After considering a massive flat panel screen, integrator Joe Calise discovered the Sony VPLGTZ1 ultra short throw projector, which fills the 120-inch screen from just seven inches away from the wall. When Randy Rock first contemplated moving full-time with his wife Lydia to their winter residence in Boynton Beach, FL, he faced a tech-lover’s dilemma. How could he replicate the experience of his sophisticated and painstakingly built home theater back in North Bellmore, NY, within the architectural constraints of his Florida residence, without completely taking over the room?
Because of the peculiarities of the space, with its ornate ceiling and glaring natural light, a traditional two-piece projection setup wasn’t feasible. He and the integrator who engineered his first home theater, Joe Calise of Sights - N - Sounds, in Seaford, NY, first considered installing a massive, 115-inch Samsung curved flat panel.
According to Calise, the projector, with its serial number 025, was the first sold in the U.S. “I had suggested doing flat panel before I went to [CEDIA EXPO] in September,” Calise recalled. “So I suggested, ‘Why don’t you wait until I get back from CEDIA, in case I see something new.’ And that was when I found the projector.”
That projector was the Sony VPLGTZ1 ultra-short-throw 4K model, and it turned out to be just what he and Rock were looking for. Positioned atop the media console, the projector fills a 120-inch screen from just seven inches away from the wall. According to Calise, it’s also one of the first such projectors sold in the U.S.
Joe Calise (right) demonstrating the system’s Crestron control interface to Randy Rock. Best of all, the projection screen that was paired up with the VPLGTZ1–a Stewart Cabaret Electriscreen–is motorized and retracts into a custom-painted enclosure that blends perfectly with the wall, preserving Lydia’s aesthetic design for the room.
Because of the projector’s central location at the front of the room, Calise had to get a little creative with the surround sound system. “The projector sits where the center channel would typically go,” he said.
“So we hooked up the front speakers in phantom center channel mode, so he’s still getting that three-speaker sound out of two speakers.”
Joining these two GoldenEar Triton One speakers at the front of the room are two pairs of Sonance VP-46R in-ceiling speakers, and all are connected to a Sony STR-ZA3000ES receiver.
When not in use, the Stewart Cabaret ElectriScreen retracts into a custom-painted enclosure that perfectly matches the wall paint, for minimal detraction from the room’s unique aesthetics. Calise said that one of the most challenging aspects of the project was adjusting the projector to properly fill the screen. “There weren’t a lot of keystone adjustments to it,” he said. “But you had to get the projector in the exact center of the screen, and the same distance on both edges away from the wall, so it would fill the corners accordingly.”
Now that his new home theater is up and running with this one-of-a-kind solution, Rock can get back to enjoying movies and aweing guests like he did with his old theater, when he used to have to hold a lottery to determine which of his friends could watch the Super Bowl at his house.
“Guests are absolutely blown away,” he said. “They say things like, ‘You should never have to go to a movie theater again.’ Particularly guys and sports, they get here and it’s tough to get them to go home.”