How is your projector calibrated?
I'm using a projector from JVC that uses the LCOS technology. More can be learned about this from the links provided in the Theater Electronics pages
. The calibration is done at home from my HTPC using software from Milori Software called Dilard
. Dilard allows access to the brains of the D-ILA through brilliant code to manipulate almost every facet of the D-ILA projector, allowing for a presentation much better suited for home theater viewing than a office presentation. Important areas can be corrected, such as : black level, full 0 to100IRE white and black color balancing to true NTSC color temperature standard of 6500 Kelvin, image manipulation (shrink, stretch, fit an image to whatever pixel dimensions you desire for each input of the projector). I could go on forever, so please read more about this at http://www.dilard.com
What type of computer do you use to run your theater and how do you do it?
The HTPC, or Home Theater PC, is the heart of the operation for my theater. Given my passion for computers and computer graphics, I've built well over 50 computers in my life-time, always looking for the fastest speed and more recently, the pursuit for the perfect projected image. The HTPC components are listed on the Theater Electronics
pages, so I won't go into the details here; however, the simple idea being that the entire theater is now run from one source, not many individual components. All video and audio signals originate from the computer, and are routed to their final destination of either the Denon 5800 receiver or the D-ILA projector. For example, to use the PC as a DVD player you simply need a DVD-ROM drive - type doesn't matter at this point. From there all audio and video data is transmitted thru the IDE cable (that gray flat cable that plugs into the back of the DVD drive inside your PC) and is carried to both the video card and audio card. The video signal will then be scaled to a progressive signal because PC's generally use progressive displays for the RGB video they display - this is already a plus and no extra hardware or player is needed for this. Also, the entire Anamorphic master video (if mastered anamorphically) is sent to the processor for scaling, unlike standard DVD players which need to be told to use the 16x9 or widescreen anamorphic mode. Anamorphically mastered films contains 33% more information vertically than a non-anamorphic mastered film - this is explained in more detail in the Links and Drivers
section under Anamorphic Video. This video signal is then scaled to whatever resolution and color mode your PC is set to run - most commonly 1024x768 at 24 bit color or 32 bit color. Since the PC has a high horsepower engine built into it, this scaling is a rather simple task and depending of the video card chosen, the picture can look as good as the original film even though the data streaming from the DVD drive is only natively 720x480 pixels for NTSC video here in the States. Also, by matching the resolution that the computer outputs to the native resolution of your digital projector, the result is pure eye candy. It has been said that unless you spend more than 50K, you won't see a better picture - I would have to agree. Audio is the other half of the equation, and it passes unmolested thru the video card right to the receiver's decoding processor which then separates the audio accordingly - whether stereo, Dolby ProLogic, Dolby 5.1, DTS and so on.
Once audio and video are taken care of, then comes automation. The PC, when running the correct software/hardware combination, can accept Infrared commands from any remote control and can be set to control functions within the PC. For example, my PC is run from the remote and can control all DVD functions that a standard player can (plus some), all HDTV commands for recording and playback, plus any sofware or program function that I desire inside Windows.
I know I have only touched the surface of this topic - it is entirely to complex to explain thoroughly. If you don't have the time or inclination to build your own HTPC but still want the functionality I described above, please email me
. I have built many of these for friends and AVS members and I don't charge an arm or a leg.