Best Screen Masking System Solution Carada Masquerade or Dalite Multi Format Imager or Others? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-08-2013, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
Looking at best option for an automated widescreen masking system. Plan to go with a large 2:35.1 screen between 136 -150" diag. Looking at best option for masking and screen combo.I currently have a black diamond and love it, but most of the masking systems I have looked at dont fit the frame I have due to size. This means I would have to spend the money for a zero edge which is much more expensive then add the mask. Looking from advice from those in the know on best combo. For ref I have a JVC RS66 with Panamorph 480/ATH1 auto slide. Cost and quality are largest factor, but also function (ability to do multipal aspec ratios and contol) also plays in. Wow factor a must also.

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post #2 of 17 Old 05-08-2013, 12:33 PM
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Jim,

I can't comment on the quality of the Da-Lite masking solution, but I can on the Carada. I own the earlier Carada Horizontal Masquerade system, made for 16:9 screens. But I use it in a variable image size set up, my screen being more like a 2.0 shape, though masked to 2:35:1 for such content.

Carada had already built up a fantastic reputation in terms of quality of product for a generally lower price than the "big boys" like Stewart Filmscreen. They also had an almost peerless reputation for customer service. (Never in my life seen so many great reviews for any company from satisfied customers). After reading very positive reviews for the Masquerade system's build quality and operation, I bought one. In doing so I found that Carada's reputation was well deserved. Their care and communication for my project was tremendous. The Masquerade itself is as slick and professional looking as I could have hoped for (actually, better in terms of design than some of Stewart's more expensive previous masking systems). It has worked reliably for the 3 years I've owned it and it's one of the best parts of my system.

Anyone getting into a home theater renovation finds out that there can be a lot of hair-pulling, missed expectations and frustration dealing with various products, companies and products. So when ONE of those companies turns out to provide everything you need, as you wanted it, with a great product that just works, it stands out as no little thing.

So, as I said, I can't speak to the Da-lite system, but I can recommend Carada with great enthusiasm.
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post #3 of 17 Old 05-08-2013, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Rich,
Thanks for the feedback. I am impressed with the feedback on Carada and the Masquerade looks like an impressive system. Do you have any experience with there screens. I understand they make one that is specifically for the system. I am guessing I would go with the bright white but am concerned with ceiling reflections. Have been use to the Black Diamond for some time and really like what it does to stop reflections, plus provides good contrast with some lights on. When it comes right down to it both the Dalite and the Carada offer similar functions and for a similar price, thats where the service makes the difference.
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SI Black Diamond Zero Edge G2, 144", 1.4 Gain, 2:35 Aspec)



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post #4 of 17 Old 05-09-2013, 08:45 AM
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The Black Diamond has a large frame. I believe it will fit, but you would have to shim the masking system out from the wall to make it work. Should make for a very nice setup.

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post #5 of 17 Old 05-09-2013, 06:06 PM
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Jim,

I"ve had the Carada Brilliant White material in a full screen, and have samples of their other materials.

The BW material is terrific - super smooth, really wide viewing angles, good color accuracy. I loved it and changed mostly because I need a bit more gain because I use a really big screen.

If you are already using a Black Diamond screen that implies you've got some room issues either with reflective room surfaces or you like to watch with the lights on some times. The Carada BW material is not very suitable for rooms that have much in the way of light surfaces or ambient light - the very properties that make it have such wide, even viewing angles means it is also prone to picking up ambient light or room reflections and washing out the image somewhat.

You CAN use a white screen in a room with some lights on if you set up your lights right. That is, if you have narrow-beam pot lights or some track lights over the seating area only, then the light will not be aimed at the screen
and so long as your room isn't super reflective, you should still get a pretty good image while having task lighting on.
I do this myself, though I very rarely actually choose to watch with lights on.

Also, the Carada will be somewhat lower gain than your screen, but perhaps in practice it might even out since your BD screen will not be uniformly bright like the Carada.

Have you actually checked whether the Carada Masquerade will fit your current black diamond screen? The Masquerade has a wide frame that is made to fit right over most existing screen frames.
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-09-2013, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been exchanging some emails with them. It appears that i might be able to use my current sceen if I build a wooden frame and afix the screen to it. Seems like a possible solution, so then it comes down to do I want a larger screen or not. I think the answer to that is yes, but still contemplating. In either case the combination of the Cadara and a BD would be a knock out!


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Stewart Ultramat 200, 120", 2.0 Gain, 16x9 Aspec Screen (Motorized)



SI Black Diamond Zero Edge G2, 144", 1.4 Gain, 2:35 Aspec)



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post #7 of 17 Old 05-10-2013, 11:19 AM
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I did the wood frame thing too. I bought Stewart screen material but had it attached to the outside of a wooden frame, placed on the wall. The Masquerade fit easily over top.
Works like a charm.

Make sure if you go for a bigger screen that you consider all factors: whether you'll get a bright enough image, whether your room is reflective, whether you like to watch with some lights on, etc. Something to note: Generally, the larger your screen the more sensitive it will get to reflections from nearby ceilings/walls.
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-11-2013, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Parys View Post

I have been exchanging some emails with them. It appears that i might be able to use my current sceen if I build a wooden frame and afix the screen to it. Seems like a possible solution, so then it comes down to do I want a larger screen or not. I think the answer to that is yes, but still contemplating. In either case the combination of the Cadara and a BD would be a knock out!

This is what I was talking about, when I said shim the frame. It is the masking system that has to be shimmed out, not the screen.

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post #9 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 07:02 AM
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Just wanted to add my 2 cents and agree that Carada makes a fine product. I recently upgraded to a CIH 140", 2.40:1 BW Masquerade system. No issues whatsoever. Works every time perfectly. Adds so much aesthetic value and helps to strengthen contrast on 16:9 content. I hope that you have a fully light controlled environment, though. I also have the JVC RS-66. It has plenty of light, but only with black theater room. I got the 66 for the lens memory function (I don't use a lens), and I won't argue your thoughts about anamorphic lens superiority, but with the lens memory I am very happy with my results. I even had various ratios calibrated to match light output and can barely tell the difference between them in that regard. I would look no further than Carada for this. You will be very happy.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-15-2013, 09:41 AM
 
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something to consider.

These masking systems, while wonderful and do make a difference, are very expensive.

I am exploring 2 other alternatives that I thought might be of value to others.

1) SI Black Diamond screen. Yes, this is an expensive screen but cheaper than a good white screen with a masking system. And no, it is not 100% black for the black bars, it comes close. An interesting alternative.

2) a black curtain that can pulled - manually or electronically - to accommodate 4:3, 16:9 and 2:35 material. Of course, this only will help the sides - not top and bottom. But if combined with a 2:35 screen, it can also be effective.

Thought I would share as these are 2 options I am exploring. (Actually, I am planning on doing both - BD 2:35 screen and motorized curtain later).
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-15-2013, 03:53 PM
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I recently painted the vertical blinds in my living room to help darken it. One large window gets direct sun in the winter and the blinds were passing some light through the plastic. I painted one side satin black and the other a darker shade of blue than my walls, This got me thinking about curtains and masking. If I had a CIH 2.35:1 screen could I use vertical blinds as curtains/masking? Perhaps paint one side black for the masking, then paint the other to match or contrast with the room. Set up two blinds so they open from the center, then manually adjust them to the 16:9 or 4:3 position, then rotate them so the black side is facing out. When done, close them to cover the screen and rotate them so the colored side is facing out.
Just thinking out loud here.
td
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-16-2013, 06:39 AM
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People use curtains (and sometimes blinds) to mask their images. Just put a curtain rail over your screen, and bring in curtains on each side to mask your image (assuming CIH 2:35:1 set up here).
It's best to use black curtains for this, velvet being best because it can absorb any spill-over light on to the curtain better than other materials. If you go this route you should try to make the leading edges of the curtain, the masking edges, as straight as possible. Nothing worse than a sloppy line framing your image. You just need to sew in something stiff along the edge, like a wooden dowel or piece of wood trim.

Motors to make the curtains remote-controlled are actually fairly cheap too. I ended up using a motorized curtain system for my side masking (I use 4 way masking, the Carada Masquerade does my top/bottom masks). Instead of curtains per se, I made black velvet flat hanging panels which work great.

Though, for a simply CIH system, nothing will be as easy to set up, use and look as slick as a system like the Carada masking, since it's all invisibly built in to the frame for a very neat look.
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post #13 of 17 Old 09-17-2013, 03:42 PM
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Time to bring some life to this thread..

I have a Carada 115" 2:35 screen with the thicker border.

Do they make a motorized masking system for this style of screen? Unless I am reading it wrong, the masquerade setups are for standard 16x9 screens..
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post #14 of 17 Old 09-17-2013, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COACH2369 View Post

Time to bring some life to this thread..

I have a Carada 115" 2:35 screen with the thicker border.

Do they make a motorized masking system for this style of screen? Unless I am reading it wrong, the masquerade setups are for standard 16x9 screens..

They do both.
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-20-2013, 07:04 PM
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Got some pricing on both the Carada and Da-lite. Carada is significantly more expensive... Now trying to figure out what to do.
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post #16 of 17 Old 09-21-2013, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COACH2369 View Post

Got some pricing on both the Carada and Da-lite. Carada is significantly more expensive... Now trying to figure out what to do.

I'm actually surprised, Carada's prices are quite reasonable and hard to beat for infinitely variable CIH masking systems. Are you sure you weren't quoted on the Pro Imager Horizontal Masking System rather than the Multi-Format Imager? The former simply uses two panels connected by a weighted bar at the bottom which roll down from the top of the screen. If your screen is 2.35:1, you can only mask to 1.78:1 as the panels are fixed width. The Multi-Format Imager would be the equivalent of the Carada CIH, in that it has variable width masking panels that move in from the sides and can mask your 2.35:1 screen down to any AR between 'scope and 1.33:1.

According to the MSRP price lists on Da-Lite's website, a dealer would have to offer the Multi-Format Imager at 30% off of list to equal the price of the CIH Masquerade.

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post #17 of 17 Old 09-22-2013, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Benkin View Post

something to consider.

These masking systems, while wonderful and do make a difference, are very expensive.

I am exploring 2 other alternatives that I thought might be of value to others.

1) SI Black Diamond screen. Yes, this is an expensive screen but cheaper than a good white screen with a masking system. And no, it is not 100% black for the black bars, it comes close. An interesting alternative.

2) a black curtain that can pulled - manually or electronically - to accommodate 4:3, 16:9 and 2:35 material. Of course, this only will help the sides - not top and bottom. But if combined with a 2:35 screen, it can also be effective.

Thought I would share as these are 2 options I am exploring. (Actually, I am planning on doing both - BD 2:35 screen and motorized curtain later).

I like the curtain idea, another idea I had was using something like a Blackout roller shade, place one the left and right of a 2.35 screen, and hide them under a black valance above the screen, then just pull them down for 16.9 viewing.

Sure would be simpler if we had the ability to just add black bars to the image via the projector.

Edit: this place has black roller shades as small as 7 inches wide which would be suitable for masking 2.35 sides for 16.9 and easily hiddden under a valance but very expensive for the size; http://www.blindsgalore.com/products.asp?id=blackout/price-10-124/roller-shades/size-7x60/window-shades/
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