Yes, ideally I'd have painted the entire place jet black and used a plain white screen, but such is compromise
I was going to get the da-lite video spectra screen (1.5 gain), but the shipping on that was about $50 more for no apparent reason. Nice to hear your family contributing to the room too
I liked The Thing (2011), I was a fan of both the original Thing and the lead actress. It actually serves as a prequel to the older movie so there's some nice continuity going on. I did miss the animatronics and practical effects, but I still thought the CGI Thing was quite impressive. I'd give it a 7.5 out of 10, bumped up to 8 just for having Mary Elizabeth Winstead in it :P
That was a sweet deal you got for the LD player. I got my Denon AVR for $700, down from the RRP of $2400, but that isn't so impressive when you consider that the same unit was selling for less than half of that in the US, and it was already a 3 year old model when I got it second hand. The Epson 8350 (TW-3200 here) has an RRP of about $2400 as well, and I see stores still selling it for $1800-2200, whereas I bought mine from Adorama for $1129. It's bloody annoying the prices we get here, I tell ya.
Actually commercial cinemas have been my benchmark for the longest time. Now that my HT is up it's the best system I've seen or heard, and I really wonder how common HT's like ours are when people still go to the movies in droves. Don't get me started on HTIB's with all 5 speakers arranged in a straight line! That said, the brightness in regular cinemas is very much to my liking, until a pair of 3D glasses are tacked on. The sound isn't that great compared to what I get at home, but I envy freedom to crank up the volume at any time of the day without worrying about disturbing others. I also found myself missing the large room reverb you get with cineplexes. Somehow it adds immensity to the picture.
I hear you about the disturbances though - add to that people opening noisy bags, eating noisily, drinking beer, checking cellphones, chatting loudly, making dumb comments, coming in late, laughing during serious scenes, having arguments (happened during one of my IMAX viewings), I really wonder how much I'll be tempted to return. *Then again*, it's still a relatively controlled environment. At home I have to put up with family members turning on the light in the adjacent dining/kitchen and going about their noisy business, friends making snide remarks at the movie (made it almost impossible to enjoy T:L that one time I played it at home), phone ringing, people getting up for toilet/snack breaks in the middle of the movie and forcing everyone to pause it, etc. It really is difficult not having a dedicated room
THX is selling the tint glasses for the low low price of $2 plus $87.88 shipping.
Guess I'll have to look elsewhere.
Actually I've already bought a splitter amp so the TV and PJ can share the same connection. Without it, I get absolutely nothing from 1080p over 30ft, but a solid image on SD. With it, I get brief flashes of colored sparkles. I had hoped it would make up for the smaller gauge cable, but obviously it doesn't. I've read on AVS forum that using shorter lengths of small gauge cables at the ends won't severely impact the signal. If bottlenecks were indeed a problem I'd think the port contacts themselves would be a much more important factor.
Edit: By the way I know what you mean about the 35 degree angle being the point at which the eye resolves all detail in HD. Still, being closer always helps you see the detail more, as with everything else, and there's little point in arguing that a 40 degree angle isn't more immersive.