Originally Posted by markmon1
Isn't it much easier to mask the bottom by not retracting the screen all the way?
THat's the approach I've taken for many years.
My current dedicated basement HT has an 8ft wide electric screen with IR control.
I prorammed a Logitech Harmony using the timing feature to set the bottom of the screen to 1.78, 2.35, 2.4 etc. THe HArmony allows fine timing control- ie setup a macro/activity called "2.35" that starts the screen UP from 1.78 position, timed to STOP screen at 2.35 posiiton.
Behind the screen I have a dark matte curtain (Burgundy) that looks black when lights are down, so that's the bottom "Mask" (Screen bottom has normal black margin border just above bottom weight pole). Hence, no need to front-mask the bottom of a fixed width screen. If wall mounted, just apply black felt/velvet/etc to wall behind screen.
For the top Ive been using a scrap wood bannister rod with8ft wide black felt stapled to it then rolled on, with a hemmed edge with a 90 degree wood quarter round scrap trim piece for straight edge/weight inside.
The electric screen and Harmony sets the bottom position, then I manually turn the end of the top mask down to the image top. Yes, I'd like to automate the top mask someday.
One option for a quick automated top mask would be to use another electric screen of the same width (Or longer) as the image screen, turned around for the black backside to face the viewers. Program the mask screen the same way as the image screen. WOuld need to ensure different IR codes (Screen make/model) or use RF for top, and surface finish of mask screen backside, ie matte black, perhaps spray with matte finish coat or apply adhesive black felt or similar material to top mask screen.
Could look for a used/scratched/dented/markedup image side electric screen for cheap top mask.