Othello Cinema

After a cross-country move and plenty of upgrades, the next iteration of my home theater is finally nearing the finish line.


Having dreamed of a home cinema for decades, in 2011 I finally had a home with a space for a dedicated home theater, which evolved constantly over the years into a very high-performing room. And in 2021, we moved across the country. I packed pretty much everything up except for the screen and the idea was that I would (hopefully) have a space to set it up in whatever new house we ended up in, and I would reuse all the same equipment.

That didn't really end up happening. Most everything has been upgraded or is about to be upgrade. But this theater's performance, convenience and comfort have exceeded all expectations.
  • The projector is a JVC X790R, which will inevitably be replaced with a new JVC laser projector
  • Screen is a SeymourAV Proscenium screen with motorized masking, 124" diagonal 2.4:1 aspect ratio, masking to 1.78:1
  • The brain remains an Anthem AVM-60 which was picked up for the prior theater
  • Amplification courtesy an Emotiva BasX for the five bed-layer speakers, and an Emotiva UPA-500 for the four height channels
  • Speakers are NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema Series that were brought in for review after CEDIA 2022 and I ended up purchasing (replacing Triad Silver LCRs)
  • Height channels are NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellites, review coming soon (replacing Triad Silver Mini Monitors)
  • Bass is provided by dual SVS SB-2000 12" subs, (replacing a single PB-2000)
  • Source material is primarily from a Kaleidescape Strato C, a 48TB Terra and a 6TB Compact Terra (largely replacing a 60TB PLEX server)
  • Streaming content from an AppleTV4K
  • Live TV and rarities still utilize the PLEX in a much smaller configuration
  • Dynamic Tone Mapping and Auto-Aspect Ratio provided by a Lumagen Radiance Pro 4240
  • Ceiling absorption cloud is an EcoAcoustic configuration from Output.com
  • Blackout panels are UMIAcoustics panels
  • Sidewall absorption panels are ATS panels covered in fabric with custom artwork
  • Wood slats are SLATPANEL brand panels
  • Updated lighting by Govee
  • Control system is a Home Assistant brain that will use a Unfolded Circle Remote 2 as the front end
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Fantastic setup!
So much cool stuff in the Othello Theater. I love the “floating” screen on the black front wall, the hidden speakers, the stylish acoustic treatments… You’ve created a very impressive space Travis, congrats!
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Travis Ballstadt
Travis Ballstadt
Thanks Mike!!!


I completely missed the fact that you named the theater! Well done! This space has come together really well. Beautiful job!
Settled on Othello because we didn't come up with anything better. We live on SW Othello Street, so it was always the working title. Bought the Criterion Blu-ray to serve as the official opening-night film, but it's been such a slow-rollout that we still haven't watched it. We won't be ordering custom Othello Cinema pint glasses like @Mike Schramm's awesome wife did...but we had to call it something!
A little news on the projector upgrade decision. This week I pulled the trigger.

On a Lumagen.

HUGE improvement, and gives me almost everything I was wanting out of a new projector (sans the laser) and more. Obviously the Dynamic Tone Mapping makes the biggest visual difference (and what a difference it makes!!!), but had I known more about the auto aspect ratio feature before, I probably would've added this years ago. Not the non-linear stretch - keep that away from me. But auto aspect is a real great feature for those with scope screens. Makes things much simpler, much more foolproof.

Kris Deering coming out soon to calibrate the JVC. Not gonna lie, adding the Lumagen has me thinking I might just put a new bulb in my stocking every year for the holidays and run this projector until it dies. Just an incredible improvement.
  • Adding a 48TB Terra to the Kaleidescape system for a total of 54TB total across the two servers.
  • Also migrated the PLEX system to a Mac Mini with a 5TB USB drive instead of the massive PC and server config that was running.
  • Replaced the lamp in my projector and added a longer pole to the mount to get the lens within the screen area to eliminate the frame shadow at the top of the screen.
  • Hacking away with the Unfolded Circle + Home Assistant remote situation, hung up on the Lumagen.
  • Added some Govee lighting that is controlled by the Kaleidescape integration of Home Assistant - super cool automation from the Kaleidescape cues.
Mostly just enjoying.
54TB is a lot of space! About how many movies can you fit on that? And I’m very interested to hear your updates on the remote.
The Othello Cinema just keeps getting better!
54TB is a lot of space! About how many movies can you fit on that? And I’m very interested to hear your updates on the remote.
The Othello Cinema just keeps getting better!
The 48TB is rated at 800 4K movies, the 6TB at 100 4K movies. In reality I’ve been getting around 90-95 movies at a time, mostly 4K but some HD.

Should hold me for awhile but I’m thinking ahead if we decide to retire on a beach somewhere without access to Kaleidescape, I want to have everything downloaded. Got a deal I couldn’t pass up so I pulled the trigger.

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Travis Ballstadt
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