DIY Projector Screen using Blackout Cloth

Filed Under: Projector Screens

home theater tools
I came across this quick tutorial that explains how to build your own screen for front projectors, using blackout (BO) cloth.

You basically make a thin wooden frame and stretch BO cloth onto it with staples. This blackout cloth can be commonly found at cloth retailers. It is normally used to line drapes to block out sunlight.

It’s another popuilar way to make your DIY home theater screen.

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Brits to finally get HD!

Filed Under: HDTV Local, Cable, Satellite

uk to get hdtv!
Our brethren across the pond are finally going to get a taste of what real TV is all about! Ok, so they might need some programming too, but first things first.

Sky showcases high definition TV
Sky has unveiled the services which will be made available on its High Definition (HD) TV service from 2006.

The broadcaster has said that viewers in the UK will be able to pre-register for HDTV from 26 August – making them the first in the country to receive the service.

Sky estimates that by the end of 2006, almost two million HDTV sets will have been sold in the UK.

‘Bout time. I guess this goes to show how we yanks are still ahead of our dark-ages ancestors. Hmm, I guess that goes without saying.

BBC Article


71-Inch Samsung DLP RPTV – Major Blingness!

Filed Under: Home Theater News, Rear Projection

Samsung SVP-71L8UH
Yeah, baby! Wow, look at that thing – I think I need a glass of water. The largest rear projection hdtv – I give you the Samsung SVP-71L8UH. (But I take it right back.)

Samsung is selling this baby beginning Friday, and plans to launch the SVP-71L8UH in North America early next month. Launch price in S. Korea is about $7350.

Depth is under two feet, and Samsung claims you can hang this baby on a wall! It weighs over a hundred pounds, but wall mounting should be doable for worthy htdudes.

(Asian chick not included.)


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Chat with J Allard about Xbox 360

Filed Under: HD Gaming

j allard
I tried to sit in on a chat with J Allard today, through microsoft communities. The lag was unbearable, my chat window rarely updated. (Maybe they should have tried a linux solution.) However, a
transcript of the chat was posted later.

J basically took questions from the hardcore gaming crowd about the upcoming console. Lots of straightforward (surprise!) and sensible answers about various things such as the 2 packages to be offered, memory units, DVD drives, prices, xbox live, etc.

The only answer that smelled funny was this one:

Q: Why do they have the core package? Why doesn’t microsoft just release the package with the Harddrive so developers will be able to fully utilize it?

A: independent of the configurations we have at launch it was imparative that we work with developers now to abstract the storage system because (1) the drive is removable and we want people to play even if the drive is not present (2) another possibility is that 5 years from now that you want more storage on the box or on the network and be able to take advantage of that. by abstracting storage in the system we are making sure that all xbox 360 games will work on all configurations moving forward and early customers will be able to take advantage of future scenarios like bigger drives and network storage.

1) Yeah, I’ll be playing my console a lot after I pull the drive. Huh?

2) Five years from now? The box will be weak, I doubt I’ll be worrying about uprading it or using it as a media server. I think they know that too.

Bill, I mean J, should have just come out and said because they needed a cheaper version for the mainstream public sweet-spot price of under $300, and yanking the HD was the easiet thing to do that made (some) sense.

A couple of other interesting notes:
– No backward compatability with xbox 1 unless your 360 has a hard drive.
– You will be able to stream standard and high definition video from media center PCs.

Still no release date comments other than (I figured) “soon,” but an interesting read.
Chat Transcript

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Another One for the Blu-Ray Camp

Filed Under: Home Theater News, Media - Movies - Games

universal music

Universal Music Group is the latest company to get behind the Blu-ray optical disc, announcing its support for Sony’s next-generation media format this week.

Yes, blu-ray, the current next-standard war contender. Not Blue Ray, from down the way.

Other basic info in the articles explains Blu-Ray and the difference between that and standard DVD. Substandard HTduder fare, we got it.

Wired: Source

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Parkland Plastics Duro-Therm Panels – Another Great Screen Alternative for DIY

Filed Under: Projector Screens

I have used parkland plastics material before for a cheap alternative for front projection screens. Sirquack at AVS (thanks Duck!) forums mentioned another Parkland product called Durotherm Lite panels. This looks like another useful alternative, and could be easier to mount.
parkland plastics durotherm lite panels
Look for it at your local home improvement store.

Durotherm at Parkland Plastics


KEF’s new Ci 3-80QT In-Ceiling Motorized Speaker

Filed Under: Audio, Home Theater News

ci_3-80qt ceiling motorized speaker This is one slick motorized ceiling speaker for home theater. Being an admitted control freak, I’m not one for this type of unit. I prefer moving speakers around to get the perfect soundstage.

But if you prefer form over function, this thing would definitely get the 007 look going in your HT. The motorized unit drops down from the ceiling when your system powers up. Let this baby drop down with your motorized screen in concert, and your guests will know just what that Dr.Evil-eye was all about.

Unit should be available next month for 500 bucks retail.


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Xbox 360 Pricing Set

Filed Under: HD Gaming, Home Theater News

A source close to HTDude headquarters, ok so they’re on another continent, has news of the upcoming XBox 360 pricing.

The basic “Core System” will be $299 in the States, 299 Euros in Europe, and £209 in the UK.

They will also offer the full bling setup with 20GB hard drive, wireless controller, headset and remote control. It will run £279, 399 Euros and $399 in real money.

The additional components would run more than 200 bucks separately. The hard drive alone is 100 of that. Get the full kit guys.

Still no set ship date, just the same ambiguous “before Christmas.” Yeah, it better come out in time for all those grown men, I mean parents to buy for their loving children.


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HT Out of the Closet – Cinego All-In-One Front Projector from Radio Shack

Filed Under: Front Projectors

cinego from radioshack
This is a simple write-up about RatShack’s portable front projector theater system. Just when I thought they wouldn’t come out of the closet.

This unit is priced at 1300 big ones, and comes with a subwoofer. The video is reportedly not as good as Optoma’s DV10, but the price of this unit is a bit less with a better sound system.

Ratshack has a 10% restocking fee if you don’t like the thing, so be sure before you buy.

A Theater That Hides in Your Closet

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Optoma MovieTime DV10 Portable All-In-One Front Projector Review

Filed Under: Front Projectors, Home Theater Reviews

optoma dv10This is an interesting rig, an all-in-one front projector from Optoma. Talk about gettin’ it done, this thing has a built-in dvd player and a couple of small speakers.

The design warrants a tabletop or bookshelf mount, since you’ll have to access the dvd player. Obviously audio will suffer with 5-inch speakers, but this looks like a great unit for a portable setup.

This machine retails for $1495, and you can get an optional subwoofer.

If you’re new to the home theater scene and don’t want to worry about mounts and wiring dvd players up, etc, this could be the ticket to get your game on.

Or, if you are constantly on the prowl, like to do your thing when and where you feel the urge, this portable system could just rock your world.
“Come on baby, I’ll bring my bling to your house.”

Full Revew