Home Theater Rebuild in HD!

Well, I’m in!  Finally it’s time for 1080p high definition!

There’s a newcomer that’s currently getting all the attention on the various home theater forums around the world. It’s JVC’s DILA implementation at the full HD 1080p resolution, the DLA-RS1 or DLA-HD1 – two different model numbers but they’re identical apart from the casing and the different sales channels. Anyway, I’ve placed my order and I expect to get mine by the end of the month. Supposedly it beats out the Sony Pearl (VPL-VW50) in the depth and “pop” of the image due to its ability to accomplish a 15,000 to 1 contrast ratio without resorting to a dynamic iris. It does cost a little more and it’s apparently a little noisier (acoustically), which is a bummer but the image it produces is, by all reports, worth it. Of course there will be something to top it before the year is out in either price or performance or both, but I decided it was time to jump to full high definition.

As for high definition sources, I’ll be using it with my existing EyeTV HDTV tuner/recorder and a newly acquired Sony BDP-S1 Blu-Ray player (I snagged an open box on discount on-line). I’ve thrown the Blu-Ray switch on my Netflix account. Eventually I’ll get an Xbox 360 (just in time for Halo 3). There’s a rumored XBox 360 revision coming with HDMI and I’ll probably get the HD-DVD add-on, assuming it doesn’t come standard.

I’m also planning to paint my loft, replace my sofas with two rows of dedicated home theater loungers, replace my receiver and add speakers to move to 7.1 sound. When the projector arrives, I’ll see how my exsting 110″ diagonal Da-Lite Da-Mat matte screen performs with it. Depending on the results, I may end up getting a new screen and I may decide to go for a CIH (constant image height) set-up where the screen is actually 2.35:1 instead of the usual 1.78:1 (16:9) so that I can enjoy a more panoramic view of cinemascope movies.

Update: My rebuild went great and I love the results! I didn’t do a constant image height screen due to physical constraints on size and placement caused by the sloping roof, but it looks great! The dark walls and ceiling have also done wonders for the atmosphere and the image quality — by severely cutting reflected light.  And the dedicated home theater seating from Palliser looks fantastic.

Click through for a gallery of pictures showing the rebuild of my home theater:


I got the XBox 360 w/HDMI but forget about using it for movies — the machine is incredibly noisy! I’m sticking with just a dedicated Blu-Ray player and waiting for this stupid HD format war to end. (No help from Microsoft throwing money at the studios to go temporarily exclusive — Microsoft does not even seem to be committed to either format. Looks like they just want to prolong the format war. Hmm…. they do have a paid movie download service.)


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