Since we are discussing masking systems I would like to take this opportunity to show you our new Black Hole Acoustically Transparent Mask Panel. This new mask panel is something special we have been working on for the past year and is absolutely incredible. It's acoustical transparency properties greatly out perform the other mask panels shown below while being just about as black as our velvet covered frames.
When you are watching dark scenes (night scenes, space scenes) in movies or television that is masked off, the lighter colored mask panels (shown below) are still visible if you are looking for them.
Our first generation mask panels were along the lines of Screen Research (as shown below) which were still slightly visible in these dark scenes. Our second generation mask panels were much better and darker than the other panels shown below but were still barely visible when you really try to look for them in dark scenes. Our new black hole audio transparent mask panels are now non existent in dark scenes.
Why does this matter? The projectors un-used projected black bars get masked off by these mask panels. Even though the projector is not suppose to be projecting light in this unused black area, light still gets through. In normal projected scenes this isn't a big deal because the brightness of the scene overpowers the strayed light in the masked area so the masks completely disappear.
The following picture shows the mask panels from SmX, Stewart and Screen Research all laid out side by side. This shot is unaltered besides being cropped, resized and text added to it.
We took these comparison pictures outdoors on a bright sunny afternoon in direct light so please understand that these mask panels are not normally this light colored under normal theater conditions. However, it does show you what happens when direct light hits the panels.
Here is the original photo that the swatches above were pulled from.