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Overview & History of my HT
Title: Overview & History of my HT
Description: My home theater's in a multi-function basement that has a bar (with fridge, sink, beer taps), bathroom, play area, office, and a front projection home theater.


Fall-2008: Upgraded to a better HDMI to analog (RGB) converter. Complete Greyscale & Colour calibration was done using an EyeOne Display LT colorimeter (see the free guide I wrote here: Also replaced some of the projector boards with mod'ed versions for better colour saturation/lower noise/higher bandwidth. Nice! A big thanks to Walter/WTS for these boards.

Summer-2007: Replaced the HTPC with a Playstation 3 and HDMI converter/RTC2200 combo for DVD, Blu-ray, and games. The Home Theater PC (HTPC) is no longer used.

DEC-2006: Replaced the ExpressVu 6000 receiver with a HD-PVR 9200. It drives both the home theater for HDTV viewing and the family room for SDTV viewing.

AUG-2006: Replaced the Paradigm 11se MK2, CC-300, and Mini Mk3 speakers with Paradigm Signature S8, C5, and ADP's.

JAN-2006: Did a greyscale calibration of the Zenith 1200 using a Minolta CA-100. I was reasonably close before, but now the D65 tracking is even better! The colours are perfect.

NOV-2005: Built a hushbox for the new Zenith 1200 projector.

OCT-2005: Replaced the Barco Graphics 800 projector (8" electrostatic focus with air coupling) with a Zenith PRO 1200x (a rebadged Barco Cine 8 Onyx special edition: 8" electromagnetic focus with liquid coupling).

NOV-2003: Replaced the L-shaped couch with two rows of Jaymar leather HT recliners (Nappa grade 15 leather with cupholders). Build an insultated & carpeted riser for the second row.

DEC-2002: Ordered a NEC XG75 8" EM-focus CRT projector to replace the Barco Graphics 800. Update: XG went back after 3 months. There were some problems with it.

NOV-2002: Added extra black accoustic tiles to the first 4 feet into the room & on the ceiling. Helped to greatly reduce light bounce back onto the screen and opened up the soundstage even more.

OCT-2002: Trying to eek the most performance out of this Barco 800. Replaced the RGB coupling caps with Jelmax Black Gate caps on the RGB input card and the colours and brighter and purer. Big difference for very little investment. Replaced all of the low voltage filter electrolytic caps in the power supply and the convergence has gotten a lot more stable.

AUG-2002: Installed a new facia on the HTPC to have it match the Acurus amps & pre-amp.

JUL-2002: Overhaul of the HT including: (1) Move equipment from under the screen to a recessed rack off to the side to give a much cleaner look & bi-wire all speakers, (2) Install Lutron Spacer IR lighting dimmer, rewire half a dozen pot lights, and program Pronto to control the lighting (no more stumbling around in the dark), (3) Build & install acoustic panels around screen wall, (4) Upgrade the HTPC to WinXP to finally get rid of an annoying sound bug, (5) Remount direct-radiating rear speakers to point at the back wall instead of at the seating area to create a more diffuse sound field, (6) Paint the doors, trim, bathroom ceiling, fridge door, etc.

JAN-2002: Replaced PowerDVD 4.0 XP with the TheaterTek software DVD player. Same excellent sound quality, slightly better image quality, but most importantly: Huge jump in ergonomics. TheaterTek is the first software DVD player that allows your HTPC to behave like a set-top DVD player as there's no 'user interface' per say, everything is built from the ground up to be controlled by a programmable remote (I use a Pronto). While a mouse and keyboard still work, there are no features that require a mouse like some of the other software DVD players. TheaterTek was built from the ground up by a resident AVS'er to be used exclusively for HTPC's that are used in situations such as mine. Extra features include built-in aspect ratio control for Anamorphic/Letterbox/4x3, and a great feature called 'movie start': Set everything once and next time you put in that DVD it starts playing at the right spot, with your preferred audio (DD/dts), and with the correct aspect ratio. No more need to sit through FBI warnings, lame previews, or annoyingly long menu animations!

DEC-2001: Reduced resolution from 1280x720 to 1080x720 which gives me exactly 1.5x scaling of the native DVD resolution of 720x480. Scaling is now noticeably cleaner.

NOV-2001: Replaced the GeForce2 video card in the HTPC with a Radeon 7200 so that I could use PowerDVD 4.0 XP hardware acceleration and the picture is noticeably richer & smoother!

FEB-2001: Built the hushbox for the CRT projector. It was not loud to begin with by any means, but now it's completely inaudible.

JAN-2001: Leather sectional couch and bar stools arrived.

DEC-2000: Bought and assembled the HTPC, painted the basement, installed the carpet, built the screen. Ceiling mounted the projector.

SEP/OCT/NOV-2000: Started shopping for a CRT projector and doing lots of late-night reading on the AVS forum.

AUG-2000: Moved in!
Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:59 am
Views: 6393
Comments: 0

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