Upgrade Pearl - or - New Masquerade - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I have enjoyed my Sony Pearl (VW50) for 4+ years and hundreds of movies. Every time the upgrade bug hit, I popped in a new lamp and went back to loving the picture.

Now I am seriously thinking about spending $4K for a new Sony HW30ES, or $3K on another new lamp and Carada Masquerade.

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

http://carada.com/Masquerade-Masking-System.aspx
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post #2 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 07:54 AM
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you can get the HW30 for quite a bit cheaper than that from AV Science.

Are you interested in 3D? The HW30 kit is nice because it comes with emitter and glasses. The 30 is also going to be brighter @ D65 than the older VW50.

Click on the link in my signature if your interested in seeing how the 30 compares to several of the other current models. One benefit is that the lamp in the HW30 is the least expensive of the current models.
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post #3 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zombie10k View Post


Are you interested in 3D? T

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.)
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post #4 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screen Shot View Post

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.)

I'm in the exact same boat except with the VW60. I've already decided on moving to a new Carada 126" Brilliant White Screen with the Horizontal Masquerade System since we recently moved and I'm begining the build on Home Theater V2 from scratch. I've got a 119" DaLite Mat White screen now from my old theater (see my theater pics). I considered the whole CIH setup but with limited width I would lose too much height on the 16x9 content, plus you really need a anamorphic projector and lens setup to do it right and the HW30 doesn't have that capability. This theater like my other will be a bat cave so I may just try my VW60 on the new screen since it's 1.4 gain, but no 3D. The HW30 sounds like it's got it where it counts giving up some features like remote zoom and focus for more light and better contrast at a pretty decent price. It's always tough not knowing what's just around the corner, like maybe a reasonably priced 4K... Everthing I've heard so far indicates that the HW30 is significantly brighter than our older VW50-60 series and in 3D brighter than many projectors that run double the price of the HW30.

JT
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post #5 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 10:47 AM
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Tough call! I love my Masquerade and the contrast boost it brings to the table. I don't think I could live without it now. I would get one then this August/Fall aim for a newer Sony.

For my latest Reviews and Stuff google -> Joe Rod Home Theater .Com
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post #6 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 04:20 PM
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I too am having a difficult time replacing my Pearl. All the newer Sony projectors have a shorter throw ratio other than the VW 1000 and cost aside it is too bright for my 9' wide screen. The only direct Sony replacements are the 60 and 200. Both of them are obsolete now. I need the 2.4 throw of the older Sony units.
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post #7 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CRGINC View Post

and cost aside it is too bright for my 9' wide screen. .

I didn't think that was possible.
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post #8 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by joerod View Post

I would get one then this August/Fall aim for a newer Sony.

Good point - considering that new projectors (technology) are always getting better and less expensive. I doubt the Masquerade will ever get less expensive. Plus I can't see anything obsoleting the Masquerade.

But $3K for a masking system is a lot of dough.

Decisions...
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post #9 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jtgrunden View Post

I'm in the exact same boat except with the VW60. I've already decided on moving to a new Carada 126" Brilliant White Screen with the Horizontal Masquerade System since we recently moved and I'm begining the build on Home Theater V2 from scratch.

Would love to hear your impressions after getting the Masquerade installed.
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post #10 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 06:15 PM
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Keep in mind you can go just a bit over 12 & a half feet wide with the Masquerade. If this year will be like last year we'll know what the HW30ES successor will be in about three months time.
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post #11 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screen Shot View Post

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).
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post #12 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

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.

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.

Thanks for your thoughts - very nicely written.

I think you, joerod and others are doing a nice job of nudging me towards the Masquerade decision.
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post #13 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Screen Shot View Post

Good point - considering that new projectors (technology) are always getting better and less expensive. I doubt the Masquerade will ever get less expensive. Plus I can't see anything obsoleting the Masquerade.

But $3K for a masking system is a lot of dough.

Decisions...

If you want to feel a little better about this just go check out pricing on the Stewart Masking Screens. I have no doubt that Stewart is probably the best screen out there but not 4x better. It's nice that Carada offers a system to fit most existing screens as well.

JT
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post #14 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Screen Shot View Post

Would love to hear your impressions after getting the Masquerade installed.

I'm probably a month out from the actual installation. I'm ordering the MMX screen that's built to go with the masking system so i'm anticipating an easy install. I'm very anxious to see how the 1.4 gain compares to my DaLite mat white at 1.0. I'll probably throw my Black Pearl up for now and wait to see what hits the market this summer. I really thought by now we'd be into more LED light engines but that appears to be a slow progressing technology for front projectors.

JT
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post #15 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 09:43 AM
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A good room and masking does a lot for an image. I would not want to do with out my masking system. I love the look of nothing but image, when looking at the screen. I would probably go with the masking system and then upgrade projectors, but I would buy the masking system based on the size screen I want with the next projector. Would hate to have a masking system, but wanting a larger screen later on. If we can help you, please contact us.

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post #16 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 09:46 AM
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Screen Shot, looking at your game room photo you should paint some of those ceiling tiles above your screen black, also the left & right sides facing front black as well.
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post #17 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 10:09 AM
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Just curious...any reason why you are focused on the Carada over say a Vutec Auto Mask or a Da-Lite Imager?...both in the same price range as the Carada.
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post #18 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by img eL View Post

Screen Shot, looking at your game room photo you should paint some of those ceiling tiles above your screen black, also the left & right sides facing front black as well.


This is an older photo - I painted the tiles a few months ago.
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post #19 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pete View Post

Just curious...any reason why you are focused on the Carada over say a Vutec Auto Mask or a Da-Lite Imager?...both in the same price range as the Carada.

Silly me - last time I researched masking systems I thought Stewart and Carada were the only options. I will call AV Science and get some pricing on the DaLite Imager.

Thanks for the heads-up.

Anyone have a quick summary of the pro / cons of Dalite vs. Carada masking?


http://www.da-lite.com/products/prod...cID=20&pID=244
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post #20 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 10:55 AM
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The widest the dalite goes is 9 1/2 feet vs. Carada's 12 1/2 feet wide
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post #21 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by img eL View Post

The widest the dalite goes is 9 1/2 feet vs. Carada's 12 1/2 feet wide

I'm in luck, my 106" Da-Snap diag 16:9 screen is 96" wide (outside of frame).
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post #22 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I called Da-lite to get some information...

I have 106" 16:9 screen that I want to mask for cinescope 2:35:1. Da-lite calls this a vertical masking system (not horizontal). Strange. And Da-lite does not have a model number for this - they need to take model number 83399V and customize it for my screen. Strange. The standard masking is for 1.78 to 1.33 and 2.35 to 1.78. Strange. Nothing for 1.78 to 2.35.

MSRP is $2,705 without IR - but the young lady on the phone did not seem that confident.

The fact that Da-lite makes this so confusing may make my decision to go with Carada much easier.
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post #23 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screen Shot View Post

I'm in luck, my 106" Da-Snap diag 16:9 screen is 96" wide (outside of frame).

I think we're just about to go off topic for this forum I to have a Pearl, I can't believe I had it 5 & a 1/2 years without upgrading I decided again to just buy a new OEM bulb for the time being.

Here's another masking optionhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGZjM-YdLGg
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post #24 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

Just curious...any reason why you are focused on the Carada over say a Vutec Auto Mask or a Da-Lite Imager?...both in the same price range as the Carada.

Have you explored DIY solutions, either manual or automated? The DIY screen forum can be helpful in this regard using the search function.

See ya. Dave

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post #25 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Have you explored DIY solutions, either manual or automated? The DIY screen forum can be helpful in this regard using the search function.

Thanks for the suggestion, however, I'm not much of a DIY person. I would be challenging my tool skills by installing whatever masking system I purchase from Carada or Da-lite.
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post #26 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 05:20 PM
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I love my Carada Masquerade system as well and it is the first thing that most people comment on when they come over to watch movies.
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post #27 of 33 Old 03-14-2012, 04:17 PM
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Vutec offers a CW H-Mask system that's 54 x 96 and masks down to 41x96 or a CH V-Mask system that's 45 x 106 masking down to 45 x 80. I think they go for about $3K.
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post #28 of 33 Old 03-14-2012, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screen Shot View Post

Thanks for the suggestion, however, I'm not much of a DIY person. I would be challenging my tool skills by installing whatever masking system I purchase from Carada or Da-lite.

Yeah, I understand. I'm a bit of a klutz, but I built a manual system for less than $300 that works wonderfully made out of rigid foam insulation, sheetrock edging, Protostar flocking fabric, a few miscellaneous pieces of hardware, and two tension rods. If I can do it, anyone can.

But if the money isn't the big objection, I too would go for the Masquerade system to go along with my Carada screen.

See ya. Dave

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post #29 of 33 Old 03-14-2012, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jive Turkey View Post

Yeah, I understand. I'm a bit of a klutz, but I built a manual system for less than $300 that works wonderfully made out of rigid foam insulation, sheetrock edging, Protostar flocking fabric, a few miscellaneous pieces of hardware, and two tension rods. If I can do it, anyone can.

But if the money isn't the big objection, I too would go for the Masquerade system to go along with my Carada screen.

I'm about 2 orders of magnitude behind you in sophistication, but I also got some styrofoam wall installation panels (1.5" thick) at Home Depot, cut them to size and also covered them with protostar flocking fabric (amazing stuff). My screen is a Dalite Da-Snap, 1.5" square frame, screen material snapped onto the rear: so I simply slip the appropriate foam panel inside the screen frame. Fits perfectly, is trivial to do (since i have to get up to put the BD in the Oppo anyway), and my total cost was below $50. (My projector, Sony VW1000, has lens memory, so it shifts the picture to the correct position with a button push.) The protostar fabric is essentially same material that the screen frame is covered in, so it looks perfect.
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post #30 of 33 Old 03-15-2012, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by millerwill View Post

My screen is a Dalite Da-Snap, 1.5" square frame, screen material snapped onto the rear: so I simply slip the appropriate foam panel inside the screen frame. Fits perfectly, is trivial to do (since i have to get up to put the BD in the Oppo anyway), and my total cost was below $50. .

Sounds interesting. Please post a picture if you have time. Although, I'm not sure that would work for me - my Da-snap has the material snapped onto the front.

Thanks,
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