Originally Posted by Screen Shot
3D is not on the top of my priority list, however, it might be fun to watch a few 3D movies - especially with the kids.
I'm just weighing the benefits of an upgraded projector vs. an upgrade to the Carada Masquerade. One of the greatest improvements in the PQ on my current room was simply painting the screen wall black (pic enclosed in original post). I'm guessing the Masquerade will provide a similar level of improvement - especially when watching 2.35 movies.
(BTW, nice review under your signature.)
No one could really tell you what you should do on this one. But since you are looking for opinions....
I've owned a Carada masquerade vertical (top/bottom masking) system for a couple of years and love it to bits. My projectors may change, but once you've lived with the benefits of masking it's very hard to think of doing without it.
It just adds that finishing, cinematic touch and truly, visibly improves the image presentation. Sometimes I'll raise the masks on a 2:35:1 movie just to see what it looks like. Even though both my jvc projectors have great black levels, I still think "yuck" when the masks aren't deployed and I see the bars. The image looks more flat and washed out when I can see more gray "black bars" added to the image.
In fact recently, for other reasons, I borrowed my friend's old Panasonic AE700 720p projector. That's going way back to quite a low contrast, lower res projector. Having seen it for years in my friend's place I was shocked at how good it looked once the image when surrounded by black, especially masked 2:35:1 movies. Even this modest projector gained a window-like effect.
Recently I upgraded my JVC projector from the 3 year old RS20 to the newest RS55. The picture is somewhat more impressive on the new projector. But if I had to do it again I'd have put the money toward some visual upgrades for my room I'd been planning. The RS20 had a tremendously satisfying image that would have easily kept me happy, longer. I feel that putting the pieces in place for a high performance room is job one and so many people pay most attention to the next equipment upgrade. Before I got into projectors I had guests always asking me where I got my super amazing plasma. Yet my plasma was an old 3rd gen ED 42" Panasonic. These were people who owned the latest 1080p plasmas and lcds. The difference was: I'd paid attention to how peripheral factors affected the image. I had a black backdrop behind the plasma and actually masked my plasma for 2:35:2 movies. So you just had this amazingly vivid image hanging in black which gave a window-like depth, and a laser focus was put on only the image.
I get a similar benefit from masking projected images and I'd want to have that in place, before paying for a new projector.
Given your comments on how much you appreciated the effect of painting your screen wall black, you'd seem to be someone who would really appreciate the benefits of the Carada system.
And of course, the cool factor never wears off of pushing a button and watching the masking slide into place, especially with guests.
(btw, I just typed all of this on my iPad and at this point I feel like I want to tear my eyes out and gnaw my fingers off in sheer disorientating frustration. Whoever says these things will replace a regular computer with keyboard is nuts).