In this week's episode of Share Your Setup, we have High-Def Digest and AVRev reader Brian Hoyt and his home basement cinema, called Hoyt's Cinema. This made me smile because, as some of our East Coast readers may recall, Hoyts Cinemas used to be a regional theatre chain until about ten years ago when their remaining locations were purchased by Regal. I had the pleasure (and sometimes misfortune) of slinging popcorn behind the concession stand of many a Hoyts Cinema locales in Connecticut and Massachusetts during high school and college. Seeing the name again brings back fond memories of freshly popped corn, unlimited free movies, melting butter-esc toping, and…the abject terror of facing down a grouchy, exhausted Mother who took all of her kids and their friends to the movies on a rainy summer day…where was I?
Oh yes, Brian Hoyt!
I'm sure Brian's Hoyt Cinema is a much more friendly environment, or at least it looks that way. Brian is rocking a 106" screen, 5.1 surround sound, and dreams one day of owning a screening room big enough for 20 (don't we all). Let's see what Brian has to say about his setup:
AUDIOPHILE, VIDEO/CINEPHILE, OR BOTH? AND WHY?
Cinephile, I just love movies. Good movies or bad movies I watch lots of them, the better the presentation the more I enjoy them.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CURRENT SETUP!
I have a dedicated home theater that I use for movies, TV and video games in the basement of my house. It has a 106” screen with a 1080p projector, 5.1 surround sound (been too lazy to add the center rear to get 6.1). I love the light control and internal sound quality. I wish I had better sound isolation from the rest of the house and had a higher ceiling so my riser could be higher. Lastly, a little bigger space to fit more chairs in would be great.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO BUILD?
It took me about six months of build time on the basement. I started by ripping out everything from floors / walls / ceilings then building it back up from scratch. I did all the wiring and construction myself except for drywall. I then spent a few months calibrating the video using my own equipment. Most of the parts of the system are new except for speakers which are a few years older.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF GEAR, AND WHY?
This is a tough question. I think it is a tie between my video source (which has changed over the years) and my video game source (Xbox 360 for now). Without them the space would be useless.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH AUDIO/VIDEO?
I was living in Illinois in 1997 when Chicago was one of initial launch cities for DVD. I read about DVD and knew I had to have one. In July I found a single Sony DVP-S7000 in stock and I bought it for $1000, I still have this player and it still works with every DVD I have ever owned. In the first 6 months I bought every DVD available, there weren’t that many. After seeing and hearing DVD (even on a CRT and in Dolby Surround) I was hooked. I now have owned close to a dozen DVD / HD-DVD / Blu-Ray drives and almost 1000 discs since.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Wow, a DVD player that works with every DVD he's ever owned. I love the ever expanding ability of Blu-ray, but does anyone else wish Blu-ray and the studios releasing films in that format had been smart enough to make Blu-ray players work as well as Brian's Sony DVP-S7000 DVD player? I have a second gen Blu-ray Player, the BDP-300, and now it's a giant blue and black paper weight because it won't play most movies, and if it manages to do so, take 5 minutes or more to load. Sigh. Rant over, back to Brain.]
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST SETUP?
What I consider to my first full setup was the combination of the previously mentioned Sony DVD player with a Sony ES receiver and a 40” widescreen 480p Toshiba TV. I still had a random assortment of speakers but otherwise a pretty complete system. This was near Christmas of 1998.
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM SETUP?
I am pretty happy with what I have now but I would take some minor upgrades and one major one. The little ones are some upgraded Paradigm speakers and a newer AVR that has some network capabilities. The big one is a passive glasses based 3D projector (these are still running $10K+, I think). The only thing beyond this would be a house / space big enough for 20 seats or more.
WHAT GEAR ARE YOU GETTING NEXT?
Possibly a newer Blu-Ray player, I have one I got for free with a TV that works well but doesn’t have all the features. The only other thing would be an upgraded projector with more brightness and better contrast. I may also add some more storage to my Windows MCE box.
FAVORITE DEMO DISCS (audio or video) AND WHY?
Any Pixar disc, especially newer films. These have the absolute best video / audio of any disc out there. If I am not in an animated mood then maybe something like Iron Man or Tron Legacy.
BRIAN'S GEAR LIST
- Sanyo PLV-Z2000 (1080p Projector)
- Onkyo TX-SR705
- Xbox 360
- LG BD640
- Paradigm PW-2200
- Paradigm Monitor 7
- Paradigm CC-370
- Paradigm ADP-370
- Windows Media Center 7 with 4 FIOS cable tuners, 2 OTA tuners and 6 TB of storage space.
- GRAFIK Eye 3106 with 6 zones of independent dimming.
- Middle Atlantic SRSR rack with custom cut inserts
- URC MX-850 with RF control to rack.
Thanks to Brian for sharing his setup here at Share Your Setup. For more pictures of Brian's gear, click here . If you're interested in being featured, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org