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1  Backyard Theater discussions / Screen specific / Re: 315 inch aluminium framed screen on: August 17, 2017, 05:29:33 pm
That is ridiculously awesome. How long does it take to setup and tear down?
2  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: --- === Come join the Facebook Group! === --- on: August 08, 2017, 01:16:07 pm
I offered a hefty sum to buy the BYT forums. *crickets*
3  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: time to upgrade on: June 09, 2017, 02:17:19 am
I've been using Epson projectors for years and I've been consistently impressed with their quality and longevity. I sold my first projector (an Epson 705HD) after 6 years of use and nearly as many bulbs and it's logged many thousands of hours of bright, beautiful projection. Go look for a used 730HD or 740HD and you'll have a great PJ with cheap bulbs and very bright for outdoor use.
4  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Mounting projector/sound system near pool on: June 04, 2017, 03:05:47 am
A completely watertight cube might be a bad idea because projectors put out a lot of heat and it would need to be vented somewhere. If it's just splashing that you're worried about, you could buy a Plexiglas sheet from a hardware store and mount it in front of the projector. If it needs to be totally shielded from the rain, that is a more difficult problem to solve.
5  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: New console for 2017 season on: June 01, 2017, 01:02:16 pm
I used hot glue on my RCA connections and that made them difficult to move unless it was intentional.
6  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: New console for 2017 season on: June 01, 2017, 09:51:58 am
I used 1.5" RCA to TS patch cables from GLS Audio between the Oppo and my MX882. Make sure you're using a source that has mutl-channel output and that it's not being mixed-down to stereo by Denon Blu-ray player.
7  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: Any downsides to using Short Throw over normal throw? on: May 17, 2017, 11:04:07 am
There's no downsides other than placement flexibility that I'm aware of. Without a zoom lens, you need to calculator exactly where the projector needs to be placed in order to fill your screen size.

Also, if you use a short-throw with too much more than the built-in offset, you can end up with a picture that is half out of focus. To illustrate I'll give you an extreme example: imagine the projector at ground level and your screen beginning 10 feet off the ground. Because the optics between the upper half and lower half of the projected picture is so extreme, you'll end up with half of the screen out of focus. For typical usage, this would never happen, but it's worth thinking about when you decide how the components in your theater will be arranged.
8  Backyard Theater discussions / Receiver specific / Re: HDMI Audio Extraction on: May 15, 2017, 10:38:40 pm
The splitter/mixer unit have up to 8 inputs so you're only using 4 of those inputs to carry 3.1 sound. You have two additional stereo inputs available which would fill out the other four channels. I went into this in a little more detail in my other response, but I would suggest you start with just buying a splitter/mixer and then add a line mixer in the future if you decide you want more inputs.

Short answer: A Blu-ray player with built in decoding and a splitter/mixer combo (such as the Rane unit or an MX882) will maintain 3.1 sound control and replace the functionality of your Denon decoder while weighing far less.
9  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: New console for 2017 season on: May 15, 2017, 10:30:35 pm
If you have two units of rack space free to handle audio, I'd put in a ART MX622 line mixer and the Rane (or less expensive Behringer MX882).

The MX622 would give you three stereo RCA inputs as well as a couple mic inputs while the MX882 would give you individual volume controls for 3.1 sound. I used to have my system configured exactly this way up until last year when I went down to a single zone mixer due to space constraints.

My signal flow looked like this:

Oppo 103 (or Denon) Blu-ray player was directly connected to the MX882
Front/Left > Channel 1/2 (Main)
Center > Channel 3
Sub > Channel 4
Surround Left > Channel 5
Surround Right > Channel 6
MX622 Mixer Output > Channel 7/8

The MX622 line mixer handled mixing down a few different aux source such as a backup Blu-ray player and a few wired microphones which then ran to the last two channel on the MX882 splitter/mixer.

There's probably wiring software where I could diagram it better for you, but I can assure you it's a very effective configuration while giving yourself full control over all channels.

In other news, there are a few downsides to the Denon player you should be aware of: It does not support zoom modes for 1:39.1 content and it doesn't have any HDMI inputs or dual outputs. If it had those things, I would replace my Oppo just for the size savings, but those are important features to me so I've stuck with the 103 for now.

Hope that helps!
10  Backyard Theater discussions / Receiver specific / Re: HDMI Audio Extraction on: May 14, 2017, 06:03:51 pm
Oppo told me the optical output can be downmixed to stereo on their Blu-ray players while still maintaining the 5.1/7.1 stereo analog outputs. My new plan is to put a optical to analog converter on that output so that I have a downmixed 2.0 signal going to the mains while using Oppo's analog outputs to drive the LFE/center channels.

If you decide to ditch your heavy Denon decoder for an Oppo player, it can greatly simplify your rack while providing the same functionality.
11  Backyard Theater discussions / Receiver specific / Re: HDMI Audio Extraction on: May 14, 2017, 04:40:23 pm
Right now the LFE/center are effectively panned left and right so they even though they are controlled with the same volume knob, the outputs are not mixed. I actually just bought a Tascam LM-8ST mixer this last week which will give me separate volume knobs for both sub and center.

The splitter/mixer combos like the Rane unit you mentioned (or the far cheaper MX882 that I use to own) are perfect for splitting up and controlling 5.1 sound, but it of course adds another 1U of rack gear and space is as a premium in my 10U "big" rack. If you only have one input source (such as the Blu-ray player) and have the space, it would be perfect, but you'll still need a line mixer to add other AUX sources to your mix. I'm hoping the Tascam machine will be an effective compromise, but I just bought it and haven't had a chance to test it yet.
12  Backyard Theater discussions / Receiver specific / Re: HDMI Audio Extraction on: May 03, 2017, 03:54:51 am
In the four years since I posted this, I've since switched to a completely different system. My rack now has:

Oppo 103 Blu-ray (used to decode audio to 5.1 analog outputs)
ART MX624 Zone Mixer (sub and center channel go to zone 2 for separate volume control)

This gives completely independent volume control of all 3.1 channels and takes up only 3 rack spaces.

The Octava HDMXA71 I was using before I sold because I didn't like it's functionally as a switcher and now that I have analog outputs directly via the Blu-ray player it is no longer necessary. For your usage though, it would probably work fine as long as your Blu-ray player supports sending LPCM surround output via HDMI or coaxial. Some Blu-ray players only output downmixed stereo output even over digital connections so double-check to be sure.

Honestly though, I'd go with an Oppo (or another player with 5.1 analog) and line mixer. They work really well together.
13  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: All in one case for projector, player and mixer on: April 19, 2017, 04:38:41 pm
Easiest solution I've created is to use a 6U shallow rack case and put the following inside:

Power Conditioner (1U)
Rolls MiniMixer / Sony Blu-ray / HDMI Audio Extractor (all on 1U rack tray attached with 3M DualLock)
1U Black Space (to allow airflow for amplifier below)
Power Amplifier (2U)

I've built three cases like this and they are compact and all pre-wired so super easy to setup. You plug in the power and then connect projector and two audio cables and you're done.

I just put the projector on top of the case. If you wanted to mount the projector inside, you'd just need to buy a larger 10U case and an additional rack tray.

I'll post a picture here sometime if I think about it.
14  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: Specs for garage based projector with medium ambient light? on: March 29, 2017, 09:01:17 pm
appreciate that insight and the heads up on the refurb clearance.  but wouldn't i be giving up a  lot of lumens, bearing in mind that I'm currently running 2000 which is not enough?  The panasonic only has 3k, while the sanyo is at 5k. Or are there other features that would offset lower lumens?

I'm seeing the bulbs for $60 on ebay.  This would only be switched on maybe 10-15 hours a week during spring/summer, then shut off for probably 6 months, so I'm not TOO concerned about bulb life


On a white screen, more lumens ins't going to do as much as you might think if the surface is lit and there is little contrast to be had. I own several 5000 projectors and several of the smaller Epson 3000 lumen ones as well. I can barely tell the difference between the two on the same size screen pre-sunset. With some light control provided by the garage, you would probably have an advantage with the 5000 machine. It would be even more obvious with one of the dark grey "high-contrast" screen surfaces.

10-15 hours a week isn't much so bulb life might be less of an issue for you. My home projector is on 5-10 hours a day (roommates with different schedules) so I'm very conscience of bulb price. The OEM-equivalent bulbs sold on Amazon and eBay are not as bright and don't last nearly as long as factory bulbs. There's a reason they are cheap. I had a Sanyo PLC-XT35 and tried an OEM bulb in it once. It was noticeably dimmer than the factory bulb. One of my Epson projectors had a cheap bulb last year for awhile. It blew out after 3 months. Look at the Amazon reviews for most cheap replacement bulbs. That's why I brought up how current-model Epson (and certain other manufacturers) have less expensive bulbs than usual so that a plus for my type of usage. Just check the cost of a factory bulb on any projector so you are at least aware of it before you buy.

You might be perfectly happy with the Sanyo machine linked. It's big, heavy, 4:3 and an older model so just be aware of the limitations. Sanyo/Christie made a lot of different projector models with this same case and I think it's a particularly good looking projector. Sometimes I get bogged down in the features when a big screen outdoors is going to make me happy regardless.
15  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: Specs for garage based projector with medium ambient light? on: March 29, 2017, 09:16:13 am
For just $100 more, I'd buy this: https://epson.com/Clearance-Center/Home-Entertainment/PowerLite-Home-Cinema-740HD-720p-3LCD-Projector---Refurbished/p/V11H764020-N

A few of the advantages is the warranty, $79 factory replacement bulbs, native 16:10 aspect ratio and it's much lighter and easier to mount.

That Sanyo you're looking at will be expensive when it comes time to replace the bulb.
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