Introduction to Video Accessory Reviews

Most home theater enthusiasts can enjoy their movies with a good display and an audio system anchored by an AV receiver or surround processor. But for those born with the tweaking gene, there are performance-enhancing products to get you that last one-percent towards perfection.

If you have a large DVD library, an advanced video processor can go a long way towards making standard-definition content look better. Even with the scaling solutions built into most players and displays, there are products that can take you further. Some come in the form of small boxes that connect between your source and display, and others demand space in your equipment rack and come at a premium price.

Another product near-and-dear to home theater buffs is a projection screen. Even the best display won’t show you what it can do if you throw the image on a wall. Screen materials come in a dizzying array of sizes and types so it’s important to know what will work best for your individual space. The newest models can even reject ambient light so you don’t have to watch movies in the dark. Our reviews cover screen material technology and we include contrast and color-shift testing so you can determine the best possible match for your projector.

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Video Accessory Reviews

Stewart Filmscreen LuminEsse Review

Stewart Filmscreen LuminEsse Review

If you’re looking for something different than traditional roll-up or fixed-frame projection screen designs, there’s a third option – borderless. We’ve seen two examples from Screen Innovations; now I’m checking out Stewart Filmscreen’s new LuminEsse product.

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Seymour Screen Excellence Enlightor 4K Acoustically Transparent Projection Screen

At home, acoustically transparent projection screens have been around for years, but have always had flaws. The size of the holes required for allowing sound to pass through are often visible from normal seating distances in the home. Also, much of the light passes through the screen, and this reduces the brightness of the image you will see. A projector you can buy for $3,000 now has more than enough brightness to allow some loss through the perforations. We have also seen the introduction of woven screens that allow sound to pass through, but also have a fine texture that is invisible from a normal distance. One such screen material is the Enlightor 4K from Seymour Screen Excellence. Boasting ISF certification for image quality and said to be acoustically transparent from 100 Hz to 20 kHz, it looks to be a screen material that can give you that movie theater immersion at home.

 

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Control4 Dimmers UPDATE

When I finished my initial review of Control4 I had it controlling my AV system but nothing else. As complete home integration is one of the reasons to use Control4 I needed to test something out. Control4 was nice enough to send over a few light dimmers to install so that I can see how they integrate.

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The New Wave of Color Calibration Technology: Cube Calibration

One of the Awards given out in 2012 by Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity for "Technology on the Rise" was for Cube Calibration. For most people this probably doesn't mean much yet, but for those of us that are calibrators, or enthusiasts with an interest in calibration technology, this was a huge development. One might even say that Cube Calibration is the biggest improvement to consumer display technology since the introduction of the Color Management System (CMS).

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CalMAN Calibration Software Version 5

 

There are a few different programs out there to assist in calibrating a display, but CalMAN from SpectraCal is currently the most prevalent. CalMAN is used for ISF Level I and II training, and is available in a variety of different configurations ranging from the DIY user to the full time calibration professional.

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Lumagen Radiance XS-3D Video Processor

Last year I looked at the Lumagen Radiance Mini-3D video processor and its interaction with ChromaPure software for automated calibrations. Paired with an older projector, it was able to provide an accurate grayscale, gamut, and gamma providing an image that was far more accurate than without it. Now, we take a look at the Radiance XS-3D video processor, which is a step up from the Mini-3D.

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Screen Innovations Black Diamond Zero Edge Projection Screen

When designing a home theater, the screen is often the last consideration in the plan. After all, it's much more interesting to research electronics and their associated specs than to look through screen material samples and frame designs. Other than size, few of us think much about our choice of screen. Screen Innovations markets projection screens in all sizes, aspect ratios, and gain (screen brightness). In this review, we take a look at their Black Diamond Zero Edge projection screen.

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ChromaPure 2.2 Video Calibration System and Lumagen Radiance Mini-3D Video Processor

If you've read the previous DIY calibration articles here at Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, then you've seen us cover ChromaPure and CalMAN calibration systems, and the DVDO Duo video processor. This time we're going to look at the newest release of ChromaPure, version 2.2, as well as the Lumagen Radiance Mini-3D Video Processor, both individually and together.