Home Theater Construction


  • Home Theater Upgrade: Taller Screen (August 2023) - With more and more “blockbuster” movies being released in tall aspect ratios (apparently optimizing for IMAX screens) or even frequently switching aspect ratios midstream (Christopher Nolan!!), my existing, 12-foot wide 2.4:1 aspect ratio screen hasn’t been so useful as it used to be.  These taller aspect ratios meant that the image ends up quite constrained, […]
  • Home Theater Build Out in Tahoe (December 2018) - The Tahoe house has a large basement bedroom that was just crying out for a home theater conversion using my recently retired JVC DLA-RS55 projector and my old Sony amp/receiver.  This involved getting a full set of speakers for 7.1 audio, running wiring through the walls for speakers and the HDMI video, moving the badly […]
  • Home Theater Upgrade: 4K/HDR with the JVC RS640 Projector (February 2018) - I’ve been waiting to go to 4K/HDR until high-performance, laser source projectors became reasonably affordable, but it looks like that’s going to be a while yet.  (Similar to the wait for high def projectors in the early 2000’s.)  So, here we go, it’s the JVC DLA-RS640U projector (full specs here) and it’s quite the nice […]
  • Home Theater Upgrade: Dolby Atmos (August 2017) - I’ve just added Dolby Atmos support to my home theater by upgrading my receiver and my Blu-Ray player and by adding a pair of vertically firing speakers.  I decided to go with the Onkyo TX-RZ3100 which provides for 11 audio channels at 140W/channel, giving me 7.2.2 in my new speaker configuration (seven = three front […]
  • Home Theater Upgrade: Serious Bass (February 2016) - It’s rare that I go out to movie theaters, preferring to have friends over to enjoy my home theater, but sometimes I do for special movie events, like the release of the first new Star Wars movie in a long time: The Force Awakens.  Well, we happened to go to a theater with an impressive […]
  • Home Theater Rebuild with the JVC DLA-RS55 (May 2012) - 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 […]
  • Glenn & Michele’s New Home Theater (January 2010) - Photos from the weekend-long build-out of my brother’s new home theater system in Portland, Oregon:  
  • Home Theater Rebuild with the JVC DLA-RS1 Projector (March 2007) - 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 […]
  • Home Theater Upgrade: Sony VPL-HS20 Projector (October 2003) - 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 […]
  • Screen Material Testing (February 2000) - 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 […]

Home Theater Related Sites and Forums

AVScience Forums – Extremely popular and extensive forum discussions on everything to do with Home Theater.

More excellent forums: Home Theater Forum  |  Home Theater Talk  |  The Digital Theater  |  Home Theater Spot

AVScience Store – I bought my more recent projectors and other accessories through these folk over the years.  They have very competitive pricing, particularly for new models as they become available.

ProjectorPeople.com – This is where I bought my first projector in early 2000 for about $5800. It was a competitive price and I appreciated how I was kept appraised of my position on the waiting list that existed when this projector first became available. I’ve checked their prices again (one year later) and they do still seem competitive.

Medical Video Systems – This is where I got my Da-Lite projection screen and my ceiling mount for my original projector back in 2000. They were very helpful (even through the dealing with Da-Lite and the shipping company when the screen frame arrived damaged). I also ordered my new JVC DLA-RS1 projector from them after finding that they were quite competitive with the few other dealers I could locate early in the release of this projector.

ProjectorCentral.com – Their site includes professional and user reviews and provides the ability to search for current prices for any projector model.

Home Theater Setup Guide by Octane Seating – I don’t have any experience with these guys, but they pestered me to offer a link to some of their content.  A quick glance does appear to show useful information.

The Digital Bits – News, reviews, and rumors on all things DVD.

Here’s a whole gaggle of Home Theaters at www.hometheaterforum.com.

Manufacturers of Home Theater screens:  DA-LITE  |  Stewart  |  Draper

It’s worth noting that there is a great difference in pricing of screens of different material, different frame types, and from different manufacturers. My screen and frame was under $800 in May of 2000 while others of the same size can cost over $2000.

Unlimited DVD rentals from NetFlix.com – Obviously NetFlix is much more known for their online streaming now but back in 2000 when their DVD rental service was a new thing, I wrote: “This is pretty cool! It’s a DVD subscription rental service which allows you to keep several DVD’s at home for as long as you want (two, four, or eight titles at a time) for $15 – $25/month. Really convenient! I just add titles to my rental queue whenever I hear of something interesting. When I send a title back (shipping is included), then the next item on my list gets shipped out automatically. I always have four unwatched titles on hand!”

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