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Home Cinema Project

 
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Byronis
Delirium (Officer)
Roquefort



Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 1075
Location: Wirral, Merseyside

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:39 am    Post subject: Home Cinema Project Reply with quote

I've had a 32" 720p/1080i capable TV (LG 32LX2R) and the Sky HD service for quite a while now and have enjoyed the likes of Torchwood, Stargate: SG1 & Atlantis and Planet Earth on it as well as HD gaming via my Xbox 360.

At the beginning of the year I invested in an LG GGC-H20L combi Blu-Ray/HD-DVD player for my PC and was impressed with the picture quality of Hot Fuzz (HD-DVD) and Blade Runner: The Final Cut (Blu-Ray) from my Blade Runner Ultimate Collection boxset (which I had to import as the blu-ray boxset hasn't been released in the UK yet afaik). However, so far I've only watched them on a 1680x1050 22" Samsung Syncmaster 226BW

This year, being our 10th wedding anniversary has meant we can break into the savings we specifically set aside for this event. The plan being to have a holiday somewhere (nothing fancy) and some money for each of us to spend on something we really want. In my wife's case this means a ring, in my case it means shiny gadgets. I was planning to get a 42" 1080p television which would cost me somewhere in the region of 1000.

However, last week I changed my mind and instead of buying this TV, I bought an Optoma ThemeScene HD70 Projector which although it's only 720p/1080i capable cost me a mere 495.

I also decided against building a media PC and bought a PS3 as it looks like Blu-Ray has won the format war (for a given value of "winning"). Another factor in my deciding to get one is its ability to connect to my PC running TVersity and like my Xbox 360 handle most media that's thrown at it. As it was going to be in the room next to my computer room the 802.11g connection is up to scratch for the task, unlike my 360 which is 2 flights of stairs down and one room across from the computer room which forced me to shell out on a pair of 200Mbit/sec (half-duplex) Devolo dLan 200 AVdesk powerline network adapters to achieve stable video streaming to.

The PS3 and HD70 arrived on Friday, so I spent Saturday morning setting it up in my attic room which is a reasonable 20ft x 20ft and only has a small dormer window which is easy to block any incoming light. For the time being I decided to put it on a coffee table in front of the sofa bed, but eventually I plan to ceiling mount it a little further back (it's designed to project from an angle either above or below the screen and even behind). Even so it achieved a very reasonable ~100" screen size where it's currently positioned.

I fired up the PS3 and the picture looked great even though it is currently projected onto slightly off-white wallpaper, I downloaded a couple of game demos (Motorstorm and Burnout Paradise) and the gaming experience seemed to be elevated to a whole new level for me, I might even actually buy a PS3 game!

The next thing to test was Blu-Ray playback and as the only thing I have on this format so far is the Blade Runner Ultimate Collection, it just had to be Blade Runner: Final Cut. I set the PS3 to output 1080p 24fps to the projector as the HD70 can downscale 1080p and handle 24fps and inserted the disc into the PS3 and my jaw dropped (figuratively speaking). The clarity of the film was utterly amazing, I really must buy some more blu-ray movies now. I also need to test DVD upscaling on it too.

As the bulb with the projector has about 3000 hours (average) lifespan and costs 120ish to replace, I'll not be using this for casual TV viewing, but for movies and gaming sessions I know where I'll be spending most of my time now

With the left over money from my 1000, I plan to either purchase or make my own projector screen and get a few more blu-ray discs.

Once our debts have been cleared (or reduced to more manageable levels) need to start saving up for a surround sound system, a cheap HD-DVD player and, most importantly of all, a more comfortable sofa for that room!
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Lorthania
Humberton Guard (Officer)
Mozarella



Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 3440
Location: Tongeren, Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Our old TV seems to be heading for the happy hunting grounds, so maybe we'll be enjoying 1080p soon too. That being said, I hope it lasts until affordable OLED TV's hit the shelves
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Byronis
Delirium (Officer)
Roquefort



Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 1075
Location: Wirral, Merseyside

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm waiting for 1080p projectors to fall in price. My 720p TV is sufficient for general tv watching in the lounge
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Mal

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Minimarv
Delirum
Spammer
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Joined: 09 Jul 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Sunny Gateshead ( near Newcastle)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a good idea to have a savings fund for your tenth anniversary, wish we had thought of it and we wouldnt be saving like mad for our trip now as it is also our tenth anniversary this year and we could be splurging.
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Dervish
Delirium (Officer)
Danish Blue



Joined: 29 Dec 2004
Posts: 920
Location: Southampton

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DVD upscaling on my 32" HD set (good Phillips one) looks really, really good. Has massively re-energised my "old" DVD stock. It goes out via HDMI from an LG hard-disk based multiformat DVD recorder (not HD). Added to the effects the 32" panel can do to further minimise blurring and also maximise shadow and white level points dynamically based on light levels and the picture is stunning.

My old hacked xbox looks pretty trick to, especially quality titles like Halo / Halo 2 at 420p etc.

All pumped via digital optical or coax through a lovely Sony AV amp into a set of mid range Tannoy AV speakers and it is home cinema here we go. The sub is really very good. ;)

Add Sky HD and you're laughing. Somewhat more than 1000 but we've been collecting up the individual bits separately. The TV and Sky HD was early 2007 (my youngest blew our old 28" CRT up - shame that ) and the AMP / speaker set and cabling (cabling = ouch if you do it properly) was just before last Christmas.

Anyone in the Hampshire area (or anywhere if you can be arsed to travel) is welcome to bring some titles along and watch them after a good old fashioned curry. Zak curry nights at my place ftw..
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Minimarv
Delirum
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Joined: 09 Jul 2005
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Location: Sunny Gateshead ( near Newcastle)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can recommend the curry nights, I traveled quite a way for one and it was truly worth it. Company was quite good too (even if I was a translator for Triguard )
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Byronis
Delirium (Officer)
Roquefort



Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 1075
Location: Wirral, Merseyside

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dervish wrote:
DVD upscaling on my 32" HD set (good Phillips one) looks really, really good. Has massively re-energised my "old" DVD stock. It goes out via HDMI from an LG hard-disk based multiformat DVD recorder (not HD).


Yeah I have a rather good Sony freeview hdd/dvd recorder which is connected to my 32" LG telly - definitely looks good.

Will try upscaling with my PS3 to the projector at the weekend - fancy especially watching stuff like lord of the rings and the (original) star wars trilogy on it
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