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  1. #1
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    Brainstorming visuals for an 8'x10' room: inputs?

    So, now that I have the green light to start mocking up a flight sim "room" (technically, the front half of a one-car garage), I'm looking into ideas. Let me tell you what I have, what I have to work with, and the results that I'd like to achieve... maybe you can tell me what might work, what won't work, and maybe any lessons learned.

    What I have:
    - Single PC
    - -- Off-the-shelf HP e9290f
    - -- Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.67GHz
    - -- 9GB RAM
    - -- Win 7 Home Premium 64bit
    - -- GeForce GTX 260 (1792MB dedicated memory, 3584MB shared)
    - -- -- Dual DVI heads
    - Microsoft FSX
    - Matrox TH2G (digital edition)
    - 3x 24" Acer widescreen LCD
    - 1x 22" LCD (unknown brand)
    - "Flight Deck" with all of the hardware I want/need at the moment (Described here)

    What I have to work with:
    Front half of 1-car garage that is 8 feet wide, 8'2" tall, and approximately 10 feet of depth.

    What I'd like to start with (and here's where the brainstorming comes in):
    ... I fly single-engine GA only. My flight deck is currently 36"W x 22"D. It is not enclosed, so any projectors I might put up only need to clear my head while in a sitting position. Ideally, I'd like a 180° curved screen, so that I can look to my left and right and see under the wings (or over, depending on airframe type), and a side-by-side seating configuration for a pilot/copilot.

    So, what I don't know:
    Using projectors:
    Q1. Can I even squeeze a 180° curved screen into this tight of a space? If so, should I go with two projectors, or 3? What would be the best projector for this short of a throw? What would be the ideal placement -- centered over my head, each pointing at the screen roughly 4 feet away? or, on opposite corners of the room, projecting to ~8' "crossing beams of light"?
    Q2. If I can't get 180, what's the best I can expect? 120 with 2 projectors?

    In either case, if I am able to get a curved screen of any size, will I experience any distortion of visuals if I sit off center? i.e
    Q3. Should I stick with a single chair as centered as possible? or,
    Q4. Will 2 side-by-side chairs work without having whacky visual results?


    If the space is too tight for projectors, I'm thinking about maybe getting another TH2G, and going for 6 monitors in the following configuration: 5 to "wrap around", and 1 for the instruments. If I end up having to go this route, these 24" monitors seem a little small if I try to sit 2 people side-by-side. So, I'm trying to think which setup would be better...
    Q5. Single seat, centered between 5 monitors, using a fresnel lens set up (Ala Roland's excellent tutorial), or
    Q6. Dual seats, centered between 5 large monitors of some sort (40" LCD TVs?)

    So, going from there... any thoughts/advice/pointers/etc.?

    Thanks,
    Jimmy

  2. #2
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: Brainstorming visuals for an 8'x10' room: inputs?

    Hi,
    I have a similar dilemma, although I am a long way from sorting out the visuals I am edging towards 3 50" LCD TVs . From what I have read you soon "forget" the bezels are there.
    Allan.

  3. #3
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    Re: Brainstorming visuals for an 8'x10' room: inputs?

    Quote Originally Posted by notgotaclue View Post
    Hi,
    I have a similar dilemma
    Thanks for the reply. Just out of curiosity, to which of my many dilemma's is yours similar? :^) I assume the small space?

    After a bit more research, I think I'm giving up hope of being able to squeze a 180° curved screen with projectors into a 7˝' diameter (accounting for screen space), but I still haven't given up complete hope. Even a 42-48" height on the curved display would be acceptable, so it might yet be possible. I still am trying to figure out if a side-by-side setup would be feasible with this type of display (i.e. is sitting "off center" going to distort how things look from the pilot or co-pilot's perspective?).

    I agree with you that the "bezels just disappear" when viewing multiple monitors, especially large ones, in a "surround view" setup. I currently run 3x 24" monitors, and in FSX zoomed all the way out, that equates to a roughly 100°FOV, and I do indeed "lose sight of" the bezels. However, I also find myself frustrated with the lack of ability to look out my left/right wing views. Although I do wear a TrackIR, I would much rather have the side-view of a 180°FOV and ditch the TrackIR. I fly strictly single-engine light aircraft (a c208 is "big iron" in my book), so looking left and right is a constant requirement, especially in the pattern and during taxi.

    Jimmy

  4. #4
    300+ Forum Addict Tom_G_2010's Avatar
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    Re: Brainstorming visuals for an 8'x10' room: inputs?

    Quote Originally Posted by notgotaclue View Post
    Hi,
    I have a similar dilemma, although I am a long way from sorting out the visuals I am edging towards 3 50" LCD TVs . From what I have read you soon "forget" the bezels are there.
    Allan.
    I'm too early in my build to worry about visuals yet, but will run into the same space issues if I stay on schedule by spring next year. I may have a bit more width but likely still not enough.

    I found this (3 NEC Ultra slim bezel 46" LCD's on a triple head) on You tube but haven't dug to deep on the cost. But, it's one way to minimize the bezel issue even further.


  5. #5
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: Brainstorming visuals for an 8'x10' room: inputs?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrowland View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Just out of curiosity, to which of my many dilemma's is yours similar? :^) I assume the small space?


    Jimmy
    The dilemma I have is all of the above.
    My problem is height, I only have 7 feet. The width is 10 feet and the length is 15 feet - so no problems there.
    I have the nose from a real plane and it just fits height wise, so projectors are out of the question (unless I am missing something).
    Just out of interest what angle can I set the LCD screens at?
    At the moment I am using 3 x 24" monitors which are at an angle of around 20deg, If I set them at 45deg, which is what I want for the 50" tv's I have planned then the runway etc is all wrong. They go uphill on the left and right monitor.
    I use Eyefinity with an ATI graphics card for the setup.
    Is there any way I can set them up to 45deg without distorting the view.
    Maybe I should start a new thread.
    Allan.
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  6. #6
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: Brainstorming visuals for an 8'x10' room: inputs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_G_2010 View Post
    I found this (3 NEC Ultra slim bezel 46" LCD's on a triple head) on You tube but haven't dug to deep on the cost.
    I just looked at the cost, and for 3 of them it would cost more than I paid for my new car.
    Mrs Notgotaclue has given the green light for 3 50"tv's but I think she would slap me senseless if they turned up. Then again, she did not specify a price limit.
    Allan.

  7. #7
    300+ Forum Addict Tom_G_2010's Avatar
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    Re: Brainstorming visuals for an 8'x10' room: inputs?

    Quote Originally Posted by notgotaclue View Post
    . . . I think she would slap me senseless if they turned up . . .
    Just be sure the sim pit is weather tight and big enough to sleep in.

  8. #8
    300+ Forum Addict nax228's Avatar
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    Re: Brainstorming visuals for an 8'x10' room: inputs?

    You got more floor then me. My room is 8,85'x6,2' but it is really not recommended to have an inch smaller room to stack in a 737 in
    Had to make a mirrored projection to fill the 6,2' wall with one projector, and getting a surround view in there is just not an option. It is just width enough to make the windowframes, but cannot get a TV between windows and the walls.
    I thought I could manage something, but realize it's just to narrow.
    Moving to a bigger house this fall (if we could only find OUR house) and will work with the surround view then.
    Those NEC monitors looked awesome and awesomely expensive