Somis CIH Masking System - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
audioguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Not far from Atlanta - but far enough!
Posts: 3,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Liked: 120
I recently installed a motorized masking system on my 120 inch Stewart screen and have it set for wide open (2.35) and 16 x 9. I purchased it from Somis Systems. I believe I was their first customer for this particular product.

Since I was their "Beta" customer, the documentation was not anywhere near acceptable but they have since remedied that (I have a copy of the most current documentation).

The company spent time with me on the phone to work through the install process since the documentation lacked clarity. My guess would be that to install the non-motorized version would take less than a couple of hours at most given the current documentation. Much of the system comes pre-assembled.

It works like a champ. Each mask currently operates independently via remote. I know they are in the process of upgrading the electronics package for the system.

If you are in the market for a motorized (or manual) masking system, check them out. Their pricing is WAY less than the competition. The retail on my motorized system was $1490. The manual system is considerably less (and is upgradeable to a motorized version).

And, of course, the apparent improvement in black level with the masks in place is dramatic.
audioguy is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 01:30 PM
AVS Special Member
 
pocoloco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,028
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Holy s**t... that price is incredible!! I'm glad i've been slacking on my DIY masking project.

Can you provide some more detail around the quality of the motors, 12v triggers, the remote control?

Also, pictures please.

Dug up a link:
http://www.somissystems.com/product_...&products_id=1
pocoloco is online now  
post #3 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 03:28 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,960
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Liked: 313
Wow! Look at the price for the motorized lens system! I'll have to keep this company in mind.
R Harkness is online now  
post #4 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
audioguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Not far from Atlanta - but far enough!
Posts: 3,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Liked: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocoloco View Post

Holy s**t... that price is incredible!! I'm glad i've been slacking on my DIY masking project.

Can you provide some more detail around the quality of the motors, 12v triggers, the remote control?

Also, pictures please.

Dug up a link:
http://www.somissystems.com/product_...&products_id=1

Pictures will be difficult since my entire front wall is black acoustic material that also covers the screen frame. Not much to see. I'm not sure about the quality of the motors. I would not know good from bad. There is no 12volt trigger in my system but remember that mine is the FIRST one he delivered and I know he is working on new electronics.

The current remote is from some other device that he programmed for his screen masking system -- all as a prototype. Each mask currently moves independently so you hit a remote key to move one mask forward, hit another key to change mask selection and then hit the same "forward" key to move the other mask. Screen stops are currently set by placing magnetic pieces in the rails but again, that is not how the production system will operate. You will be able to define presets with the remote.

My recommendation is to email the company and ask them your specific questions at sales@somissystems.com

I personally think he is grossly under-priced but it is his company and not mine!

The Carada mask is about $4700 and the Dalite mask is about $2300. So go figure.

He is a small company so be patient and you will end up (based upon my experience) with a nice product.
audioguy is online now  
post #5 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 04:01 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
HogPilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Good Ol' US of A
Posts: 2,884
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Wow, that is indeed some very low pricing - nice. If you don't mind sharing, who is "he" and what is "his" past experience with this kind of stuff? There's little to no information on the website about the company.

There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

HogPilot is offline  
post #6 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 05:30 PM
Advanced Member
 
taffman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
The price sounds great, but I do not like the idea of having to independently move the left and right masks - they need to move together to look professional like the cinema.
taffman is offline  
post #7 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
audioguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Not far from Atlanta - but far enough!
Posts: 3,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Liked: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by taffman View Post

The price sounds great, but I do not like the idea of having to independently move the left and right masks - they need to move together to look professional like the cinema.

I agree but as I noted, I was the Beta (or maybe Alpha) customer. I know of several changes that are being made to the electronics package that will officially ship. My recommendation is to email the company and ask them if the masks will move simultaneously or not.
audioguy is online now  
post #8 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 07:25 PM
Member
 
Somis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
If anybody wants to know who "he" is, well my name is Don Newquist, and I started and (unsuccessfully) operated HTIQ a few years back.

I guess I don't have to mention that HTIQ is out of business. The reason why HTIQ failed was because I didn't fully comprehend what was going to be required in running the overall business, doing the marketing, delivering an easy to install product, providing outstanding customer service, while I was also was trying to perform R&D, production, sales, AND keep an outside full time engineering job. Quite frankly, I was overwhelmed. But, I learned a lot from that experience. I also learned a lot about myself.

About 2 years ago, I decided to call it quits, and focus on my corporate engineering career. But I had this nagging feeling that I had left something unfinished, and left some customers "holding the bag". So, I decided to re-design the systems, and come up with something that was truly affordable, well built and easy to install.

I have since left my outside engineering job in order to start and manage Somis Systems. Call me crazy, but I just had to finish what I had started. I am doing this full time, and I am very focused on making this business successful.

The new masking systems I have designed were 2 years in the making. They are VERY well engineered, use quality components, and are VERY easy to assemble. I have spent considerable time on the manuals to insure this. A friend recently put together a non-motorized system in less than an hour.

What's unique about these designs is that you can buy a manual system now, and upgrade it to a motorized system with a motor upgrade kit anytime in the future. The motor upgrades will hopefully be available in June of 2010.

Meanwhile, I am going through my HTIQ customer database, and contacting people that have previously purchased systems. Of those I have contacted thus far, I have had some positive feedback, and some negative feedback. Of those folks that have non-working units, I have agreed to upgrade them to the new systems at no charge.

While I am disappointed that my first start was less than successful for my customers and me, I feel very good about of what we have designed and produced and the plans we have put into place to effectively and efficiently deliver and support a quality product. I'm very passionate about this industry. My goal is to build the trust of the home theater community.

Best Regards,

Don Newquist
Somis Systems
Somis is offline  
post #9 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 07:45 PM
AVS Special Member
 
pocoloco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,028
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somis View Post

I have spent considerable time on the manuals to insure this.

Don, are these manuals available? I want to check out in detail how everything works and see if it would work within the constraints of my setup.

Thanks.
pocoloco is online now  
post #10 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 08:17 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
HogPilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Good Ol' US of A
Posts: 2,884
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Don,

I had a feeling that it might be you when I saw the website. It seems that you've put a lot of time, thought, and energy into your new company and I hope that it will be very successful - you certainly seem to be off to a good start. I'm looking forward to reading some more end user feedback here on your new products.

Just curious, do your new masking systems include screens with them, and if so do you have any plans to make AT variants (both screen and masking systems) in the future? Also, what kind of motors will you be using once they become available? Oh, and what are the "masking screen frames" that you have listed under your products?

HP

There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

HogPilot is offline  
post #11 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 09:11 PM
Member
 
Somis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hi HP-

If you are curious, I do not use Somfy motors, since they are expensive. Somfy makes a great product, but I couldn't have offered a system at this price point with them. I use DC gear motors, which are rated at 1000 hours continuous operation. If you think about the duty cycle of the application, then you will understand that these motors will last 15+ years under normal use.

I also design and manufacture my own controllers. The controllers will have presets.

As far as the masking screens, yes, this is planned for the near future. There will be an AT option.

Don
Somis is offline  
post #12 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 09:16 PM
Member
 
Somis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
pocoloco-

I can email you a user manual.

Don
Somis is offline  
post #13 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 09:25 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Chrisx510's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 1,587
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hey guys I am also receiving a 1.78 screen in the next week. I have been talking to Don for the past several months on these products and I think you guys will be amazed!

I will be starting a thread in the screen section of the forums and I will have pictures of the masking system build. I will also have a video up of the masking system in action.

My First Home Theater

300 Blu-Rays, 150 DVD's loaded in my Movie Server!

Thanks AVS for making me addicted to this hobby!
Chrisx510 is offline  
post #14 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 10:08 PM
AVS Special Member
 
pocoloco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,028
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somis View Post

pocoloco-

I can email you a user manual.

Don

PM sent.
pocoloco is online now  
post #15 of 120 Old 05-04-2010, 10:32 PM
Advanced Member
 
HDGTX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SE TN
Posts: 681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Don,

Good to see you back on the AVS Forum. Best of luck with your new products & company. Looking forward to see the OP's build out. I will check out your new web site also.

Glad to hear you are reconnecting with your old customers & taking care of them.

John
HDGTX is offline  
post #16 of 120 Old 05-05-2010, 01:25 PM
Advanced Member
 
T.Wells's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Philadelphia Area
Posts: 754
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDGTX View Post

Don,

Glad to hear you are reconnecting with your old customers & taking care of them.

John

I can confirm that Don had reached out to me and take care of his previous issues at HTIQ. In 2007, I ordered and paid for a motorized masking system that I waited on for over 1-year and was never completed. Don eventually agreed on providing a full refund.

Don recently reached out me via e-mail and noted that he had not refund all of my money. He offered me a manual system or repayment of the amount owed. Since I implemented an inexpensive motorized CIH masking system, I took him up on the refund offer. He has agreed to make an effort to repay me the remaining funds owed.

-T.Wells
T.Wells is offline  
post #17 of 120 Old 05-05-2010, 03:11 PM
Member
 
Somis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
What Tom is referring to is a $300 re-stocking fee. In the end, I didn't feel right about keeping it, so I'm refunding his 300 bucks.

Don
Somis is offline  
post #18 of 120 Old 05-05-2010, 03:28 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
mgkdragn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Illinois, East of St Louis
Posts: 10,624
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked: 601
Stumbled on the thread while drifting ... since drooling over the Masquerade for a year, maybe this is my solution.

Carada 106" 16:9 ... will it work .. ?? Do you have your own thread on AVS ..? I also thought the fixed screen stands you have shown on your site were interesting.

Hope this takes off for you

Uncle Willie


Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
mgkdragn is online now  
post #19 of 120 Old 05-05-2010, 04:37 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Chrisx510's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 1,587
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn View Post

Stumbled on the thread while drifting ... since drooling over the Masquerade for a year, maybe this is my solution.

Carada 106" 16:9 ... will it work .. ?? Do you have your own thread on AVS ..? I also thought the fixed screen stands you have shown on your site were interesting.

Hope this takes off for you

I will be starting a 16x9 screen masking thread next week for Somis. My system should be here by next week.

My First Home Theater

300 Blu-Rays, 150 DVD's loaded in my Movie Server!

Thanks AVS for making me addicted to this hobby!
Chrisx510 is offline  
post #20 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 04:38 AM
Member
 
HD in Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bath, OH
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Cool news, Don. I wish you the best of success.

I've been very pleased with the Carada Masquerade (136"), but understand that the price point keeps many potential buyers on the sideline.

Do your side masks unfurl from a roll in the side channels?
HD in Ohio is offline  
post #21 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 07:53 AM
Member
 
Somis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Brad-
Yes, the masking rolls up on 1.5 inch rollers on each side of the screen.

Don
Somis is offline  
post #22 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 08:49 AM
umr
AVS Club Gold
 
umr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 10,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 29
umr is offline  
post #23 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 10:13 AM
Member
 
Somis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
umr-
The masking systems are designed to fit any screen, including Carada.

Don
Somis is offline  
post #24 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 10:47 AM
Senior Member
 
misterkit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 480
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Would there be an option to upgrade to a somfy motor if we wanted? How is quickly can the masks open and close for a 120 diagonal 2:35? What about an option to fully close the screen (to protect the screen)?
misterkit is offline  
post #25 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 11:48 AM
Member
 
Somis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Yes, Somfy can be an option, so long as they can run on 12-24VDC. I will have to check on prices. And yes, it is possible to fully close the screen.

Don
Somis is offline  
post #26 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 11:53 AM
AVS Special Member
 
oman321's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: MASS
Posts: 4,688
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Liked: 30
Welcome back Don,

I was always interested in your former projects and developments and felt bad with what ended up happening. I am glad to see you are back on your feet and going gun ho with this endeavor. I wish you the best of luck and much success.

Question for you. Do you suppose your system may be adaptable to my DIY curved screen? You can see some images and my final product on my screen build thread below. If need be I can modify it to some extent, and it probably won't be something I would be ready for in the near future, but more of a curiosity of mine since your product seems so affordable. Thanks either way.
oman321 is offline  
post #27 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 12:43 PM
Member
 
Somis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Oman-
The track I use is 1-inch aluminum, and not very bendable. Unless of course I was the Incredible Hulk, but then I wouldn't have any brains.

However, for curved screens, I can use a track that is more pliable. The trick is to use more attachment points along the screen frame.

I will look into this. Wouldn't mind having a curved screen myself!

Don
Somis is offline  
post #28 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 02:25 PM
Senior Member
 
misterkit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 480
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
great. I will keep an eye on this one. sounds like there are some nice options.
misterkit is offline  
post #29 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 02:59 PM
umr
AVS Club Gold
 
umr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 10,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somis View Post

umr-
The masking systems are designed to fit any screen, including Carada.

Don

Cool.

How would it work with an 86" diagonal 16:9 Criterion series?
umr is offline  
post #30 of 120 Old 05-06-2010, 04:46 PM
Member
 
Somis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Jeff-

Not a problem with an 86 inch Criterion.

Don
Somis is offline  
Closed Thread DIY Constant Height

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off