements. If youíre just interested in functionality Iíve got all the basics in place. AsceticsÖwell not so much. Also I still have some tuning to do like get the curtains, new carpet, wall mount the QS8s, flocking for the ceiling and maybe the M80s masking if needed. Iím hoping to get everything dialed in in a couple more weeks but Iím already pretty impressed.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/07/09 07:15 AM

Well one of my biggest hassles is now taken care of by the Onkyo 3007. Because itís 9.2 (.2 here) I can hook up the Buttkicker separate from the EP500. So now I can change the ďvolumeĒ of the Buttkicker with the remote w/o effecting the sub. So no more getting up and walking over to the amp to change the Buttkickerís level. Probably a feature that wouldnít mean much to most people but it makes things much easier for me.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/09/09 03:33 AM

You need to change your sig ;\)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/09/09 07:01 AM

Good catch. I think it took me a couple months to change my location to Avondale from Phoenix.
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/09/09 01:58 PM

Duh, I am so one track minded, I didn't figure for a second you have the projector on a shelf, I figured it must be on the ceiling.

In other news, my carpet was delayed another few days so I said screw it and fired up the Braveheart Blu-Ray... My DVE disc is still in the mail, and I have done no audio tinkering really at all other than setting speaker distance, but it was utterly fantastic. These Axioms are freaking awesome. I am glad I upgraded to the SVS sub as well, many scenes where you can feel bass but not hear anything... Could never get that with my old smaller Velodyne.



Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/09/09 02:09 PM

Let me know how the DVE disk works out. Iíve been so floored by this picture/sound I havenít done any real tweaking but eventually itís going to get the best of me and Iím going to want to know if Iím getting the most out of my setup.

I prefer the shelf mount. Much easier to set up. It gives me the maximum throw distance for the sharpest image and best contrast.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/11/09 05:31 AM

As of Monday Iíve had the Panasonic AE4000 for one week now and managed to only put 63 hours on it. Amazingly I had enough willpower to not even turn it on Monday since I was just using the computer. So far Itís done an amazing job with everything Iíve thrown at it. Iíve stayed in eco-mode as it seems plenty bright enough for TV, movies, gaming and computer use. The only issue Iíve found so far is that none of my three windows computers will set display properly in 1920x1080 if boot up directly to the AE4000. If first or simultaneously booted up while connected to my Samsung DLP the resolution is set properly.

A few other observations:

In eco-mode the fan is ultra quite. I have to stand with my ear right next to the projector to hear it. In normal mode I have to be within about 2 feet but in high altitude mode I can hear it from my seat about 5 feet away.

Watched some football and didnít see any real problems with motion blur. The only thing I noticed was the when thrown long the football had a trail about 1/2 a ball length behind it. But I really had to pay attention to notice.
Posted by: Argon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/11/09 07:33 AM

I have an LCD TV - most of the motion blur and/or pixelization that I see seems to be related to the signal and/or the quality of the equipment used to broadcast the event. For example, when I watch 'Big Ticket' events like the World Series, there is no blur or pixelization at all. However, when I watch some of the broadcasts of say, 'lesser ticket' college games, there is a ton of blur and/or pixelization. Not sure what the cause is?
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/11/09 01:41 PM

That's very interesting insight, Rob. But, what about Hockey?

Seriously, I don't yet have a configuration suitable for FP, but certainly appreciate learning from those of you that are enjoying that journey.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/11/09 02:00 PM

That is very interesting. Iíll have to check out some more sports broadcasts and see if I notice the same thing. BTW Iíve never seen any pixilation yet on any source with this AE4000.
Posted by: Argon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/11/09 04:32 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
That is very interesting. Iíll have to check out some more sports broadcasts and see if I notice the same thing. BTW Iíve never seen any pixilation yet on any source with this AE4000.


AE4000? I could probably google it when I get home. Hockey - I don't normally watch it on TV but I think that it is running on Vs. I'll check it out. I do like watching the Tour de France on Vs. - the pixelization that I see there is I think the satellite feeds breaking up on those motorcycle cams they use. I spent a lot of time over at AVS before I bought the Sony. The thing about that group over there is that they can scare you off of buying any product if you succumb to the sensationalism that goes on. There was "flashlighting", "clouding", "black crush", "ghosting" and I can't even remember all the issues. In the end I spent a lot of time on showroom floors and just followed my instincts. So I do have "flashlighting" and "clouding" but you only notice it on blank or grey screens - no biggie. I did actually see "Black Crush" the other day in a Denzel Washington movie. It made up about 10 seconds of a 2 hour movie - no biggie. I have seen ghosting - usually lasts 5 or 10 seconds in dark scenes - again no biggie. SO....98.5% of the time, I am totally blown away by the HD picture.
Posted by: BigHonu

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/11/09 08:17 PM

 Originally Posted By: Argon
I have an LCD TV - most of the motion blur and/or pixelization that I see seems to be related to the signal and/or the quality of the equipment used to broadcast the event. For example, when I watch 'Big Ticket' events like the World Series, there is no blur or pixelization at all. However, when I watch some of the broadcasts of say, 'lesser ticket' college games, there is a ton of blur and/or pixelization. Not sure what the cause is?


My experience as well.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/17/09 09:56 AM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
 Originally Posted By: Marks Johnson

Interesting. Despite what seems to be only a 30 wpc advantage, the Onkyo is sounding "different" at higher volumes?

Colour me confused too, and ďdifferentĒ is an understatement. Above about 90=95dB average (depending on the genre) for music the 2807 started sounding really harsh. Never listened that loud so it wasnít an issue.

In the apartment I had the 2807 calibrated and played mostly at 75dB but when I moved to the house I upped that to 85dB which is when I started the ďdo I need more power threadĒ because it sound to me like it was clipping during loud movie scenes like the explosions in ďMaster and Commander.Ē

With those same scenes the Onkyo sounds loud but smooth, not harsh,


That is exactly what I noticed when I moved from y Denon 3300 to the pro amp, the harshness at high volumes went away, allowing for loud listening without fatigue. Call me crazy (again, I guess) but this purely mental affect is worth the price, even if it aint real - cause I hear it either way!
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/17/09 10:05 AM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
That is very interesting. Iíll have to check out some more sports broadcasts and see if I notice the same thing. BTW Iíve never seen any pixilation yet on any source with this AE4000.


You will, it is inevitable due to source quality. A watch a ton of football and I can generally know what games will have some pixilation before they start just by the channel and time of day. Night games on ESPN, CBS and NBC are superb. Day games less so, and games before 2:30 central on junk. All HD is not the same b/c all are compressed like an MP3. More compression means larger blocks of "same" data, which looks like pixilation.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/17/09 10:07 AM

Oh, and congrats on the new HT Dean, I knew you would enjoy it. If you have not already, go get Modern Warfare 2, it is jaw droppingly good on the projector.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/17/09 11:47 AM



 Originally Posted By: Zimm

All HD is not the same b/c all are compressed like an MP3. More compression means larger blocks of "same" data, which looks like pixilation

Iím not watching as much TV as I use to once I had DirectTV move my dish because they originally put it to close to a palm tree I havenít seen any digital artifacts at all. However, with sports I do understand that it can happen more often because itís actually coming from the uplink.

 Originally Posted By: Zimm

Oh, and congrats on the new HT Dean, I knew you would enjoy it. If you have not already, go get Modern Warfare 2, it is jaw droppingly good on the projector

Thanks, still a lot of work to do as I havenít gotten the curtains yet and donít want to run the speaker wire until I know exactly where the curtain rods are going to hang. Probably a good thing since Iím now going to start experimenting with the height and wide channels which means more wire to run. I also need a darker carpet but donít want to put that in until the touchup painting is done.

Work pretty much came to a stop when the projector and screen came online. I also learned from my apartment not to get ahead of myself because I ended up doing much more than was necessary like making black throw rugs which I ended up not needing. However they have come in handy experimenting with darker colour in my house.

ProjectorReviews.com finally has a preliminary review of the AE4000 up.

http://www.projectorreviews.com/panasonic/pt-ae4000/index.php

Projector Central has had theirs up for a while

http://www.projectorcentral.com/1080p_shootout_2009.htm
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/17/09 11:59 AM

Looking forward to the AE-6000, which should be out when I get a house! \:\) That 4000 is pretty interesting for the price...
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/17/09 12:54 PM

 Originally Posted By: Zimm
Oh, and congrats on the new HT Dean, I knew you would enjoy it. If you have not already, go get Modern Warfare 2, it is jaw droppingly good on the projector.


Yep
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/17/09 11:17 PM

I will get Modern Warfare 2 eventually but Iíve sworn not to get any new games until Iíve played through the ones I bought almost 2 years ago and still havenít played. Bioshock was first on that list but I didnít finish my first run when I realized I killed an important character plus itís been more fun so far on the second time through now that I have a better idea of what Iím doing. Once this is done Iíve still got Assassins Creed, The Orange Box and Fallout 3 I havenít even started. Only then will I consider allowing myself to get Modern Warfare 2 because Iíve still got many games Iíve started and never finished: Rainbow Six Vegas, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Command and Conquer 3, Halo 3, The Battle for Middle Earth 2, Star Wars Knights for the Old Republic, and eventually actually finish Elder Scrolls Oblivion and pop in Shivering Isles.

Unfortunately Iím way behind the power curve this week as we just got hit with a surprise inspection and all of management is in a state of panic. Three of them wanting me to come fix programs they havenít been maintaining before the inspectors get to them while Iím busy supporting a Vice Presidential visit because Iím the only crew chief with an all area access pass to the airport.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/17/09 11:20 PM

I thought Iíd better mention this as some people seem interested in the Onkyo 3007. Something I just spotted in the Onkyo 3007 manual is that it wonít run both the height and wide channels at the same time. You can wire both of them up but must select which you want output from at a given time. So I suppose you could use the wide channels for music and the height channels for movies if you so desired but not both at the same time. Sort of a bummer but I hadnít even intended to use them until the discussion just came back up in another thread.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/18/09 01:03 AM

Re: Bioshock, I wouldn't worry about killing characters. It's kind of a rails game.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/18/09 01:13 AM

It's even worse. You can wire them both up, but you can't switch between them without re-running the Audyssey, because it is their DSX which creates the wide channels.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/18/09 02:11 AM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile

Re: Bioshock, I wouldn't worry about killing characters. It's kind of a rails game


Part of it is also that I waited so long to play Bioshock I donít want to just blow through it, but thanks for the info.

 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon

It's even worse. You can wire them both up, but you can't switch between them without re-running the Audyssey, because it is their DSX which creates the wide channels.


Thanks, I hadnít gotten to the point of finding that out yet.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/18/09 11:56 AM

I have no plans on width channels, possibly height though, but who am I kidding, unless I can get one thrown in with the BIG flatscreen next year, I am stuck with my 3808 for a very long time...... not that the 3808 is a bad thing to be stuck with
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/19/09 04:03 AM

I got some time and did some experimenting with different speaker configurations.

For reference my room is 13íx 21íx 8Ď-11í vaulted. Carpeted, mostly bare walls with 3 big chaise lounges. Equipment in my signature.

First Test:
C M80 10.5í 50Hz 0 degrees ear level
L/R Mains M80s 11.5í 40Hz 26 degrees ear level
L/R Height QS8s 11.5í 100Hz 45 degrees 8í high
L/R Wide M22s 8.5í 80Hz 60 degrees ear level
L/R Surround QS8s 7.5í 100Hz 120 degrees ear level
C Back VP150 6.5í 80Hz 180 degrees ear level

I ran auto setup and Audyssey but only in the three listening positions. They detected and calibrated all speaker positions. The M22s and VP150 were set to 60Hz but I manually adjusted them to 80Hz.

I demoed the my usual suspects. Star Wars III, LOTR FOTR, Master and Commander, Appleseed, Kaena The Prophecy, Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon SACD 5.1, The Bangles SACD 2.0, Boston SACD 2.0.

First thing I found was that you do not need to rerun Audyssey to switch between using the height and wide speakers. Just changing listening modes does this. I settled on comparing Dolby PLIIz (8.1), Neo 6 + Audyssey DSX (8.1) and Neo 6 (6.1). With height speakers hooked up I could not select Dolby PLIIx or PLIIx + Audyssey DSX so I chose Neo 6.

Neo 6 (6.1) - sounded about the same as PLIIx. Didnít notice any immediate difference in running only three calibration point rather than the full eight.

Dolby PLIIz (height speakers) (8.1) - subtle but noticeable vertical expansion of the front soundstage sometimes. A sort of ďwall-of-soundĒ effect but only with ambient sounds not a noticeable difference in passages w/o ambience. Worked great for movie scenes with echos, wind, waterfalls. A very nice effect that blended seamlessly with the QS8 surrounds filling the whole room with ambient sounds not just the sides and back. Very noticeable when missing.

Neo 6 + Audyssey DSX (wide speakers) (8.1) - more noticeable effect of expanding the front soundstage. Not all scenes benefited but many more than benefited from the height speakers. This effect was quite seamless between the mains and surrounds even when sitting in the nearest listening position the soundstage didnít collapse to the wide speaker.

The effect worked very well when something was moving on or off stage left or right however it didnít add anything I noticed to front to rear pans. However, one possible issue is on screen objects occasionally sounding like they are off to the side of the screen the same way it sounds if you have an HDTV and put your L/R mains say 12í apart. Bigger soundstage but sometimes the sound isnít exactly following the on screen action.

Second Test:

I just swapped the positions of the M22s and QS8s so the QS8s became the wide and the M22s became the height speakers. I reran Audyssey and it made the same settings as before so again I switched the M22s and VP150 to 80Hz.

Neo 6 - same as above

Dolby PLIIz - much less noticeable benefit from the M22s up high. The QS8s are much better suited for this role in my room.

Neo 6 + Audyssey DSX - also much less noticeable benefit. Still more than the height speakers in this test but not nearly as good using the QS8s as wide speakers as it was using the M22s.

Music:

Dolby PLIIz - nice improvement to ambient music. Degraded quality of the front soundstage for SACDs either 5.1 or 2.0 with no noticeable benefit.

Neo 6 + Audyssey DSX - expanded front soundstage but just sounded to wide at least for studio and small stage recordings. Didnít degrade the front soundstage but no noticeable improvement either. Canít comment on concerts as I forgot to try it.

Summary:

No need to rerun Audyssey to switch between height and wide modes.

Canít select Dolby PLIIx + Audyssey DSX when height speakers are calibrated. However, PLIIx + Audyssey DSX is selectable if no height speakers.

M22s worked best as wide speakers while QS8s worked best as height speakers.

Height speakers subtle but nice enhancement when ambient sounds present.

Wide speakers make more of a wall-of-sound effect and enhance more scenes than height speakers. Effect is mostly good but can pull sound away from on screen action. Mostly helps off screen side pans but didnít do anything for front to rear pans. Note someone not using QS8 surrounds may notice more benefit from front to rear pans using wide speakers.

Each effect is nice in itís way but neither is a clear winner to me yet.

Ongoing test:

I reconfigured putting the QS8s back on surround back duties and put the M22s in as wide speakers and recalibrated using all 8 positions. Iíll continue to experiment with more material especially games to see if either format offers any clear advantages to me over the other.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/19/09 05:50 AM

Wow, Dean... nice going. Are the photos still at the lab?
Posted by: Argon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/19/09 07:28 AM

It is good that you took a break from typing to test!
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/19/09 10:05 AM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
No need to rerun Audyssey to switch between height and wide modes.

Canít select Dolby PLIIx + Audyssey DSX when height speakers are calibrated. However, PLIIx + Audyssey DSX is selectable if no height speakers.

Actually, that's why you need to re-run the calibration. Audyssey DSX can create either height or wide, but only the one which was set up when it was run. (At least that's what I gathered from the review of some Onkyo receiver with Audyssey DSX.)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/19/09 12:55 PM

 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon

Actually, that's why you need to re-run the calibration. Audyssey DSX can create either height or wide, but only the one which was set up when it was run. (At least that's what I gathered from the review of some Onkyo receiver with Audyssey DSX.)


I see you were talking only about Audyssey DSX and not the height and wide channels in general. I concur that there was no way to access the DSX height channels when the wide channels were hooked up. However, PLIIz does still work to provide height channels even when the wides are their. Changing between PLIIz height and DSX wide is a simple matter of cycling between listening modes. You just have to choose Neo 6 and not PLIIx as your surround mode.

Well I imagine if I get ambitious I will hook up just the height speakers to see if I can compare PLIIz and DSX height channels. Not sure how much difference their could be but I am noticing some differences bewteen PLIIx and Neo 6 in how they handle the back speakers.

Sucks you canít choose to opt out of the back channels in favor of he heights. With the QS8s I would gladly give up the back channels in favor of the heights base on what Iíve heard so far. Having a pair of QS8s up front and high is much more enveloping on ambient sounds than having them anywhere in the back, at least in my setup. And if running the wide channels it makes it easier to push the surrounds back farther while till keeping the side soundstages seamless.

Cheers,
Dean

Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/19/09 01:09 PM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson

Wow, Dean... nice going. Are the photos still at the lab?

I dare not post any photos of the Rube Goldberg setup I had going. Heck there are probably a few forum member who would go all apoplectic if they just saw my cable (miss)-management right now. Not for the faint of heart. ;\)

 Originally Posted By: Argon

It is good that you took a break from typing to test!

It just looks long cause of all the ďwhite spaceĒ I put in to hopefully make it easier to read. ;\)
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/19/09 01:11 PM

Are you sure you can't do 9.1 DSX wide + height with no surround back? That should be something which DSX offers.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/19/09 02:14 PM

No it wonít play both the from both the wide and height channels at the same time. The manual also clearly states this in a note. So I can get 9.1 based on the standard 7.1 and adding either height or wide channels, but 9.1 with both height and wide channels and no surround backs is not possible on any of the Onkyo 1007, 3007 or 5007 receivers. They probably just patched this onto an existing 7.1 design. Maybe the next generation will be fully customizable because I agree if Audyssey is touting wide and height being superior to back channels you would think they would offer that option.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/19/09 10:24 PM

Dean, very interesting. Maybe I misunderstood one of your observations, but it's one of the basic DPLIIz points that opting for front heights rather than back surrounds would be advantageous especially for someone sitting near the back wall without enough room for a good rear sound field to form.
Posted by: Argon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/19/09 10:25 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
[quote=Argon

It is good that you took a break from typing to test!

It just looks long cause of all the ďwhite spaceĒ I put in to hopefully make it easier to read. ;\)


Right.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/20/09 01:06 AM

 Originally Posted By: JohnK
Dean, very interesting. Maybe I misunderstood one of your observations, but it's one of the basic DPLIIz points that opting for front heights rather than back surrounds would be advantageous especially for someone sitting near the back wall without enough room for a good rear sound field to form.


I probably wasnít clear about what I was saying. With Dolby PLIIz engaged both the surround back and height speakers are active if connected. So itís not an either use the heights or the backs situation both can be active using PLIIz. However none of the Dolby settings on this receiver line allow you to use the Audyssey DSX wide speakers if height speakers were connected during auto setup. It wonít even default back to PLIIx at all if height speakers are hooked up. OTOH Neo 6 allows the DSX wide speakers to play along with the backs even if height speakers were connected during setup, but doesnít give any option to use the height speakers if the wides were connected during setup.

So in order to do A/B/C comparisons between standard 6.1, standard 6.1 + heights and standard 6.1 + wide I had to use Neo 6, PLIIz, and Neo 6 + DSX respectively. I could only do 8.1 and not 9.1 due to lack of speakers but the system is capable of driving a full 9.1 but just not the wide and height speakers at the same time.

Iím not sure if the inability to use both height and wide speakers in place of using surround backs is hard wired or something they can update later in the firmware. Youíd think since the surround backs can be reassigned to another zone or bridged to the mains you could also reassign them to support either the height or wide channels but it doesnít seem to work that way unless Iím missing something in the setup but the manual clearly states that you canít get sound from the heights and wides at the same time.

Right now I have it hooked up in a 9.1 configuration (standard 7.1 plus two M22s as DSX wide speakers). I liked the effect of the height speakers better but they didnít seem to come into play as much as the wide speakers. So the wide speakers seemed to have more overall impact but it wasnít as noticeable when they were missing. Now Iím going to give each one a try for some time with a range of material not just my demo stuff to see which one seems better over time and not just when A/B testing them.

My preliminary judgment is that I wouldnít rush out to buy any new speakers to upgrade. There may be some setups that would benefit more than my room. So now Iím hoping to see if after getting use to these new modes if things just sound wrong when theyíre missing. I think that will be a better way to determine if they are worth buying the extra speakers.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/22/09 12:26 PM

What is the deal with the 4000 review:
"Panasonic is touting a new lamp design, with a stronger red component (better matches the 6500K standard), to provide that extra brightness in best mode. That lamp doesn't improve the projector's brightest mode's measured brightness, by any noteworthy amount. "

Followed by:

" The end result is that the PT-AE4000 gets a significant boost in lumens in best modes."

What? I wonder if I can put a 4000 lamp into my "old" (six months) AE3000?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/22/09 02:37 PM


My guess is it wonít work well even if it physically fits. The reason the 4k is brighter in ďbestĒ modes but not ďbrightestĒ is that with the new lamp is they donít have to filter the non-red part of the spectrum down to match the low red output of the 3k bulb. Less filtering means more lumens get through. The ďbrightestĒ modes either donít use filters or itís only minimal filtering. So even if you put a 4k bulb into your 3k it would still have the ďdarkerĒ 3k filter. Not only would your picture be just as dark the colour balance would be all screwed up.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/22/09 08:19 PM

Playing a little Bioshock and figured out something real fast. Donít like the DSX wide channels for the hard pans in gaming. As you turn your character around and the sound cycles through each speaker there is a long period where both the L or R main and itís corresponding wide speaker are both producing the same sound. The effect is a very noticeable and sudden increase in volume as soon as you pan off dead center lasting until about the 90 degree point where there is a sudden drop in volume as only the surround is firing.

Since there is a lot of motion especially back and forth across the front the sudden drop in volume when crossing center is really annoying. Plus the increase in volume from the front sides obscures the queues coming from the surrounds that something is coming up behind you.

Looks like Iím pulling the plug on DSX wide.

Iíll have to set up two rows of seats and see if the VP150 or M22s can still perform back duties as well as they do with a single row of seats. If so they will free up the QS8s for the height channels.
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/23/09 02:45 AM

What are you using the VP150 for in the back?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/23/09 03:37 AM

 Originally Posted By: Potatohead
What are you using the VP150 for in the back?


Iíve used it as a single surround back speaker. I first tried it back there when I was running a phantom center between my M80s. Later I picked up a 3rd M80 as dedicated center so I permanently lost itís starting position. Now with the QS8s sounding better in the height position than as surround backs I will likely put the VP150 in the back as a single surround back speaker again.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 12/02/09 01:32 PM

I figured Iíd better post to update what Iím hearing with the new height and wide channels.

After spending more time watching whole movies and not jus checking out specific effects I have to revise my opinion of the wide channels and say that they really do enhance the overall soundstage especially sitting in the sweet spot.

For specific effects like panning across the front and of the L/H or R/H side of the screen wides are still a mixed bag especially if I concentrate on what their doing. But Iíve noticed two things about then now. When not specifically listening for them itís not nearly as noticeable when they over exaggerate a L/R pan. Also leaving them on throughout the movie really does seem to improve the immersion of not just the front soundstage but all the way around. Sort of tricks my ears into hearing 360 degree sounds even when almost nothing is coming out of the surrounds and backs.

This effect is very soundtrack dependent based on how much ambient stuff is in the front L/R channels. An example of a movie that sounded much better using the wides than the heights is ďAngels and DemonsĒ Blu-ray I watched last night. Many of the scenes involve crowds or street noises and here the wides really shine.

I still donít like the wides for most music the one exception as I expected being concert recordings. The wider soundstage sounds is much more realistic. However, having tried them on 3 games now, Bioshock, Elder Scrolls Oblivion and Mass Effect I canít see using the wides for gaming.

Last night I finally mounted the QS8s up as height channels so I can get a feel for them with more material especially games where someone has mentioned they are suppose to excel. I still prefer Dolby PLIIz to the DSX height.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 12/26/09 12:55 AM

Just thought Iíd update on some of the new equipment.

With 412 hours on it the lamp of the AE4000 is starting to show itís age. Iím still running it in ďeco-modeĒ since I donít see a big difference running it in normal. Iím still using ďcinema 1Ē which IMO gives the best un-calibrated picture. PQ is still great but itís lost some of the pop it had right out of the box. Switching the picture mode to normal retuns the pop but also IMO is as true looking and also seem to loose a little shadow detail though I havenít tried tweaking any setting to make this mode look better yet. No complaints since I knew I was going to be stretching the limits of this projectors capabilities.

Iíve done a lot more listening using the height and wide speakers and can say itís really a coin toss for me which I prefer. I would say if you can, wait until a reasonably priced receiver (last time I looked the Denon wasnít in my reasonable range) comes out offering both of them. They are both nice but not IMO at twice the price I paid for my Onkyo.

Since the chairs I bought are more than tall enough to see over the M80s to the screen building a riser became unnecessary so I tried to find another way to connect my Buttkicker to all three of my chairs. Turns out just attaching the Buttkicker to a long 2x4 and putting the back legs of the chairs on it works great. Actually the bass now feels better (tighter and more natural) than when I had it attached directly to my futon in the apartment. Must have something to do with the dampening effect of having the 2x4 laying on the ground. If I ever decide to add more chairs Iíll need to make I riser or use another Butkicker.

Still waiting on the curtains from Dazian as they ran out of the material I requested. To their credit they offered to substitute an equally dark and more expensive material for he same price but it had audio dampening qualities I didnít want so I chose to wait. Should get them some time in January. Have to say theyíve been great to work with sending samples of material so I could test it and grommets so I could check for compatible curtain hardware.

Having seen and heard what Blu-ray has to offer Iíve started ordering more of them than I had ever intended as I see them on sale at Amazon. For example:

Original Star Trek seasons 1-3
Original Star Trek movies pack
Star Trek Next Gen movies pack
10 pack of James Bond movies
15 other miscellaneous titles.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 12/26/09 01:34 AM

I can account for two of the miscellaneous titles.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 12/26/09 02:53 AM

Good one! But not at those prices . . . yet. ;\)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/19/10 02:50 PM

My curtains arrived! No warning just a ringing doorbell with a UPS truck driving away and a big heavy box at my door, and I mean heavy. Checked them out and it seems Dazian got everything right, I wonít say perfect until theyíre hanging and Iím sure. But even the corner pieces that hang at an angle because of the vaulted ceiling look like they fit just right.

Ok, did I mention these things are heavy. Iíve been using cheap curtains from Wally-World up to now and thereís no comparison. Iím glad I waited to buy the hardware to hang them because the first stuff I was considering probably wouldnít hold up to the weight. I was already considering other hardware for another reason I will post if my plan works out.

Despite being over 70 lbs they shipped them next day air I guess because of the delay in getting the material. Heck the second installment payment just posted to may card as pending today.

Tough not calling I to work today to get this done.


Side note 666 hours on the projector when I shut it down last night.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/19/10 03:22 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt

Side note 666 hours on the projector when I shut it down last night.

Randy?

Wanna let him know what he's in for?
Posted by: BigHonu

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/19/10 08:34 PM

grunt,

How are PLIIx/DSX working out for you? Any more thoughts/observations?

70lb curtains?!!! You may need some kind of heavy duty pulley system to open and close those puppies! \:D
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/19/10 11:14 PM

 Originally Posted By: BigHonu

How are PLIIx/DSX working out for you? Any more thoughts/observations?


So far I can say w/o a doubt I don't like PLIIz or either DSX height/wides
for most music with the one exception being large outdoor concerts where the
wides are more realistic in their envelopment.

For movies it's still pretty much a coin toss whether the heights or wides
are better but both beat out the rears in my situation. However, I have
been doing some experimenting in anticipation of getting the curtains and
"finalizing" my setup and what I've found so far is pretty straight forward.

Heights - preferred uses: Games and some movies but not music.

Great for ambient sounds like echoes, wind and rain, really impressive when
it happens.

Have slightly more impact when the L/C/R below a large screen.

Generally creates a wall-of-sound effect but coming only from the front.
Can seem tunnel like the farther back the seats.


Wides - preferred uses: Movies and some music (large concerts).

Great for ambient sounds normally occurring on the horizontal plane like
street noise and machinery which happens more often, but not as impressive
as when the heights kick in.

Have more effect the smaller the angle between the mains and the wider the
angle between the wides.

Occasionally throws a directional queue distractingly off the screen.

Cause a sharp rise in volume during some video games when planning off
center.

Don't seem to smooth hard pans from the mains to the surrounds much if at
all.

Occasionally anticipates the arrival of action coming from off screen L/R
but not back to front.

Generally creates a more enveloping soundstage seeming more immersive more
often.

Unfortunately the way the Onkyo 3007 is set up I can't switch easily between
the PLIIz and DSX heights as it requires cycling through all the various
options or switching between modes like "cinema," "music," "game" and "THX."
However, switching between heights and wides in DSX is a simple double
button push.

Note: in all cases I've been testing the heights and wides at the
appropriate angles while I have OTOH been moving the mains around trying
different locations. Also, I've used the default volume settings for the
height and wides. Dolby at least and maybe DSX allows a way to boost or
drop the gain of the heights w/o directly changing the speakers calibration.
I've been limiting some testing and evaluation pending the installation of
my curtains since they will have a huge sonic impact on my room.

 Originally Posted By: BigHonu

70lb curtains?!!! You may need some kind of heavy duty pulley system to open
and close those puppies!


I was a little shocked at how heavy they are, however they will cover both
side walls and the front wall when closed.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/23/10 02:27 AM

Iíve made enough of changes I thought Iíd post some pictures. Iíve still got a lot of work to do like painting the trim, running cables. I just hate doing the detail stuff cause if it works then that should be good enough.

This picture is looking at the kitchen from the arcadia door. With the curtains closed the room is almost totally black. I had to leave a couple things visible in the pictures to give a sense of perspective. Just like in my apartment itís very disorienting with all the lights off. However, Iíve realized that with a screen this big I will never get the room as dark as my apartment was when watching things on the HDTV. I



This picture is looking back at the arcadia door from the kitchen. The reason thereís no curtains back there is two fold. First I cut out the curtain for the back wall to save money. I found in my apartment that not enough light even reflected off the white back wall to be a problem so Iím not worried about it here with burgundy.

The reason for not curtain on the back of the right wall is that Dazian messed up. Everything they did was perfect including the angle cuts for the valance at the front running up the vaulted ceiling. But when I went to hang the back right curtain panel there was a grommet missing right in the middle. They are fixing it at their expense and I should get it back next week.



This picture is from the arcadia door toward the office (equipment/media room). Also I opened up the curtains at the door/hallways to give a better perspective of what the room really looks like.



Here is a link to the before pictures to see the changes

Before

Like I mentioned I still need to run my wiring. It will be easy since the curtain hooks are doubles with the rod on the out hook. I will just run the wiring along the inner hook and drop it down to each speaker. Thereís no way I could have run the wires in the vaulted ceiling and this way the only hole I have to punch in any wall it to get the wires out of the media room. I might even run the wires through 1 1/2 black PVC pipe which will fit a VGA cable and snap tightly into the inner hook. Not sure if I will bother with that since the bare wires wonít show with the curtains drawn anyway.

Also Iíve decided not to install black carpet. Black just shows way to much dirt to use as permanent flooring. Instead Iím having a throw rug made of black carpet to lay down in front of my seating. Not sure what the real colour will be. I like burgundy to match the walls but I might go with a tan or gold to keep it brighter and paint the trim to match that.




Posted by: onn

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/23/10 07:32 AM

Looking great Dean. I wish I could do something like that but I don't have the room. Nice pics
Mel
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/23/10 09:56 AM

Yes, very nice. Dean, I'm interested in what you think of the curtains after you have them sorted and have spent some time with them.
Posted by: BigHonu

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/23/10 02:40 PM

That looks like a nice viewing environment. Thanks for your views regarding PLIIz.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/26/10 01:31 PM


Per a request to see the DSX speaker layout I did the best I could with extremely limited photographic skill and trying to show black speakers against a black background. If anyone remembers way back when I bought my speakers the goal has always been for the speakers to be heard and not seen during HT use.

Originally when I set these up all front speakers corresponded to the DSX angles for placement. In this picture Iíve moved the mains closer to and under the screen as part of my experimenting with positioning otherwise the wide and height speakers are still properly positioned per DSX standards. They look closer together than they should because the picture is take with the camera sitting on top of the projector which is about 5í back from my seating. Almost impossible to see but the little dots of light near the sides about level with the top of the screen are the QS8 height speakers (close-up later).




Hereís the back of the room from just off center at the screen. The QS8 surrounds are to either side a few feet back from the seating while the VP150 rear is on the two unused QS8 stands in the back. I plan on wall mounting the surrounds, probably with full metal brackets, but am holding off until I get the positioning right which isnít going to happen until I replace the VP150 rear with a couple M2s.

Iím not happy with a single rear speaker because of the psychoacoustic issues often mentioned by Alan of it being hard to tell if a sound from directly behind is coming from behind or in front. I already have tried the M22s and QS8s as rears and found both work better than a single rear VP150. However, due to the limited amount of audio coming from the rears I think using anything more than M2 or M3s is a waste of money in my room.



Well this one is sort of a throwaway shot. I was hoping it would better show the L/H QS8 height speaker in relation to the other front speakers but it blends in to darn well. ;\) BTW itís tweeter is the little dot up high between the L/H M22 and L/H M80.



Close-up of the L/H QS8 height speaker. When I first mounted them I wasnít thinking about how high the curtains would go. If I find having the curtains that close below the heights degrades there performance I will move them higher, however so far I donít think that's going to be a problem. I put them at that height to adhere to the DSX angle for how high to place them relative to the seating.


Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/26/10 01:36 PM

Very, very cool! \:\)
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/26/10 03:28 PM

I wonder how much the cutains are killing the sound from the lower driver. Dean, you should try mounting the QS8 so it is positioned away from the wall so the lower driver has some room to work before being muffled, I bet it will sound like a curtain has been lifted ;\)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/27/10 01:05 AM


I haven't done any A/B comparisons but so far I haven't noticed any negative
impact on the performance of the height channels since I put up the
curtains. With the ambient nature of the sound coming from them and the
extra height from the vaulted ceiling I don't think the proximity to the
curtains is an issue but I will be checking that later when the other
curtains has been fixed and I have it installed. I have no desire to run
the Audyssey setup any more than I have to so I'm waiting.
Posted by: vassillios

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/29/10 05:05 PM

Holy crap!

So only the side surrounds? No back surrounds?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/29/10 05:44 PM

 Originally Posted By: vassillios
Holy crap!

So only the side surrounds? No back surrounds?


Presently Iím using the single VP150 as a rear speaker right now but IMO a single rear speaker isnít very effective. Iíve tried QS8 and M22 rear speakers and again IMO there isnít enough coming out of the rear speakers to justify the cost so Iím probably going to get a pair of M2s to use in the back.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/02/10 05:18 AM

I havenít rerun Audyssey yet because I havenít gotten my one defective curtain returned yet but I did a little test to see which music listening mode I like the most. Unfortunatly the Onkyo 3007 unlike my Denon 2807 doesnít allow easy switching directly between modes. Instead it requires you to cycle through all the modes to get back to one with no way to go backward. A real pain but in this case a slight benefit as it allowed me to do a sort of pseudo blind test since there are so many mode I canít keep track of them.

I put on something with both good vocals and a lot of ambience and started switching. Some were very easy to skip over but a couple seemed to clearly sound better than others. Eventually I settled on one that seemed to just sound the best compared to all the others.

The winner was Dolby PLIIz THX Music mode.

Also just last weekend I bought a Samsung 6000 series 46Ē display to replace my aging Samsung DLP. Wow is the picture better. Itís also so bright itís made me realize just how much my projectors lamp has dimmed after nearly 800 hours.

I did the math and have put an average of 8.5 hours a day on the AE4000. That will drop off with the new TV and the passing of the holiday season. Federal employees really do get a ridiculous amount of time off from Thanksgiving through Martian Luther King Day. Add to that the reduced flying schedule for the holydays and being on night shift . . . .
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/02/10 09:43 AM

That's interesting because with my Pio for Movies, I like the PLII THX Movie mode the best. (Doesn't have the z capability).
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/02/10 11:59 AM

Dean, are you using the Onkyo remote or a universal remote?

I ask because I am 95% sure that my Onkyo 805 has discrete codes to go directly to a sound mode, but not via the factory remote, only through a programmed device (MX-700).
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 02/02/10 01:38 PM

Thanks Tom thatís a good call. And no I havenít reprogrammed my Harmony remote yet as I was waiting for the last piece of new equipment the HDTV so I didnít have to do it more than once. I will look to see if there are discrete codes and program it to jump right to my favorite mode if it does.

Brian, for movies Iím still on the fence about which mode I like best. 5.1 sources donít allow Dolby PLIIx or PLIIz and Audyssey DSX to work together so if I want to use Audyssey and get the back channels I have to use Neo:6, but or just get the height channel by using PLIIz w/o Audyssey DSX. Iíve always preferred the Dolby in the past but with a single back speaker like I have not I actually prefer Neo:6.

I still however prefer direct or pure direct for well mastered studio recordings. They just donít sound as ďrealĒ when PLIIx is pulling out the ambient sounds and routing them to the surround and back speakers. Though I do use it more than I use to for some ambient music.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/07/10 12:18 AM

My Panasonic AE 4000 just reached the 1000 hour mark. The lamp is definitely showing signs of age. I mentioned before that there was noticeable dimming around the 150 hour mark which has continued steadily. Iím now finding that for some material switching from ďcinema 1Ē to ďnormalĒ mode not only brightens the picture but improves the colour balance. Still running in eco-mode but now there is a noticeable increase in brightness when switching over to normal whereas before it was hard to tell the difference.

Part of the reason the dimming has become more noticeable is that about I month ago I picked up a Samsung LED to replace my aging DLP. The LED being much brighter than both the DLP and the projector makes the dimming more noticeable. However when the room is dark (and the LED isnít on for comparison) the AE4000 is still more than bright enough to fill the 134Ē diagonal screen and look great. Still I feel an upgrade coming by next year.

By buying the Samsung LED for a backup display and primary computer monitor I went from averaging 75 hours/week on the AE4000 down to 20. The old DLP had just gotten to painful to look at so I was hardly using it at all.

I also got off my lazy butt and finished running all my wiring. Itís only been 11 months, 4 of them with 12 sets of speaker wire 3xHDMI cables, 2xVGA cables and a subwoofer cable running across the floor. No one has ever accused me of being anal. One important tip. If you plan on running wire through conduit (PVC pipe in my case) donít forget to buy fishing line. Instead of being able to pull the wiring I ended up having to push it which probably doubled the time it took and made it much more difficult. I was actually able to fit 2xHDMI, 1xVGA, and 4x12 gauge speaker wires through the PVC pipe despite having to push it.

A couple nights ago I drop tested one of my QS8s from 5í. One grill didnít survive but the speaker did. They sure are solid little buggers. Maybe tonight I will do some tweaking to decide where and how I finally want to mount the QS8 surrounds so I can finally get them off the floor since my other plans fell through. Might also run Audyssey again to see how things sound with/without it now that all the curtains are up.

I was planning to watch a couple Blu-rayís from Netflix tonight but looks like the weekend letter carrier put all my movies in the wrong mailbox again. I guess lifeís good if you biggest complaint is not getting your Netflix movies. ;\)

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: Adrian

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/07/10 10:22 AM

What size LED Sammy did you get, Dean?
Posted by: Glitchy

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/07/10 10:27 AM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Dean, are you using the Onkyo remote or a universal remote?

I ask because I am 95% sure that my Onkyo 805 has discrete codes to go directly to a sound mode, but not via the factory remote, only through a programmed device (MX-700).


I be needing those codes, to see if they will work with my 706,and I'll add them to the harmony's. donde esta?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/07/10 01:54 PM

Itís just a 40Ē 6000 series Samsung UN40B6000. I had tried to other a 24Ē and a 46Ē other brands but donít remember which off the top of my head. I finically settled on the Samsung because it was on sale and itís size made it easily portable for me which I needed to be able to get it out of the way for critical movie watching/gaming since itís sitting on a stand in front of my left seat.

I wouldnít get one unless itís on sale otherwise the price it to high compared to other stuff out there. Also not sure if itís typical of LED-LCDs but the off angle image quality drops off quickly. Not a problem for me since Iím the only one looking at it. Otherwise black levels, contrast and colour all seem very good. Some reviews complain of uneven backlighting but I havenít noticed it but then I mostly use it as a monitor not for movies. Most importantly, for computer use, the image very sharp.

I use it as a primary computer monitor and a backup display. I need something to both keep the hours from piling up on my projector lamp and to make the computers play nice with the projector. For some reason the AE4000 will not properly display 1920x1080x60 over VGA. The image shows but itís squished in to fit the size of a standard 4x3 TV screen. Iíve updated everything possible and tired every combination of cabling but the only way the AE4000 comes close to properly displaying (still wont fit side to side perfectly) over VGA is when another display is also hooked up when the computer is boot up.

The reason Iím using VGA is to use my KVM switch since I do a lot of switching between computers and it makes that easy. I have also hooked up my HTPC and Gaming machine via HDMI but I have to use a remote to switch between them rather than just the keyboard which is a pain. IsoGear has a 4 port HDMI KVM switch but at about $300 from Amazon itís a bit steep and who knows if it even works. The only HDMI switch I could get to play nice with all my equipment in the past is the Monoprice one I have now. Iíve never looked up Amazonís return policy to see if I ordered it and it didnít work if I could return it. Thatís one thing Iíve liked about Fryís Electronics is theyíve never even questioned me about returning something even when I just returned two TV because one was to small and the other was to big. Unfortunately they donít sell and HDMI KVM switch yet.

Sorry Jeff I havenít looked into getting those remote codes yet.

Posted by: Glitchy

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/07/10 02:02 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt


Sorry Jeff I havenít looked into getting those remote codes yet.


I did some looking around this morning, I don't think they are available for the 706, but I'll keep looking.

You might want to check out the links on this page

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=16549421&postcount=1021
Posted by: Zimm

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/07/10 02:05 PM

Looken good Dean. But what is up with the white ceiling fan? In that black hole it should light up the ceiling like a flame thrower.

Or, i could just be screwing with you...not sure. \:\)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/07/10 02:42 PM

Whatís up is lazyness. Right now itís not hot enough to need to use it and itís far enough out of my field of view to not notice it much but when running itís like a flying saucer hovering over my head. In a couple weeks Iím going to be forced to pull the blades off and paint them black. I also have two smoke detectors that so far havenít bothered me because they are also just at the edge of my upper field of vision. Interestingly Iíve found Iím much more sensitive to things at the edge of my side vision and down than up. Makes me wonder if itís an evolutionary thing because of where threats are most likely to come from. Could just by my bushy eyebrows blocking the view. ;\)

Iíve still got to get a black carpet for across the front the temp one Iím using from my apartment doesnít fit all the way across. Iím not going to replace the living room carpet partly because I donít want permanent black carpet (other colours I tested just werenít dark enough). So I will just have some carpeting bound and made into a throw rug. Iíve already picked the black carpet I want at Loweís but am waiting to see if they will have a manufactures sale. That way I still get my 10% military discount on top of the sale price. I got 30% off on my blinds that way.

Speaking of blinds I remember we talked about curtains. Turned out my worries about light leakage were unfounded. Between the blinds, the thickness of the curtains and most importantly where the breaks are there is only one place where light can get through. Itís on top of the arcadia door which is so far back it has no effect. Might be an issue if I ever decide to add a second row of seats but blocking that will be as simple as sticking up some weather striping.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/24/10 03:10 AM

This was partly in response to something said in this thread:

http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=298000#Post298000

Ok I had the day off and did an unscientific inverted speakers test. Not sure if I hit on what Alan was suggesting but I put the right M80 on top of tote boxes so that itís tweeters were just about level with the tweeter of the left M80 sitting on the ground. Hooked them up with a switch so I could feed them both a signal at the same time or separately. I also repeated the test with the right M80 sitting upside down on top of the center M80.

With both playing the same mono signal I quickly noticed the mid-bass of the right M80 (inverted and elevated) was weaker. I noticed the same thing when A/B comparing the two M80 sitting on top of each other (inverted/elevated one had weaker mid-bass). Sitting with my ears vertically aligned as close as I could with both speakers tweeters I couldnít hear any tonal differences except for the drop in mid-bass of the elevated/inverted speaker.

I also noticed that the soundstage of the elevated speaker in both cases sounded more natural. By that I mean more depth, vertical expansion and ambience. As a test I elevated the left speaker on a tote box (about 1.5í high) leaving it right-side-up while leaving the right speaker upside down on itís 3 totes. Now both speakers sound identical. Only by A/B comparing them with the switch could I tell that the right speaker sounded slightly more elevated. I also played them in stereo like this and the soundstage sounded normal.

Iíve always like the sound of my speakers elevated to I switch them both to right-side-up on a single tote box and they sounded much better in my seat than when sitting on the ground (note: my seating is high putting my ears on level with the top the M80s when they are on the floor). However, I now noticed a problem. When moving my ears vertically I noticed the tone of the speakers changed as my ears passed the level of each set of drivers with the frequencies produced by those drivers becoming dominant. The farther I was from the speaker the less pronounced but it was very noticeable.

Having never noticed this before (my ears have never passed the plane of each driver pair before) I was curious what was happening. I got the idea to push the reclining backs of the chaise lounges down and surprise the ďbeamingĒ effect from each driver pair disappeared. There is still a slight tonal difference (more natural sounding voices) with my ears on level with the mid-range drivers rather than the tweeters but it is now very subtle. And the soundstage opened up like I havenít heard since moving my bed out of the living room for ďrealĒ furniture. Iíve known since buying the ďacoustic black holeĒ futon in my apartment that furniture has a big effect on room acoustics but this experience was striking.

This, however, left the center M80 sounding meek still sitting there on the ground. Since I cant elevate it more than a few inches because of the screen I tried tilting it back so that the mid-range drivers rather than the tweeters were pointed at ear level. It now seems to blend seamlessly with the elevated mains. I tested it with a few movie scenes and didnít notice any vertical or tonal shifts while sounds were panning. It also gave me a better tonal balance in the vocal range than Iíve ever heard before.

In summary I found that elevating the M80s 1.5í off the ground while right-side-up or upside down 4í off the ground had the same effect on the soundstage, as long as the tweeter/mid-range drivers were roughly on the same vertical plane (within a couple feet of each other). Elevating the M80 off the ground (more than 1í in this case) noticeably reduced the mid-bass. Elevating the tweeters and mid-range drivers above the rooms seating backs improved the soundstage for 2ch music by increasing itís depth, vertical expansion and ambience. This also greatly improved the mainís integration with the surrounds creating a more seamless surround soundstage. Tilting the M80 back to aim the mid-range drivers at the ears slightly improved voices and simulated elevating the speaker at least in the mid-range frequencies and up.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: fredk

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/24/10 04:44 AM

Nice work Dean! If you weren't before, you are now our official speaker positioning guru.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/24/10 11:48 AM

That saves me some time Dean, thanks for posting. I somehow suspect at somepoint I will be trying this out myself just to verify for myself, but it won't be anytime soon, unless Mojo wants to try this out next week when he drops by to check out the new house. \:\)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/25/10 02:41 AM

I think you and Mojo need to do some experimenting again.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/25/10 02:58 AM

 Originally Posted By: grunt
I think you and Mojo need to do some experimenting again.


Let's not take that out of context or anything.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: New HT Room Advice - 03/25/10 09:18 AM

Around here? Never happens.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/26/10 01:50 PM

I finally made a new addition to the HT which I had planned to do last year but by the time I got around to it they were out of season and itís not something I feel comfortable ordering over the internet.

The new item is a portable air conditioner for the media room. With all that equipment putting out heat in there it was causing my central air to have to kick on every 5 minutes or so just to keep that one room cool. After firing it up and closing the door the central air was barely running every 30 minutes, big difference so far. Right away I noticed the advantage that sequestered in that room itís much quieter than the central air blower which is in the hallway right off the living room HT so itís already much less distracting.

The problem I ran into last year was that the rest of the house stays very cool since I put up the double cell blinds (dual HT use and energy savings) and the solar reflective film. The blinds alone kept the temperature down significantly. For example my AC is set to bump up from about 80 to 87 at 12:00PM, I leave for work at about 1:15. Before the blinds the temperature would go up from 80 to 87 and the AC would have to kick on about 3 times in just that hour and 15 minutes. After I installed the double cell blinds even in the hottest time of year the temperature only went up to 82 in the same timeframe. I hear they are also effective in holding heat in for those of you in not so warm places. ;\)

Iím not sure how good of an investment this will turn out to be especially considering the mixed reviews these types of units get, but Iím operating under the premise that unhappy customers post more reviews than happy ones. Iím hoping I will net some energy savings not having to cool the whole house mostly for one room and save wear and tear on the central air unit. Having a quieter HT is an added bonus I hadnít even considered and have already realized.

I considered a window unit which are much less expensive but I would have to have gotten new screens made for that window, a metal cage to prevent break-ins and possibly deal with the HOA since it would be visible from the front of the house. As it is that window is alarmed so even if I forget the window insert the alarm system will bitch at me to go close the window before arming. Plus this gives me a backup I can wheel into the bedroom should the central air go out and I need to be able to sleep for a couple days until itís fixed.

For when itís cooler outside I just use one of those dual blower window fans to exchange the air with the outside. Which in a little time will no longer be feasible even at night. When itís really mind numbingly cold, you know around 40F outside, ;\) I just open the French doors to the living room and heat the house off my HT equipment. For comparison when I lived in the apartment I had to keep the AC on all year around.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/26/10 02:34 PM

I had been looking at the portable units too. Which make/model did you get? I'll probably still get a window unit, since none of your cons apply to me, but I love doing research.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/26/10 04:06 PM

The brand name is KUL which the guy a Loweís told was just a renaming of the brand they carried last year, I believe it was Danby but donít quote me on that. Itís 8500 btu which is a little more than I need for that room but it gives me the option of wheeling it to the kitchen when Iím doing my weekly cooking which usually also puts an added strain on my central air because of the heat generated in just that area.

Interestingly I found that the HT curtains greatly restrict the heat transfer from my kitchen to the rest of the house so I will see how using it in there works out on occasion.

There werenít many local options available and since I also get a 10% military discount from Loweís I figured what the hell because I was sick of reading reviews which were pretty much all over the place even for the best rated models. Plus if it doesnít work out I can have 90 days to just take it back to Loweís and get something else.

I havenít played around with it much just set it up and got it running to make sure it worked. Seems to be doing an excellent job so far.

I would have preferred a small window unit since I donít really see moving this thing around much but the cons outweighed the pros for me.

My biggest worry was tripping a breaker since I havenít mapped out the circuits in that area. But I maxed everything out and it seemed fine. At some point Iím going to have to get some rewiring done to accommodate some amps but thatís for later.
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/26/10 08:56 PM

WOW! Thank you Dean for all the info on this thread, I just found it because I just upgraded my receiver to an Onkyo TX-NR807 and I want to reconfigure my 7.1 layout (I used to have back surrounds); and what a coincidence I have AXIOM speakers, not as big as yours because I bought them a few years ago on a budget, I have:

Center: VP100
Front: M22ti
Surround: M3
Back: M3

At the time I didn't have enough money to buy surrounds from the QS series or the bigger center channel, but I've been quite happy with them, they sound amazing and my room is not that big so they fit just right.

Anyway, what I want to ask you is if you have to choose would yo go with: front heights, front wides or back surrounds? I can't have all... what do you think?.
Thanks again for all the help.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/27/10 12:09 AM

Thanks for the feedback. I see lurkers reading some threads late at night and wonder if they are getting anything out of them.

Which of the three will be the most benefit you depends on the size and layout of your room and what your source material will mainly be, 5.1, 7.1 etc... .

What are your room's dimensions and were is your seating in relation to the screen and the side and rear walls, and how wide is your screen. Also, I'm assuming your planning to use one of your M3 pairs for this or are you going to be getting any of the QS speakers?

IMO if you can lay out your speakers properly you will likely notice the biggest difference using wide speakers. The side surrounds can be moved back a little to simulate rear speakers using the phantom effect. The highs though nice donít come into play as much as the wides and are also better suited as QS style speakers unless you can place them pretty far away and on the front wall in which case direct radiating speakers like the M3 should also work fine.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/27/10 12:45 AM

 Originally Posted By: CV

Yes, very nice. Dean, I'm interested in what you think of the curtains after you have them sorted and have spent some time with them.


I was just rereading and noticed you asked this.

I am very happy with the curtains. After my experience in the apartment I was going to make them happen though the first quote I got of $6,000 did make me reconsider for a minute. Even at the finial price of almost $2,500 I would have been hesitant to get them had I not already seen the benefits of the temp curtains I put up in my apartment. This room isn't deep space black like in my apartment was because the size and brightness of the screen projector combo is like having a lighthouse in the room. However, one advantage of this is not running into the walls as much, only done it a couple of times when I misjudged where the opening to the hallway was. Another side effect is the gray bars with other than 16:9 material is less distracting to the point that I haven't even considered masking since I set everything up. I think this is also in part because virtually no light is being reflected back at the screen.


I've found the following from having the curtains.

PROS:

They do a great job removing any distractions from my field of view making it easier to suspend disbelief.

They nearly eliminate light reflecting back to the screen improving contrast and perceived brightness which is why I can use such a large screen with a mid-low lumen projector at 19'.

In combination with the blinds they eliminate all light from entering the room in my field of view any time of day.

The curtain wall effect simulates an enclosed room perfectly so there was no need to build any false walls yet I have easy access to other rooms.

My IR remote still blasts through the curtains so I didn't have to upgrade to a RF remote.

By leaving the back of the room un-curtained it improves the ambiance of the surround effects and saved me money.

The double rod mounting brackets gave me a neat clean and very simple way of running all my wires through PVC pipe behind the main curtain rods. Only place itís visible is in the back of the room and then up next to the black ceiling I think it looks fine. Actually you donít even notice it.

CONS:

Having to lift the curtains to vacuum up to the walls.

The potential fire safety issue. The material is NFPA small scale rated but till it would cause a fire to spread a lot faster.

Worrying about dirt. So far I always open and close them by reaching behind the curtain to grab the material to try to keep them from needing cleaned for as long as possible.

UP IN THE AIR:

Near as I can tell the curtains havenít deadened the room much, certainly not as much as the chaise lounges. But only when I can fully open them will I be able to do any real comparisons. Anyway something I read a while back actually suggested that curtaining a room can improve the directional cues in multi-channel tracks because they cut down on some reflections. The corollary to that would seem to be that it can also cut down on the ambient sounds. In my apartment that appeared to be the case so I left the back of the room open even though I had curtains there. However, I never could do an honest A/B comparison. From what I can tell the higher and vaulted ceiling in this room more than makes up for any loss the curtains might be causing.

WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENT:

I need to come up with a better solution for hanging the curtains and rods. The stock rods I bought at Loweís dictated were the mounting brackets needed to be to support the connecting points. I need a double rod (one connecting point) solution so the curtains can be opened all the way to the corners of the room. Right now some areas of the walls canít be exposed because there are multiple mounting brackets blocking the way. I just couldnít find anything long enough not even smaller PVC pipe that could make the length of the room just doubled up.

I now feel I made a mistake painting the walls Burgundy. In my apartment I was always having problems with the curtains separating and the white walls showing through. Despite the excellent idea of using Velcro, I thing from Zimm, I chose not to screw around. However, now I just canít get the room as light as I would like it when not watching something. Plus these are real well made curtains so they hang beautifully and donít separate at the seams. So at some point Iíll likely be repainting the walls light colour again, probably combined with solving the curtain rod issue.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/27/10 01:40 AM

Thanks for the detailed report, Dean. I'm still not set on what I'll be doing in my basement, but it's nice to read what other people are doing to tackle certain issues.

As you make more changes to your room (with Sean's help, no doubt), I'd love to see more pictures. I'm sure I'll be looking to this thread for pointers.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/27/10 01:53 AM

I hope others can learn from my experience especially mistakes but the reality of it is that Iím using this as a sort of diary of my HT experience. That way if I did something and forget what results I got I can go back and re-read it myself. Also, it will let me see how my perception of things changes over time as I experience different aspects of the hobby. That others may benefit from it is an added bonus.

If there is one piece of general advice I think anyone can benefit from but especially those just starting out is to take baby steps. The temptation is to do everything all at once and have an awesome HT. I think this is the single most likely cause of misused time and money next to upgradites. Luckily I learned a lot from the trials and errors in the apartment so Iíve kept the mistakes since moving into the house to a minimum.

Iím looking forward in a couple weekends Sean is going to bring some of his stuff over. I hope to be able to try out some of his stuff in my ďmaster bedroomĒ actually I use it as a storage room (got to get on that) but plan on it being a sun room/workout area. However, Iím finding that I canít get optimal HT, optimal multi-channel audio and optimal 2ch audio in the same room w/o moving either the mains or the seating. Which screws up the distance delays for multi-channel. I was really looking forward to trying out the Sherwood Newcastle 972 as I had read you could save several speaker settings. But as far as I could tell from the early reviews they botched it and then Outlaw dropped theirs. So now maybe the next time I replace the receiver I can find something that has multiple speakers calibration settings.

Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/27/10 01:23 PM

Hi Dean, thanks for the help, I watch TV Shows, DVDs and Blu Rays mostly, I'd say 35% in 2.0 and the rest in 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 (Movies from the Satellite, Dvds and BluRays). I'd be using the same M3s for either set-up, my TV is a 52 inch LCD and I'm sitting about 8.5 feet from it, I'd say it's a mid-sized room but I have a lot of couches so they take some space, I made a drawing of my current 7.1 set-up with back surrounds:



The couches are bigger so there isn't so much space between things but itīs generally accurate.
What do you think?; Thanks again for all the help.
Eduardo.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/27/10 02:35 PM

First of all thanks for taking the time to make a drawing Eduardo. It makes it so much easier to understand what you are dealing with.

Based on the dimensions of your room and your seating layout I would go with wide speakers. Your room is wide enough compared to itís length I think the wides would really help to extend the front soundstage and make it more immersive, especially for the side couches. I would put the wides as far to each side as you can. And bring them out as close to the seating as you can get them without them sounding to close to someone sitting in the front of the nearest couch. I would angle them so they are not quite pointing straight to the back of the room but rather at the nearest side of the couch in the back of your room. That should help form a better soundstage while still leaving the nearest couches in the speakers dispersion pattern.

If possible I would also move the side M3s back a little bit so they are just behind the last seats and angled in toward the center of the group of seats. This will help make up for the loss of the rear speakers by creating a phantom rear effect in stereo between them. You could simulate this just by moving your seating forward temporarily if you have the room. That way you can get an idea of how it will sound w/o moving the speakers if they are wall mounted.

You may not want to hear this but itís going to be the best advice I can offer for your situation. If you can afford to get a pair of QS speakers even if it means using Axiomís trade-up program to trade in a pair of the M3s you will gain more improvement than any other single purchase IMO.

http://www.axiomaudio.com/tradeup.html

Trading up your side surround M3s for a pair of QS designs will give you a noticeable improvement in surround sound for all your seats. Their dispersion pattern would cover all of your viewing area much better than a direct radiating speaker and IMO be well worth the investment.

Finally, I think itís a coin toss as to height or rear speakers working better in your situation. Your room is wide enough to mount them on the front wall so the M3s should work ok but your ceiling height will limit how much ambient effect you get from them. If your room is normally full with people sitting on the side couches then height speakers would benefit those seats more than rears by spreading more sound around the room especially for scenes with wind, rain and echoes. However, if most of the time you only have people sitting in the back couch then rear speakers might benefit you more since they will help fill in the back soundstage for those seats. OTOH, if your side surrounds were QS design then I think they would spread the sound around enough in the back to make heights a better choice.

I know I must sound like a broken record but there is just no getting around the fact that the QS design does a fantastic job. For 3 years I ran only a 5.1 (side surrounds only) in my apartment even though I had the speakers and receiver for 7.1 because I found that with a pair of QS8s in that particular room rear speakers were completely unnecessary.

In summary I would move the rear M3s up and try them as wide speakers while moving the side ones back (or seats forward temporarily) to get a phantom rear effect from your side surrounds. Ideally Iíd upgrade to QS surrounds.

Otherwise if you mostly have people watching from only the rear couch Iíd leave the rear speakers. If you usually have people sitting in the side couches Iíd mover the rears to the height role and again adjust the seating forward or side surrounds back to get a phantom rear effect at least for your back couch.

Hope this helps. In the end the only way to know what will work best for you is to experiment but Iím pretty confident you will find the wides are more engaging than the rears in your room. Also Iím 100% confident you would find QS speakers more engaging as side surrounds in your setup. I'm sure others who own them will concur

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/27/10 03:57 PM

WOW!! Dean, THANK YOU!! I'm going to seriously consider the upgrade program!, upgrading the side speakers for QS and I've always wanted to upgrade the center channel to a VP150 for more dialogue clarity. Also I think I'll go with wide speakers and move the side speakers a little to the back to get the effect you mention, I'm going to do all the work this weekend, nothing is wall mounted so I can move the around a bit, I'm going to take an actual photo of the room tonight so you can look at the real situation...
THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Youīre the only person I've found that has really helped me with this, I've been asking around in AVSFroums without much luck really... I'm also upgrading my sub-woofer I'm down to 3 options and I was wondering I you could give me your opinion, none of the are AXIOM tough, I can't afford them...
I hope is OK to post them here even tough is the AXIOM forum:
EMOTIVA ULTRA 12
HSU VTF-2 MK 3
ELEMENTAL DESIGNS A3 - 250
Problem is I have a 800 dlls budget for this, but I have to consider shipping to Mexico and Customs for Importing them, so after contacting many companies this are my options.
I appreciate the help, thank you.
Eduardo.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/27/10 04:02 PM

I would probably go for the Hsu, myself, but I think the ED is a good choice, too. Emotiva seems a little iffy these days as a company, but I could be wrong about that.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/27/10 05:56 PM

I agree with Ken. The Hsu is a proven and revered design.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/27/10 11:54 PM

 Originally Posted By: grunt

Iím looking forward in a couple weekends Sean is going to bring some of his stuff over. I hope to be able to try out some of his stuff in my ďmaster bedroomĒ actually I use it as a storage room (got to get on that) but plan on it being a sun room/workout area.


I'm looking forward to it as well. First, Dean is going to have to throw in a few sticks of dynamite to clear the room! ;\)

I kid, I kid!

It'll be fun hooking up all the different gear and listening to music.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 12:06 AM

Are you bringing your tube buffer for grunt to try out?
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 12:08 AM

Yes, and multiple different interconnects and power cords!


Sadly, I really do have a tube buffer.
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 01:06 AM

Hi, I took the pics of my room so you get a real idea of the layout, I hope this helps:


TV taken from behind the main sitting position.


Movie collection on left wall.


Right wall.


Pic taken from further back.


Component Rack.


Main siting position taken from the front.

I know it's not the greatest camera! But I appreciate anyone with comments, suggestions & advice for my situation in both the new speaker layout and on the sub.
Cheers and thanks.
Eduardo.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 02:58 AM

Nice looking room and congratulations on getting so much in there and organized well.

Based on your pictures Iím sure you wonít get much benefit from height speakers. While itís going to be tight I still think you would most benefit from using wide speakers but looking at your pictures it might be a closer call as to which works better for you, wide or rear speakers. I have a feeling the only way you are going to know for sure is to try it out.

As a test if the wires are long enough I would move the rear speakers to the sides of your main seat on either wall even with or a little behind the main seat if the door isnít in the way and aim them about at the table in the center of the room. Then move the side speakers forward to about where the front of each side couch is and aim each one at the closest side of the main seat. Then reconnect them to the appropriate outputs on the receiver and play with the positioning to see how you can get it to sound.

I still think you would benefit by trading up or buying QS speakers to use as surrounds. The reason I mention buying is that some day you will likely end up with a 9.2 or 11.2 capable receiver and from looking at your room I think you would get even better results using both wide and rear speakers. Iím not a big fan of rear speakers except in certain situations and with how spread out your seating is I think they would allow you to get better 360 degree surround sound especially for your side couches by using wide, surround and rear speakers.

Actually if you just move our M3s around you may find you like the improvement enough to put off even getting QS speakers for now and just enjoy what you have until you do eventually have to get a new receiver again.

As for the subwoofers I would go with HSU. Emotiva subs are to new and have no independent reviews or measurements that I know of. As for ED Iíve recently read a couple of threads over at AVS where people have had issues with ED quality control and then customer service when trying to get things fixed, hereís one of them.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1242263

I realize that all companies will have their complainers but itís just something to consider especially if you have to deal with warranty issues from Mexico. Also I saw your subwoofer thread over at AVS and was wondering if you found any of those subwoofer manufactures had local dealers to ease the cross border shipping hassles?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 03:51 AM

 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Are you bringing your tube buffer for grunt to try out?


Iím pretty handy with my tube buffer thank you. Only possible stand-in would be my carpool buddy.
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 11:41 AM

Hi Dean, thank you!! I'll move all my speakers to accommodate wides, I haven't had that great a result with back surrounds, I've had them for years and I haven't found their effect that engaging, sometimes they even distract me from the action in front. What I'll try is get 2 stands fro the front speakers and put one exactly on each side of the TV, move the rack a little to the right to make that space and leave the TV centered, and as you say put the wides pointing at the main sofa where the front of each side couch is, and even move the side surrounds a little to the back, well as far as the door allows, and after getting the new sub configure everything, run Audyssey and test that for a while, I can always move things around again!

About the subs, I've hear great things about HSU all around and theyīre the only ones that have a distributor in Mexico, it's not in Mexico City it's about 2.4 hrs away but it's probably better, I'm going to check it out...
Thanks for all the help!; I'll be posting back progress and all...
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 11:55 AM

 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Are you bringing your tube buffer for grunt to try out?
You guys are still talking about audio gear right? ;\)
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 11:57 AM

Hi: I forgot to post prices, which is also something to consider, including shipping and customs/taxes:

Ultra 12 $727.11
eD A3-250 $660.00
HSU VTF-2 $818.41

What do you think?.
Thanks.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 11:59 AM

"ouch."
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 12:01 PM

What a cool room! I love the built-in shelves for the video library!

At the risk of not paying adequate attention to your stated current wants, I want to suggest - very strongly - that your entire system could benefit tremendously from experimentation with speaker placement.

The pictures are VERY helpful!

I would try to get the mains symmetrically placed next to the TV. Having the right speaker up so high and in a corner has got to be doing very bad things to your imaging.

I would try to move the coffee table back a bit to give the center speaker a bit more clearance.

And I can't imagine that you are getting very good use from the rear speakers since they are firing directly into the headrest of the couch. If you can position them higher somehow, that would probably make a world of difference.

I think getting QS8's for the surround (side) speakers would also make a big difference.

But really - before spending a lot of extra money on speakers (height, wide or replacement) I would spend quite a bit of time positioning what you already have. I'll bet that you can achieve the spacious soundstage you are seeking just be rearranging some things.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 12:01 PM

I think you would like any one of them, but being a PB13 Ultra owner, I vote for the Ultra 12 knowing SVS quality first hand. but I have never heard anything bad about Hsu subs nor eD, I think for the price the eD is best bang for the buck.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 12:06 PM

Jay, the "ultra" he is talking about is Emo, not SVS.

I don't know that the A3-250 is "comparable" to the others; it is a 10" woofer.

Can you get a Hsu STF-2 instead?
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 12:14 PM

 Originally Posted By: jakewash
I think you would like any one of them, but being a PB13 Ultra owner, I vote for the Ultra 12 knowing SVS quality first hand. but I have never heard anything bad about Hsu subs nor eD, I think for the price the eD is best bang for the buck.


The Ultra 12 is from Emotiva not from SVS, thank you!
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 12:15 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
"ouch."


That is right my friend!
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 12:16 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Jay, the "ultra" he is talking about is Emo, not SVS.

I don't know that the A3-250 is "comparable" to the others; it is a 10" woofer.

Can you get a Hsu STF-2 instead?


Yes I could get the STF-2 too but isn't the VTF-2 a lot better?
Thanks.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 12:21 PM

Depends how much fiddling you do. Actually, isn't the STF-3 now the downrated VTF-2?
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 12:25 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
What a cool room! I love the built-in shelves for the video library!

At the risk of not paying adequate attention to your stated current wants, I want to suggest - very strongly - that your entire system could benefit tremendously from experimentation with speaker placement.

The pictures are VERY helpful!

I would try to get the mains symmetrically placed next to the TV. Having the right speaker up so high and in a corner has got to be doing very bad things to your imaging.

I would try to move the coffee table back a bit to give the center speaker a bit more clearance.

And I can't imagine that you are getting very good use from the rear speakers since they are firing directly into the headrest of the couch. If you can position them higher somehow, that would probably make a world of difference.

I think getting QS8's for the surround (side) speakers would also make a big difference.

But really - before spending a lot of extra money on speakers (height, wide or replacement) I would spend quite a bit of time positioning what you already have. I'll bet that you can achieve the spacious soundstage you are seeking just be rearranging some things.


Thank you! Yes, that's what I want is to improve the sound by moving the current speakers, I don't think I'll be buying anything but the sub that I actually need! Pretty soon I'll have to build another shelve for videos, it's getting full! Thanks again.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 02:19 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Depends how much fiddling you do.

I had to do a bouble take to see who posted this. I thought it was Micah again....
Posted by: Adrian

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 02:46 PM

In a Fred Gwynne voice....

"What is a bouble take?"
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 03:21 PM

 Originally Posted By: defuentes

The Ultra 12 is from Emotiva not from SVS, thank you!
D'oh! too many Ultra subs out there to keep track of. I would then go with the eD, far too many happy owners out there to not give them a try, especially for that price.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 03:25 PM

I'm going to start a sub line, and call them Infras. Who wants an ultra-sonic sub anyway?
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 03:52 PM

Hi again, I could get an used but in mint condition Infinity SW-12 much cheaper at like 450 dlls, what do you think?.
Thank you!!!
Posted by: defuentes

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/28/10 06:20 PM

It's either that or buying any of this in local stores:

Velodyne DLS4000
Infinity PS212W

Importing one has gotten too expensive I think, my budget has gone up over and over... I may have to settle for one of theses choices, because I'd also get the local warranty and if needed customer service...
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 06/04/10 09:18 PM

I finally got a swing out wall mount for my TV so I donít have to drag it out of the room for dedicated movie watching and gaming. Now I can just push it up against the wall and pull the curtain over it. I had the curtains made with a break at that point just so I could do something like this. Nice thing is itís mounted high enough that the R/H wide can fire under it so I can use it just for casual listening w/o moving the TV.

A while ago I moved the M22s off the back wall and put them back up in the wide position putting the VP150 on the back wall as a single rear speaker again. If realized now that I was being to harsh of what the wide speakers were getting wrong and not realizing what they were doing right. After much more extensive listening I am sure that at least in my room wide speakers are way better than either height or rear speakers for most things. There are still a couple of things they get wrong like mirroring the output of the corresponding main in some games making the combined channels way to loud. They also screw up the front soundstage for well recorded 2ch music but I thought that PLII and PLIIx already did that.

Hereís a couple pictures of what it looks like with the screen is mounted. Sorry the first is blurry but I was to lazy to use Seanís tripod for taking the picture. I still have to upgrade the carpet (Iím so lazy) but since I cant the non-black areas from my seats I havenít cared.







Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 06/04/10 09:31 PM

I got the chance to check out a Samsung 3D HDTV again today while getting my car stereo installed.

The movie ďMonsters vs AliensĒ was awesome. Debris shooting off the screen at you from explosions and overall great depth in the picture. It really looked fantastic.

They also put on a standard movie and allowed the TV to convert it to 3D using itís own processing. Not impressed at all. Virtually no change so hardly even worth wearing the glasses.

They also put on ďAvatar.Ē It instantly made my left eye hurt to look at it. I injured that eye in the Marine Corps so itís focus is a little off from the right eye but normally thatís not a problem unless Iím a distance close enough where the right eye can still focus but the left canít in which case the left eye starts to hurt from straining to focus. No matter where I stood that sensation would not go away as long as I was looking at ďAvatarĒ on the screen.

I didnít see a 3D TV in my near future anyway, probably wont upgrade until 3D projectors start becoming mainstream.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 06/04/10 09:37 PM

Dean, Avatar was on the same screen and with the same glasses and "Monsters"...i.e., the only difference was the movie?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 06/04/10 10:17 PM

No all three movies were playing on different screens but they were all the same Samsung model just different sizes and the same glasses. I didnít ask to see if there were any ďalignment settingsĒ or anything like that. Also the glasses appear to be powered as when switching one of the screens from 2D to 3D is gave a popup reminder to turn on the glasses, but they were on the whole time.

For the ďMonsters vs AliensĒ the picture stayed pretty good even as far off center as any normal couch would be. I couldnít look at the ďAvatarĒ picture long enough to really gauge itís 3D quality. Though for the brief time I did look it seemed more subdued and natural the ďMonsters.Ē
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 07/12/10 11:31 PM

I got my new M2s and QS8s today, purchased in part with the trade-in of my VP150.

Upon un-boxing them my first impression was how much nicer the new Black Oak finish looks compared to the old one. Ok for a minute I just thought my old speakers were dirty but quickly realized the new finish is really that much nicer looking. It brings out the simulated grain much more and despite the slight silver undertone in the ďgrainĒ the colour actually appears blacker in a well lit room. Later testing showed that the are no more reflective and maybe even a little less (I think because of the ďgrainĒ) than the older finish when used in a dark room near a big bright screen.

My second impression was how much nicer the magnetic grills are. Hopefully no more broken grills for me. My order also included two replacement grills for a QS8 I ďdrop-testedĒ once to often. Iíve also broken pegs off two M80s when I kicked them waling by and my EP500 when it kicked me (well thatís what it felt like anyway). My grills stay on so I can care less what the drivers look like but they are the all silver ones.

The reason for getting a pair of M2s and QS8s was to try them out as rear speakers for a 9.2 setup and also try the M2s as wides for a 9.2 configuration. But first I wanted to hear what the M2s really sounded like before relegating them to secondary duties.

Using my switch I hooked up both the M22s and M2s (upside-down on top of the M22s). I quickly realized I direct A/B comparison wasnít possible with my switch since the M22s played 2dB higher than the M2s with the same signal. I sat about 6 feet away with my ear level between the tweeters of the M22s and M2s.

I listened to a selection of material in direct mode and couldnít tell them apart from the high end down to around 60-80Hz. Below that the M22s had a fuller sounding soundstage making it easier to hear where the drums and bass guitar were in well mastered recordings. Other than that the speakers sounded identical when one pair was compared with the other. In both cases most of what I listened to sound like it had enough bass to be satisfying and only sounded anemic when I switched to ďstereoĒ mode bringing the EP500 in at 80Hz. The one big exception was the various EBM I demoed which just didnít have the thump it should have, which was to be expected since most none of the floor-standers I demoed except for the M80s did either. wink however, would be quite satisfied to listen to both the M22s and M2s for most of the other music I own.

I then rewired so the same signal went to a left M2 and a right M22 using that mismatched pair for 2ch mono. By sitting of center toward the M2 I found the even point for the SPL. This was the best test for the difference in sound between the two speakers. I was quite shocked to find that the M2 sound noticeably better than the M22. (I switched sides to make sure it wasnít a bad ear on one side wink ). The difference was that the bass (drums in particular) were much sharper and clearer on the M2 while sounding ďmuffled or drawn outĒ on the M22. My best guess is that the slightly lower FR of the M22 was exciting a room mode that the M2 was not. I semi-confermed that because of the boomy bass from the EP500 when I had put that in the mix. (note: my bass is boomy again because Sean picked up the spare cable heíd left with his subs which I was using to extend my to the best sub location in my room and havenít re-run the AS-EQ1 again for the new location or just bought a new cable). A more sure way to test this will be to take the speakers outside for a demo but it was to late as neighbors were already coming home by then.

Next was the rear speaker tryouts. Again I wired both the M2s and the QS8s with my switch but this time had to place them side-by-side due to the QS8s design. I went symmetrical M2-QS8-QS8-M2 because that would better represent the rear soundstage than M2-QS8-M2-QS8. Both speaker pairs were about 5 feet behind my seating near the back wall dividing the wall into 3rds. Again I couldnít do a direct A/B comparison because the QS8s played about 4dB higher than the M2s with the same signal.

Iím not sure what changed (v3?) from the last time I demoed my M22s and QS8s against each other but this time the QS8s were the clear winners. I was so stunned I redid the test substituting the M22s for the M2s and got the same results. Using the QS8 rears created a much more enveloping rear soundstage than either the M2 or M22s for ambient sounds. Discreet sounds, like arrows flying past, sounded seamless with the QS8s whereas with the M2/M22s there was a clear transition as the sound panned to the rears.

Finally I demoed the M2s against the M22s as wide speakers. Iíll keep this one simple. They sounded exactly alike.

To summarize, the various things Iíve found in my room (13x21x8-12vaulted) seating 15 feet back with speakers at the DSX recommended angles the is following:

Best mains = M80s L/C/R (havenít tried the VP180 but know I prefer identical speakers no matter how good the horizontal center is)

Best surrounds, rears, and heights = QS8s.

Best wides = M2s. (perfect timbre match to the M22s and M80s above 80Hz and less expensive than them)
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: New HT Room Advice - 07/12/10 11:52 PM

Awesome writeup, grunt. You are a fountain of info smile
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 07/13/10 12:17 AM

So you think the v3 QS8s are noticeably better than the v2 QS8s?
Posted by: JohnK

Re: New HT Room Advice - 07/13/10 12:18 AM

Excellent, Dean. Also an indication that someone in a small room and/or sitting quite close to the mains should find the M2s to be excellent when crossed over to a good sub at 80Hz.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 07/13/10 12:22 AM

Yes, very helpful.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 07/13/10 12:30 AM

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
So you think the v3 QS8s are noticeably better than the v2 QS8s?


Iím really not sure Ken. Iíve done the M22 vs QS8 test several times both in this room and my living room in my apartment and got the same results . . . that the further away the rears the less using the QS8s improved the rear soundstage over the M22s. Perhaps using the VP150 as a single rear speaker trained my ears to hear the rears differently since I had never used it back there before this. Other than that the only other difference I can think of is that the new QS8s are v3 so I just threw that out there.

I can say I donít hear any difference between the M22v2s and the M2v3s except as noted above.

I almost did a head to head comparison of my QS8v2 surrounds with the new v3 to see if they sounded different but I decided to wait until later this week or the weekend. That will be the definitive test of whether the v3 is the difference.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 07/13/10 12:32 AM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Excellent, Dean. Also an indication that someone in a small room and/or sitting quite close to the mains should find the M2s to be excellent when crossed over to a good sub at 80Hz.


I agree. I think it also supports something I remember reading from a professional reviewer who gave kudos to Axiom for understanding that matching speaker size to room size can make a difference in perceived sound quality.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 08/07/10 01:22 AM

I was going to wait about a week to see if anyone noticed the update to my signature but with my failing memory I will no doubt forget thus not giving credit to Charles (CV) for his generosity. I added the SVS AS-EQ1 to my lineup. The adoption papers were signed a couple days ago.

Iíve been dreading the PM from Charles asking for it back since it does such an outstanding job of EQ for my main seat which gets 95% or more of my use. However, Iíve been hesitant to pay full retail for one. Well Charles made me a fantastic offer which I couldnít refuse, no haggling or anything either, just a great deal up front.

So thanks Charles
Dean

P.S. I could take a slightly damaged EP800 of your hands. . . . wink
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 08/07/10 02:38 AM

Originally Posted By: grunt
P.S. I could take a slightly damaged EP800 of your hands. . . . wink


Ha ha, there are limits to my generosity.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 08/07/10 07:02 AM

We never know what they are if we don't test them, though.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 08/07/10 07:37 AM

After thorough testing, you'll work out that the dimensions of my generosity form a perfect square. You just can't escape your non-sanctuary.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/30/11 06:34 PM

Well I finally got a computer to replace my 7 year old emachines. Previously my bottleneck for most uses was my slow internet connection but now with high speed the problem became processor speed and memory slowing things down.

So I picked up a Gateway SX2803-25e. Itís just a budget machine but Iím surprised what comes on budget machines these days. Itís only dual core, 6 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD. Integrated graphics but I was surprised to find an HDMI out. For audio it has both optical and 5.1 analogue.

Has to have been the easiest computer upgrade/install Iíve ever had. It took me longer to search through 4 boxes of miscellaneous cables and computer parts to find the 4th cable for my KVM switch than to have everything up and running; network, email, Firefox etc. . . . Iíll still use the emachines as a download manager while it lasts but for day to day stuff itís been benched.

Note that most people here probably wouldnít want this machine. Itís go no built in wireless (Iím wired only) and itís small form factor so upgrades are limited.

Now that I am running 4 computers and 4 different operating systems do I get my Geek Merit Badge.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/30/11 06:58 PM

Congrats on the new computer. I prefer wired connections, too. I just need more toys to use up more of my switch's ports.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 04/30/11 07:17 PM

Originally Posted By: CV
Congrats on the new computer. I prefer wired connections, too. I just need more toys to use up more of my switch's ports.


Yeah I wired because Iím paranoid. The only thing I connect wireless to my network is my Phone. Right now Iím using 3 ports on the modem, all 4 ports on the router, and 3 ports on the hub. Iím sure others have more but Iím surprised how all the wiring has proliferated. If I ever find a reason to take more pictures I will take a shot of my cable ďmismanagementĒ for those not faint of heart. Itís an awful mess. Not to mention I really need to run a couple more dedicated 20 amp lines to that room before it gets really hot.

Another thing I need really need now is a HDMI KVM switch. Now that this computer has an HDMI out I can ditch the VGA for day to day use and switch to HDMI which gives me a much better picture, and syncs up with the displays better. Iíll still maintain the VGA for some uses since the cables are already there and I sometimes like to monitor a couple things at once.
Posted by: bdpf

Re: New HT Room Advice - 05/01/11 10:36 PM

Whaooo Dean, I just noticed that your thread has been viewed more than 54000 times! That might be a record! I would call Guinness wink
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/14/11 02:46 PM

Well I went ahead and did it. I just preordered the Panasonic AE7000 from Projector People today. Itís supposed to start shipping the last week of September or first week of October. I broke down because Iíve got the Star Wars BDs and Gears of War 3 arriving by the end of the month and Shyrim second week in November all supposedly before the new Epson projectors will be out. There are 63 people ahead of me which was about the same as when I ordered the AE4000 and I got it in the first shipment.

I also went ahead and ordered a replacement bulb, second one in two years, for my AE4000 and plan to continue using it for everyday computer monitor and Netflix streaming.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/14/11 02:50 PM

Originally Posted By: bdpf
Whaooo Dean, I just noticed that your thread has been viewed more than 54000 times! That might be a record! I would call Guinness wink


Sorry I didnít notice your post earlier Bruno. I never looked at that before. I just checked again and now itís up to over 62,000 and tops in the subforum itís in. I hope people have found it helpful.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/14/11 04:02 PM

LUCKY! I really like the specs of the 7000, but don't think that I can swing the $3500 price tag. I was going to go with a 4000 since they are EOL and hopefully a deal can be had. The specs on it totally blow about the Sanyo Z3 I used to have, but I am also looking at doing a 130" 2.37:1 screen, so I am not sure how the 4000 will handle it with a Seymour AT screen at 1.2 gain.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/14/11 04:03 PM

Yeah. I'd really, really, really, really like to pick up a used ptae4000u on the cheep. (lol).
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/14/11 04:55 PM

Hmmm Cat. I wonder if anyone might have a used one lying around pretty soon. I mean really, who REALLY needs one for a computer monitor or Netflix anyway? :-)
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/15/11 12:55 AM


I also really liked the specs on the AE7000. Two years ago when I got the AE4000 I vacillated between several different models but kept coming back the AE4000. I just decided this year to save all the bouncing between reviews just to end up doing the same thing. Iíve no issues with the AE4000 and even though itís not a light cannon and Iíve got a pretty big screen with the projector 19 feet away itís still plenty bright enough, however I donít think it would work as well in a non-black-out room with a similar sized screen.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/15/11 10:40 AM

I've got a 100% light controlled room. What is your current screen size again?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/15/11 10:55 AM

Itís a 134Ē Carada Brilliant White (about 1.3 gain) in a totally blacked out room. Note that my projector is at 19 feet so if it was closer the image would be brighter.

With a new bulb I find that ďCinema 1Ē in eco mode looks perfect for about 150-200 hours at which point the drop-off in brightness starts to become noticeable. Somewhere around 500 hours I usually switch from eco to regular lampl mode. Then around 1,000 hours end up switching from ďCinema 1Ē to ďNormalĒ image mode which remains more than bright enough until somewhere around 2,500 hours. Note that while ďCinema 1Ē is a bit more colour accurate ďNormalĒ is pretty darn good and the only time I notice the difference is if I A/B between them most of the time.

I should note that up to a point you will get a more impressive image (more pop and wow) if it is brighter.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/15/11 12:35 PM

Originally Posted By: nickbuol
Hmmm Cat. I wonder if anyone might have a used one lying around pretty soon. I mean really, who REALLY needs one for a computer monitor or Netflix anyway? :-)


Actually very used would be more appropriate. Based on the lamp timer itís been on more than 5,000 hours in just under two years. The average works out to about 50 hours a week, which is down from the initial 70 hours a week I was putting on it the first few months.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/15/11 12:56 PM

I'm just interested in one that I can play with basically, to estimate screen size, projector positioning, and do some viewing. I want a constant height setup and I need a projector that can do that without having to use an anamorphic lens. I know the Panasonic 4000 can do that with zoom, but I'm not sure about the 3000. I saw where a 3000 was being sold for $950, but I thought that was too much for it.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/15/11 02:30 PM

AFAIK any decent projector these days can do CIH. The only advantage the pannyís have is the auto zoom feature that does it for you. Otherwise you just have to adjust it either manually at the projector (which would be a pain for most placements) or do it with the remote. Before locking yourself into a Panny for the auto zoom consider how often youíll be switching between formats and how much of a pain it would be to do by hand or with the remote.

Also, why CIH, are you height constrained in your setup?
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/15/11 02:43 PM

7 foot ceiling, probably a little less after floor treatments. I prefer the 2.35 screen over the other. Especially for closer viewing, 10-11 foot.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/15/11 11:22 PM

Ours will be about 7'8" until I put a stage up front. Thinking of just an 8' stage, so I will have about 7' as well from ceiling to the top of the stage.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/16/11 04:01 AM

Originally Posted By: grunt
Well I went ahead and did it. I just preordered the Panasonic AE7000 from Projector People today.


I'm very jealous, Dean. I can't wait to get a projector.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/16/11 09:00 PM

Charles, once you switch to the big screen you will want to use it for everything. My original plan to mostly use my LCD HDTV for computing to preserve the lamp in my projector went out the window in the first month. I still use the LCD when I donít plan to have the projector on for more than about 30 minutes. Other than that the only other time I use it is when playing video games I can keep the big screen set to the video game while Iím looking up cheats on the LDC. Makes it easier to find things on maps and such than toggling back and for between the game and the computer on the big screen.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/20/11 03:25 PM

I just got a call from Projector People saying that the AE7000 should drop ship direct from Panasonic next Friday. The street price is $2,999 or 3K as they expected. I confirmed my order so I should be getting it the first week of October.

Itís going to be hard to hold off on Gears of War 3 since it should arrive today and I have a three day weekend coming up.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/20/11 06:42 PM

Why is it that street seems to always be $500 less, no matter what the MSRP is? LOL
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/20/11 07:08 PM

I figured it out... It is $500 less so that you can (almost) factor in the cost of 4 pairs of 3D glasses...

Dang, I thought that it came with 2 pairs, but alas, it comes with none, and they look to be selling at $150 each... Ouch.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/21/11 01:52 AM

Actually the $500 off the MSRP price is that same thing Panasonic did last time with the AE4000. They never really dropped the price either, though they did a few promotions like extending the warranty a year.

I only plan to get one pair of glasses at first to see if I can even watch 3D. When I tried it in a store a while ago Avatar hurt my head instantly, though Monsters vs. Aliens didnít nor did the upgraded 2D to 3D movie they had on though it didnít look like much either.

Darn! Gears of War 3 got here today. I think I feel a sick day or two coming on.



Posted by: RickF

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/21/11 06:21 PM

Dean I believe we're about ready to pull the plug on a front projector and I was just about set to get a JVC HD250 but most on the AVS site suggested I wait until after CEDIA. I waited and now it looks like the JVC RS45 might be on the top of my list.

Only thing is..

We've been watching a 73" DLP TV for the past five years and I'm a little apprehensive about going to the LCoS technology, most everything I've read states that nowadays it really doesn't make that much of a difference but still. I'm hearing the RS45 will be ideal for viewing 2D material and that will be darn near 100% of our viewing.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/21/11 07:14 PM

Rick, what are the big reasons for the RS45? With all of the new projectors coming out, I've been wondering what is the best for the bucks. It has the same MSRP as the Panasonic AE7000U, but the 7000 has more contrast (yea, I know that the numbers aren't "real")...

I hadn't even looked at the JVC models since they have historically been more expensive, so I value your insight.

Besides, this thread needs a good derailment...


Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 12:56 AM

Hey Rick thanks for the info. Two years ago when I was first projector shopping JVC kept popping up but they were just too pricey back then so I considered Sony since they were also LCoS which I had read very good things about. Eventually due to price it came down to the Espon or Panny and a couple of things pushed me toward the Panny despite knowing it would cost more in the long run because of the hours Iíd be putting on it. The final selling points for me were that the Panny was shipping before the ďfederal holyday seasonĒ kicked in so I could start enjoying it right away. Reviews said it had better shadow detail which for gaming was more important to me than more brightness and slightly better black levels of the Epson.

Since this is your first projector donít disregard one of last yearís Epsons. They have dropped in price and being this is your first projector itís going to blow you away no matter what you buy. When I first fired up the Panny and put in Elder Scrolls Oblivion my jaw hit the floor not because of the pictures size but the clarity, black level, and colour depth but blew my 56Ē Samsun DLP with pretty new bulb out of the room. Literally I moved it out of the room because I just couldnít even look at it anymore the picture on the Panny was so much better. This was one of the reasons I went with something less expensive than the JVC and Sonyís even though research told me I would prefer LCoS. I finally figured that just upgrading to a projector would be such a huge improvement I wouldnít really appreciate the extra performance paying $3,000 more would give me in a JVC. So in a long winded way Iím saying again donít dismiss one of last yearís projectors if you can get it for a lot less than a new model especially if 2D is all youíre watching. Paying twice the price is not going to give you much more than an incremental boost in performance.

FYI the reason I went ahead and pulled the trigger on this Panny is because I do want something a little brighter but with similar pictures characteristics which this is supposed to have both of. I want to give 3D a try to see if I like it so I donít end up likening it and feeling the need to upgrade movies I might be buying 2D versions of instead. Too have a second projector so if one goes out I have a backup while the other is getting fixed, I just canít look at the smaller screen (46Ē LCD) for very long before my eyes start to hurt (near vision going with age). And finally because last time I spent way too much time fretting over which projector to buy, bouncing back and forth between them and finally ending up with the first one I wanted in the first place. So I decided just to cut my losses and buy a Panny. I might regret it or I might not but at least I didnítí waste a ton of time researching and re-researching my choices when I could instead be enjoying my system.

P.S. Derail this thread as much as you like, itís happened quite a few times before and will likely happen many more times. Besides Iím sure itís not hurting the view count.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 01:31 AM

I saw on the Projector Peopleís web site that the 3D glasses are now $99 vs the $ 149 they were last week. Not sure how the sizing goes so Iíll need to call them. Iíll also have to ask if these are the same ones or different since I donít know much about 3D glasses.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 11:32 AM

Dean, what are the model numbers of "last year's Epsons" that you are thinking of?
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 12:12 PM

Wow. Did some reading on the RS45. Looks pretty nice so far, but won't be out until year's end. The 7000 seems like it will be better for 3D, but I am looking for the best 2D. Who knows...
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 01:33 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Dean, what are the model numbers of "last year's Epsons" that you are thinking of?


Rather than me give a long winded disartaion Iíll just reference Projectorreveiws.com:

For Epson I would consider the 8350 which can be had for around $1,200, sometimes less.

http://www.projectorreviews.com/1080p-projector/projectors_under2000.php

One step up I would consider the 8700 which is about $2,200 or less right now. However, if considering this I would probably go with the AE4000 at $2,000 myself but there are good arguments for going either way.

http://www.projectorreviews.com/1080p-projector/projectors_2000-3500.php

I like what I read about the JVCs but in this price class it didnít even beat the Espon. The next one might be better but until itís out who knows.

IMO if you want to stay around 2K vs 3K for the newer models I would be looking at either the Epson 8350, 8700 or Panasonic 4000.

One thing to note is that the 4000 shared best in class with the comparable Epson two years age and won against the newer projectors last year despite being not even being a new model. My only problems with whole heartedly recommending the AE4000 to everyone is that itís not a light cannon so it might not work for bright rooms with long throw distances and screens under 1.3 gain, and initial cost + bulb replacements are going to drive the price up compared to the Epson 3850 and 8700.

FWIW when I was placing my order two years ago my sales rep at Projector People said that after seeing the Panny and Espsonís A/B compared he would do anything he could to talk me out of the Epsons because the Panny was that much better he already knew I would be shipping the Epson back (I was going to buy both and send back the one I liked the least). IMO the PQ is simply breathtaking, as Art at projector reviews says ďThe Panasonic PT-AE4000 projector has a very natural look to the image. This Panasonic projectors is one of the more film-like 3LCD projectors.Ē confirmed by my experience. That when combined with his previous recommendation leads me to believe that heís being honest when he says that the AE7000 is far superior to the AE4000. Especially since he knows that I will have both projectors up and running at the same time so I can A/B compare them before deciding to keep it. I can demo the projector for up to 4 hours and still return it w/o any restocking fee and up to 10 hours with a %15 restocking fee. And since I just got a new bulb for my AE4000 it will be a fair comparison.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 02:49 PM

Thanks very much, Dean.

I don't have a projector (because I don't have a good room for such). I've always thought the Panasonics were the way to go, but I'm very price-sensitive since I'm pretty much just screwing around at the moment. I considered buying an older 720P Panasonic (like an AE900U) off fleabay, but I'm just kicking stuff around for now.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 02:57 PM

Thanks for the additional info. I wish that I lived somewhere that I could see more projectors. The only thing in Cedar Rapids that I know of has a $10,000 (their price) 3D JVC with an anamorphic lens shooting on to a black diamond screen. None of those variables help me (wrong price point, I don't want a lens, and I won't have a B.D. screen)...
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 04:22 PM

Tom, first things first.

You need to replace that tiny VP100 with a VP180. Whether or not you're satisfied with the VP100 is irrelevant.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 04:31 PM

You're right, of course.

I can't bear to actually stop and prioritize my many wants; too depressing. Since (God willing) I'll have at least one kid in college for the next 7-8 years, I don't think any of this is really going to matter.

Glad I got my car when I did.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 07:32 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Tom, first things first.

You need to replace that tiny VP100 with a VP180. Whether or not you're satisfied with the VP100 is irrelevant.


Well from the newsletter it looks like Axiom is making a VP 160 so maybe they will come out with a VP 80 and VP 60 add on for the VP 100 . . . .
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/22/11 08:51 PM

Tom, that is why I am getting what I can now. My oldest is a senior in high school. College in just under a year, and then when she finishes, my youngest will be hitting college. There will be a lot of ramen noodles and grilled cheese eaten, and it will be by me and not my kids...
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/30/11 12:02 PM

I just pre-ordered a JVC RS45 from AVS. Their price was a good chunk less than the Panny 7000 price. I wouldn't have even been looking at it if it wasn't for this thread.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 09/30/11 09:12 PM

Great to hear it! You are going to love having a projector. Sorry if I forgot but have you already select a screen?

Iím looking forward to seeing what you have to say about it.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/01/11 12:33 AM

I've had a projector before (had to leave it with the house we sold a few months back). It was several years old though (a Sanyo Z3). No matter what I got, it was going to be light years better than the Z3, so price won it for me, plus I am looking forward to amazing blacks and real contrast that LCoS can deliver. If the price would have been different, I would have picked up the 7000 and been just as happy.

It doesn't ship until late November, so I better get things finished in the basement before then. laugh
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/08/11 08:22 PM

I finally got off my lazy butt and hung my surround and rear speakers. The rears are actually mounted on a shelf (metal grill so it doesnít block the bottom midrange). This makes them fully adjustable for both height and width, though from previous experiments Iíve already got the location pretty much dialed in.

The surrounds are hanging from the ceiling now rather than sitting on the Axiom stands on top of boxes (and they still werenít high enough). I just mounted an angle bracket with holes in it along the ceiling and hung the speakers using lengths of small chain. Unfortunately Loweís doesnít carry the black chain I was going to use anymore so I had to get brass which I will either paint or probably replace with black chain when I find some. These are also fully adjustable for height and front to back placement. Iíve already got them where I want for one row of seating but since the rails that they hang from are pretty long I can move them forward if I ever drag my futon out to add another row from time-to-time. Now I just need some black speaker wire since the clear stuff sticks out like a sore thumb.

Itís nice to finally get those speakers up to the height Iíve always wanted them. The rear soundstage now sounds the best it ever has in this room. And thereís no more chance of accidentally knocking over one of the stands anymore.

Along with that I added another shelf for the AE7000 which arrived about a week ago. Iím still waiting on the glasses before firing it up so I donít end up putting to many hours on it that I canít return it if I donít think itís a big enough improvement. It looks kind of cool with two projectors sitting on the back wall.

I also finally ordered the new black carpet for the front of the room. The living room carpet was too new to replace so I just ordered a piece of really dark very non-reflective stuff and am having it cut to size and bound to just through up front to replace the marine grade crap Iím still using from my apartment.

Now all I have to do is order a couple wall brackets to mount my M2 wide speakers and that will finish all the speaker stuff. Hopefully I will then finally paint the trim on the door and the rest of the room.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/22/11 07:29 PM


Well I finally broke down and fired up the AE7000 in part based on Projector Centralís comments on the 2D PQ.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/panasoni...wing-Experience

Quote:

Not only does the AE7000 represent a major step beyond the AE4000 in picture quality, it is a step beyond so-called "higher end" 1080p projectors. Viewed side by side it will outperform some competing products that currently sell for up to triple the price. And most of these competing units do not have the array of features found on the AE7000.


Just because itís there hereís their shootout between the Panasonic AE7000 and the Sony VPL-HW30ES

http://www.projectorcentral.com/shootout_panasonic_AE7000_sony_hw30es.htm?page=Picture-Quality



First thing I can say is I will never watch a Blu-ray movie or play a video game on my AE4000 again, unless the AE7000 isnít working. Iíll still use the AE4000 as a computer monitor and for watching Netflix, and likely any standard DVDs but I might test that later. So how did they really compare?

How I tested them. My HT room is all black except for the back wall which is pained burgundy and 20í from the screen. The walls are curtained so they are actually darker than if painted black and the carpet is black. All incoming light can be blacked out and my equipment is in a separate room so no LED lights to deal with except the beacon I have taped over on my computer mouse.

Both projectors are mounted on the back wall with the lenses a little less than 19í from a 134Ē diagonal 1.78 to 1 (16x9) 1.3 gain Carada Brilliant White screen. My Onkyo has dual HDMI outputs so I just switched the one I had hooked up to my LCD HDTV to the AE7000. To A/B compare the pictures I fired up both projectors at the same time and just held, or placed for longer viewing, a DVD case in front of the lens I wanted blocked. I also replaced the lamp on my AE4000 so both lamp run times were zero. To start I put both projectors in normal lamp mode and Cinema 1 picture mode (theoretically the best). I also had to alternately put electricians tape over the IR receiver on each projector when I was adjusting settings on the other since they respond to the same codes. Hell they use the same exact remote so I didnít even put the batteries in the one that came with the AE7000.

The first thing I put in my Oppo BD83 was the opening scene from Star Wars III Revenge of the Sith, where the fighters are flying through the fleet. This scene has the best PQ of any movie Blu-ray I have and IMO is an excellent test for image quality, black level, shadow detail and colour depth. As soon as I started to A/B compare them I realized that the AE4000 wasn't as well focused as I thought. After fiddling with the focus for a couple minutes I came to realize that it wasnít at all out of focus it was the image on the AE7000 was just that much clearer. The best comparison I can make is that it was like the difference between looking at a painting (AE4000) and a picture (AE7000) the image was that much better. And here I always thought the AE4000ís image was fantastic.

Set up identically there is just no comparison between these two projectors. In the order I noticed them hereís what was better on the AE4000:

Sharper Picture but w/o becoming ďvideo like.Ē
Way more ďpopĒ to the image.
Much better black level.
Much better shadow detail.
Colours were more vivid.
Better gradation between similar colours
More 3D looking 2D image (running in 2D mode).

I also tested out Avatar, The Fifth Element and Fellowship of the Ring and the results were similar. Avatar in particular looked so much better on the AE7000 because of all the picture depth and details. It literally looked 3D in 2D mode.
I also popped Elder Scrolls: Oblivion in since itís got some of the most varied scenery in any game Iíve seen. The first thing I noticed was the better shadow detail. Things that were never there before now were. The detail was also an amazing improvement. Looking at flowers at night in the distance the AE4000 let me see flowers, but on the AE7000 I could see the center of the flower surrounded by individual petals . . . at night . . . in the distance . . . out in the woods, freaking awesome! Again all the PQ improvements combined to produce an image with much more apparent depth.

I also played around with some of the settings on the AE7000. Cinema 2 mode in some ways looked better than Cinema 1. It had way more pop and corresponding three-dimensionality to the image at the expense of some black level and shadow detail. OTOH the colour seemed pretty good which, was also the case in ďNormalĒ picture mode which lost even more shadow detail and blackness. ďGameĒ mode sucked. Iím not sure what behind it but the image just looked flat and washed out. Dynamic mode was way too bright for my room though and loses way to much shadow detail but would be great for watching sports. ďEcoĒ mode really knocked down the pop factor in Cinema 1 mode and also somewhat in the others (note that I am at 19í using a pretty big screen).

Well my worries about having to send this back are gone. The 2D PQ alone is well worth the upgrade. Unfortunately Panny seems to have screwed up their glasses because they still arenít shipping, so any 3D reviewing will have to wait.

Meanwhile I think I may try moving the AE7000 close to my screen to see what effect that has on the PQ. Right now at 19í the Projector Central calculator sayís I should be getting 12 foot lamberts in the best mode. Without moving anything else around except the projector I can get is to 16í which should give me 16 foot lamberts and I can get to 18 foot lamberts by pushing my seating slightly forward. So tomorrow might be a tweaking day. Another reason for trying a closer position is due to the stated limitations of the 3D system which says with the built-in emitter the projector shouldnít be more than 6 meters from the screen and the viewer no more than 5 meters. Well my seating places my head at about 13í right now which is actually 2 feet closer than the THX recommended viewing angle so Iíll have to see what happens if I move closer, which from previous audio test should improve the front soundstage while degrading the rear.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/22/11 08:10 PM

You're making me want one, Dean. Stop that.

Only because I don't have the money for one right now. And I still think some more Axiom purchases are in my future before I seriously consider a projector.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/23/11 01:35 PM

I have been looking at the 7000. I'm primarily interested in how it handles motion. I have heard that because of the 480 panels, it 'should' handle motion very well. Have you tried it viewing sports Dean?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/23/11 03:03 PM

Quote:

I have been looking at the 7000. I'm primarily interested in how it handles motion. I have heard that because of the 480 panels, it 'should' handle motion very well. Have you tried it viewing sports Dean?

No I havenít watched any sports on it yet but I will see if I can find something to do a good test with. I donít have any TV hookup anymore so I will see if I can find an HD clip on the internet to download and watch though Iím not sure if that will be an accurate test or not, same if I have a DVD with something on it but Iíll try to see what I can do.

Is there anything specific you are looking for like a football flying through the air or things even slower like the players running?

Let me know if there is anything else you would like tested Michael, same for anyone else whoís interested.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/23/11 03:50 PM


What I notice the most is two part. 1) motion in general, like you noted, a ball moving across the screen. 2) panning of the camera.

My Plasma looks terrific and I never notice blurring at all. My JVC however causes me some grief.

Some displays handle motion differently than others. I'm not real interested in Frame Manipulation technologies as I do not like the GI look it creates. Some displays do not need these processing methods, like DLP and Plasma.

One good example is when the camera (digital or film) pans and there is a sign in the background. With my JVC, I can tell there is a sign there, and I can tell the sign has words on it, but I can't make out the letters. When watching the same thing on my Plasma, I can tell exactly what the sign has written. When watching a football game and the camera follows a player running across the field, I can read the numbers on the players jersey when watching it on my Plasma, but it's tough to tell when watching on the JVC.

I have not seen the Panny 4000, but reports I've read indicate that it does not handle motion very well at all, whereas the 7000 does a very good job. If you are sensitive to motion like I am, it should be fairly easy to see a difference, I think.

Thanks for giving us your thoughts on this projector.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/23/11 04:21 PM

I would think that the 480 panels would help too. If the RS-45 that I preordered had 380 panels instead of the suspected 120, it would be awesome.

Glad that the 7000 is working out so well for you Grunt!
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/23/11 08:00 PM

Well I donít think I can test motion blur for HDTV since I donít have an actual cable or broadcast source. I remember what football games looked like when I had cable and nothing Iíve found on the internet even comes close in PQ so testing out any blur is proving to be problematic since the image isnít that pristine to start with.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/23/11 11:12 PM

As an experiment I moved the AE7000 closer to the screen. Itís a little less than 15í back now instead of 19í. Thereís no way to compare brightness since I donít have a meter but based on how much I had to resize the image to fit the screen Iím sure I gained quite a bit. Also with the projector sitting about 3 feet from my head I couldnít hear any fan noise in either eco or normal mode.

I went through most of my demo disks today including regular DVDs. The first thing I noticed was how much more of a difference in PQ BD makes over DVD now. The differences in detail, black level and colour stand out much more than they did with the AE4000.

The biggest difference I noticed today since most of what I demoed was regular DVD was how much more shadow detail I could see. In the beginning of ďAppleseed on my AE4000 and previous Samsung DLP the bad guys after the heroine look like grey figures without much detail until they get outside and away from the shadows. Now even in the shadows I can see detail in their armour and that their pants are woodland digitized camouflage and that their armour is mostly shades of red.

Surprisingly the clearest image I have on a BD disk Totoís ďBeyond LiveĒ doesnít look any clearer on the AE7000 than it does on the AE4000. Similarly, and expected, the clarity of most regular anime doesnít look any different either.

In order to move the projector closer I also moved my seats forward about 2í placing them 13í rather than 15í from the screen. 15í was the THX recommended distance to get a 36 degree viewing angle. The angle is now 44 degrees. Iíll have to see if that has any effect on my eyes. Iím also worried about my vision which is getting steadily worse. Recently Iíve noticed that even things far away are starting to get blurry in my left eye (injured in the Marine Corps) which seems to be giving me more vision related problems like headaches. So Iím not sure if 2í closer is going to compound that problem or not. To help prevent eye strain Iím also now turning on lights when Iím not watching a movie or playing a game which seems to help. Movies and games donít seem to be an issue yet, just reading text on the screen for now.

There are already a couple good things Iíve noticed from the closer seating. First with more of my field of vision taken up by the screen Iím no longer noticing the light reflecting off the walls and ceiling as much as before (yes even black curtains and paint have a sheen). Itís diminished so much that now my legs and leather chairs are very bright and annoying just like in my apartment. The ďgreyĒ bars above and below 2.35:1 movies are also very noticeable now, so I guess I need to do some masking.

Another thing Iíve noticed is a huge improvement in the balance of the 360 degree soundstage. I thought I had gotten things about as good as they were going to get when I finally mounted my surrounds but it still wasnít quite as perfect as my apartment. However, now itís as good or maybe better because of the added wide speakers. Moving my seats only 2í forward has produced a night and day difference in the quality of my surround sound.

Iím not sure if itís significant but I decided to check out what the ratio of the distance from the front speakers to my seats and the rear speakers to my seats was (front distance/rear distance) and for my apartment it was 1.2, while for my new seating configuration Itís 1.25, much closer than the 2 it was previously. I remember when I first research HT speaker placement recommendations were that the ideal placement, even with distance adjustments on the receiver, was still to try and place your seating as close to the center of a circle formed by your speakers as possible. While I canít do a circle in this rather long room the present setup does place my front and rear speakers closer to equal distance and my surround and wide speakers also closer to equal distance from my seating. Iím not sure if this means anything but it might be worth checking out if you have flexibility in speaker and seating placement.

One of my best tests for 360 degree soundstage is at the beginning of ďKaena: The ProphecyĒ when the spaceship is moving away from you going forward and large spinning hyper-drive things come from behind you passing forward. The sound syncs up perfectly now with the spinning things which has never quite happened before in this room. All other test like the first night in the jungle in Avatar, the opening fight in Master and Commander and especially the opening scene in Appleseed all sound so much more immersive than they ever have before in this room.

Even the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion fire test came comes out perfect and quick. This one is where I place the character with his back to a crackling fire and as quickly as possible try to make the sound come from directly behind me without having to turn back and forth too much to get it sounding right. I note the compass direction and then turn 180 degrees from the direction I was facing when I thought he fire was centered behind me to see if Iím facing exactly toward the fire. It works perfect now.

Here Iíve been moving my speakers all over but barely touched my seats since I wanted to stay close to 15 feet. Well if 2 feet and 8 degrees of viewing angle improve things this much I say screw THX and SMPTE can really kiss my . . . .
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/11 06:04 PM

Panasonic finally shipped the 3D glasses so I demoed them today. I donít have 3D capability so all I could test was the 2D to 3D conversion feature on the AE7000.

About the only thing I can say about it is that Itís total crap!

I only demoed 2 movies, Avatar and Star Wars III and 2 video games Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Mass Effect and just couldnít see any point in trying to like it more. The loss of brightness in converting from 2D to 3D even with all setting dialed up is a deal breaker. The shadow detail I love in movies and live (or died without) by in video games is almost non-existent. Also all associated brightness related image quality issues also go to hell. Black level, colour depth and ďPop and Wow!Ē factor gone. In fact because of the drop in image quality the 3D image actually looks less ď3DĒ than the 2D image does to me even in bright scenes.

Also, much of the image becomes blurry. Although there are several ď3D modesĒ which you can try to pick from the one which gives the sharpest image you can never get the entire image focused as with a 2D image. In other words you can have the near image, middle image or far image in focus but the other two wonít be as much. Additionally rapid motion when not part of the ďfocusedĒ image becomes a complete blur.

Although frame creation does ďworkĒ in 2D to 3D mode it doesnít work as well. Scenes where the frame creation, one of Pannys strong points, is needed shows a lot of motion judder. Only instead of the slow pull-down judder this is much faster and in some ways more distracting.

Also annoying, and will likely be so in ďrealĒ 3D material are reflected images from the screen on the glasses. I might not be as much of an issue for someone without a blacked out room but for me it was very distracting seeing parts of the screen image reflected in the glasses. It completely destroyed the suspension of disbelief for me.

Another annoyance which I also believe will plague true 3D was how ďcross-eyedĒ I felt after taking the glasses off after only 20 minutes. I canít imagine watching a 2 hour or even longer movie with them. theyíd certainly require many breaks if video gaming with them and no way Iíd use them for a movie/series marathon.

Having said all that I donít think the issue is any problem with the AE7000. I just donít think that 2D to 3D conversion is going to be worth it. Perhaps a very bright LCD TV or something with a smaller image would overcome some of the problems Iím seeing. However, IMO that defeats the entire premise of my HT design which is total immersion. Based on what Iíve seen so far I donít plan on migrating to 3D . . . ever, however, YMMV.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/11 06:46 PM

Try a passive system. I don't see 3D as much more than a fun, occasional gimmick, but it didn't bother me at all to wear glasses for a 1.5-hour movie.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/11 07:20 PM

Thanks for the input Mark. I hadnít realized both were being produced since I hadnít bought the AE7000 for 3D and therefore hadnít researched 3D tech.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/11 11:04 PM

I'm still on the AVS pre-order list for the JVC RS45. The 7000 is supposed to be better than the RS45 for 3D, and if it is that bad on the 7000, then I'm even more "not-sold" on 3D... Shutter glasses kind of drive me nuts, and the rest of my family doesn't really care for 3D at all, even in the movie theaters. So if I stick with the RS45, at least I know that I'm not missing anything with the 3D functionality (or lack there of)...
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/04/11 11:28 PM

When is the RS45 suppose too ship? Iím looking forward to hearing how you like it.

Iím extremely happy with the AE7000s 2D performance so the 2D to 3D conversion is no big deal. Iím sure it does fine with straight 3D but I just canít see intentionally upgrading my other equipment to use it.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/05/11 01:23 AM

That is the big question. While it is slated for "November 2011", people are estimating that those will be just a very small, select people like the major reviewers, etc. Mainstream buyers are looking at some time in December or even possibly January... So I've got time to decide. Not ready for anything yet anyway, and the initial thoughts and "pre-release reviews" are saying that the RS45 will still be amazing for 2D, and that is what I'm looking for.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/05/11 05:20 PM

I think I'm going to give the Sony 95 a whirl. I'm on the AVS pre order for both of the JVC's (45/55), but think I'm sold on the Sony and will back out of the pre-order.

Dean, I'm not a fan of 3D. Drives me crazy. But I do see that the MonsterVision glasses has a following at AVS. You might want to try a pair. From what I gather, the glasses are pretty important. I have also read many positive comments about a BR 3D concert. Peter Gabriel and the new Blood Orchestra.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/05/11 07:43 PM

The Sony is too rich for my blood...
Posted by: michael_d

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/11 11:23 AM

Aw.... you only live once Nick and it's only money. $2500 for the 45 or $5500 for the 55 or Sony. Plus, how long do you keep projectors anyway?? I'd think as long as you keep yours, that 3yr warranty would be ideal.

I guess the Optima glasses are identical to the MonsterVision and quite a bit less. http://www.amazon.com/Optoma-Technology-...g=5336055023-20
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/11 03:12 PM

LOL. I don't think that I could squeeze another $2000 for a projector since we are draining the funds pretty quickly real soon with paying for drywall, carpet/tile, needing to buy a lot of gear besides the projector such as the new receiver, new blu-ray player, theater seats, screen (even if it will be a DIY Seymour AT), acoustics treatments,etc... I already put the second sub on the back burner for a while. Adding that stuff up will run me about $15,000 as is without even batting an eye.... besides, if I can get a projector to last 5 years before becoming less than desirable, then I can take that $2000 savings and apply it towards the next projector so to speak...
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/11 04:11 PM

Yeah, I think the next projector would be the one to go all-out on, assuming they start using laser illumination more.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/06/11 10:09 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
I think I'm going to give the Sony 95 a whirl. I'm on the AVS pre order for both of the JVC's (45/55), but think I'm sold on the Sony and will back out of the pre-order.

Dean, I'm not a fan of 3D. Drives me crazy. But I do see that the MonsterVision glasses has a following at AVS. You might want to try a pair. From what I gather, the glasses are pretty important. I have also read many positive comments about a BR 3D concert. Peter Gabriel and the new Blood Orchestra.


Thanks Michael, Iíll look into them. I really hadnít researched 3D since I wasnít the reason I upgraded projectors so I never thought about the glasses making a difference.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/07/11 10:45 AM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
Aw.... you only live once Nick and it's only money.

True MD but some ppl may prefer to live without debt.
smile

Save that extra couple of grand and drop a few hundred bucks on wine and beer for movie nights instead.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/07/11 12:13 PM

Yea, I used to be up to my ears in debt years ago. Outside of my house payment (which one could argue is WAY up and OVER my ears in debt), we have no other debt. It is nice.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/07/11 12:45 PM

Other than my house payment, I am also now debt free.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/07/11 04:19 PM

Ya I know... I was just yanking Nick's chain. I don't keep a balance on my credit cards and pay them off every month. Even though I really want a new projector, I'm not terribly excited over dropping another 5K, or any amount on another one right now and then going through the irritating process of trying to sell the old one. The one I have shoots a pretty amazing picture when I stop nit picking it apart. No worries about me spending money on wine Chess, I went nuts this past fall and my cellar is overfilled. I have bottles all over the damn place, 940 last count.

But Nick really does NEED a new projector and it's fun helping others spend money. smile
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/07/11 05:49 PM

Oh I could SPEND the money, as long as I don't want any flooring in the basement... laugh
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/07/11 06:34 PM

Mike, I can probably give you a hand with the old projector AND the wine inventory. grin
Posted by: RickF

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/07/11 08:51 PM

Originally Posted By: nickbuol
Oh I could SPEND the money, as long as I don't want any flooring in the basement... laugh


Pffft, flooring?

Flooring is way overrated Nick.

grin
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/07/11 09:26 PM

I am at my daughter's band concert (she just got done) and I saw this post. I showed my wife.... she just chuckled.... I don't think that she is in agreement.... eek
Posted by: jakewash

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/10/11 12:10 AM

You have flooring Nick, just lay some nice stain on that subfloor, I am sure no one will notice the difference..
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/10/11 01:14 AM

Stained concrete... Nice...
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/15/11 10:26 PM

Yesterday I tried out the AE4000 rather than the AE7000 for playing Skyrim. Without even A/B comparing there was a huge difference. The Image on the AE7000 was much more colourful, detailed and had better shadow detail. Some of the shadow detail difference could be made up for by bumping up the in-game brightness setting to max for the AE 4000, but that only just brought it on par with the AE 7000.

One drawback I noticed for the AE7000 is that in ďnormalĒ picture mode even with the lamp in eco mode the picture is actually too bright and started to fatigue my eyes after playing for about 6 hours. I tried other modes but for some reason normal just looks the best. So I might end up moving the AE7000 back to the back wall rather than right behind my seats where it is now.
Posted by: CV

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/16/11 12:45 AM

After only 6 hours, huh?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 11/16/11 01:01 AM

Originally Posted By: CV
After only 6 hours, huh?


I know I was slacking. Usually Iíll game for 16+ hours but I had other stuff to do earlier in the day.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 12/21/11 10:05 AM

Well I just got back from Germany and Afghanistan and got my ďrealĒ carpet laid down. What a huge difference it makes having a ďwall-to-wallĒ carpet in front of my seating rather than the half-a$$ed marine grade crap I had left over from my apartment. With the projector off the room is not totally black. Iíve already run into the wall twice because I canít see a thing. While both projectors, especially the AE7000, light of the room like search lights, moving my seating forward a little has cut down a lot on the reflected light intruding on my peripheral vision. Itís still not like my apartment where the screen just hung in blackness but itís getting closer. The only thing I can do from here to improve the darkness is to start using telescope flocking. Iím going to try it out on my M80s first since they reflect the most light, being closest to the screen. If that helps significantly I will also use it on the ceiling and the upper walls.

Other than that all I have to finish is painting the trim. Itís only going on 3 years since I moved in and I still havenít motivated myself to do it. Iím hoping that relatives from Illinois visiting in January will give me the incentive to get it done.
Posted by: Murph

Re: New HT Room Advice - 12/21/11 02:04 PM

Grunt II - Obsessed with Darkness

If you enjoyed "Grunt - Contrast for Hire" This movie will knock your welding goggles off.

Now playing in a over-lit theater near you.
Posted by: Da_Gimp_Pimp

Re: New HT Room Advice - 12/21/11 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Murph
Grunt II - Obsessed with Darkness

If you enjoyed "Grunt - Contrast for Hire" This movie will knock your welding goggles off.

Now playing in a over-lit theater near you.


grin
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 10/14/12 07:40 PM

Ok I finally did it. I switched over my primary computer to HDMI hooked up to my AE7000. I donít think that there is anything wrong with my AE4000 but it just doesnít focus as clearly as the AE 4000. For watching anime on Netflix even in HD itís ok but the blurriness of the text on the AE4000 compared to the AE7000 was driving me nuts. Not to mention the other PQ factors like colour depth, black level, and shadow detail are so much better on the AE7000 thereís no comparison. Now I just need to find a viable HDMI KVM switch so I can hook all my computers up through the same output.

Iím about to make an interesting HT purchase. I planning on ordering a rowing machine. I was planning on getting an recumbent elliptical but someone on an exercise forum I posted to suggested a rowing machine instead which will allow me to sit under the beam from the projector without moving any seats out of the way plus it comes on rollers making it easy to pull in and out of the weight room (read master bedroom) into the HT (read former living room, well I do pretty much live there). This way Iíll be able to get in so cardio work while watching things.

On drawback I found right away is that with the clearer computer screen every little thing like the slight misalignment Iím seeing right now is irritating.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 11:00 AM

Last night the carriage on my Opo BDP-93 stopped working so it wonít open to accept or eject disks. After a quick search on the internet I ran to Best Buy and picked up a Sony BDP-S590. It was between that and the comparable Panasonic (220 or 320 AFAIR). Sony won because they have always supported +R recordable media and Panasonic hasnít which was a must for me since %99.99 of all my recorded DVDs are +R. It also played all the SACDs I put in it flawlessly. Also upconverted DVDs look as good as they ever did on the Opos.

Obviously I couldnít do an A/B comparison but from what I did see/hear both PQ and SQ are as good with PQ possibly being slightly better in black level and contrast but that could easily be just different factory presets since I do my tweaking from the projector and havenít run a calibration disk.

I have to say that I havenít been terribly happy with the Opo for some time. Itís always had very long load times which normally isnít a huge deal but does suck when doing demos and swapping between lots of disks. Itís also had constant HDMI dropouts about one to two minutes from starting a movie. It comes back up after a few seconds but it is rather annoying. More recently itís required a restart of the receiver any time I changed disks or left one paused for long enough for the screen to time out. In both cases I had to restart the receiver to initiate a new HDMI handshake. I donít suspect the receiver since nothing else requires this.

So it was pretty much a no-brainer to buy the Sony for $100 USD vs another Opo for $500 USD. I also saw no point in buying a Playstation. For many reasons a PS just wasnít going to be worth the extra money though if I didnít already have an Xbox360 it might have been in the running.
Posted by: Murph

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 11:31 AM

Sounds like you need to do a "Francis" style Youtube post on the Oppo as per my recent "funny thing tonight" post. Although I'm not sure the visual of a super-buffed soldier would add as much humor as his gravitationally challenged, WoW addict persona.
Posted by: exlabdriver

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 12:57 PM

grunt:

As I've posted in another thread, I've put about 20 hours on my S590 since Christmas. I'm most impressed with the performance of this little player both in DVD, BD & SACDs that I eventually got for $97 CAN. Huge bang for the buck factor.

What the longevity of this machine will be, who knows? I'll enjoy it while it lasts...

TAM
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 01:31 PM

I heard that they fixed the load times in the OPPO 103. I'll probably buy a 103, but I agree with you that there are comparable products out there for 1/2 the price, or less.

I've had many problems with my OPPO 93 that I've never had with a cheaper brand. Other than transport problems between 6 to 12 months with them. So far, no transport problems with the OPPO, other than having to wait an unusually long time to get the tray open if I don't hit the eject button within 10 seconds of turning it on. This means I start a movie activity on my Harmony 1100, then run upstairs, open the closet door, try to find the eject button by feel because you can't see it.

Hmmm. Hopefully OPPO uses higher quality parts than the cheaper brands. There must be some reason to buy another OPPO.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 02:12 PM

Quote:

grunt:

As I've posted in another thread, I've put about 20 hours on my S590 since Christmas. I'm most impressed with the performance of this little player both in DVD, BD & SACDs that I eventually got for $97 CAN. Huge bang for the buck factor.

What the longevity of this machine will be, who knows? I'll enjoy it while it lasts...

TAM


I have read your posts, so thanks. Itís one of the reasons I didnít feel the need to spend weeks researching what to buy since I had already come to the conclusion based on posts like yours that most basic players these days would for all practical purposes have PQ and SQ indistinguishable from an Oppo (just realized Iíd been spelling it wrong damm dyslexia wink ).

Donít get me wrong either, Iím not anti-Oppo since my Oppo DVD player has certainly stood the test of time. Iíve used it to test every disk (1000s) Iíve ever burned and it still show no signs of any problems, however, the BD player has had little issues since day one. The only reason I bought the Oppo BDP in the first place was that I knew I would spend weeks researching and no matter what find a reason to justify buying it anyway. However, this time around it brings nothing I can see to the table to justify a premium of 5 times the price of something that is just as functional for me. Any incremental increase in either PQ or SQ the Oppo might have are likely (especially the SQ) to be indistinguishable from the Sony or comparable Panasonic in real use. I would be better served in saving $400 USD on the BDP purchase and put that toward room treatments if I want better SQ or PQ. Just like the B&Ws I liked were certainly not worth 3 times the price of the M80s, I canít see any way the Oppo is worth 5 times the price of the Sony especially since the Oppo I have died after 2 years of pretty minimal use (granted that is anecdotal).
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 05:10 PM

Yeah, I'd like to hear from any 103 owners out there about HDMI dropouts or slow load times.

I don't have a big TV and I'm no videophile, so really the only reason for me to do a 103 would be the fact it plays DVD-A as well as SACD.

For my one DVD-A.

Which I never listen to.

Hmm. Maybe I need to rethink my priorities. $100 for the Sony, you say?
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 05:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
Yeah, I'd like to hear from any 103 owners out there about HDMI dropouts or slow load times.

I don't have a big TV and I'm no videophile, so really the only reason for me to do a 103 would be the fact it plays DVD-A as well as SACD.

For my one DVD-A.

Which I never listen to.

Hmm. Maybe I need to rethink my priorities. $100 for the Sony, you say?


Ken I just test out the Sony with both DVD-A and HDCD disks and it played all of them normally as far as I could tell.

The specs on the Sony say it does not support HDCD decoding and I canít guarantee that the HDCD disks I tried arenít dual HDCD/CD encoded but it played all 10 of them I tried just fine with no difference as far as I could tell from how the Oppo DVD player sounded with the few I tried with it also.

The DVD-A disks I played also played normally both in Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1 when both options were available. I made sure to check that the receiver was getting 5.1 input by switching to Pure/Direct and also checking the display to see what it said it was receiving.

I canít be sure youíre disk(s) will play but none of mine had any problems.

I hope that helps.

Also when I picked mine up at Best Buy I specifically asked if I could return it if it had a problem playing my recorded disks and the guy said if I bring it back within 30 days they will pretty much take it back as long as itís not in two or more pieces.

P.S. If you didn't catch it I previously tested my SACDs and they all played normally including multi-channel.

Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 06:01 PM

Dolby 5.1 isn't true DVD-A output, I don't think.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 06:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
Dolby 5.1 isn't true DVD-A output, I don't think.

True but AFAIK most DVD-A disks were made to be backwards compatible with DVD-V through the use of Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1 also being present on the DVD-A disk which is why I tested so many of them and not just one or two.

There are also freeware audio players and or open source plug-ins that can decode DVD-A without the Dolby tracks.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 08:41 PM

Thanks for the info, dude. Sounds a lot more reasonable than an Oppo.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/04/13 09:21 PM

No problem.

Again there may be a good reason besides just name for some people to buy an Oppo I just canít justify it this time based on my present needs.

One thing I havenít research/tried are playing streaming formats from the Sony since I do all my streaming from computer. I much prefer using a point and click interface than trying to navigate 10s of 1000s of files with a remote. wink
Posted by: michael_d

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/06/13 01:06 PM

I had the same problem with my Oppo. It is somewhat common. It was out of warranty as well. I just sent it to Oppo to fix, because I do like the machine. They have a flat rate fee for out of warranty service. I think it was / is $100?? Well they fixed it for me, and sent it back to me all free of charge. I just had to pay the shipping to get it to them. Took less than two weeks total.
Posted by: grunt

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/06/13 02:00 PM

Thanks for that info. I may send it in so I have a backup BDP since itís the only part of my system I donít have a backup for right now. And if it only costs $100 thatís the same as most other new BDPs would cost.
Posted by: Gary Vose Sr

Re: New HT Room Advice - 01/06/13 02:02 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
I had the same problem with my Oppo. It is somewhat common. It was out of warranty as well. I just sent it to Oppo to fix, because I do like the machine. They have a flat rate fee for out of warranty service. I think it was / is $100?? Well they fixed it for me, and sent it back to me all free of charge. I just had to pay the shipping to get it to them. Took less than two weeks total.



Good deal! Thanks for the information, I have an Oppo 103 on order.