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To mask or Not to Mask? - Page 2

post #31 of 70
Thread Starter 
How many panels did it take you to do the proper masking?
post #32 of 70
You can only go with the panel system if you have heaps or room on the sides of the screen. My screen goes almost wall to wall so there is no room for that. The curtain track is the way I went, yet the two leading edges lay flat with the pocket we sowed into the edge of the velvet. Since my masking is covered with a main motorised curtain (same track) it hides everything so one never ever sees the screen or masking with lights on it, only the projected image.
post #33 of 70
My screen wall is 13 feet wide. I wanted to be able to entirely close off the screen, mostly for when I listen to my 2 channel music in there, I liked the idea of not staring at the screen. (Though, now I also enjoy having the colored lights going on the screen as I listen to music).

Anyway, how much room the panels take up on the sides depends on how many tracks you choose. I chose a 5 track system, so 5 panels per side. They all stack behind each other to the sides of the screen when not deployed, only taking up 16 inches of wall on each side of the screen. And even that is fine, since my speakers are sitting in those corners anyway. In my case, going with curtains wouldn't have given me much more screen width vs panels.

Now, if you are ONLY doing this for masking purposes, then you don't even need to have to cover the whole screen width. You only have to have enough to reach to the sides of a 4:3 sized image on your screen. That saves a bunch of velvet/curtain material, in cost and quantity that has to stack to the sides of your image.
post #34 of 70
Thread Starter 
Thank you both! I will do some measuring tonight to see which options will work best for me. I do have a question for both of you though.

Rapallo when getting a quote from them they asked what type of curtain I will be using I said the pinch pleat drapes. Is that what you used?

R Harkness on the Panels when using the 5 track system do the panels not stick out from the screen to much?

Thanks to you both!
post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by clrv View Post

Thank you both! I will do some measuring tonight to see which options will work best for me. I do have a question for both of you though.
Rapallo when getting a quote from them they asked what type of curtain I will be using I said the pinch pleat drapes. Is that what you used?
R Harkness on the Panels when using the 5 track system do the panels not stick out from the screen to much?
Thanks to you both!

You don't need pinch pleats for masking, the less fabric the better. I don't even draw the strings on the curtain tape so that when the velvet is all the way into 4:3 my side fabric lay almost flat. The less black velvet the better. My scope is to the max on the track, there is no more room as the screen is almost to the side walls. When the velvet is fully open to scope I probably have approx 6" of velvet bunched up to the end of the track. My side masking are approx 1/2" away from the screen fabric. I get mine closer as I didnt use a fixed frame screen which has quite a heavy frame. I have may fabric on springs which attach to metal strips attached to the rear wall. One 5mm custom wood black velvet panel is used for the top mask and the same for the bottom.
post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by clrv View Post

R Harkness on the Panels when using the 5 track system do the panels not stick out from the screen to much?
Thanks to you both!

Not sure precisely what you are asking but...

The panels themselves are only a few inches thick when stacked.

In my case to do 4-way masking I combined two systems: the Carada Masquerade screen frame which provides top/bottom masking and the Goelst panel system which does my side masking.
The Carada system is a big screen frame that goes over an existing screen, and within the frame is contained the masking material and motor. Thus, my Goelst panel system could not have the panels riding
just off the surface (like Rappalo's system). It had to clear the thickness of the Carada screen frame as well. This means my side masking rides about 1 3/4 to 2" off the screen surface.

I had originally worried about noticing this gap, or seeing shadowing, but it turned out to be a non-issue. Can't see the gap at all when watching movies - it just looks like a perfect black matte edge for the movie image.
post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

I had originally worried about noticing this gap, or seeing shadowing, but it turned out to be a non-issue. Can't see the gap at all when watching movies - it just looks like a perfect black matte edge for the movie image.

Correct, masking fabric doesnt have to be right up to the screen surface to be effective.
post #38 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by clrv View Post

I have been looking at the masquerade as Mike at AVS suggested it and I do think it is a good option. I guess I was looking for someone to talk me out of it and save the extra $$$$

Can't help you there... biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

The Masquerade was the biggest "splurge" item in my build, and while the cost was a hard one to swallow, I'm very glad I pulled the trigger. While my room during viewing is pretty dark, without the masks closed, it's very easy to see the unused screen area when in 16x9 mode. I do tend to show a lot of 2.35 movie content (a common side effect of buying an A-lens wink.gif ).

But for sporting events, two things come into play: (1) content is always 16x9, and (2) the light levels in the room are higher, as it's more of a social atmosphere and people will be moving around. So I'd certainly be recommending masking of some form.

And I don't think anything beats the "wow" factor of starting a movie night with a cartoon or other short in either 1.33 or 1.85, then opening up to 2.35 for the feature...

Jeff
post #39 of 70
I've rigged up some temporary side masking tonight as we are watching a few TV based programs tonight and it makes such a difference. However, it was a bit frustrating setting up, so I need to find some better way of hanging the material other than clothes pegs. rolleyes.gif Plus I need to put some kind of hard edge to make the sides nice and crisp. My OH said that it makes it seem 'like a real cinema', so maybe I can work on her to let me leave some black curtains up all the time. biggrin.gif (It's never going to happen smile.gif).
post #40 of 70
Bought some wood today and had an attempt at making up the side panels, but fabric and me never seem to get on. mad.gif I'm sure I saw a drop down side masking system somewhere but of course can't find it now. As I have an electric screen whatever masking I use needed to lower down from the pelmet rather than something that hangs there permanently. Of course the DIY option would be cheaper, but I'm getting frustrated after today's attempt and figure I'll just throw money at the problem instead. biggrin.gif
post #41 of 70
Thread Starter 
Good Luck Kelvin. I won't start my DIY until the first week of January... Hope it works out smile.gif
post #42 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post

Bought some wood today and had an attempt at making up the side panels, but fabric and me never seem to get on. mad.gif I'm sure I saw a drop down side masking system somewhere but of course can't find it now. As I have an electric screen whatever masking I use needed to lower down from the pelmet rather than something that hangs there permanently. Of course the DIY option would be cheaper, but I'm getting frustrated after today's attempt and figure I'll just throw money at the problem instead. biggrin.gif

I hear you.

I go through long periods of trying to figure out how to do the easiest, best method of achieving what I want for my room, be it masking, room treatment or whatever. Sometimes I just ended up having to "throw money at it" to get what I want, vs some half-assed result. And I've never regretted doing so in the end.

Echoing your wife, yeah masking not only makes the image look better, but it elevates the look and vibe to "real cinema," which in of itself is a wonderful bonus. (And interesting how it is the case - I suppose it's due to the fact we aren't used to seeing, with few exceptions, un-projected "black bar" areas in the movie theaters).
post #43 of 70
I did find a Stewart drop down masking arrangement, so maybe this was the one I was thinking of: It lowers down like my screen does, but then the two side masks can motor in and out. Really cool, but now is the other extreme in that it was serious money to be thrown at the problem.

Today I tried to make the side masking by just stapling the velvet to some 1" 'stripwood' to give a sharp edge, but the staple gun made a mess of the wood and the material went all saggy.They were supposed to be like two curtains with a stiff edge nearest the screen, but just didn't work out. Maybe I was too impatient as I thought I'd have it done in no time and left it too late to go out and buy some extra wood, etc. I did get some 'cup hooks' which will screw into the underside of my screen pelmet so the masking would just hang from these hooks, using two more fixed to the top of each masking panel. It seemed really easy until I was fighting with the material and staple gun. biggrin.gif

Instead I think I'll make the two masking panels out of flat plywood/thin MDF and wrap them with velvet which I can secure on the back somehow (maybe sandwich the velvet between the MDF and some wooden battons). With a horizontal batton across the top to give something for the cup hooks to fix into. I'll worry about making them moveable later: For now just being able to hang the two up at the start of a 1.85:1 viewing session will do for now (it looked great last night with the clothes pegged arrangement once the lights were off biggrin.gif).

However, if anyone can point me to a lower budget version of the Stewartscreen Electrimask then I'm all ears. smile.gif
post #44 of 70
That is one of my last projects that is still on hold, I want to do masking but really dont know the best way to go around it. I dont want to order internationally as problems could arise eg wrong size etc
post #45 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post

I did find a Stewart drop down masking arrangement, so maybe this was the one I was thinking of: It lowers down like my screen does, but then the two side masks can motor in and out. Really cool, but now is the other extreme in that it was serious money to be thrown at the problem.
Today I tried to make the side masking by just stapling the velvet to some 1" 'stripwood' to give a sharp edge, but the staple gun made a mess of the wood and the material went all saggy.They were supposed to be like two curtains with a stiff edge nearest the screen, but just didn't work out. Maybe I was too impatient as I thought I'd have it done in no time and left it too late to go out and buy some extra wood, etc. I did get some 'cup hooks' which will screw into the underside of my screen pelmet so the masking would just hang from these hooks, using two more fixed to the top of each masking panel. It seemed really easy until I was fighting with the material and staple gun. biggrin.gif
Instead I think I'll make the two masking panels out of flat plywood/thin MDF and wrap them with velvet which I can secure on the back somehow (maybe sandwich the velvet between the MDF and some wooden battons). With a horizontal batton across the top to give something for the cup hooks to fix into. I'll worry about making them moveable later: For now just being able to hang the two up at the start of a 1.85:1 viewing session will do for now (it looked great last night with the clothes pegged arrangement once the lights were off biggrin.gif).
However, if anyone can point me to a lower budget version of the Stewartscreen Electrimask then I'm all ears. smile.gif

All I did my my side masking was sow two long pockets down the leading edge approx 3" wide (a wide hem), close up the bottom and slide down two very thing custom wood strips cut also to 3" wide. This creates the smooth edge next to the projected sides, its simple, effective and easy to do. The rest of the fabric just gathers up on a curtain track. This is exactly the same as its made in a cinema, yet on a larger scale of course.
post #46 of 70
Yes, curtains would be a lot easier, but these side masks have to be removable as black curtains would look odd once the screen has gone up. I need something that I can hook up as when required. |Anyway I think I've figured out something that will do for now, but I just need to get down to the DIY store for some materials. Watch this space. smile.gif
post #47 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post

Yes, curtains would be a lot easier, but these side masks have to be removable as black curtains would look odd once the screen has gone up.

Kelvin, is it just the problem of "black curtains" looking odd during normal room use, or any curtains at all?

I didn't want to see black curtains in my room which is why I have my black curtains stacking behind some just-for-show high quality brown curtains. I've never been a big fan of curtains, and my wife is totally curtain-aphobic. But being able to choose exactly the right curtains to suit the decor made all the difference, and now they are a wonderful accent and addition to the room, making it feel a bit more lush and cozy. And not at all "odd" as I think black velvet curtains would in the room. And you only need just enough of the "pretty curtains" to hide the stacked black curtains behind (and hence you only need a tiny bit of curtain rod for the pretty curtains as well).

Link to the post in my build thread showing the newly employed black curtains, hidden behind my existing brown curtains:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1254505/rich-hs-variable-image-size-home-theater-build-thread-completed/150#post_21997678

Just tossing out ideas, since I went through some of the same issues.
post #48 of 70
It's hard to explain, but long black curtains just wouldn't suit the style of the room along with the existing short curtains which have to be kept. It doesn't help that the window behind where the screen goes is off centre too. The existing curtains just cover the bay window as the TV is fixed to the wall below the window, so full length curtains would cover the TV if you follow. Our house is very minimal/modern style as well so whatever I do regarding side masks and contrast improvements have to be invisible once the projector is turned off and the room back to day to day use. it's a pain, but that's the way we both like it. I'll have to take some photos to better explain and to show the side masks that I hope to construct in the next few days.
post #49 of 70
Why dont you use two small black roller blinds for the side masking? You could do this on one roller or two smaller ones.
post #50 of 70
Yes, might be an option longer term. I'd need to modify the pelmet to fit them inside but it could work.
post #51 of 70
Well, it's a quick fix in time for Christmas, but I got some wooden dowel and some double sided tape. I wrapped the dowel with tape and wrapped the velvet around it, one at the top and the other at the bottom to add weight to pull the fabric straight. The dowel at the top clips into the cup hooks screwed under my screen pelmet and I made a 'hem' by folding the edge of the velvet back on itself with more tape. Sure it's a little bit wonky, but it's quick to put up and doesn't take much space when taken down. Watching some TV content tonight in 1.85:1 and it looks great with the lights off as the masks are only 2" or so off the screen compared to my previous clothes peg version which was about 7-8" off the screen.

In the new year we are going to contact the woman who made our kitchen blinds. She mentioned electric option, so I might get her to make two electric black velvet blinds to put inside my screen pelmet, for the full 'couch potato' adjustable side masking (well up or down I guess). For now, my little bodge job will keep me happy. smile.gif

EDIT: I left the masks up so the fabric could 'drop' and came home tonight to see that the dowels at the bottom had unwound from the double sided tape and fallen on the floor. rolleyes.gif At least the top dowels remained in place. Might grab some thin hardboard and just wrap that with fabric stuck to the rear to keep it in place. I thought this would be easy...
Edited by Kelvin1965S - 12/20/12 at 10:22am
post #52 of 70
SMX has an interesting setup. They sell Pro Panels for their fixed screens.

http://www.smxscreen.com/pro-panels-masking.html

I have a fixed 16:9 screen, and got hit by the 2.35 bug as well. To add the panels to my setup was only a couple hundred dollars, and they work fairly well. I leave the panels on as the norm, and only take them off in the rare occasion, we are watching something 16:9.

They used to have a big presence on the forums, but don't think they post much now for whatever reason. AVS is probably still a dealer (i think).
post #53 of 70
Yeap, fixed screens seem much easier to deal with side masking, but with a drop down screen it's not so straightforward as I found out. It's worth the effort though I think.
post #54 of 70
In the days when I didn't have a fixed frame screen I got round the whole thing with two motorised screens. One 16:9 in the front with the fabric rolling over the back of the roller. Behind that I had the scope screen with the fabric rolling over the front of the roller. Both screen fabric were only approx 1/2" apart, there was never a focus problem. A quicker and cleaner solution when one doesn't have a dedicated HT.
post #55 of 70
I'd thought about the two screen idea, but given the £1,500 cost of my 2.35:1 screen I'd have to spend similar on the 16:9 screen as otherwise I'd be compromising my 16:9 viewing if I just bought a cheap screen. However, 16:9 isn't such a large part of my viewing which makes it hard to justify the high cost, so the simple side masks seem an adequate solution for now.
post #56 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post

In the new year we are going to contact the woman who made our kitchen blinds. She mentioned electric option, so I might get her to make two electric black velvet blinds to put inside my screen pelmet, for the full 'couch potato' adjustable side masking

If my experience is any example, I'd be careful about getting your hopes too high as far as a "velvet blind" system.

Before I went with curtains blocking my brighter walls, I tried for a year to come up with a system of pull down blinds (because they would hide so well in my drop down ceiling). Over and over I ran into this issue when trying to get anyone to make my blinds: they said blinds must be made of non-stretching material. Otherwise either soon, or over time, the stretching of the material causes the blind to roll up unevenly and it just won't work. Every velvet I could find to present to blind makers were rejected for being too stretchy. Which is why every roller blind material offered by manufacturers is made of a stiff, non-stretching plastic material. So I was left to try and find a suitable black blind material as offered by blind making companies. Unfortunately, though I looked at many examples of manufacturer black blind materials, all were too plasticy/shiny/reflective for my use (even my black out blinds). Nothing does it like velvet.

I did end up using a drop down blind solution done in velvet, which covered a portion of one wall. However, it was done Roman Blind style, so the velvet when pulled up to the ceiling collapsed into folds. It used a string as a pull up device.

Just in case any of this is pertinent to your plans...

Rich
post #57 of 70
Thanks Rich. I hadn't thought off the stretch issue. frown.gif It was just that the 'blind lady' mentioned about the electric option when we had some blinds made for another room and it stuck in the back of my mind. My temporary fix is working so well though, despite it looking a bit rubbish with the lights on, I can easily take them down and put them away. Last night we watched some HD recordings off my PVR and they were all 16:9 (or rather 1.85:1) and the masking just worked so well, having the picture framed nicely makes such a difference. Some early evening viewing tonight will be 1.85:1 as it's the end of some TV series that we watch, so I'll use them again. I'm almost reluctant to watch any of the three rental BluRays that came in the post this week as they are all 2.40:1. Never mind I'm sure I'll cope with the extra width. cool.gif
post #58 of 70
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the help. I was really wanting to go the DIY route but time and room constraints keep me from it. I went ahead and ordered a Masaqurade system. Thanks once again for helping me spend my money Mike.
post #59 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by clrv View Post

Thanks everyone for the help. I was really wanting to go the DIY route but time and room constraints keep me from it. I went ahead and ordered a Masaqurade system. Thanks once again for helping me spend my money Mike.

Very good move. You are going to be very happy once you see your Masquerade system in action!
post #60 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by clrv View Post

Thanks everyone for the help. I was really wanting to go the DIY route but time and room constraints keep me from it. I went ahead and ordered a Masaqurade system. Thanks once again for helping me spend my money Mike.

Yeah, you won't regret it. One suggestion - look at the instruction manual on the web site, and print it out in color (or read it on screen) - there's a lot of photos, and IIRC, the copy that came with my crate was in B&W and didn't show all the details in the photos... And get a nice, patient friend to help with the install!!!

Jeff
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