The official SeymourAV center stage screen thread! - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 2703 Old 12-02-2007, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscmore View Post

Yes, the motor and cord exit can be ordered on the right side...it isn't rocket surgery, (which is hard.)

Well I thought the motor could probably be flipped-over, since it is a two-way, but still there are mfrs for which this would threaten a complete tailspin.

Quote:


If you don't need a retractable screen, they are never a better solution because of their retractability...If it were my money, I'd buy Carada's Brilliant White....Sorry if that sounds soap-boxish...We won't be be abandoning acoustics for any future screen material options.

Your candor is remarkable, and much appreciated. I've been given a "yellow caution on its way to green" (yes in some countries this is done ) to do our HT right, which means a 2.35 screen and pj, but I must retain our 60" HDTV per the War Department. That's fine by me, but it requires a solution whereby the 10' 2.35 screen is out-of-the-way for some part of the time. Your electric screens are reasonably priced and well-constructed so you're tops on my list, despite that my speakers are already to-the-sides and below of the future screen position. I don't know if I've been good enough this year to get Santa's attention, but unless the economy takes a complete nosedive (impossible I think in this new ez-come-ez-go society) then my shots will be fired in 2008. Many thanks, sir!
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post #92 of 2703 Old 12-04-2007, 11:58 AM
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This is just the thread I've been looking for!! I'm building a theater, or more correctly, a media room in my basement. Like other's before me, the CFO says that the 48" HD CRT RPTV must be in the room too. So, I've been looking for the right acoustically transparent electric drop down screen. By "right" I mean good visually, good acoustically, and good price. Looks like the Seymour AV Center Stage is just the ticket.

I sent my first email with my room set up and questions to Chris this morning at 10:01 and got a reply at 10:10! Chris simply said that he had gotten my email and would be reviewing it later. Now THAT'S customer service!

I'm also glad that I'm just now getting ready for my screen, rather than several months ago. The Center Stage screen "whole Monty" has all the features I've been looking for: electric drop down, acoustically transparent, black backed, tab tensioned, and sized for my space.

My Panasonic PT-AE2000U projector should arrive today! It's now time to order the screen, and once Chris looks over my info and says his screen will work great (and I'm sure it will), I'll order it. Construction is coming along, with studs, riser, electric and HVAC all to be complete this Thursday (12-Dec-2007). I

I've been too busy with all this stuff (we're also putting in a bathroom and small wet bar) to get some pictures up on my web space, but I will soon.

Oh, my speakers will all go behind the screen. The center channel sits on top of my RPTV. I'm sorry to say (for Chris), it's an MTM. My mains are Polk Audio RT-2000p powered sub towers, the center is the matching Polk CS-400, and my rears are Polk RT-800p smaller towers. I'm looking hard for some used Polk F/X 1000 or F/X 500 speakers for my side surrounds. An Integra DTR-7.1 powers the system. No HD DVD for me yet. CFO says no more expenses
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post #93 of 2703 Old 12-04-2007, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillStratton View Post

No HD DVD for me yet. CFO says no more expenses

Geez, Bill, I was jealous right up to this last! You gotta find $500 more for the HD-XA2!

Nice first post. Let us know how your project works out.
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post #94 of 2703 Old 12-04-2007, 03:19 PM
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If it wasn't so frustrating, it would be funny. We're spending a lot of cash to make a nice (not fancy or high end) theater, bath, foyer and wet bar. Decisions like +/- $500 for tile/carpet/lights.... are no problem, but no new A/V hardware for me! I can't complain though. It was my agreement that the only new purchases for the new room would be the projector and screen. I'm OK with that for now.

Hey, my panny arrived an hour ago! Too bad I'm tied up tonight. It won't even get unboxed
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post #95 of 2703 Old 12-04-2007, 04:24 PM
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I'm currently building a theater for my father in his family room and wanted to weigh in on my experience with Chris @ SeymourAV.

Like many in this thread, I had some unique requirements when searching for a screen. It had to be a dropdown as this is a dual purpose room, it had to be acoustically transparent as I have wall-mounted speakers that I wanted to disappear behind the screen, and it had to be relatively affordable.

Once I found out about SeymourAV (largely from this thread), I contacted Chris. I found his website was fairly helpful in determining rough cost and available options. The best part was that emails and phone calls to Chris were always replied to promptly.

He was also understanding regarding some indecision on my part. I originally wanted to go for a scope (2.35:1) screen, but decided against it. I then purchased a 16:9 B-stock screen he had listed on his site and he agreed to repaint the case for me (it was white and I wanted it black) for a marginal cost.

I have yet to receive my screen, but will post my review here once I do. I have just purchased almost all of the components and cannot wait to set it all up.

For anyone curious, the set up will be as follows:
  • SeymourAV H100 (100" wide, 115" diagonal) 16x9, acoustically transparent, tab-tensioned, electric screen, double-backed black cloth
  • Panasonic AE2000U 1080p projector
  • Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player
  • Marantz SR7002 Receiver/Pre-Amp
  • Sherbourn 7/2100 7-channel amplifier
  • 5 Jamo D 7 LCR THX Ultra2 monopoles
  • 2 Jamo D 7 SUR THX Ultra2 dipoles
  • Epik Conquest Sub

Again, I highly recommend anyone considering going with an affordable AT screen to contact Chris @ SeymourAV.
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post #96 of 2703 Old 12-04-2007, 04:50 PM
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How did you get a B-stock screen?

Nevermind I just saw the section in the store unfortunately none available.
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post #97 of 2703 Old 12-05-2007, 10:03 AM
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I wanted to repost this here in the Official Seymour AV discussion - customer service deserves praise - so I hope it's OK to place this here from another thread that has largely vanished.


I am some 14,000 miles away from Seymour AV but as a Kiwi enthusiast for AT screens, I simply had to try one. I'd written about them a few years back and have used one daily ever since: http://www.audioenz.co.nz/2001/0108.html

I wanted to try a Seymour screen after carefully reading through the details at his WEB site and selecting his product based on the information, good humour and professional style on show.

The screen arrived in New Zealand but was damaged by Fedex on delivery. Chris bent over backwards to help and a second screen was quickly sent Downunder again and arrived without problems - but I know Chris had to talk at length to Fedex and go the extra mile for me to make this all happen.

I've been around this business a long time and I have never received such outstanding service as I did from Chris Seymour. For the record I don't know Chris and have no involvement with his company or himself. But I sure would like to shake his hand and say 'thanks mate' in person.

The screen itself is fabulous and couple that with the care and quality service provided and it really is a pleasure to deal with Seymour AV.

Don't hesitate to get a Seymour screen - great product, great service.
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post #98 of 2703 Old 12-13-2007, 01:53 PM
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Getting closer to an order, and realizing that my question about backing wasn't answered. Given that the electric screen is relatively new I hafta ask again: how is the backing material mated with the screen material? Worrying about separation over time.

I will be going with either the F110 or F120 (can't decide if the 120 is too big--my seating is only 9-10' away).
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post #99 of 2703 Old 12-13-2007, 07:54 PM
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Hi Laserfan -

The black backing material is only bonded and stitched across the top, about 3.5" above the top of the image, in the velvet zone (sounds like a bar...) It's not laminated or bonded anywhere else to the screen material because if they are two individual layers they will roll up at different diameters and lengths. When it's retracted, the black backing layer hangs level with the weight bar. When it's down, the black backing layer hangs 0.75"-1" below the bar. It needs to be a tad bit longer due to it rolling up at a slightly larger diameter than the screen, since it's behind it.

Since it does not affect the image unless there's something problematic, its only job is to block light and stay as out of the way of the sound as possible. It just drapes behind the screen when it's down except recently I've added two bottom corner tie-downs. These are just black thread loops that loosely join the weight bar to holes in the bottom corners of the black backing. Their function is to ensure that the fabric never improperly rolls down and gets reverse-wound inside the case. I've never had that happen to anyone, but wanted to remove the risk.

Talking screen sizes, I think you're thinking too large ("that's what she said"). At 9.5 feet back, a 120" wide image would be a head-turning 55.5 degrees wide. The recommended THX maximimum viewing width is 36 degrees. You can cheat this a bit if you 1) watch almost all HD resolution source material, and 2) are the type of person that sits in the second row at the IMAX, but I wouldn't cheat it much. Being one who likes a punchy, more dynamic, higher resolution-density picture with smooth motion, I watch at about a 34 degree angle (109.3"wide, 15' back). I'd recommend F110 as the max to consider, and even think about the 95-105 range, or moving your seating back.

You're fairly near our minimum recommended viewing distance of 8'. If you want to see a screen sample to confirm that the texture disappears for you at your seating spot, PM or email me your address.

Cheers,
Chris

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post #100 of 2703 Old 12-13-2007, 08:05 PM
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Hey Max -

Thanks for the kudos. Are you going to do a comparison of this material to your previous perf review? I'm sure you have some pearls of wisdom you could share for those who haven't really compared a woven AT material to perfed vinyl.

Thanks to you mate,
Chris

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post #101 of 2703 Old 12-14-2007, 07:58 AM
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Thanks Chris for your very detailed reply, and comments on size. I *really* appreciate it! Dunno when I will finally put stakes in the ground (screen size & specific pj) but hopefully it will be soon...
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post #102 of 2703 Old 12-26-2007, 02:37 PM
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An open question to current owners of the electric drop down Center Stage screen (or Chris). I sent Chris an email, but with Christmas and all I haven't gotten a reply yet.

When dropping the screen down, can the motor be stopped before the screen has reached it's maximum extension?

I've placed my order already, but am rethinking the top extra drop material. I may want the screen to drop lower when there are no people in the second (raised) row of seats. So, if I ordered say, 10" of drop material, could I stop the motor before all 10" is visible, so the bottom of the screen is higher sometimes?
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post #103 of 2703 Old 12-27-2007, 08:58 AM
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Hi Bill -

I'm back. Hopefully you had a nice holiday, too, and had more will power than I did when it came to chocolate things.

The remote has a stop button which does just that. So if you normally had a 10" drop and wanted to on occasion only have a shorter drop, you just have to hit stop wherever you want. There's a bit of command lag, so you can only hit your target with about a 1" resolution. It's not as repeatable as using the motor's internal limits, but if you'll be vertically shifting anyway, it works well.

Cheers,
Chris

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post #104 of 2703 Old 12-27-2007, 10:32 AM
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Thanks Chris. I'll change my order to have more drop. I'll like it better for front row viewing (95%). Then when we have people in the back row, I'll just not drop it all the way. The Panny 2000U makes it very easy to vertically shift, so that won't be a problem.

I'm looking forward to it coming. My theater room is drywalled, textured and we'll be painting it this weekend. The screen should arrive right on time after the carpet is laid and the electrical oulets, switches and fixtures are installed.
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post #105 of 2703 Old 01-04-2008, 04:33 AM
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I am seriously considering this screen in a motorized, drop-down 2.35:1 setup. I have a few questions:

1. The website says that, if you place your L/R's behind the screen, they should *not* be toe'd in. Does anyone have experience with this and what are the audible effects of toe-in?

2. If I go with speakers behind the screen, I can get a larger screen. Is 105" wide screen too large at a seating distance of 10.5 ft, using a 1080p projector? If I place the speakers outside the screen borders, I'm probably limited to a 95" wide screen. Would this be a better option at 10.5 ft.?

3. Is the tab-tensioning apparatus "visible" during viewing? In the picture on the website it looks like it could be somewhat reflective.

4. Has anyone mounted this screen to a dropped acoustical ceiling? If so, how did you do it?

5. I will not (initially) be using a 2.35:1 CIH setup. I will be zooming and lens shifting 2.35:1 movies. For 16:9 viewing, will I need some type of masking for the "blank" bars on the left and right, or will they be dark enough that it won't matter? (Remember, they won't be projected "black" bars, they'll be "blank" bars.)

That's all I can think of for now. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Craig

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Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

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post #106 of 2703 Old 01-04-2008, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

I am seriously considering this screen in a motorized, drop-down 2.35:1 setup. I have a few questions:

Quote:


1. The website says that, if you place your L/R's behind the screen, they should *not* be toe'd in. Does anyone have experience with this and what are the audible effects of toe-in?

Check out this thread where we just discussed this. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=964724

Quote:


2. If I go with speakers behind the screen, I can get a larger screen. Is 105" wide screen too large at a seating distance of 10.5 ft, using a 1080p projector? If I place the speakers outside the screen borders, I'm probably limited to a 95" wide screen. Would this be a better option at 10.5 ft.?

Screen size is a personal thing, but technically speaking, your PQ should be just fine. I am viewing a 115" wide 2.35 at 10 1/2 feet with a 720p projector, and it looks great.

Quote:


3. Is the tab-tensioning apparatus "visible" during viewing? In the picture on the website it looks like it could be somewhat reflective.

Don't know, my SeymourAV screen is DIY with no tensioning. With Chris's attention to detail I would be very surprised if it was reflective.

Quote:


4. Has anyone mounted this screen to a dropped acoustical ceiling? If so, how did you do it?

No, but mine is hanging from chains that are eye hooked into the ceiling studs, if that helps any.

Quote:


5. I will not (initially) be using a 2.35:1 CIH setup. I will be zooming and lens shifting 2.35:1 movies. For 16:9 viewing, will I need some type of masking for the "blank" bars on the left and right, or will they be dark enough that it won't matter? (Remember, they won't be projected "black" bars, they'll be "blank" bars.)

If your L&R speakers are behind the screen, the tricky thing about masking the sides for 16:9 movies is making sure you are not putting the masking in front of your speakers, or that the masking is not going to degrade the sound too much. So I don't mask 16:9 myself. With speakers off to the sides it is of course not an accoustical issue. If I did it I think I would velcro attach some custom made black velvet covered panels on the sides.

Best regards,

Mike
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post #107 of 2703 Old 01-04-2008, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Is 105" wide screen too large at a seating distance of 10.5 ft, using a 1080p projector? If I place the speakers outside the screen borders, I'm probably limited to a 95" wide screen. Would this be a better option at 10.5 ft.?

My seating distance craig john is exactly 10.5' as well, and we've decide a 105" wide 2.35 screen is ideal, though honestly that's my wife talking; I think I could go a mite *bigger* myself. Any chance you could experiment against a wall or something to verify this first? I actually bought a 10' wide Gatorfoam board to use for testing prior to expending big $$ on a screen.

As for mounting, you obviously need something of substance above the ceiling panels to mount to; a motorized screen of this size is heavy! Consider also (besides chains) threaded rod to hang from.

I am considering SeymourAV, and have also looked at Da-Lite's Dual Masking Electrol (2.35 to 16:9) and Draper's Access MultiView E (2.35 to 16:9), both of which have a second roller with side masks to drop in place. All this rolled-up material does make me nervous long-term i.e. wrt wrinkles & such. BTW SeymourAV's screen is by far the most cost-effective, particularly as it has the tab-tensioning system built-in, and nicer controls I think.
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post #108 of 2703 Old 01-04-2008, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

1. The website says that, if you place your L/R's behind the screen, they should *not* be toe'd in. Does anyone have experience with this and what are the audible effects of toe-in?

[Edit: I've edited this post a little since I've since learned that speaker angle has negligible effect on the acoustical properties of the Center Stage screen. See post ~127]

Hi Craig -

I posted this in the other thread, but can expand a bit on it since it's more our little sandbox to play in.

The good thing with woven AT fabrics is that they are far less sensitive to comb filtering than the holy vinyls. This allows for any such compromises one needs to make for their installation much more agreeable.

[Edit: Here I described how the openness of the AT screen fabric will decrease with increased speaker angles. While true, it has negligible effect on audio, so the following pictures are really only meaningful for light opacity curiosities]

All AT fabrics strike a balance between having enough air permeability to allow sound to pass, but with enough opacity to reflect something to watch. Any fabric with a hole and a thickness more than zero, will be to some degree compromised by angling the fabric with respect to the speaker. Increasing angles will cause the holes to decrease in size.

This first picture is looking straight through the material. A non-AT fabric would of course be opaque to this image, which is why they're the sonic tool of the devil.



Below is where the fabric is angled 10 degrees. You can only barely perceive a loss in openness. In reality, the openness is still around 95% of ideal, so the screen is still highly permeable. If towing in your speakers 10 degrees improves their performance in your room, this may be a net benefit. It's free to try.



Below is where the fabric is angled 20 degrees. You're still getting a little above 90% of your openness.



Here's 30 degrees.



40 degrees.



50 degrees.



60 degrees.



And at 70 degrees the fabric is closed up. Here's 65 degrees - it's last breath:



Now keeping in perspective that woven AT fabrics have the lowest degree of acoustic reflectivity, the effects are all up in the top octave and not very meaningful in application.

Different loudspeakers have different dispersion characteristics, and some need tow in more than others. Some speakers would have a benefit from some tow in. Also, different seating schemes benefit from some tow in. The variables of speakers, side wall distances and first reflection points, angle of view and front stage, seating locations and personal preferences will all need to be taken into consideration.

Here's a few scenarios and their tradeoffs:
1) Center only behind the screen, L/R are outside the screen area. This is what I do, and while my center channel has a tweeter switch that compensates 1dB, I still often recommend it.
Benefits:
  • Wider front soundstage. While audiophiles often considered an ideal L/R angle of 60 degrees from the comfy chair, this is often too wide without a center channel. You get a "headphone" effect and a hole opens up in the center. Having a center channel fills this in and allows you to consider a nice wide L/R separation.
  • You can tow in your L/R as aggressively as you want. I personally like a very aggressive tow in, firing the right speaker at the left-most seat, and the left speaker at the right-most seat. This greatly improves the off-axis imaging for the other seats and reduces side wall reflections.
Tradeoffs:
  • If you have a very large viewing angle on your screen, this may just be too wide.
  • Your screen width to wall width may not allow for the space to put the speakers outside the image and still get that big-screen look.
  • The very minor sonic effect from the screen will only be on the center channel. The attenuation of the screen is typically far less than the differences in speaker timbre if you have non-identical front speakers, but if you are doing well enough to get three identical speakers across the front, you may not want that 2dB difference in the top octave between the center and the other two.

2) All three front speakers behind the screen
Benefits:
  • They're all concealed. High WAF.
  • This may better fit your space, since you've obviously made room for the screen.
  • The screen's attenuation is identical for all three speakers.
Tradeoff:
  • Likely too narrow a front soundstage. I doubt your viewing angle is approaching 60 degrees (it better not be), so your front soundstage is likely quite narrow. Boorriing, and likely not up to standards (see post ~129).

3) Nothing behind the screen because you're not yet sold on acoustically transparent screens.
Benefits:
  • You can sit closer than 8ft to the screen
  • You can further climb the gain ladder, even though you lose color and light uniformity.
Tradeoffs:
  • You likely can't use three identical speakers across the front.
  • You're likely limited to either very short speakers or the horribly horizontal ones.
  • Sounds do not come anywhere near from where the image is located.
  • If it's a wall mount screen, your speakers are likely less than 3ft from the rear wall, increasing first order reflections and muddying your sound. If it's a ceiling mount retractable or a box TV, you have a large acoustic reflector between your speakers.

I'll try to dig up some sound charts to more explicitly show what's going on with speaker tow in.

Cheers,
Chris

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post #109 of 2703 Old 01-04-2008, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

I am seriously considering this screen in a motorized, drop-down 2.35:1 setup. I have a few questions:

2. If I go with speakers behind the screen, I can get a larger screen. Is 105" wide screen too large at a seating distance of 10.5 ft, using a 1080p projector? If I place the speakers outside the screen borders, I'm probably limited to a 95" wide screen. Would this be a better option at 10.5 ft.?

3. Is the tab-tensioning apparatus "visible" during viewing? In the picture on the website it looks like it could be somewhat reflective.

4. Has anyone mounted this screen to a dropped acoustical ceiling? If so, how did you do it?

5. I will not (initially) be using a 2.35:1 CIH setup. I will be zooming and lens shifting 2.35:1 movies. For 16:9 viewing, will I need some type of masking for the "blank" bars on the left and right, or will they be dark enough that it won't matter? (Remember, they won't be projected "black" bars, they'll be "blank" bars.)

That's all I can think of for now. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Craig

2. I'd say that's a bit big. You'd be at a 45.2 degree viewing angle. Around 36 is a good goal, the THX recommended maximum, and you can cheat this somewhat if you watch mostly HD source material, mostly film, personally enjoy sitting toward the front of the theater, don't mind motion artifacts and lower contrast ratings. If it were me, I'd recommend the 95 inch width. You could better tolerate standard definition DVD, and your overall picture quality will be smoother and punchier. You'd still be at a large 41.3 degree view. Laserfan's great point is to try it on a bedsheet or wall and know that you like it for various material.

3. Actually the tab tensioning is far more hidden on this screen than the common designs. The hardware only is visible off the upper and lower corners. There is nothing reflective within the 2" border area. There are some steel bits (four turnbuckles, threaded rod, crimp sleeve) where it attaches to the bar in the lower corners, but the visibility of these depends on how much ambient light you have. Your projector wouldn't be hitting these.

4. The screen is around 50lbs, so you'd need something load bearing to attach the mounting rail to.

5. It's a white screen material, so it depends on your ambient light levels and light spill from your projector. If you keep your ambient light down, some of the new projectors have such a dark blank zone and such low light spill that you can barely tell the difference between the two. Still, for a CIH setup you may consider curtains to mask with, etc.

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post #110 of 2703 Old 01-05-2008, 09:19 PM
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How does the gain of the screen look compared to a matte white 1.1 gain?
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post #111 of 2703 Old 01-07-2008, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by chriscmore View Post

Hi Craig -

I'll try to dig up some sound charts to more explicitly show what's going on with speaker tow in.

Cheers,
Chris

Any luck with that, Chris?

Thanks.

Craig

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post #112 of 2703 Old 01-08-2008, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70MM View Post

How does the gain of the screen look compared to a matte white 1.1 gain?

Nearly identical, with respect to brightness. Less than 10% light difference is nearly impossible to perceive unless you're directly A/B'ing them. PM me or ping the website if you want a sample to play with.

Cheers,
Chris

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post #113 of 2703 Old 01-08-2008, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Any luck with that, Chris?

Thanks.

Craig

It's next on my to-do list.

Today the Somfy rep visited and I'm working on making their motors an option. They're quieter, faster, and can be controlled from IR (among other options). So far the adaption plan looks pretty smooth. After I get product and prove it out I'll update the site with available options, specs, and price adders (unfortunately looking quite significant).

Cheers,
Chris

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post #114 of 2703 Old 01-08-2008, 03:07 PM
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I'm trying a sample and wondering, is there a front and a back, or are both sides the same?

Thanks,

Warren
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post #115 of 2703 Old 01-08-2008, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Chris,
Any chance of adding motorized masking to the product in the near future? Say a vertical dropdown to mask 16:9 to 2.35 keeping the same width?

Steve
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post #116 of 2703 Old 01-09-2008, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfrick View Post

I'm trying a sample and wondering, is there a front and a back, or are both sides the same?

Thanks,

Warren

Warren -

Both sides are the same. In a roll shipment, the inside surface is what's inspected to make sure it's free from blemishes.

Cheers,
Chris

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post #117 of 2703 Old 01-09-2008, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

Chris,
Any chance of adding motorized masking to the product in the near future? Say a vertical dropdown to mask 16:9 to 2.35 keeping the same width?


There aren't near-term plans, but having access to Somfy's full line of motors will allow for more innovation. That said, a constant height setup (pillar box masking) would be much more feasible in a retractable than a letter-box masking system.

Cheers,
Chris

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post #118 of 2703 Old 01-11-2008, 11:10 AM
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Chris,

I am going to build a 2.35:1 AT screen. The dimensions of the viewable area would be either 51.1 by 120 (130.4 inches diagonal) or 53.3 by 125.2 (136 inches diagonal)(to be determined later). I will build the frame myself. how much fabric should I order from you if I want to be able tilt the fabric 15 degrees as suggested and have enough excess fabric all around to staple it to the frame?

Thanks for your time!

Stef
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post #119 of 2703 Old 01-12-2008, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscmore View Post

. . . when you fire your speakers straight through your angle of reflection is zero and comb filtering is minimized. Now keeping in perspective that woven AT fabrics have the lowest degree of acoustic reflectivity, the effects are all up in the top octave and not very meaningful in application.

Different loudspeakers have different dispersion characteristics, and some need tow in more than others. I generally recommend that for those speakers that are behind the screen, get the maximum acoustic transparency by firing straight through. But I recognize that some speakers would have a net benefit from some tow in; their sound would improve from tow in more than the increased attenuation from the screen being effectively more closed. Also, I recognize that different seating schemes benefit from some tow in. From a screen perspective, I recommend what's ideal, but the variables of speakers, side wall distances and first reflection points, angle of view and front stage, seating locations and personal preferences will all need to be taken into consideration. If you keep your angles to 20 degrees or less, the screen compromises are very minor and some applications could have a net benefit from it.

I am having some trouble grokking this and I'm hoping that you can help me. Even if all speakers are aimed so that their axis is perpendicular to the screen material, all of their *other* radiated sound will strike the screen at angles. And only one listening position can be on-axis for any given LCR speaker; every other listening position will be off-axis and receiving sound that has hit the screen material at an angle. Too, those on-axis of one of the LCR speakers will be off-axis for the others. My question is - aside from seeking validation of my premise - what is the difference between off-axis sound striking the screen at an angle and ON-axis sound striking the screen at an angle?

Wouldn't the controlling factor of an AT screen's acoustical interaction with the sound be the angles of the listening positions vis-a-vis the screen and not the angles of the speaker axes in relation to same?

Quote:


Here's a few scenarios and their tradeoffs:
1) Center only behind the screen, L/R are outside the screen area. This is what I do, and while my center channel has a tweeter switch that compensates 1dB, I still often recommend it.
Benefits:
  • Wider front soundstage. While audiophiles often considered an ideal L/R angle of 60 degrees from the comfy chair, this is often too wide without a center channel. You get a "headphone" effect and a hole opens up in the center. Having a center channel fills this in and allows you to consider a nice wide L/R separation.

Isn't the goal in our theaters to have the soundstage sync'd with the image? If so, then the 60° angle you cite is only "ideal" if one has a similar angle subtended by the image. Indeed, isn't that the raison d'être for AT screens - to allow speaker placement behind the image?

Quote:


2) All three front speakers behind the screen

Tradeoffs:
  • Likely too narrow a front soundstage. I doubt your viewing angle is approaching 60 degrees (it better not be), so your front soundstage is likely quite narrow. Boorriing.

This also goes to my previous point. Maybe the issue is that you refer to "audiophiles" when mentioning the 60° angle for an ideal soundstage; we are discussing home theaters and what works best for audio accompanying video.

Quote:


  • Limited ability to tow in. Some speakers are highly directional, some sidewalls are close, and some seating schemes really need some tow in. But unless you keep it under about 20 degrees, you're increasingly trading off acoustical transparency.

Again, won't those more than 20° off perpendicular from the screen (in the horizontal axis for the purposes of this discussion) from the point directly in front of any given speaker (regardless of the toe-in of the speaker) experience the trade-off in acoustical transparency?

Since we can't EQ only the off-axis radiated sound, isn't the ideal configuration for LCR behind an AT screen to have speakers with smooth (read: flat) and wide off-axis response, listening positions that are within small angles in relation to the screen and the underlying speakers, toe-in to the geographical center of the listening positions and gentle EQ'ing?
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post #120 of 2703 Old 01-13-2008, 07:06 AM
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I received my sample of SeymourAV screen material today. It does not have the black backing material. It is cut on the "bias" at about a 15 degree angle to the hole structure, just as advertised on the website. My first impression is that it is much more "open" than I expected. With a "spec" of 5% open area, I expected very little visual transparency.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeymourAV View Post

This is done by having the holes as small and closely spaced as possible, while maintaining an openness factor of around five percent.

(emphasis added)
http://www.seymourav.com/screens.asp

Holding it in my kitchen, with nothing but ambient daylight, it's possible to see right through the fabric. (It's probably too opaque to get Victoria Secret's interested in it as a lingerie material , but it's certainly more see-thru than I expected.) In fact, it looks to my eye to be a lot more "open" than just 5%. If you look at the size of the holes vs. the size of the area separating the holes, I would guess the open area to be about 25%, maybe a little more than that, (note that I said "guess", as I don't have the ability to actually measure it.)

Just for reference, I can hold the material up in front of my computer monitor and I can still read my text through the screen material. It's dark and it's blurry, but it's still legible. This is much more visual transparency than I would expect from a material that only has 5% of it's surface area "open". The pictures of the Seymour AV logo that Chris posted above are also an example of the visual transparency of this screen material. In the first few pictures, you can distinctly see the logo through the screen material.

I also held it up 6" in front of my current screen, (Da-Lite HCCV). There is enough light passing through the material to show the image behind the sample on the Da-Lite screen; (of course, it's much dimmer than the direct image on the front of the sample, but it's visible nonetheless.) However, it appears to me that significantly more than 5% of the available light is passing through the screen material.

Surprisingly, even with the light loss through the screen material, the image on the front surface of the sample is still *slightly* brighter than the image on the HCCV screen. This makes some sense as the SeymourAV material is rated at 1.16 gain and the HCCV material is 1.1. Also, blacks are just *slightly* less black than on the HCCV, which again makes sense because the HCCV is a gray base, whereas the SeymourAV is a white base material.

I could see no moire' pattern, but viewing the material from arm's length and holding it about 8" from the Da-Lite screen, the pixel structure of my Sony HS60 seems a little more noticeable on the SeymourAV material, or maybe I should say the image looks more "textured" on the Seymour. However, if I tape the screen sample to the screen, I can't see any more texture on it from my usual seating distance of 12'.

The acoustic transparency is a little harder to judge. I held the sample up in front of the tweeter on my center channel speaker, which is a horn-loaded Klipsch RC-7. From about 2' in front of the speaker and with the screen material 6" to 8" in front of the speaker, I *thought* I could hear a slight attenuation of the tweeter. However, the 8" x 12" sample is too small to make an accurate judgment of this property. Nonetheless, after seeing a sample of this screen material, I am less concerned about acoustic transparency than I am about the light loss and the visual transparency.

So, now I have some more questions:

1. How is the "open" area of the screen calculated? Is an "openness factor" of around five percent the same as 5% open area? Is the light loss through the material 5%? Does the "openness factor" give any indication of how much of the available light is lost through the screen material?

2. How would the black backing affect the light spill-through? Does it soak it up completely so none gets through to the back wall? Without it, will I be able to see the shadows of my speakers through the screen material?

3. Does the black backing deepen the blacks at all?

4. Does the black backing significantly affect the acoustic transparency, especially vis-a-vis the toe-in and off-axis issues discussed by pepar above? Although I plan to place my L/R speakers just outside the screen edges, the off-axis response is still important for any LP off-axis of the CC.

5. The final question I have was raised by a very experienced and knowledgeable AV installer I talked to. Will the screen move at all if there is high level bass output from a speaker behind the screen? How far away do the speakers need to be placed to ensure they don't cause rippling or movement of the screen at 60 to 80 Hz?

Finally, Chris, if you could dig up those measurements, I would be most interested in seeing them. Thanks.

Craig

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Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

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