The Dark Light Rises - Jenz Cinema


Well-known Member
My New Journey Starts Here:
My Covid Home Cinema Downsize

My Background and I
Some of you may have come across me and even met me.

Many years ago I was involved heavily in DVD. I was a DVD importer before the format launched in the UK, a DVD Reviewer at DVD-Debate.Com mainly doing region comparisons, and Owner/Creator/Writer of if you remember that.

I was the source that broke the story on RCE for DVDs though that monstrosity was hardly a claim to fame.
Update info on R.C.E of DVD's!
The DVD Journal | Hot Headlines: Region-codes tightened

I was the guy that repeatedly demo'ed Star Trek and Unbreakable over and over demonstrating Video Processing at the original Forum Event in Glasgow.

I was a big fan of Hong Kong Legends, reviewing nearly all their material as they broke into the UK Market.

At the time I was introduced to the idea of a dedicated Cinema Room by Mr @Stuart Wright of AVForums. He introduced me to a Barco 708 CRT, we watched "Gladiator" so many times that I purchased the Proj from the almost legendary Roland @ B4. Before long I was beta testing Arcam's DV27 DVD Player for them, running a TAW "Rock" Video Processor, and custom building my own HTPC's that I then when onto market and sell complete with Holo3D boards.

The 708 sat in a dedicated room that was still very practical, with dark terracotta walls and ceiling, certainly no Batcave. Before long "upgraditis" struck and the 708 was replaced with a Barco 808s. At the time near pictureperfect heaven for me as the larger 1209 wouldn't fit on my Ceiling.

Then sadly some personal tragedies struck forcing me to spend many years alone looking after my three young daughters. I was unable to have a Cinema Room and the Projector days were over until now!

It's been a 8 years without my Barco 808s and I always remember what I miss. Now I'm back to getting my room. My daughters are all grown up, I'm marrying a wonderful woman who loves films as much as I do, and most importantly she has agreed to us having a room :D

Next week we start on the room. You're more than welcome to follow the journey!
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This is a modified post of Epson 9000 vs JVC X30 3D

I demo'ed the JVC X30 and Epson 9000.

Let's pause and reflect on my requirements:
1) My room will be very dark including decor but is also a family room so not a Batcave. It is NOT my living room.
2) 3D is not a priority at all being less than 2% of my viewing, though it's a nice to have.
3) I want a great picture that has punch and vibrancy. I love detail, if it's there in the picture I expect to see it.
4) I'll be getting solid use out of the Projector so warranty and lamp life are a consideration.
5) My sources will be 90% Bluray, 10% Sky, no gaming.
6) Did I say I want to see detail, if it's there I expect to see it.
7) I wanted either an Epson 9000 or a JVC X30 based on reading material and research.

I used the following test material for demonstration:
1) Toy Story 2 UK Bluray Chapter 1 opening scene - Very dark space scene, with multi-coloured stars, becoming bright vibrant animation with lots of moving then becoming black as Buzz runs through the silver grey tunnels and then back to heavy multicolour.
2) The Dark Knight UK Bluray - Chapter 1 opening scene, The Bank Job, great mix of daylight plus internal lots of detail as this is one of the Imax sequences from TDK. A very good all round scene to use for natural scenes.
3) The Dark Knight UK Bluray - Chapter 20, Underground Attack, a very dark sequence as Joker attacks the SWAT Van in the underground. Starts with very dark, very deep blue overhead helicopter shots with lots of building detail, lots of fast motion, and bright punches of colour. Then moves into the Batpod versus truck scene again very black, and dark blue with lots of building detail. Another Imax scene.
4) Gladiator Remastered UK Bluray - Chariot Fight Scene, lots of bright light and shadow detail, lots of very detailed bright colour fabrics. Lots of skin detail.
5) Fifth Element Remastered USA Bluray - Leeloo birth and jumping off the building. Lots of vibrant colour and detail. Not an ideal scene or disc but I am so used to seeing this it would have been a crime not to view it.
6) Jurassic Park UK Bluray Tyrannosaurus Rex Break out Not an ideal scene as it's very old but it's dark, detailed and very dark grey/blue with occasional bright colours (flares, jeeps etc).
7) Super 8 UK Bluray - Train Crash - Very dark with lots of shadow detail and skin tones.
8) Avatar 3D UK Bluray - Opening scene in 3D deep space, lots of blues and silver, lots of depth to the 3D image. The "globules" sequence over Worthington's face being a very good easy to see example of 3D depth. Arrival on Pandora lots of depth and greys.
9) Avatar 3D UK Bluray - First Pandora scene (think it's chapter 5) lots of vibrant colour, 3D depth and lots of vegetation coming out of the screen.
10) Hot Fuzz UK Bluray - Village Square Gun Battle. Because it would be rude not too.

I was extremely impressed with both projectors in both setups. They gave incredibly good pictures and if I had seen either one in isolation I would have been very happy. Indeed if you are an owner of either then you've got some of the best gear you can have in this price bracket and certainly bang for buck upto the next bracket (which I consider to be the £7k area).

I demo'ed both Projectors within a total black Batcave and within a high ambient light room (the latter being much closer to my requirement).

I can certainly see why people love the X30, it did present a very nice film look, with detail, motion handling, and black levels being excellent. The JVC presented a filmic look that was closer to my old Barco. On all 2D test material it performed very, very well. I was not unhappy with the image. Whilst Avatar 3D gave a nice picture it had neither the depth nor clarity of the Epson. I consider Avatar 3D to be the only really good 3D film, and imho the Epson was far superior. I don't believe I am writing anything we didn't know here.

I'd read everything about both projectors both here and at in their 5010 and RS45 incarnations. I had had various feedback here and personally saying that the X30 was the one to get and indeed originally I had swayed toward the Epson. I (probably like many) then waivered back and forth between the two after this feedback. I was therefore incredibly surprised at the quality of the Epson image. I had expected it to be worse (noticeably so) than the JVC. However that is not what I saw. I experienced a very dynamic, punchy image that stood equally alongside the JVC and in several cases surpassed it. Yes I will argue that the JVC has a more filmic picture, but I will also argue in my view the Epson has the stronger "wow" image with a slighter sharper image and better colour reproduction. No it didn't go as truly black as the JVC but for me I felt there was a more dynamic range and better overall light output. Which in turn led to a more stunning picture.

What I observed that swayed me to the Epson?
I think for me I went to the demo expecting to love the JVC and be impressed with the Epson. I expected to order the JVC. What happened was I was so impressed with the Epson's overall picture that the opposite happened. Some key things swayed me and I will try and clearly say what they are yet I appreciate that this is my personal opinion and my key message here is to demo them both in similar conditions.

I found myself enjoying the picture of the Epson more than the JVC. Yes I knew I was trading a very small amount of black level in doing so, but for me the net result was colour reproduction that I preferred. In daylight scenes like the Dark Knight opening the image just looked a jump better but also more importantly for me the darker The Dark Knight scene worked a lot better for me on the Epson. I observed shadow detail levels that I preferred over the JVC. For example in the overhead helicopter shots I was seeing building detail in the blacks that I was not observing on the JVC. Whilst this is a 'night' scene there is a lot of spot lights and dark blues. I felt these were more clearly shown on the Epson. The colour range on the Jurassic Park scene also played out this way. We considered that the JVC could present such detail by adjusting the gamma settings however on trying this it introduced other picture artefacts as we moved away from calibrated gamma. Again within Super 8 I felt the graduation of detail from blacks to white explosions within the train crash had me seeing more on the Epson than the JVC.

Regards detail I felt that the Epson's image on Gladiator presented the fine details of the clothes and metals of the scene more accurately and sharper than the JVC. The close up's of Jacquin Phoenix's clothing material highly detailed and sharp. This was not any artificial sharpening introduced either.

A Note about the React2 Screen
I was very impressed with the React2. It was very surprising to see such a great picture from either projector in a room with a lot of ambient light. It makes it far easier to create a viewing environment that has a 'wow' factor yet retain a room as 'wife friendly'. Whilst my room will be very dark I am still going to go for the React. It's more versatile for my particular needs.

Final Observations and Subsequent Purchase
Either of these Projectors would make a great home cinema. For me after this Demo the Epson I believe met my needs. I bought the Epson 9000 with a 104inch tab tensioned Draper React 2 Blackline Screen.
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There are two screens in my Room:

1) Draper Blackline Tab Tensioned 104" REACTII Screen :thumbsup:

that lowers in front of

2) Panasonic 54" THX Z1 Wall Mounted with an Omnimount :boring:

The biggest challenge here was the 6-8 week waiting time on the Draper ReactII screen. Some suppliers will say they can get it to you faster (they want your money) but the reputable dealers give you the proper timeframe.
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The sources for Video are:

1) Oppo 93 Multiregion Bluray Player using HDMI1 Output (which I expect to replace both my WDTV Live for sharing from NAS and my PS3)
2) Sky HD
3) Xbox 360 Slim

Note in the Video chain will be a Darbee Darblet:
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I am nowhere near as upto date on Audio as I am on Video, plus I'm getting old :rolleyes::

Yamaha RX 771 Amplifier/Receiver (with dual HDMI out for Plasma and Projector)

Kef 2005.3 5.1 Speaker Setup with K-Cube 2 Subwoofer

Van Damme Cabling
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Jenz What is that Darbee device ??? never seen it I assume its some image post processing device... does it really make any improvements ???


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Jenz What is that Darbee device ??? never seen it I assume its some image post processing device... does it really make any improvements ???
is a nice little thread.

Yes basically it's processing the image in an intelligent way and dependent on how you have it set it up creates an image that appears "better" without introducing nasty artefacts. Imagine having a picture behind a misty window and having that mist removed.
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The Room is rectangular with a useable 15ft 3inches x 13ft layout for viewing purposes. At one of the thin ends is a patio door which can be completely darkened with blackout curtains. A small open corridor leads from the other end to the internal door.

The room is supposed to be a Dining Room, but in the purchasing of the house a deal was struck with my significant other that she could have every other room as she wanted as long as this one was mine :devil:.

Functionally it acts as a “Family Room”. It's not our main lounge but acts as a comfortable room to relax in, read, watch the bigger TV etc. Importantly it also functions as a room for me to work at home from… So a desk has to be in there!

As a result we want to strive for a look that feels part of our home, yet fully functional, cool, cosy, and still be as best viewing conditions as can be. Quite an ask but one I think we all struggle with if we don't have a Batcave. Furniture and Décor will play a big part in this.

I decided I wanted to get an expert AV Cabler in to do the install work. After being let down by someone recommended on here I settled on another recommended AVForums installer. We're just in the process of finalising the volume of cabling, sockets, Baluns etc. at the moment. All cabling will be in wall and over ceiling as under floor is not practical. I am positioning the AV Rack in a corner to the right and slightly behind the viewing position but in IR range.

We're currently reviewing Décor and Furniture and designing a slightly dark, industrial style look. Settling on a 1940's Desk and Storage for all the Blurays. Finding an AV Rack that fitted into this was challenging and we ended up choosing a wood vintage shelving rack that we will modify. I'll post pictures shortly but ignore the shocking wallpaper that the previous owner put up as it won't be there long :D
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This is the AV Rack that we will modify. It is more than large enough for the equipment that is to go in with space to spare for future expansion. The in wall cabling will be in this corner.

I warned you about the Wallpaper!


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This is the Desk that also needs to be in the room. As you can see we need to make the room fully functional. That's a 27inch Dell U2711 so it's a large desk.


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No room is ready without some artwork :)

Original Avengers Assemble Splatterpaint Image from Society6.


Batman Mythology by Generation Gallery and signed by Alex Ross from the AVForums Deal

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Here is a look at the room with all the junk in it, and also bare. Note that my Fiancee decided with both the Installer who i approached (Chris Wood at Gear7) and the kit supplier (RickyJ at Kalibrate) that the room works better swapped the other way around. With the plasma mounted on the same wall as the corridor.


This gives you the sense of walking into a cinema rather than be cramped by the first thing you see being the seating.





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wmilner said:
Love the retro kit.... but that wallpaper HAS TO GO !

Absolutely. But interesting we are putting up some wallpaper behind the desk which will be very cool.


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We've started the install today. It will ideally take 3 days but I have allowed for 4 as the ceiling could be a bit challenging :)


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Chris Wood is installing the screen and projector at the moment. We are at the limits of screen size and therefore do not have a lot of room to play with throw distance in order to get a 104inch image in the room :)


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