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Brand new meet thread - Austin

Discussion in 'Home Theater Forum Meets' started by Scott Oliver, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    Anyone still up for a meet? I think a mid-June meet would be a good way to kick off the summer. Summer in Texas is the time to stay inside and watch movies!

    I ran into Jeff Meininger in Rudy's BBQ on Thursday. Jeff was really active on the DIY threads a year or two ago when he was building speakers, and still drops in on these threads from time to time.

    From my conversation with Jeff, I gather that he too is looking forward to a new HTF meet, though he too has gotten involved in new hobbies (piloting and/or building small aircraft, driving Audis).

    In the interest of moving a meet forward, we currently have a few ideas...

    - Dave Elliott has proposed having a HT meet at his place later this spring / this summer. Not having seen his dual HTs yet, I like this idea. [​IMG]
    - A new pre/pro shootout. Whoever hosts should have a good HT setup that's easy to swap equipment in and out of. Is John Prator still around and willing to host another meet? He had a really good HT with really good power amps and Martin-Logans all around, which I think would be perfect for this meet.
    - A new projector shootout. This way some of us with older projectors can see what new developments have arrived on the scene in video projectors: improvements to LCDs, DLP HD2 projectors, etc. Whoever hosts this one should plan on an evening meet or have really good light control in their room. (If we select this one, I may end up hosting this meet since I have a floor-standing pedestal for a projector, which makes it easy to swap projectors in and out.)
     
  2. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    I'm always up for a projector shoot out, but I don't know where we could get our hands on most of the new projectors. I know we can get a Panasonic AE700, and I know someone with a Sharp Z2000, and I believe James has an InFocus 4805, but I don't know anyone the other recent budget projectors, e.g. Toshiba MT700, BenQ 7700, or Sony HS51.

    A fourth idea might be an HTPC comparison. I was talking to Humphrey the other night and he mentioned he has a new G5 Mac with Tiger. It would be interesting to see how a Mac with Apple DVD Player 4.5 compares to a wintel box with TheaterTek 2.1.1. Or maybe it's just me.
     
  3. Humphrey

    Humphrey Stunt Coordinator

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    We will need to wait at least a week or two on the G5 (it's not here yet...) Specs on it are Dual 2.7s, Radeon 9650 Graphics, Bluetooth, the rest of the standard options.... It shipped Saturday from Apple.

    I know there's software out there for display resolution changes and such so I'll need to prep it as best I can. Using the G5 as a HTPC is new to me so we'll all be on the learning curve there. With the new Quicktime 7 Pro and H.264 (MPEG 4 Layer 10) codec so tightly integrated this should make for a good system for High Definition assuming getting it to output a good signal for the projector works out. Any suggestions are welcomed.

    Projector shootout is also something I always like to stay abreast of. Never know quite when you are going to pull the trigger on those. [​IMG]

    Either sounds good to me.
     
  4. Dave Elliott

    Dave Elliott Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm down for a projector shootout. I can bring my "old school" BenQ 8700+ if you guys like. I also really like the idea of a Mac vs PC shootout. I'm still waiting to see if the Mac Mini pans out as a DVD player and PVR.

    Nils... My buddy Rob is looking to get a Panasonic 700, but wants to see it in person first. He couldn't make the outdoor gig you had this weekend, but he'd really like a quick demo. Any chance we could impose on you sometime at your convenience? Doesn't have to be a full movie, just a few clips will probably do. I'll trade you a Lotus demo ;-)

    As for the Dive In theater event, I'm thinking sometime in late June or July. My seats arrive this week sometime, so I'll be finishing up the proscenium and riser over the next few weekends. That gives me a few more weeks to tweak things. Since its up and running now (been watching 2-3 movies a week) the motivation to finish the last 10% has somehow waned [​IMG]

    -Dave
     
  5. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Projector shootout sounds good.

    I'm also looking to get a new upconverting dvd player. Right now I'm eyeing the $200 wonder, Oppo dvdplayer with faroudja. But some of the divx hd/wmv hd network dvd players are also tempting.
     
  6. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    I can provide a 30'x20'x9' space (my garage) which can be easily adapted into a very good projection and even screen comparison room. For acoustics? Forget about it.

    I have painted a 18'x8' area of one of the side walls with one coat of Behr Ultrawhite. I already have mobile shelves that could hold several projectors with varying throws and offsets such that they all can be set-up with equal screen sizes and be able to position the images anywhere on the wall.

    One of the advantages of the room is its capacity, assuming we have a large turn out.

    The one disadvantage is that I will not be available until after 8pm, as my kids come first. Of course, this is better for video comparisons anyway, as that will assure that no light leaks through the edges of the garage doors.

    Ideally for a projector meet we will want to eliminate all the external variables, such that each projector uses the same: input cables; DVD player & discs; HD sources; any additional sources; screen size and material. In addition, each projector should be calibrated specifically for the comparison using the same calibration software.

    I do not believe this should be a problem, but some advanced planning would be needed.

    For projectors that have features such as HDMI or DVI input I suggest we still compare them using those features, but not until after they are compared using similar set-ups as the rest of the projectors in order to achieve accurate results.

    I might be able to offer this same set-up for those that are curious about various commercial screens, DIY materials, and paint mixtures for a future screen comparison meet.
     
  7. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    Looks like the projector shootout idea is gaining some traction. I can bring my 10HT to the meet, though I expect it will be thoroughly trounced by newer projectors on the market...

    So now we need to decide on "when" and "where" for the meet. I suggest Saturday, June 18 as a time for the meet. If there are a lot of conflicts, June 25 could be an alternative.

    Who wants to host the meet? If we do the meet at Nils's garage, it will need to be an evening meet (starting at 8PM). Does anyone have a space with light control to offer as a possible backup / alternative?
     
  8. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Nils is correct. T.I.'s product roadmap is full of future releases of some hot DLP chips. And don't forget what's in the wings as the dark horse: LCOS.

    I second Nils recommendation for his garage space as a PJ shootout venue, as it would allow for very quick chageover from PJ to PJ.
     
  9. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    ^bump^

    Talking to some of the guys at the Star Wars screening, I think there is definite interest in a projector shootout meet.

    Nils has offered his garage as a venue for the meet, or we can have the meet at my place.

    I would like to target a Saturday in mid- to late June for the meet. Please post in the thread and let me know which of the following dates works for you:

    June 18
    June 25

    Also, if you have a projector to put up for comparison, please post as well.

    My responses: June 18, and I have a Sony VPL-W10HT that can participate in the shoot-out...
     
  10. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    I would like to attend. I can bring my Infocus 4805. I don't have any conflicts with either dates at the moment, so whichever one will work for me.

    Do we have any idea what equipment we will be using with the projectors as Nils mentioned earlier or what's available that everyone can bring(dvd player, hd source, screen etc)?
     
  11. Jay.H

    Jay.H Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm a newbie to HT and I've been monitoring the Austin HT forums for a few weeks now.

    I am currently setting my LR up for HT. It's not going to be dedicated for the purpose, but I plan to do the best I can within the limits posed by the house, the money, and the wife. :wink:

    I have a Panny AE700 (my first PJ and I'm pretty stoked) and would like to throw it into the mix for the shoot-out. I would be interested to see it along side other PJs, plus I wouldn't mind placing some faces with the names.

    June 25 is my preferred date.

    P.S.
    Are you guys sure you want to do this in a garage? We're talking June in Texas and it's not likely to be too comfortable temp/humidity-wise. Whatever the venue, I'm game if you are.
     
  12. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    I might be able to get a Sharp Z2000 for the meet. I'll ask the owner if he's interested in coming...

    In terms of technology we should have a good value leader comparison:
    480P DarkChip2 vs. HD2+ vs. smoothscreen LCD

    The one thing we're missing is a Sony HS51. Anyone know a source for one?
     
  13. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Howdy Jay and welcome to our little corner of the HTF forum.

    Excellent point, and one that would need to be addressed.

    In general though, even during the hottest months our garage stays pretty cool because it is facing East and that it only has one wall that is not adjacent to an A/C controlled room - and that wall is facing North. In addition, we live on top of a high ridge such that it is almost always about five, even ten degrees cooler than downtown Austin. I also have a large oscillating fan that will help keep us cool, after all we do not have to worry about sound as this will be a video oriented meet. That said, it is still a garage and so it wont ever be as comfortable as a dedicated HT room.

    I'll check out the temperature and humidity in the garage tonight to give us some idea, and if it sounds too high we can make other arrangements.
     
  14. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    Jay -

    I agree with you, it is uncomfortably warm at all hours of the day in June through September here in Texas. If we decide we need a climate-controlled environment, I should be able to make my HT available on June 25.

    It often is cooler at Nils's place than in other parts of Austin, for the reasons he describes, though I haven't spent 3-4 hours in his garage on a summer evening. The garage would be more convenient for setting up / tearing down equipment, and will have more room for attendees than an indoor room.
     
  15. Humphrey

    Humphrey Stunt Coordinator

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    From the looks of it things are only going to get hotter here in Cen Texas over the next month. El Paso was at 90 degrees yesterday morning before the sun even rose.! Yikes!
     
  16. Jay.H

    Jay.H Stunt Coordinator

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    Thx for consideration. But if the best venue is Nils' garage, then hold the event there.

    I just hope the jockeying for the upwind position nearer to the fan doesn't get too intense.
     
  17. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Tin-horn, panty-waist, spoiled city-slickers! The heat doesn't bother us native Texans. [​IMG] I will say that there is no greater discomfort - actually, painful - experience to me than being in St. Paul, MN on a business trip in winter. I absolutely can't handle really cold temps.
    If the garage event transpires, I can bring another floor stand fan.
     
  18. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    I measured the temperature and humidity inside and outside the garage over the last two nights and it is about five degrees cooler inside the garage.

    Last night it was about 82 degrees and 53% humidity. Tonight it is about 78 and feels great what with the mild cold front that came through.

    I too do not exactly relish the idea of being inside a garage for over a couple hours if its going to be in the 90's. It's too bad this did not come up earlier as the Spring weather would have been perfect.

    Regardless of where this meet happens, I would be very interested if it could also include the following two projectors:
    • Toshiba MT700
    • BenQ PE8720
    The MT700 would make for an excellent representative of the budget minded HD DLP projectors, while the PE8720 would be a superb representative of a high performance DLP projector.

    The PE8720 uses the new DC3 (Dark Chip 3) chip from TI as well as a brand new 8-segment CW. The difference between this and the previous 7-segment CW is that this one has an added dark green segment designed to further eliminate dithering noise, which is most often seen when displaying scenes with large gray or dark areas. In addition, it has the latest video processor from Faroudja and a customized Cosina lens. The 8720 also has sealed optics and mechanisms to prevent dust and light spill. It is also been reported as being one of the quietest projectors available today.

    Contrast is speced at an impressive 5500:1, nearly twice that of the previous model - the PE8700.

    All this and the estimated street price looks to be only about $5,000!
     
  19. RexS

    RexS Auditioning

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    Hello, everyone!

    I've been lurking in the AVS Forum for years, and over here for a few months. I've been jumping from thread to thread trying to find the next HT meet in Austin. The timing couldn't have been better as I am in the market for the projectors currently making the lineup.

    Having read threads dating into early 2004 I feel I have a little background on the folks here, so here's a little history on where I'm coming from. I've been holding off for years on upgrading my HT, watching as HD and the related technologies grow up. After E3 and the announcement of the XBOX 360 I cannot wait any longer.

    I am barely a gamer, but my wife is crazy about her games. I've modded our XBOX and in return for supporting her gaming habits she lets me indulge in tech toys from time to time. She has completley lost her mind, however, and has agreed to let me integrate a PJ system into our master bedroom - 14'2" x 14'10" w/vaulted ceilings. I don't think she understands the insanity I plan to unleash given her go-ahead.

    We've rented the house we're in for a couple of years and if everything goes as planned we close on the purchase of the home Tuesday. My goal is a 5.1 projection system, upscaling DVD, HD-DVR, and an XBOX 360 by Thanksgiving.

    So, how does a newcomer like myself get invited to the meet and learn the secret handshake?

    -Rex
     
  20. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    Rex,

    Here's the secret handshake:
    [​IMG]
    Aw crap, now it's not secret anymore. We'll have to come up with a new one guys.
     

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