Wow, 99 pre-sets. Awesome.
All in all, I think the folks doing 4-way masking here are going to be really happy.
Yes I finished my 4-way automated masking so I can finally report on my own experience.
A recap: I used the Carada Masquerade for top/bottom masking and the Goelst automated panel system for side masking. With the whole screen wall black velvet covered (including the valance over the screen covering the Goelst track) it came out with a slick, cohesive built-in look. I'm really happy.
I initially used a Harmony One remote to do some image size pre-sets and it did pull it off, but I wanted even more programming flexibility. Now I'm using an RTI T2-C remote with their RP6 controller. Very reliable and incredibly flexible/powerful in programming.
The Carada comes with 2 pre-set stopping points (full open and 2:35:1) which I use as an initial base command for the start of various macros.
The Goelst comes with up to 5 user-programmable stopping points for various image widths. I was amazed how smooth, silent and especially how accurate this system was. It just stopped dead at precisely the same pre-set stopping points every time.
So, using macro commands on the RTI remote - using the pre-set points on the Carada/Goelst, followed by strings of "jog open/jog closed" commands -
I've been able to pre-program single-button-press commands for literally as many different ARs/Image Sizes as I want. I've stopped at 16 because I can't find the need for more at this point.
I'm just amazed how well it works and how accurately it has been working!
It never fails to give me a thrill (not to mention guests) to press the button and watch the whole screen wall change shape. A friend was over to watch
the fights last night. He had seen projection systems before but hadn't seen mine yet. When I pressed the masking button to open up the screen and change ARs he was shocked, uttering: "Holy sh#t, man, this system is f#cking elite
!" A gratifying reaction.
Another thing I love about using a good universal remote like the RTI is how
I could program it (actually, guide my installer to program it) for maximum
ergonomics and speed, particularly for image size changes. I have a SCREEN SIZE button/page. Once on that page if I hit a screen size (e.g. "WIDE: 118") the screen starts changing, the projector lens pattern is thrown up on the screen - it has all the standard ARs outlined on the pattern - and my projector's zoom/lens shift controls are mapped right to the cursor keys so as the screen is changing I'm zooming the image to fit the new width. Then it's a quick shift up or down of the image and, done.
I've timed the process and the average is 15 seconds to change from one screen size to another and zoom/fit the image. (Even as low as 12 seconds).
Given lots of CIH devotees talked of getting an A-lens because zooming was a PIA, I was prepared for a lot more hassle. But even I didn't imagine the "zoom method" would be so quick and painless. Far from being a pain I look forward to changing the screen size - it's fun!
My intention was never to stick to any particular "method" - e.g. not Constant Image Height nor even Constant Image Area. I just vary the image size according to source quality, the content of the movie (does it demand a huge image, or more intimate?), my mood, preference of others watching etc. I use the masking virtually every time I use the system and would never want to be without this flexibility. I feel totally spoiled, and don't have to feel disapointed at all when, for instance,
James Cameron decides on 16:9 as the AR for the Avatar Blu-Ray. I can make the 16:9 image MUCH larger than if I'd stuck to a CIH system.
(If I'd stuck to CIH, say with a 120" wide screen, my max 16:9 size would have been around 104" diagonal. Now I can go up to around 126"
I'm also wondering if I'm one of the only one's taking this approach. (Most seem to use masking, even 4 way masking, to stick to a strict approach, be it CIW, CIH or CIA).
How are you using your 4 way masking system?