The Original Story
The last time I bought a television was in 1983 when higher resolution television monitors were being introduced and VCR’s were coming of age. I wanted a high quality picture and sound but soon convinced myself that NTSC television and VCR tapes would not provide the type of picture I was looking for. So I waited 17 years for the technology to improve. And boy has it ever!
I first read about HDTV in the early 90's and knew with the evolution of computers and displays that digital television was the future. However I still refused to look at anything seriously until the source material could actually display an improvement. The emergence of the DVD and subsequently HDTV pushed me over the edge. Here was source material that was stunning to behold. Now all I needed was the display device. I knew about CRT front projectors but the requirements for cost, dark room conditions, video processors and bulk kept them at a distance. I looked at various rear projection units but could not get over the large bulk and comparatively small screens. In the summer of 2000 everything changed. I bought a front projector manufactured by Sony specifically designed for video, the 10HT. The benefits of the newer digital projectors are brightness and resolution that can do justice to large screens in rooms that are not totally light controlled. After 6 years I replaced the 10HT with the VW50 (aka Pearl) projector with true HD resolution.
I've installed the projector, screen and sound equipment in the living room of our split level house that has a vaulted ceiling. The projector is on the coffee table. The main seats at the sofa are about 16 feet from the screen. The projector sits about 13 feet from the screen. The projector was designed for the table top environment with very quiet fans and a light tight enclosure. Since you sit behind the projector in this configuration you cannot hear the fan due to the fact that the exhaust is on the front of the projector.
I don't use the projector during the day normally but occasionally I have people over during the afternoon and I block off the windows with blackout cloth hung behind the curtains.
This picture was taken in the afternoon. It shows the main L/R Allison 1 speakers and the RTS-C2 center speakers The screen is the Dalite model B with the High Power screen surface. The sound signs on the right of the screen itself are from ShowOff Displays. I lucked out and got one of the THX signs before THX made them stop selling them due to use restrictions. They still sell the dts and Dolby Digital signs.
Above is a reverse view showing the projector itself. The two side and rear surround speakers are RTS-RS1 Sound Dynamics speakers. Wiring the rear speakers was fun. There was no way to get into the wall for wiring so I used the AR flat tape that can be spackled into the wall and painted over..
11 Year Report
September 2011 Report
Replaced my ClearQAM tuner (HDHomerun) which served for 4 years until it died with cablecard tuner HDHomeRun Prime. This is a three tuner model that works very well with Windows 7 MCE.
BluRay support via PS3
I use the Playstation 3 for Blu-Ray playback almost exclusively. Don't really play games on it. Fantastic player. Have an IR receiver to integrate with my Logitec remote.
Got my Sony VPL-VW50 aka "Pearl", 1080x1920 SXRD panels with native 1080p input over HDMI.
August 2005 Update!
Just completed the basic setup of WIndows 7 MCE with the following equipment:
With all this and a lot of luck I'll get the following:
The results are fantastic, With a single remote I can do anything that used to take a Pronto and a keyboard and a lot of "Winders" things.
Sound is great with the SPDIF digital interface to my receiver. No more switching needed between Hi-def, DVD and regular NTSC tuners. Yeah!!!!!
Ahanix case and fans are silent even with a 3.4Mhz Northwood processor. The ASUS motherboard fan control is very good. I bought the monster Zalman fan for the socket 775 CPU but it did not fit in this case. The stock fan is fine with the ASUS motherboard fan control capability.