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post #61 of 74 Old 10-13-2013, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

I don't really get that, you're going to have "bars" regardless of what you do, "black bars" are just dead space. With CIH they're just on the side instead of the top bottom. With masking there's still dead space, it's just covered with velvet or something instead of absence of light on a white screen.

(I know you are aware of much of what follows, but for others looking at this thread as well...)

The black bars annoy people because - using a scope movie on a 16:9 display as an example - you can see the size of your screen, and note that there are two strips of black bars taking up useless space on your screen.
And on most displays, certainly pretty much every projector, those black bars are visibly not black so they don't just "disappear." If you use CIH for you scope movies, obviously you no longer have those black bars for scope; you've got a screen shape, the image fits your screen, no visible black bars.

Masking achieves the same thing. There are no more black bars; it's impossible to be conscious of them because they can't be seen at all, the image simply fits your screen with no visible black bars.

The other issue for unmasked black bars is the perception of contrast. For many (but not all) types of scenes masking can improve the perception of contrast. As you know our perception of contrast is affected by various
factors, one being the proportion of brightness to darkness on a screen. Projected black (on digital projectors) is not pitch black, it's visibly lighter to our eyes. So take a projected "black" on a screen, then start to introduce
some small bright areas on the screen. The black starts to appear blacker in contrast to the brighter areas. Increase the amount of bright object area on the screen proportionate to the black area, and the lack looks darker and darker. As we know, you can have a projector with pretty lame on/off contrast, but on a bright scene with a woman holding a black handbag, the black handbag can look really dark due to it's contrast against the brighter area of the image. But it's when you start increasing the amount of projected black on the screen relative to bright areas, that you give your eye a chance to start seeing it's not really black.

And that's one of the things you are doing when you have projected black bars on a screen (still using 2:35:1 images on a 16:9 screen as example). You've effectively increased the amount of projected black area in your entire image relative to the bright parts of the picture, so your eye picks up the lack of true black quicker and more often as scenes get darker. Masking those bars away increases the bright-to-black ratio of your screen image, increasing the sense of contrast.

A number of times I've opened up my masking just to check it out on a scope movie and, especially for somewhat mixed night scenes I'm just aghast at the difference. It's like my image washes out and I feel like I've just bought a cheaper projector. It's a big sigh of relief when the masks slide back in and the image takes on that "pop" and punch, and that professional edge. I don't think I've read of anyone with a masking system who hasn't had essentially the same experience, the image looking clearly nicer with the masking.

Of course you can do CIH where, with 16:9 content on your 2:35:1 screen you aren't projecting "light gray" black bars on the side, so the side bars can go darker (providing also you have a non-reflective enough room to allow this, or a dark gray screen etc). I can see the black bars getting less distracting that way. But it gets into personal perception territory even more. I've never seen any system that wouldn't benefit from masking.
I have a black pit for movie watching, surrounded in black velvet, and I still see obvious benefit in bringing my side masking in for my 16:9 content.

It's two separate questions really: 1. Whether there is visible benefit for masking away black bars and 2. how much any particular person cares about that benefit (and or cares about the black bars on their screen).
I wouldn't try to argue anyone out of "not caring." If it's something that doesn't bug you, hey that's great. You've saved money. But if someone is interested in further perfecting the presentation and appearance of their image, masking can provide such gains.
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post #62 of 74 Old 10-15-2013, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

You come see my theater sometime. There is no need for masking, None. There are more factors involved than just masking or not.
+1

Some HTs are so well light controlled that one of the primary benefits of masking is experienced before the lights go down. If you are to screen a 1.85 or 1.78 movie, you see a "screen" that AR before the lights go down rather than a 2.37 one. It's a small point of showmanship, I suppose.
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post #63 of 74 Old 10-15-2013, 10:58 PM
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My cinema is totally light controlled to the point even all the ceiling is covered in black felt, nothing reflects. But I can still see the screen sides of a 16:9 image if I don't bring the black side masking into 16:9.
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post #64 of 74 Old 10-16-2013, 02:19 PM
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Yes, but with what screen material? If it's a unity gain or has no directionality, then the screen itself will wash out (light up) the unused sides.
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post #65 of 74 Old 10-16-2013, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

You come see my theater sometime. There is no need for masking, None. There are more factors involved than just masking or not.
+1

Some HTs are so well light controlled that one of the primary benefits of masking is experienced before the lights go down. If you are to screen a 1.85 or 1.78 movie, you see a "screen" that AR before the lights go down rather than a 2.37 one. It's a small point of showmanship, I suppose.
I agree with that. I loved DNP's full screen masking. If I was going to build one, I'd probably shoot for full screen closure.
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post #66 of 74 Old 10-16-2013, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

Yes, but with what screen material? If it's a unity gain or has no directionality, then the screen itself will wash out (light up) the unused sides.
Centre Stage XD acoustic gain 1.2 now. Old screen AT weave gain 1.0, both screens show up unused areas in a completely light controlled room, that's why I use masking.
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post #67 of 74 Old 10-23-2013, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

+1

Some HTs are so well light controlled that one of the primary benefits of masking is experienced before the lights go down. If you are to screen a 1.85 or 1.78 movie, you see a "screen" that AR before the lights go down rather than a 2.37 one. It's a small point of showmanship, I suppose.

My scenario would become awkward if you have manual masking and plan to screen trailers in a different AR than the feature. That's a strong case for motorized masking, I suppose.
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post #68 of 74 Old 10-23-2013, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

My scenario would become awkward if you have manual masking and plan to screen trailers in a different AR than the feature. That's a strong case for motorized masking, I suppose.

Motorised masking is a wonderful thing to have, it certainly does increase the showmanship if that's what you care about.
Nothing wrong with good old fashioned showmanship, the cinemas once had it, can you remember when?????
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post #69 of 74 Old 10-24-2013, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RapalloAV View Post

Motorised masking is a wonderful thing to have, it certainly does increase the showmanship if that's what you care about.
Nothing wrong with good old fashioned showmanship, the cinemas once had it, can you remember when?????

Yes, we do enjoy entertaining friends with screenings! smile.gif I guess no surprise considering the movie making background. We like to have themed nights. For instance, we did a Bond night for Skyfall where we began the evening at cocktail hour serving Vesper martinis, etc. I do my homework on whatever the show is, and provide an introduction including insider information on the making of the movie, sometimes even providing artifacts of interest. Then it's show time. It is not a dedicated room, so I can't go as far as curtains, but moving masking would be cool! smile.gif

Whose system do you use? I got an email from Prismasonic that they've just launched their new motorized masking system. With the currency conversion and shipping, it lands at about $4K for a 125" wide. Also, I'm not familiar with their screens.

I'd like to see Chris Seymour tackle a motorized masking solution for fixed screens.
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post #70 of 74 Old 10-24-2013, 09:17 AM
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There's a limit to how inexpensive you can go. Moggie in the DIY forum built an awesome masking system, but IIRC he's got close to (if not over) $2k invested in it (not counting his time):
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1295320/diy-curved-at-screen-with-somfy-based-automated-masking

At some point I'd like to build a masking system modeled off his design, but I haven't had/taken the time to do that yet. Manual panels wouldn't work well for me since I use my system for a lot of stuff so manual panels would end up getting changed multiple times per session or never at all.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #71 of 74 Old 10-24-2013, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

Yes, we do enjoy entertaining friends with screenings! smile.gif I guess no surprise considering the movie making background. We like to have themed nights. For instance, we did a Bond night for Skyfall where we began the evening at cocktail hour serving Vesper martinis, etc. I do my homework on whatever the show is, and provide an introduction including insider information on the making of the movie, sometimes even providing artifacts of interest. Then it's show time. It is not a dedicated room, so I can't go as far as curtains, but moving masking would be cool! smile.gif

Whose system do you use? I got an email from Prismasonic that they've just launched their new motorized masking system. With the currency conversion and shipping, it lands at about $4K for a 125" wide. Also, I'm not familiar with their screens.

I'd like to see Chris Seymour tackle a motorized masking solution for fixed screens.

I made my own using a Goelst 6200 track - 4:3, 16:9 & Scope. The Goelst track is beautifully made, I also have a second one for my main curtain which travels round the left and right walls and is hidden in the side wall panels. The Goelst track is not cheap, but it works a dream every single time and stops perfectly at exactly the same spot on the dot. Its all setup with RS232, so when I hit the button on the ipad, the masking moves, the lens, Lumagen stretch happen all at the same time, the presentation is seamless and looks amazing. The motor is also setup with a slow start and stop so that too looks pretty nice, its very impressive going from 16:9 to scope. cool.gif

Chris has a wonderful AT screen, I love mine, Im sure he would design a nice off the rack system. I would much prefer to buy such a system than try to make one, you do invest a heap of time perfecting it......

You can see my setup in my signature.
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post #72 of 74 Old 10-24-2013, 11:04 AM
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Thank you for the response. I remember the progress photos now that I see them again. smile.gif Your curtain system is very cool. I also remember the KL-7800s.

Yes, maybe Chris will tackle this some day.

Cheers.
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post #73 of 74 Old 10-25-2013, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Cam Man,

I second the recommendation of the Goelst curtain/panel systems.

I wanted a flat "masking" panel system, vs curtains, so I used their panel system and employed hanging black velvet panels that slide in and out for masking numerous image sizes ans ARs.
The system is very slick, quiet and extremely accurate and reliable. I have something like 20 pre-set stopping points I've made via my remote control system, and I use it every day. 4 years later or so and the masking
still stops on a dime, exactly in the right spot, for any pre-set. Especially when I read of all the labor, trouble and headaches the DIY guys go through to make cheaper remote controlled systems, I think the money on the Goelst was worth every cent.

Relevant posts from my HT build thread:


http://www.avsforum.com/t/1254505/rich-hs-variable-image-size-home-theater-build-thread-completed#post_18733107

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1254505/rich-hs-variable-image-size-home-theater-build-thread-completed#post_18735547

Cheers,
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post #74 of 74 Old 10-26-2013, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Cam Man,

I second the recommendation of the Goelst curtain/panel systems.

I wanted a flat "masking" panel system, vs curtains, so I used their panel system and employed hanging black velvet panels that slide in and out for masking numerous image sizes ans ARs.
The system is very slick, quiet and extremely accurate and reliable. I have something like 20 pre-set stopping points I've made via my remote control system, and I use it every day. 4 years later or so and the masking
still stops on a dime, exactly in the right spot, for any pre-set. Especially when I read of all the labor, trouble and headaches the DIY guys go through to make cheaper remote controlled systems, I think the money on the Goelst was worth every cent.

Relevant posts from my HT build thread:


http://www.avsforum.com/t/1254505/rich-hs-variable-image-size-home-theater-build-thread-completed#post_18733107

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1254505/rich-hs-variable-image-size-home-theater-build-thread-completed#post_18735547

Cheers,

Thanks, mate. smile.gif
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