Tag Archives: home theater

Home Theater Rebuild (again!)

It’s that time again: upgrade time! I’ve moved to a new home in Santa Cruz and I now have the wall space to do a super widescreen (2.4 by 1) in a Constant Image Height (CIH) setup and do it big: 12 feet wide by 5 feet tall!  Sweet!  And I’ll give 3D a try too with the JVC DLA-RS55.  (My last “home theater rebuild” was going high definition back in 2007 in the loft of my condo in San Jose.)

So here’s a photo journal of the building out of my home theater in my new home in Santa Cruz, starting with the the “before” and “after” shots:

(before rebuild)


The house is laid out with a kitchen and a large living room area on one end and a second living room area at the other end and a dining area and entry way in-between….

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Glenn & Michele’s New Home Theater

Photos from the weekend-long build-out of my brother’s new home theater system in Portland, Oregon:


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Projector Review: JVC RS-1

Well, my JVC RS-1 has arrived. I’ve spent five or six hours with it trying different sources and comparing it to my existing Sony HS-20 projector.

This is my mini-review including additional notes I made in December 2007.

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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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New Projector: Sony VPL-HS20

Okay, back in February of 2002 I said I didn’t expect to upgrade my home theater projector until full HDTV resolution was available, but I spoke too soon. It looks like affordable full HDTV projector resolution is still years off, so I’ve just sprung for the new Sony VPL-HS20.  It boasts much improved contrast, more input options, better computer signal syncing, quieter fan, better pixel fill ratio, etc… all for half the price that I paid for my 10HT three and a half years ago. And yup, I looked around and found the best price at ProjectorPeople.com again. (Hey, if you buy from them, please mention me as a referral.)

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Screen Material Testing

This is an old write-up and screen shots from some screen material testing I did back in February of 2000 when I built my home theater around the Sony VPL-VW10HT.  I tested mostly product from Da-Lite but also a single sample from Stewart.

Please keep in mind that both companies now have many newer materials to offer.

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Home Theater Based on the Sony VPL-VW10HT

This is an archive of my original home theater page based around the Sony VPL-VW10HT video projector. It includes lots of screenshots as well as information about projector technology and tips for setting up a system.

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