Weekend Roundtable: Latest Addition to Your Home Theater

Every home theater is a perpetual work-in-progress. No matter how much time or money you spend making the perfect movie (or TV, or videogame) den, there’s always some new piece of equipment to buy or some other improvement to make. What have you recently added to your theater room?

M. Enois Duarte

Other than upgrading my home theater to Dolby Atmos with the Denon AVR-X5200W and four B&W CCM683 ceiling speakers, I recently finished building a pair of Stereo Integrity 18″ subwoofers. Although complete, they still need to be painted, but I’m waiting for the weather to warm up a bit. I wrote a little about my experience building these monsters last week, but here’s a sneak peek at what they look like so far.

DIY Subwoofer in Progress

Mike Attebery

Gosh, I’m afraid to say anything, for fear that I’ll jinx something and my projector lamp will burn out or something. Though I’ve considered a few upgrades over the last year (specifically Dolby Atmos), I haven’t made any home theater purchases since I got a Darbee Darblet last spring. That was totally worth it, by the way. I’m already thinking about 4K projectors when they reach my income bracket, but I’m pretty sure a sound system upgrade will be the next thing I tackle.

Chris Boylan (Big Picture Big Sound)

A lot of the stuff I get in is on loan from the manufacturers, but I did buy myself a projector, the Panasonic PT-AE8000U, when the price came down recently. It’s 1080p and does 3D, but the reason I like it so much is that it can transform from 16:9 to 2.35:1 automatically, without an anamorphic lens. It can detect the black bars of incoming content and adjust its zoom accordingly to fill a 2.35:1 screen where appropriate. This makes it an excellent projector for fixed height multi-aspect-ratio screens.

For now, it’s sitting on a custom hanging shelf I made from leftover chandelier parts and an amplifier stand (it’s sturdier than it sounds). When we finally get around to the home theater makeover, I’ll either put it on a custom rear shelf or will do a more permanent ceiling mount.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

As far as gear goes, my home theater is unlikely to change until Ultra HD Blu-ray is more of a thing. The current plan is to wait until the second generation of players are available and for 4K OLED prices to come tumbling down to Earth. Watch me impulsively raid my bank account the minute this new format launches, though.

While the hardware side of my home theater has remained the same since buying a Pioneer VSX-1123 receiver at the tail-end of 2013, pretty much everything around it has been upended! Marvel at my new rug, couch, ottoman and end tables! There’s also a sideboard on a nearby wall where I store my current-gen videogames and accessories.

Adam's New Furniture

Brian Hoss

While my DTS:X 2015 demo disc is primed for a new AVR later this year (I’ve loved the demonstrations thus far), my most recent home theater purchase is a bit more visual. I was pretty happy with my current video card options right up until the game ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘ came out. After a few hours of play, I just couldn’t get it out of my mind that the game could run better (much better even) with the right card. I made a trip to Micro Center for a new NVIDIA 9 series. That was last week.

This week, I need to dial up a pair of new bookshelf speakers. With low wattage in mind (2 x 25W), I want something that will make it worth getting out the Hi-Fi.

Luke Hickman

With the purchase of our first home going through right now, my wife and I have been making little purchases for the dedicated theater room that I’ve been dreaming about. I’m still completely satisfied with my technical set-up (although I’m eagerly awaiting an all-around upgrade), so these little purchases have been cool decor pieces. The most recent would be some ‘Interstellar‘ posters and frames. I’m a fan of rotating the decor theme, but I’m certain that we’ll christen the area with my ‘Interstellar’ goodies – the three-part framed IMAX exclusive poster set, my Endurance shoulder patch, all three unique versions of the Blu-ray, the collector’s edition two-disc soundtrack with a light-up Morse code star chart box, and my four to-be-framed and backlit IMAX film cells. I can’t wait to sign the papers with the bank!

Chris Chiarella (Sound & Vision)

For the first time in a while, I just recently updated my reference system to include a pair of Definitive Technology BP-8060ST floor-standing bipolar SuperTower loudspeakers and matching CS-8060HD center channel. Sonically, my home theater is shiny and new again, the fullness and clarity are astounding, and since all three have built-in powered subwoofers, there’s more than enough low end to go around. (Kudos to my bro for helping me set it all up.) In fact, the experience has been so enjoyable, I find myself pulling out favorite go-to discs (‘Iron Man 3‘!) just to hear what they sound like with these new mains and center. So far, nothing but awesomeness.

Josh Zyber

As I mentioned in our poll the other day, I’ve finally upgraded my front left and right speakers to a new (to me) pair of towers.

Tower Speaker

I’m still fixated on the Cambridge Soundworks brand, even though the company no longer even makes home theater speakers anymore. These T205s were some of the last high-end speakers Soundworks made before reducing its focus exclusively to portable audio. For the last few months, I’ve been scouring my local Craigslist waiting for a pair to show up for sale, without success. Fortunately, with the help of our reader Justin, I managed to score a pair from a former employee for an incredible deal.

Installing these means that I also had to rotate my other speakers. My former front mains have now taken over as my Surround channels. The old Surrounds are now my Back Surrounds. And my old Back Surrounds have moved up to take over the Front Height positions in my Dolby Atmos system.

Tell us in the Comments about recent changes you’ve made to your home theater.

97 comments

  1. Chris B

    Having set up an HT area in my partially finished basement last fall I’ve been dying to upgrade my display as of late. I’m currntly using a 60″ LG plasma I bought waaaaay back in 2010 for around 1800 bucks and it’s definitely beginning to show it’s age. I’m currently saving up for a 70″ 4K Vizio tv which I hope to purchase come September. After that I’ll be squirreling away cash for the launch of UHD BD come the holidays.

    As for the last thing I actually added? An imported “Seven Samurai” theatrical poster my wife bought me. Looks pretty sweet on the wall….now I just need that damn tv….

      • Chris B

        Yeah, I’ve definetly thought about it, although I really like the simplicity of a flat-panel, plus I like being able to have some ambient light on as opposed to the totally dark environment needed for a projector to perform it’s best. I’m not ruling it out down the road though, when I finally have the funds to finish my basement, I may switch over to a projector setup. In the meantime, the 60″ model of the 4k I’ve had my eye on actually just went on sale yesterday….I might just cave and pick it up this weekend….

          • Chris B

            From what I’ve read, only the upper-tier manufacturers tvs come equipped with hdmi 2.0a, as this is more of a budget model I’m not sure it comes standard. Althought, isn’t it possible to potentially reconcile that issue with firmware update somewhere down the line? As it’s a lower end 4k tv I know I probably won’t reap all the rewards of HDR and WCG that the new format will offer, but there’s still the higher resolution and increased bitrate factors I’m looking forward to.
            Not to mention, potentially better 4k upscaling of existing 1080p content…correct?

          • I’m not 100% sure but I believe HDMI 2.0A is not a hardware change from HDMI 2.0 so firmware upgrade from 2.0 to 2.0A may be possible (but definitely not from HDMI 1.4 to 2.0). If you buy a 1st gen Ultra HD TV with HDMI 1.4, it definitely will not be able to do HDCP 2.2, so it’s very unlikely you’d be able to do Ultra HD Blu-ray which is likely to use HDCP 2.2 to protect the content from unauthorized copying.

            Yes, 1080p content can look better upscaled to 4K/Ultra HD, but even at 70 inches the differences between 1080p and 1080p upscaled to Ultra HD will be difficult to spot further than about 6 feet away.

            Really, for me, the extra pixels of Ultra HD are fairly useless. The only thing that excites me about Ultra HD is wider color spectrum (P3 and BT2020) and HDR, both of which are only available right now in the highest end sets. It will trickle down, though (eventually).

            It’s a personal decision though. Some people like 4K TVs as they are today. I’m just not one of them. I’d rather have a 1080p plasma or OLED than a 4K LED/LCD set. Black levels and color saturation on OLEDs and good plasmas are better, and that’s what makes a picture enjoyable to me. But for home theater, I think size is more important than resolution for a real cinematic effect. I’d definitely prefer a good 1080p projector, with decent contrast or black levels and a 100+ inch screen over a smaller flat panel set, even one with 4K resolution. It just feels more like being in the theater as opposed to just watching TV.

          • Chris B

            Yeah I hear ya on the OLED thing, believe me if money wasn’t a factor I’d go that way for sure. They’re crazy expensive here in Canada though, we’re
            Talking like 4 grand or more for around 50 inches. Hopefully the technology is a lot more affordable within the next 3 years or so.

            As for UHD BD, I recall reading that the players will supposedly be compatible with any and all 4K tvs. Including those with HDMI 1.4. I’m hoping this is accurate.

          • Even if the UHD BD players are compatible with HDMI 1.4 displays, any content that is protected with HDCP 2.2 will not play back on a non-HDCP-compatible displays. At least that’s my understanding from chats with the BDA people. So yes, if you have an non-HDCP display, you can watch any UHD content that is not HDCP-encoded, but none that is. It remains to be seen whether all or only some UHD-BD content will be HDCP-encoded but I’m betting all or most of it will be.

          • William Henley

            Not having UHD BD backwards compatable with older 4k sets would kill the format before it even launched. There are still not that many 4k sets in the home – far fewer than there were HD sets when Blu-Ray launched. Locking out sets with HDMI 1.4 would cut out easily half of your potential launch market. I can see advanced features such as HFR and HDR not being compatible with older sets, but to totally lock them out would be poor planning on the BD association.

          • Chris B

            Yeah if the BDA makes a lot of the content incompatible with older 4k tvs….ho jeez people will be rightly pissed off. These are the people that embraced 4k from the very start, way to screw over the early adopters.

        • William Henley

          I wish I lived in an area of the country where we had basements. The soil is not good for basements in this part of the country, so you only see them in public buildings and almost never in homes. I have seen a few people construct houses with totally windowless rooms for their media rooms, but those are about as rare as basements as it means you have to have a house with a custom floor plan. I have blackout curtains that help, but there still is a tiny bit of light that seeps in around the edges. The blackout curtains work great with flat screens, but it is still not dark enough for my taste to run a projector. I know of absolutely no one in this part of the country running a projector at home (they are popular in businesses and churches, but those are windowless venues). I am seeing more and more people opt for flat panels 60 inches and up as they continue to come down in price. In fact, last year, three of us in my work area bought the exact same 65 inch Vizio model (I was the first, co workers came over, saw it in action, heard how much I paid, and bought the same set).

          • Chris B

            Speaking of Vizio (as it’s the brand I’m looking at purchasing), how satisfied are you with yours?

          • Chris B

            Where abouts in Texas do you live again? What is it about the soil that’s not conducive to basements?

          • William Henley

            I have had two Vizio sets over the years, a 42 inch and a 65 inch. The 42 was a lower end model, and the 65 was an M series. The 42 was comparable or better than other televisions in its class. The 65 inch M series in my opinion blows away everything else (but to each his own – every time I say that, someone who payed two or three times what I paid for a Sony or Samsung say I don’t have a clue what I am talking about, to which I always respond “stop being a brand fanboy”).

            Notice I use the term “was”. I lost the 42 inch in December of 2013 to a fire, and lost the 65 inch in January of this year to a lightning strike.

            I live in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. The soil in this part of the country has a layer of top dirt 1-6 feet deep, followed by clay underneath that, and I THINK underneath the clay is bedrock. This is very tough to dig through, plus it means that you have to reinforce your walls of an underground structure more than you would in other parts of the country. As such, in this part of the country, you will either see houses built out (as in over land) or built up (as in multiple stories).

  2. Scott

    I had a good year at work last year and treated myself to a few different goodies.

    Upgraded my projector from the JVC RS1 to the Sony VPL-HW55ES so that I could get my 3D fix.
    Purchased a Sony HAP-S1 Hi-Res music player so that I could get all my digital music files all in one place.
    Along with the projector I needed to upgrade the Blu Ray player and went with the Oppo BDP-105D.

    Next step will be upgrading to Atmos and DTS-X. After all the money spent last year though this will probably be a 2016 upgrade.

    • Nice gear. Dolby Atmos at home is amazing, on the 10 or so titles already out there (and three more on the way). But this will be the year for DTS:X I think. We’ve seen some announcements from Onkyo (plus the upgrades for the Denon 7200 and Marantz 8802), but I expect to see a lot more receivers and pre/pros that have both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X this summer and fall. I think AURO-3D will continue to only be a “premium” offering – a paid upgrade only in the highest end gear. Apparently their licensing fees are significantly higher than DTS and Dolby. Funny since they are the only one without any actual movies available on Blu-ray yet (unless I missed an announcement somewhere). AURO-3D also has the most rigid speaker placement requirements while the Dolby Atmos spec has a little more flexibility and DTS has said that DTS:X will work with pretty much any placement for height speakers.

  3. My family room is my home theater and I just got a new sub about a month ago (SVS pb12 plus). There isn’t really much I can do here for the time being. Since I’m not able to totally theater up this space (i do have an awesome King Kong and a sweet Creature From the Black Lagoon poster). The half bathroom that guests use is all decked out with mini posters 11by 17 and a cool film reel border. I have enough space for two more landscape style posters and been looking for a rug and new towels (not so easy to find when you have a specific vision in mind) I also want to change the light fixture. I’ve been decorating that damn tiny bathroom for about six years now, I need to wrap it up already! As far as equipment, maybe I’ll work in the master bedroom which just got a sub upgrade from the family room. I’ve been wanting a new receiver for that room, one that at least has Dolby TrueHd and DTS master capabilities. I don’t want to spend more than 400 for that. I might make that a small project for the and of this year or next year. I also want to wall mount my bedroom tv. I’ve been putting it off for so long.

  4. My wife and I recently moved in to a new house we built and I wanted to finish out my HT room in the basement. I had a Xbox one and PS4 that we were already using to watch bluray’s on, but with our new Samsung 60″ 8500 plasma and Def Tech 7.1 surround sound I really felt we needed a premium player to watch all of our content on. The Xbox One would stutter every now and then when playing movies and it was distracting. I’m not a huge fan of using gaming systems to watch movies on as I don’t feel it is their primary purpose and won’t deliver the best experience. I ended up picking up an Oppo 103D player and I don’t think I could ever look back. The price is well justified and it absolutely delivers.

  5. My wife reminded me that I just got a Seiki SR4KP1 Blu-ray player so I can give region B discs a spin again. I haven’t actually watched a movie with it yet, so I forgot. :-p

  6. BIll

    Minor addition last Oct. but one that was very satisfying: Chromecast. I use it mainly to stream NHL GameCenter Live to my 60 inch SXRD. Other than that I’m thinking of getting the Darblet. It is supposed to be amazing.

      • Hey William, I’m on my phone at work and for some reason the more replies show up, the more it gets cut off not allowing me to reply. BIn regards to the lionsgate 7.1 discs, I was referring to Rambo and War (which was PCM).Those are the first that came to mind, but I’m sure there were more. I think these two were 7.1 discrete and not matrixed, although at the time I didn’t care as long as I had sound coming out of my extra channels. Anyone with more knowledge on this subject, correct me if I’m wrong.

        • William Henley

          Rambo First Blood was DTS HD 6.1 Matrixed or Dolby Digital EX 5.1

          http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/177/firstblood.html

          Just looked up War amd ot did have a 7.1 PCM mix, which surprised me – I thought you could only do 5.1 on PCM

          That said, as far as I know, Lionsgate was the only company going with Dolby Digital EX or DTS HD, which was nice because those early releases, like Phantom of the Opera and Last Samurai, only had Dolby Digital. Some of Disney’s early releases had PCM (I will say that the opening 5 minutes of Chronicles of Narnia in PCM is probably the best 5.1 demo material available). But Disney didn’t have any release titles – like all the titles around the release date seemed to either be Warner or Lionsgate.

  7. Tax season brought me an Oppo 103D.
    Perhaps the next one will update the receiver, or I might just wait on that. A 7.1.2 receiver with 9 built in amplifiers so that the overhead speakers do not require a separate amp. I suspect the manufacturers will implement that in the next wave receivers.

  8. Mike H

    Just upgraded my entire front soundstage with new towers and a center channel from BIC America. Also upgraded my front height speakers to ones with horn tweeters to match the BIC’s. Next step is a Atmos/DTS:X receiver upgrade most likely in the Fall. Holding off on 4k until I see it gets accepted into the consumer market and prices come down. Very happy with blu-ray at the moment and not looking forward to re-buying everything again if 4k takes off. Time will tell.

  9. William Henley

    Well, most of my purchases over the past year and a half have been replacement purchases. About a month ago, I picked up a 60 gig PS3.

    During this time, I have picked up a few things unique to the new home theater. I guess my most recent purchase was around October of last year, when I picked up a TIVO and a Tivo Mini. The DVRs from my cable company were crap, with only 160 gig hard drives (what, is this 2005?).So for the longest, I just cut the cable and went internet. Well then my cable company started advertising 100 meg speeds. I was at 20meg on the plan I was on (which really was not enough at all). Well, as an existing customer, they would not cut me a good price on it, so I canceled, and called up UVerse, because they were offering a package deal that included 24Mbps internet plus television for what I was paying to my cable company for just 20 Meg Internet. AT&T could NEVER get it working right – had the technician out three times – I had to wire the wireless DVR because it kept dropping out, even though it was only 20 feet away. The internet was working at 6 Mbps on a good day, most time I was getting 128k. Finally gave up with them, and went back to my cable company, and they signed me up as a new customer, and I got 100 Mbps internet, phone and HD cable for just $20 more than what I was paying for just the 20 meg internet alone before. But I was not dealing with their crappy DVRs, so I went out and bought a $150 Tivo Roamio, and replaced the 500 gig hard drive with a 3 TB I had lying around (easy to do, but voids the warranty, but getting Tivo to replace anything under warranty sucks, which I found out a few months later). Unfortunately, I had to go thorough 5 cable card / tunning adaptor combinations before I found one that worked, but now that it is working, I LOVE my Tivos.

    About the same time, I picked up other equipment. I picked up a USB HD video capture card (I can input either HDMI or component). I was just planning to pull files off of the Tivo over the network, but my cable company turns the broadcast flag on on EVERYTHING, even OTA channels, which means I cannot pull stuff off the TIVO. It also means that the HDMI on my capture card only captures at 480p, but that is what the analogue hole is for, right?! I mean, all I want to do is throw a season of my favorite television show on a BD-R to free up space on the DVR, why do they make things so tough?

    The big investmet though is probably the device I use the least – the 3D-Bee Diamond – http://www.3d-bee.com/diamond/ Its not that I didn’t like it – It looked good on about 40% of the stuff I threw at it. But I unhooked it and it hasn’t been hooked up in about 8 months because the 2D passthrough on the device didn’t work half the time – my Blu-Ray player just did NOT want to handshake with the television half the time if the 3D-Bee was in passthrough.

  10. C.C. 95

    -“the reason I like it so much is that it can transform from 16:9 to 2.35:1 automatically, without an anamorphic lens. It can detect the black bars of incoming content and adjust its zoom accordingly to fill a 2.35:1 screen where appropriate.”
    Dude- that is called cropping. You are losing lots of picture on the sides. You literally CANNOT put a 2.35:1 image inside a 16:9 frame without a letterbox. You are watching a compromised image. And if you think it is neglegable loss, well…

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Chris is talking about the optical zoom. He has a 2.35:1 screen. The projector has a lens memory and can be set to zoom the picture larger so that a 2.35:1 movie fills a 2.35:1 screen and lets the letterbox bars spill off onto the wall.

      Chris runs the Big Picture Big Sound web site. He knows what he’s doing. 🙂

    • No, it’s not cropping. You’re not following me. On Blu-ray, most movies (particularly major release films) are 2.35:1 with letterbox bars at the top and bottom of the 16:9 image. If you view this on a 16:9 screen you get black bars at the top and bottom as you should. But if you are using a 2.35:1 or 2.4:1 screen, you can set the Panasonic projector to zoom the image so that the black bars are outside the screen area at the top and the bottom. It’s not cropping or stretching or losing any part of the image. It’s just zooming the image so that the black bars (which don’t have any picture information) are outside the 2.35:1 screen. The only other projectors that do this are more expensive ones from JVC and Epson (assuming that Epson reflective LCD projector has even come to market yet). The only other way to do this is with anamorphic processing and an anamorphic lens which isn’t necessarily any better since it’s adding additional glass into the mix as well as additional processing (not to mention the additional expense of the processor and lens). Capiche?

      • William Henley

        Does the projector have a way to block the light from the spill over area, like a gate or something? Sounds like a great idea, but I would be greatly annoyed by the slightly off-black light shining on the wall / curtain from the letterboxed areas of the image

        • No, there’s no mask for the tops and bottoms so it works best with flat black paint or black fabric frames at the top and bottom. For an LCD projector, the Panasonic PT-AE8000 has good black levels so the “almost black” that is projected is really not bothersome.

  11. Chris B

    All right, all the projector talk made me re-think things and I placed an order tonight for a Benq 1075 and 96″ scope screen, should be here in a few days, can’t wait!

      • Chris B

        Yeah I’m stoked, I wanted an even bigger screen but Im only sitting about 12 feet away and Ifigured anymore could be overkill. How far away is your seating from your 130″?

          • Chris B

            Oh ok so Im roughly in the same ballpark. I read that ideally you want your seating about 1.5x the width if the screen away. If the picture feels a little too small I can always slide my seating up a few feet. I just didn’t wanna go too large and then be screwed because I have my back up against the wall.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            I don’t think there’s a wrong answer for this. It’s all about what works in your space and what you’re comfortable with. One thing to keep in mind is that there’s always a trade-off between screen size and brightness. The larger your screen, the harder it is for the projector to illuminate it. Personally, I prefer a brighter, punchier image even if it means sacrificing a little of the absolute size. I also like the whole screen to fit in my field of vision so I don’t have to turn my head to follow all the action. Others may prefer a bigger screen at all costs, and try to go for the immersive IMAX-like effect where the screen exceeds their field of vision. Both options have their merits depending on what’s important to you.

            Is your 96″ diagonal or width? If it’s width, then our screens are the same size.

    • Cool! But what do you mean by a scope screen? 2.35:1 aspect ratio? If so, how will that work with the BenQ? That projector’s only got a 1.3X manual zoom which probably isn’t enough to switch back and forth between 16:9 and 2.35:1 content on a 2.35:1 screen (and you’d have to do that manually). You know that Panasonic PT-AE8000U is down to $1499 with free shipping… 🙂 The 1075 is an excellent projector for the money, but its placement options are a little more limited than some of the 3-Chip LCD projectors, like the Panasonic and many of the Epsons, To get a squared off image on the 1075 without keystone, you’re probably going to need to do a ceiling mount (inverted) at a very specific spot on the ceiling, or a coffee table mount (right side up). With the Panasonic and many of the Epsons, you can correct for less-than-ideal placement optically using lens shift. This means you can put it on shelf in the back of the room (in most cases) or do a ceiling mount wherever it’s most convenient. BTW, the cheaper Epsons don’t have lens shift either.

        • Josh Zyber
          Author

          Installing a 16:9 screen will only help if he reduces the screen width. The issue here is the projector’s zoom range, and how large an image it can illuminate at various distances.

          According to the Projector Central calculator, if the screen is 96″ width, the BenQ 1075 will need a throw distance between 9’2″ to 12′.

          http://www.projectorcentral.com/BenQ-HT1075-projection-calculator-pro.htm

          That indeed seems like it could be a problem if his seats are 12′ away. Even table-mounting at maximum zoom won’t leave a lot of room to recline, unless the recliners (assuming that’s what he’s sitting in) can go to either side of the table.

          Alternately, if he could add a horizontal expansion anamorphic lens such as the Panamorph CineVista, the projector would only need to fill a width of 73″ on its own (the lens would stretch that out to 96″), which brings the throw range down to between 7′ to 9’1″. Of course, that’s an expensive add-on. Also, anamorphic lenses at short-throw may introduce undesirable pincushion distortion, so that wouldn’t necessarily fix the problem either.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Lest he start to panic about a projector he’s already ordered, we should ask Chris B where he was planning to put the projector before any of these questions came up?

          • Chris B

            Lol…this is why so many people are hesitant to get a projector…things can get real complicated real fast.

            Ok help me out here guys, here is a link to the exact model of projector I’m getting (it has the technical specs listed if you click on the tab about halfway down)

            http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/benq-benq-1080p-dlp-home-theatre-projector-ht1075-ht1075/10304676.aspx

            And here is the model of screen I ordered

            http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/elunevision-elunevision-triton-96-manual-pull-down-screen-ev-m-96-96-1-2-1-1-ev-m-96-96-1-2-1-1/10202751.aspx

            I went with a 2:35:1 screen because thats what most movies are nowadays and figured it made the most sense since that’s going to be my primary actiity in the space. It seemed like a no -brainer that a projector manufacturer would build their product to be compatible with a few different ratios. One of the reasons I went with the Benq was it is supposed to be flexible with regard to placement (I really wanna avoid a ceiling mount). I can either place it on the coffee table or on a shelving unit behind the seating area.

            Was I mistaken in buying this screen? Should I opt for a 16×9 instead? What’s the worst case scenario here? Black bars on much of the screen?

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            A shelf mount behind your seating probably won’t work. Single-chip DLP projectors like this shine the image upwards at an angle (or downwards, if you flip it and ceiling mount). They don’t shine straight ahead. The height of the projector is where the bottom of the image starts, and it goes up from there. If you put the projector on a shelf above head level, you’ll wind up with a picture on your ceiling. Although the BenQ 1075 claims to have optical lens shift, it’s not much of a range, and it appears to only go upwards, not downwards (110% to 130%, per the BenQ web site). 3-chip LCD models have much more flexible lens shift.

            You’ll effectively have no choice except to put the projector on a coffee table in front of you. Which isn’t necessarily a problem, except that the zoom range on this model is also very limited. To fill a screen of 96″ width, the projector will need to be between 9’2″ to 12″ away. That puts it basically in your lap.

            Worst case scenario here is that you won’t be able to find a placement where the projector will shine a large enough image to fill your screen.

            Are you sitting in recliners or a couch? If recliners, you could put the projector on a narrow coffee table to put the seats on each side of it. That might work. Downsides to that, however, are that the fan noise might be quite loud that close to the projector, and it will also likely kick out a lot of heat right onto you.

            All hope is not necessarily lost. If you’re set on this particular model, you may be able to get it to work for you, but it will likely require a lot of trial-and-error to find the right placement for it in your room.

            Whatever you do, keep the projector aligned directly in front of the screen. Don’t put it off to the side and attempt to compensate with electronic keystone correction. That adds nasty scaling artifacts to the image.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            I just looked at the link you gave for the screen. It’s listed as 96″ diagonal at 2.35:1, not 96″ wide. That should give it a width of approximately 88″. Your required throw distance is then reduced to between 8’5″ to 11′. That may help.

            The throw distance is calculated from the lens to the screen. The body of the projector itself is about 10″ deep. At maximum zoom with the lens at 8’5″, you’ll have roughly 3′ between the back of the projector and your seats. If you’re on a couch and not reclining, it might not be so bad.

            If you have any leeway to move the seats back, you’ll probably want to do that.

          • Chris B

            Yeah with regard to the seating,
            It’s just a regular 3-seater couch as opposed to recliners. I can most likely move it back another 2 feet if I have to which would give me a seat-to-screen distance of 14 feet with the table about 11 feet away. Based on the numbers you’re giving me I think I can make it work. The first thing I’ll do when I get the projector is hook it up before I even take the screen out of the box and start experimenting with placement options. If it doesn’t seem like it’ll work I can always exchange the screen for a different size or ratio. Like I said though I think it should be ok. Thanks for all your help Josh.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Good luck! If you experiment, I’m sure you’ll find something that will work.

            The other Chris deserves the credit for being more familiar with that projector model and noticing the throw ratio concern.

        • Yeah… so Monsieur Zyber’s reply is entirely accurate (and the link to the Projector Central calculator is spot on – I use this tool all the time) but it’s missing one important element. If you get a 2.35:1 screen, how are you going to handle 16:9 content? Or do you not care about that? You might actually care about that, even if you think you don’t. Why? Because all Blu-rays are 16:9, and so are their menus. So if you set this up for a fixed 2.35:1 screen, then the Blu-ray menus will be spilling over onto the area outside the screen which may make it difficult (or impossible) to navigate through the menu to actually play the movie.

          Also, if you try to watch any 16:9 content (or 2.2:1 or some other aspect ratio) and have the projector set up to fill a 2.35:1 screen then part of the projected image will spill over outside the screen. If your projector has a wide zoom range, then you can zoom the image out for 16:9 content, and then that content fills the center portion of the 2.35:1 screen – same screen height, but different screen width. This is why many people with 2.35:1 ratio screens either have an automatic variable masking system (expensive) or black drapes (cheap!) to resize the viewable area of the screen for 16:9 content. For 16:9 content, you move the drapes in, for 2.35:1 content, you move the drapes out – simple!

          But that type of thing is only useful if you can adjust the zoom on the image enough so that 16:9 content is sized to use the center of the screen while 2.35:1 content is zoomed in to use the full screen width. If my math is right, then you might almost be able to do that with the BenQ. If you install the projector so that the unzoomed lens fills a 16:9 screen, then crank the zoom to 1.3X, I think you’ll have a 2.31:1 image (close enough for rock and roll). the drawback though, is that the BenQ zoom lens is manual, via a ring on the lens. The chances of you bumping the projector and screwing up your careful placement is high (unless you have it in a fixed ceiling mount). With that Panasonic projector, you just press a button and it adjusts the zoom automatically to accommodate the desired aspect ratio.

          Honestly speaking, with a small-ish room, a 16:9 screen might make more sense. It’s certainly a lot less trouble to install and use. The BenQ – like most home theater projectors – is a native 16:9 projector. And the only drawback is those black bars at the top and bottom of CinemaScope content. Evan Powell from Projector Central wrote a great (and detailed) article about how to choose the screen ratio that’s right for you here: http://www.projectorcentral.com/build_home_theater_screen_aspect_ratio.htm

          Working with a projector does mean a bit of a learning curve, but learning about new stuff is part of what makes this hobby fun! Hope that helps!

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            If he’s table-mounting, then manually adjusting the zoom shouldn’t be any great burden. On an 88″ wide 2.35:1 screen, the 16:9 center portion will have dimensions of approximately 66.5″ x 37.5″. The Projector Central calculator says he can just squeak that in at 8’4″. Accounting for rounding, I think he can make this work, but it will take some trial-and-error to find the sweet spot.

            IMO, the size of the room has no bearing on the aspect ratio of the screen. The main benefits of a 2.35:1 screen are aesthetic. I had a scope screen in a tiny apartment bedroom and was very happy with it. At his screen size, even when watching 16:9 content, he’ll still get a 77″ diagonal image, which is larger than all but the most high-end of HDTVs.

            If the majority of his critical viewing were HDTV programming or videogames and he watched very few movies, 16:9 would probably be the best option. But if he prioritizes movies and is comfortable with the size of 16:9 content at 77″, I think he’ll enjoy the scope screen a lot.

          • Chris B

            Hmmm interesting well, on the bright side I do have black fabric covering the walls so if some of the image does
            spill over hopefully it’s still pretty legible, given the flexibility I have with placement and seating, I think I’m gonna go ahead and stick with the scope screen for now. If it turns out it doesn’t suit my needs and 16×9 menus are unmanagable etc. I can always switch over to a different one. Though it’ll be a hard lesson learned (and an expensive one).I just love the idea of having a genuine 2:35:1 screen to watch movies on…

            Thanks very much for all the info though Chris! I’ll be sure to let you guys know how I make out…

      • Josh Zyber
        Author

        I hadn’t looked at the specifics of the model. One wrinkle to throw into all of this is that if he cares about 3D at all, DLP is much preferred over LCD for that.

  12. Chris B

    Set up my BenQ 1075 and projection screen last night in the basement and holy shitballs….I’m in heaven. After experiementing with a few different placements I found a sweet spot in the room the gives me a 107″ diagonal
    Image while watching 16×9 content. Which is, suffice to say, unlike any setup I’ve ever had at home. I’m lovin it! After watching it for about 2 hours I went upstairs and was immediately taken aback at how puny the 50″ tv in our bonus room now looks. I still have a bit more experiementation to do with the setup but for the most part, I couldn’t be happier.

      • William Henley

        If I got a 107 inch screen, it would need to be something with pretty scenery for my first discs, like BBC Earth or Sound of Music or Last Samurai – something along those lines

      • Chris B

        I went through a bunch of old favorites (T2, Goodfellas, The Thin Red Line, Up etc). Interstellar was definetly one of the highlights! Today after work I’m going to hook it up to my Xbox and see how that looks. To be honest though, I’m a little confused about the screen. The one I bought is listed as 96″x96″ with an aspect ratio of 2:35:1, from just looking at the shap of it though it seems far more likely it’s a standard 16×9 screen. Either Best Buy is fucking up….or I am. At any rate I can’t say I’m dissapointed with it though I found a good distance for the projector which allows me to watch content in both 16×9 and 2:35:1 without having to adjust the zoom and/or focus dials and still get an enormous picture. The image doesn’t fit the screen perfectly, but that’s partly because I have the screen pulled down slightly farther than neccessary to hide the ole 60″ flatscreen behind it. Otherwise it picks up a distracting glare from the Benq.

        • I just clicked through on the link you provided earlier for the screen and I think Best Buy screwed up the product description.

          Searching for the model number “EV-M-96*96-1.2-1:1” I found one site describing it with 2.35:1 aspect ratio (Best Buy), another describing it as 16:9 (Amazon.ca) and another saying that it’s a 1:1 aspect ratio (rakuten). Bizarre. From the picture it looks like either 16:9 or 4:3 (or possibly 1:1) but that picture on the Best Buy site is definitely *NOT* a 2.35:1 screen.

          To find out what you really have, take a tape measure and measure the width of the white area of the screen (not including the black border), then do the same for the height of the screen (again, just the white part). Now divide the width, by the height of the screen (w/h). If the screen really is 96 x 96, then your screen is square (1:1) and that’s really not ideal for watching movies. The black border of the screen helps to frame the picture on top and bottom and this accentuates the contrast and “pop” of the image. With a 1:1 screen, you will never have your image framed by the top and bottom borders, only by the sides.

          If when you do the math you get 1.33, then you have a 4:3 screen. If you get 1.78, then you have a 16:9 screen. If you get 2.35, then you have a 2.35:1 screen. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to keep a 1:1 screen because it’s not a good fit for any movie content. But if having a screen that tall is the only way you can get the screen low enough to block the flat panel TV behind it, then it might be worth keeping. If you return it and get a 16:9 or 2.35:1 drop-down screen, you’ll need to make sure the particular screen you get has enough black material on top that you can roll the screen down low enough to block that flat panel and align properly with the projector.

          In your specific case, you probably will not want to mount the projector on the ceiling (mounted upside down) because this will most likely put the image too high for the screen to still block your flat panel. If you do want to ceiling mount the projector, then you should probably upgrade to one that has a nice range of lens shift.

          Anyway, congrats on getting your feet wet in the projector world and have fun with all the tweaking. 🙂

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            With a retractable roll-down screen, he should (theoretically) be able to correct the aspect ratio by only rolling the screen down to the height that will give him the ratio he wants, whether that be 16:9 or 2.35:1. Only the width is fixed, the height is adjustable.

          • Chris B

            Hey Chris, yeah I had a feeling BestBuy screwed up after I hung the screen, seemed pretty obvious it wasn’t the scope ratio I had ordered. When I was placing my order I figured they had just used a generic photo of an Elunevision screen and not necessarily the one I was buying, after all, the specs listed it as 2:35:1 so I figured I was in the clear…apparently not.

            I’m almost positive it’s not a 1:1 screen though….I’ll measure it tonight like you suggested. If I had to guess I’d say it’s most likely the 16×9 screen you were suggesting to begin with. Although BestBuy screwed up I think it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I realized I’m a “set it and forget it” kinda guy and now realizing how much more challenging a scope screen would have been, I think this one may be for the best. That’s not to say I won’t get one down the road when I get a more permanent set-up….

            But I digress, I’ll measure the screen tonight to be sure.

            And Josh, say whaaaaat? You can replicate different aspect ratios just by altering the height of the screen?

          • Al

            I just bought an Epson 5030UB, but I haven’t decided which screen to buy. How difficult would it be to mate this projector to an anamorphic lens? What would the cost be?

            If I decide to stick with a zoom screen, it seems like this projector has plenty of light for a 135″ screen. Would you recommend going with a 135″ or a 120″? I want scope content to be as large as possible, but I’m also installing Dolby Atmos right now, and I don’t know that I can splurge on an anamorphic lens, at the moment. I looked at getting the same projector as Chris Boylan, but 3D is extremely important to me, and the Panasonic doesn’t do nearly as good of a job with 3D as this Epson (I have a friend who owns that Panasonic model, and my brother-in-law has the Epson).

            Any advice would be greatly appreciated?

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            If 3D is that important to you, you should be looking at DLP projectors. DLP is the only display technology that has zero (and I mean ZERO) 3D crosstalk artifacts. Everything else suffers from that problem, LCD especially.

          • Al

            Oh, the Panasonic is also not compatible with the universal 3D standard, and doesn’t come with any glasses, so I would have to spend a lot of money on glasses, just to be able to watch any 3D, and then that model displays it with way too much crosstalk. Should I just accept inferior 3D to get a projector that can do scope, without an anamorphic lens? Should I return the Epson?

          • Al

            Well, the problem with that is no DLP projectors are bright enough to fill up a screen as big as I want. I’ve also witnessed the rainbow effect on every DLP projector that I’ve ever watched a movie on (even the highest of high-end DLP projectors suffer from it, from time to time). Overall, I could never be satisfied with the image produced by a DLP projector, for anything other than 3D.

            You’re normally right about LCD projectors being bad for 3D, but Epson has solved the problem with the 5030. Just pull up professional reviews and check out the 3D performance. As I mentioned, I’ve had a chance to spend some time with the 5030, and it displays 3D nearly flawlessly.

            Keeping those things in mind, do you have any idea how much it would cost to add a decent anamorphic lens? What’s the best price that I could do it for? I can’t find any useful information about this, online.

            If an anamorphic lens is out of my price range right now, will I regret going with a zoom screen that’s “only” 120″ diagonal? How big would scope content be on a 120″ 16×9 screen? Apparently, this Epson can easily produce an extremely high-contrast and very punchy image, on a 135″ zoom screen. It produces more than twice the amount of light as some high-end SXRD and LCOS models.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Anamorphic lenses are inherently expensive due to the quality of optics needed. The most reasonably priced one you’ll find is the Panamorph CineVista, which I reviewed here:

            http://www.highdefdigest.com/blog/panamorph-cinevista-review/

            The pricing at the time of the review was $1,795 for a basic kit with just a simple bracket, or $2,495 for one with an attachment plate that connects to a projector’s ceiling mount. My review details the compromises Panamorph had to make to hit those prices.

            If you are sensitive to the rainbow effect, I understand your concern about DLP. However, I’m skeptical of claims that Epson has “fixed” the 3D crosstalk problem. 3D crosstalk is an inherent issue with LCD technology. From some quick internet searching, it appears that Epson attempts to minimize crosstalk with settings that reduce brightness and contrast, which doesn’t seem like an ideal solution – especially if your whole purpose in buying this model is that you need a projector that’s really bright. Not to mention that 3D already has enough brightness problems due to the glasses you watch through, and that’s without intentionally compromising the light output.

            Also, 3D crosstalk tends to get worse as a projector’s lamp and liquid crystal panel age. So even if a 5030 exhibited little to no crosstalk in a fresh review sample, the same may not be true after 400-500 hours of use.

            I don’t say any of this to dissuade you from the 5030. With everything taken into consideration, it may still be the best projector for your needs. I just don’t want you to have unrealistic expectations. If you’re an avid 3D fan, you will see crosstalk on anything other than DLP. That’s the compromise you’ll have to live with. DLP has its own, different compromises, including brightness and rainbow effect. You’ll have to weigh which factors are more important to you.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Oh, to answer your other question, on a 120″ diagonal 16:9 screen, scope movie content will be 105″ wide by 45″ tall, or approximately 114″ diagonal.

            If you’re planning to buy a 16:9 screen, I’m not sure why you’re asking about anamorphic lenses or zooming, though.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            One final point to throw out there: When I was reviewing the Panamorph CineVista, I tested an Epson 6020 for its panel convergence feature. That model was extremely bright, much brighter than any other home theater projector I’ve ever used. It was also about as loud as a frickin’ dustbuster. If the 5030 is similar, you’re going to want to make sure that it’s mounted as far from your seating as you can get it.

          • Al,

            I don’t find the 3D on the Panasonic PT-AE8000 to be that bad, but I admit I only watch 3D occasionally (Avatar, Hugo, Pixar stuff, etc.). DLP may be better at 3D, but good luck finding a DLP projector with any degree of lens shift. Unless you go with a really expensive 3-Chip DLP model, a decent amount of lens shift simply isn’t an option for DLP. And if you go DLP then there’s RBE, which you already mentioned. Some people aren’t bothered by that and some people are (and it seems like you’re one of the people who are).

            Also, while the PT-AE8000 doesn’t support the universal Full HD 3D RF standard, there are plenty of inexpensive IR glasses options. The Sony PS3 IR 3D glasses are actually universal IR glasses – they synch and work well with the PT-AE8000U and there is currently a glut of these on Amazon. You can get them for $8/pair or buy them by the 3-pack for $18 for three pairs. Also, they’re rechargeable so you won’t need to shell out extra for batteries. These and some other options are written up here: http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com/Where-Can-I-Get-3D-Glasses-for-Panasonic-PT-AE8000U-3D-Projector-TY-EW3D3ME.shtml

            Epson projectors are excellent too, but they don’t have zoom memory. If you want to go back and forth between 16:9 and 2.35:1 on the Epson, you’ll have to do that manually each time. I believe the Epson zoom is motorized so you should be able to do it from the remote. The zoom memory on the Panasonic stores the exact zoom position for any aspect ratio via custom memory settings.

            As Josh said, anamorphic lenses work too, but they’re not cheap. And keep in mind that to do anamorphic, you need the projector to support that as well, or you’ll need an outboard anamorphic processor to squeeze the 16:9 image (the lens then unsqueezes it to fill the 2.35:1 screen with the correct image geometry).

            -CB

          • Al,

            This may also be helpful… http://www.projectorcentral.com/panasonic_ae8000_vs_epson_5030.htm?page=Cinemascope-Options – it’s projector central’s shoot-out between the Epson 5030 and the Panasonic PT-AE8000U, specifically in regards to CinemaScope content. The 5030 suffers by comparison due to a.) the lack of zoom memory and b.) the lack of anamorphic lens support. So even if you want to use an anamorphic lens with the 5030, you can’t without buying an outboard anamorphic processor (not particularly cheap). The Panasonic projector can do 2.4:1 with zoom memory *OR* with an anamorphic lens (it supports both).

        • Al

          I’m not planning on getting a 16×9 screen. I really want to get a scope screen. I just don’t know if I can realistically make that work, right now. If adding an anamorphic lens is too expensive, right now, I’m trying to get useful information about what my other options are. I appreciate all of the information that you are supplying.

          Can you recommend any DLP projectors for about $1,100 that are compatible with an anamorphic lens. I could afford one, if I could get the projector for $1,100.

          Chris,

          I think I’m going to return the Epson 5030. I read that it was compatible with an anamorphic lens, prior to buying it. I’m so glad that you just proved that it’s not. (Well, I’m angry, but happy to know better… You get it).

          I really wish that the AE8000 displayed 3D better than it does. If it did, it would be the perfect option for me (although I definitely don’t think that I would dare get too big of a screen, as the light output isn’t nearly that of the 5030). I’ve watched a few 3D movies on the AE8000, and the crosstalk was just a bit too much to handle. The 5030 displayed zero crosstalk on the 3D movies that I watched on it (granted, the lamp probably had less than 600 hours on it, during the time that I was watching 3D on it. Josh says that 3D will worsen, as the lamp ages). I guess I’m either back at square one, or I can just give up my dream of having a scope screen, and keep the 5030.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Don’t lose hope yet. If you’ve already tested a 5030 and liked what you saw, you can probably still get it to work for you.

            I would forgo an anamorphic lens and stick with zooming, especially if the projector is really bright. (The main benefit of an anamorphic lens is preserving brightness.) If the 5030 doesn’t have lens memory settings, all it means is that you’ll have to manually adjust the zoom each time. That’s a nuisance, but not necessarily a deal-breaker.

            I doubt you’ll find a DLP in that price range that will be as bright as you’re looking for.

            As I said earlier, each technology brings its own share of compromises. You’ll have to weigh which ones are more important to your needs.

      • Al

        Josh and/or Chris.

        I ended up going with a zoom screen, and decided to keep the 5030UB. I purchased a nice 120″ screen. Will you please tell me what the ideal distance to mount the projector is? If it helps, it will be ceiling mounted. The ceilings are 8.5′. It’s a light controlled, custom home theater. I will never need to run the projector on anything but low lamp mode. Please tell me what the best possible distance from the screen to mount the projector will be. I keep reading something about the ideal distance to mount a projector is the distance that allows you to run it at mid-zoom. Do you have any information about this?

        • Josh Zyber
          Author

          The middle of the zoom range (as well as the lens shift range) is generally where the optics are strongest, but ultimately your room may dictate compromises. If you haven’t committed to a mounting location yet, play around with it and see what works best for you.

          • Al

            The room will allow the utmost flexibility. It’s 22′ from the screen wall to the back wall. Based on what you know about mounting distance, what is the sweet spot (ideal distance from the screen ) going to be?

          • Al

            I don’t want to play around with it. I want you to give me the ideal distance. 🙂

            In all seriousness, I would really appreciate advice on the ideal distance. I feel that this will give me the best possible starting point, and then I can play around with it, if necessary.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Sorry, I’m not familiar enough with that projector to give you an answer to that. Have you tried asking in the appropriate thread for that model on AVSForum?

          • Al

            I’m sorry. I feel like I’m missing something. Perhaps I can provide you with additional details. When the previous commenter (Chris) gave you the screen size and projector that he was using, you were able to give him some really helpful guidelines about the distance that he would need to put the projector at. I’ve tried AVS Forum. I’m not getting any good information. I actually ended up here, when searching for tips about Atmos, and then I found this thread. Any information that you have would be greatly appreciated.

            Chris, I don’t know if you’re still following this thread, but if you can recommend the ideal distance, I would be ecstatic.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            If you go to the following page at Projector Central, you can find a throw distance calculator for the Epson 5030UB:

            http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-PowerLite_Home_Cinema_5030UB-projection-calculator-pro.htm

            You can use that to find the maximum and minimum distances at each end of the zoom for your screen size. You should also be able to find out the mid-point of the projector’s zoom range. Now, whether that precise mid-point is really the best part of the optics for this particular model, I can’t tell you, but it’s probably a safe place to start.

      • Al

        I decided that it would be too much of a pain to adjust the zoom back and forth, every time I watched a movie.

        My plan is to switch out the screen and projector, in about three years. At that point in time, I won’t be fresh off of upgrading to Dolby Atmos, and I should have a lot more to spend on the projector and screen. I will definitely switch to a scope screen, and get a new projector and anamorphic lens.

  13. Josh, that could work except I think Chris said he has to pull the screen down really far just to fully cover the flat panel TV behind it. So if he only pulls it down for 2.3:1, then the flat panel behind the screen will be exposed. Also, remember – no lens shift on this projector – so the bottom of the screen needs to be pretty close to the bottom of the lens, otherwise major keystone.

  14. Chris B

    So about this projector set-up… I’ve been using it for a few weeks and Im pretty happy except, I’m having a bit of an issue trying to get a perfectly square image without using keystone. By twisting the project a bit I’m able t line up the top and bottom of the image but the sides always seem out of whack. Almost like the top corners of the picture are closer than the bottom. Like the image is tilted towards the projector and thus, the seating area. Is there a simple way of correcting this I just haven’t discovered yet? I mean it’s not super severe or anything but Im a touch OCD and I just want a nice square uniform image without having to dick around with keystone…any thoughts?

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Image geometry is purely a matter of adjusting the projector location and the lens shift. The projector should have a built-in crosshatch test pattern. Bring that up, and then measure the width and height to make sure that you’re getting a proper 16:9 ratio. Also measure individual squares at various locations inside the pattern to ensure that they’re all the same size.

      Do not use keystone. That’s an electronic processing that will add bad scaling artifacts to the image.

      Worst case scenario, if there’s just no way to get a perfect 16:9 rectangle with the projector locations available in your room, you may have to live with a small amount of trapezoidal distortion. Minimize it as much as you can, then zoom the image up to let small slivers of picture fall off the edges of your screen. Unless it’s really bad, you will NEVER notice this during movie playback.

      Something like 98% of all professional movie theaters have some amount of projected image geometry imperfections. Even when it’s visible to the eye, your brain will tune it out quickly enough.

      • Chris B

        Thanks Josh, after some tinkering I came to realize that a big part of the problem was the fact I was using the projector’s built-in height adjustment stand to compensate for the fact my screen is hung pretty high. I have it mounted to the ceiling joists in my basement as opposed to the wall, and seeing as they’re 9′ and I have a fairly low Ikea coffee table, there was quite a bit of discrepancy between the two. It’s a bit frustrating that one of the features of the projector itself actually causes problems with image quality but at least I figured it out.

        The next issue I had was now that the projector was completely level, the image was way too low for my screen position (even when the lens shift was cranked all the way up). I ended up just placing the projector directly on top of the box it came in and set them both on the table. It’s raised the projector about a foot or more off the table and hit the sweet spot for image height. It’s a temporary fix for now until I find a table the proper height…

        One more question: where do you guys set the DNR control on your projectors? I know most purists prefer to have it shut off completely, I was wondering if the effect tends to be more or less noticeable on the larger screen size? What’s your stance?

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