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Da-Lite High Power rolldown w/extra black masking - Ladder effect?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I thought I was ready to roll in purchasing a new Da-Lite Model C w/High Power in a 2.35:1 (or thereabouts) ratio. I have an Epson 8350 which has a wide zoom range and was perfectly fine going ghetto without an anamorphic lens and just zooming in/out manually. I did want to reduce the light overspillage in the black bar area (when watching 2.35:1 movies) and thought it would be great to order a custom Model C where they basically gave me a 2.35:1 screen with enough extra black masking above/below the white portion of the screen, so that the overall screen ratio was still 16:9.

Sounded like an ingenious idea, but when doing the online chat on the Da-Lite site, the rep mentioned that the black fabric was heat-seamed above/below the High Power fabric, and this created a slight ridge/bump along the seam which, when rolled up into the case, could case a slight bend/crease in the High-Power fabric every 10" or so.

Presumably this would relax by itself if you left the screen fully retracted for an extended period of time, but I'm not anticipating doing that, as we're moving my movie room from the loft to the living room and the screen will need to be retracted when not in use.

So now I have to decide whether to take the risk that I'll notice this 'Ladder Effect' and go with my original plan, or just go with a regular 16:9 screen and live with the gray bars when watching 2.35:1 movies. But I was also kind of wanting to go with the 2.35:1 format because I was going to bump up the size but I actually wanted to keep the 16:9 content smaller since much of that will be HDTV watching from Comcast where there will be more compression artifacts.

I suppose another option would be to go with a 2.35:1 screen with no extra masking and let the light spillage push out past the screen and onto the back wall. Hmm...
post #2 of 7
I have seen this problem before but not with da-lite. We have installed the Model C with extra drop (black above the screen) many times and this hasn't been a problem. Although we haven't ordered it with extra black at the bottom of the screen. The question is how noticeable this would be with viewing material.

All non-tensioned screens eventually develop waves but certain materials it is tougher to notice the waves. The HP is one of those materials where it is difficult to notice the waves, I wonder if that would be true if it developed this problem. I'll bet you would still enjoy the picture.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Bob, thanks for the reply. Hey, I just noticed that you're just a 1/2 hour away from me. Cool. And you're an old-timer like me, too. Even cooler. Small world.

Anyway, as I mull things over some more, my current thinking is to perhaps get a Model C cut to 2.35:1, with as much black masking above/below that they will paint on (I'll have to chat with them again tomorrow to see what their "limit" is before they decide to switch to a seam versus painting on the masking). If I get a black casing, that adds a bit more. My current setup (which is in trial mode - I just moved everything down from my loft to my living room) is a Da-Lite Model B w/45x80" High Power (older 2.8 gain material), and I've got two different walls that I'm thinking of projecting onto. Where I currently have it set up results in it being a floating screen where there's another 8 feet or so behind it, and if I stick with this placement, that floating area will probably work to my advantage if I've got overspill of the gray bars, since the light spillage will diminish into the empty space.
post #4 of 7
I have an old 2.8 gain High Power screen with 18" of top masking. I have had it for several years. It stays rolled up most of the time and I have never had any problem caused by this extra drop. Not sure, what would be the difference between 2" of drop and added top drop. Both would have the same seam. If we can help you, shoot us an email.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi Mike, I emailed you earlier this year to get some pricing, and I may be contacting you again soon. At that time, I was looking to put this in my loft, but I've since decided (I think) to move everything to the main living room area.

From what I was told by the Da-Lite rep, when adding a "lot" of extra masking, they heat seam it on, while with a small amount of masking, it's painted on. He said that they don't paint it on for larger areas because it can affect the weight and therefore how it hangs. But the heat seam method supposedly has this other potential issue (the "ladder effect").

I was planning on double-checking with them today to see what their limit is (i.e., how many inches of masking) before they decide to switch from the paint-on method to the heat-seamed method. I'm thinking I may have them paint on as much as they're able to, and then deal with the gray bars, or custom masking, or not retracting the screen fully, or who knows. Maybe I'll even end up with a 2.0:1 screen and take more of a constant image area approach.

Or I may just stick with 16:9, in case I decide to upgrade in the future to a 3D projector (I already tried an Epson 3010 before getting my 8350, but had mixed feelings about 3D and the 3010 didn't have enough placement flexibility). With 3D, it seems like 16:9 is the norm, so maybe I'm better off sticking with 16:9, anyway.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I just got finished chatting (again) with a Da-Lite rep. He told me that even the standard black borders are heat seamed onto the High Power material now. If accurate info, I'm assuming that this change coincided with the introduction of the newer 2.4 gain High Power material, as my older 92" diagonal 16:9 Model B w/High Power 2.8 gain material appears to have a painted-on black border.

As such, this would seem to indicate that the "ladder effect" would be a potential issue on any High Power roll-up screen, regardless of whether it has extra black drop, or just the standard black borders.

Again, if true, I suppose the "good" part of this news, is that I should be able to get many of you 2.4 gain High Power Model B/C owners to confirm this (you should be able to feel a ridge between the screen and the black border/masking) and for those of you who frequently roll your screens up when not in use, if you could tell me if you see any signs of this "ladder effect" I would greatly appreciate it.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well nobody ever responded and I went ahead and got my custom-made Da-Lite High Power Model C w/extra black masking above and below the white area. I've had it for a few months now and never noticed any ladder effect, but about a week ago I had my screen rolled up inside its case for an extended period of time (I typically leave it down most of the time) and when I rolled it down I noticed a definite creasing/ladder effect. This had me worried, but I'm pleased to report two things:
1) The High Power material has always done an above-average job of not showing any waves once the movie is up and going and the same seemed to be true with this creasing/ladder effect.
2) After leaving the screen down for a while, the creasing eventually went away.

I can't say how long the screen needs to be inside the case before the creasing "takes hold" or how long it needs to stay rolled down for any creasing to get straightened out. I am a bit worried that if I were to leave it rolled up for an above-average period of time (more than 2 weeks? more than a couple months?) if the creases could become permanent. But, for now, I'm not too worried about it.
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