Dark Energy Abyss - 120" 16:9 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 39 Old 02-09-2017, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Dark Energy Abyss - 120" 16:9

Well, I received my DEA screen last weekend and finally found some time to take it out of the box and get it set up. It's everything I hoped it would be.

For those of you who haven't seen my other threads I had the following samples when trying to decide on a screen:
- Dark Energy
- Elite CineGrey 3D 1.2
- Elite CineGrey 5D 1.5
- Seymour Ambient Visionaire 1.2
- Seymour Ambient Visionaire 1.4
- Stewart Firehawk
- Carl's ALR
- Elite CineWhite
- Carl's Flexiwhite

When I had all of the samples on the wall I found myself leaning toward all of the brightest samples as my favorites. My front runner for a while was actually the CineGrey 5D 1.5 gain material, so the .9 gain of the DEA didn't seem like it would work out.

Now, I'm not a videophile by any means, so I was just picking what I thought looked best relative to other samples. The problem, I've learned, is that I tend to gravitate toward the brighter colors because they seem to provide more of a pop and make the lower gain screens look very dull when right next to each other. My biggest beef was how dingy the whites looked.

However, after some time doing more reading and talking to @John Schuermann I realized I needed to focus more on the black levels of the screens than on the overall brightness. After all, your brain only has black as a reference (the velvet border) during most viewing, so even a 'not so pure' white will look white. I am very glad I took the time to evaluate samples again.

Last night when I finished building the screen I leaned it up against the wall and shot an image onto it from my Epson 3500. It looked amazing. I pulled my other samples back out and hung them on the screen. No contest the DEA looked better. The white was so washed out it was barely watchable in comparison.

I took a quick video and will share it for those interested. Now, video isn't a great way to get an idea of screen performance, but I'll share it anyway. Shot on my iPhone, 4 not recessed 60w bulbs on, PJ on a chair, screen leaning against the wall...yadda yadda.

I do have a few vertical bands on the screen that I let @stephen77 know about and it sounds like a simple fix (need to tension a bit more on the sides). Unfortunately I won't have my screen wall done for another couple months. I stayed up way too late last night watching everything I could. Looking forward to trying it out with my Epson 6040 that showed up yesterday.

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post #2 of 39 Old 02-09-2017, 08:48 PM
 
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Screen looks great. Is this a zero edge that came fully assembled? Or some type of flex material screen which must be assembled after delivery?
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post #3 of 39 Old 02-10-2017, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Screen looks great. Is this a zero edge that came fully assembled? Or some type of flex material screen which must be assembled after delivery?
DEA calls it a 'thin bezel', but the assembly instructions call it a zero edge frame. It was not fully assembled. The inner frame needed to be built first, which could be left as a true zero edge frame, or you can snap in the thin bezel pieces to create the small border, which is about .5".
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post #4 of 39 Old 02-10-2017, 09:28 AM
 
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DEA calls it a 'thin bezel', but the assembly instructions call it a zero edge frame. It was not fully assembled. The inner frame needed to be built first, which could be left as a true zero edge frame, or you can snap in the thin bezel pieces to create the small border, which is about .5".
Just left a message for them. However I am not keen on the fact that there are no prices listed on their website. You have to call for a price.

And of course when I called several times, no one picks up the phone. Comes across as a used car salesman type of routine.
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post #5 of 39 Old 02-10-2017, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Just left a message for them. However I am not keen on the fact that there are no prices listed on their website. You have to call for a price.

And of course when I called several times, no one picks up the phone. Comes across as a used car salesman type of routine.
I hear ya. I think he explained his logic in another thread around here...he mentioned that he wants to talk to each customer about their specific situation to put together a screen package that suits their needs. Regardless, I understand what you're saying, not displaying prices probably causes lots of raised eyebrows. It was weird when he asked me for a copy of my W2 before quoting me.
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post #6 of 39 Old 02-10-2017, 02:35 PM
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Just left a message for them. However I am not keen on the fact that there are no prices listed on their website. You have to call for a price.

And of course when I called several times, no one picks up the phone. Comes across as a used car salesman type of routine.
Lol...for the record Kaygee was being sarcastic...we didn't need the full years w-2 just bank records that date back only 3 months, but all jokes aside here is a post below from another thread that explains are reasoning for not posting prices. Also...if you research other premium grade ALR screen manufacturers...you will see that none of them list prices on their websites either. With that being said..it's actually quite a common practice in the higher grade screen market. You may see dealer pricing in other locations, but you won't get direct pricing from the manufacturer.

PS: Our phone system was down during the time of your calls ...so I apologize for missing those earlier in the day. That's why it went directly to our messaging system. However.. I believe I talked to you later that day once we had everything running correctly & hopefully I answered all your questions.

"Just to add to MM comment...Not only is their a multitude of different options that have their own unique pricing, but we also need to consult with every potential customer. This allows us to fully understand what their setup consist of & their needs for our products. This insures that each Dark Energy Abyss is then fully optimized for the potential customer's home theater or media room. When it comes to ALR screens they're certain specifications that need to be considered for optimal performance. This consultation allows us to see if those elements are in place to make sure each Dark Energy Screens customer is fully satisfied. This necessary consultation that leads to our customers satisfaction could then easily be overlooked with a "buy now" button. For us to have the best customer service in the business it is vital that we maintain a strong relationship with every customer & as soon as that communication is cut off... then that greatly impedes our ability to meet that goal."

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

Stephen McGuire
Dark Energy Screens

Last edited by stephen77; 02-11-2017 at 03:53 PM.
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post #7 of 39 Old 02-13-2017, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I had a chance to do a little daytime viewing with the DEA screen. Obviously this isn't its final resting place, but I want to make sure I give it some good testing before I get too far along. Still looks pretty great in my opinion. I still think the Ambient Visionaire 1.1 is a solid contender. Blacks are better with the DEA. Overall image brightness is better with the Seymour. I don't think you could go wrong with either. Seriously though, the difference between these ALR screens and white screens is night and day.
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post #8 of 39 Old 02-13-2017, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by KayGee000 View Post
Hi all,

I had a chance to do a little daytime viewing with the DEA screen. Obviously this isn't its final resting place, but I want to make sure I give it some good testing before I get too far along. Still looks pretty great in my opinion. I still think the Ambient Visionaire 1.1 is a solid contender. Blacks are better with the DEA. Overall image brightness is better with the Seymour. I don't think you could go wrong with either. Seriously though, the difference between these ALR screens and white screens is night and day.

https://youtu.be/PqYCaSRUx2M
Looks great but all I ever see on it is cartoons. Would you be able to do a video with some other content that's not animated? Really appreciated!
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post #9 of 39 Old 02-13-2017, 10:48 AM
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Does Dark Energy do electric drop screens, or only fixed frame? From their web site it looks like only fixed frame.
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post #10 of 39 Old 02-13-2017, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks great but all I ever see on it is cartoons. Would you be able to do a video with some other content that's not animated? Really appreciated!
A couple posts up is a shot from The Grand Tour. I'll try and take something else in a bit. I have little ones so there is a lot of animated content at our place.
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A couple posts up is a shot from The Grand Tour. I'll try and take something else in a bit. I have little ones so there is a lot of animated content at our place.
Yes, I'm stupid, I just scrolled up and realised there was another video, I'm sorry!

I have a couple of Carl's ALR screens that I'm yet to build but I'm worried they aren't going to cut it, I was consider the DEA screen but not sure I can justify the cost. Finally got the wood I need to make mine but need some more tools before I can continue.

Did you get the DIY screen material or did you go for the fixed piece?
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post #12 of 39 Old 02-13-2017, 11:10 AM
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Hi all,

I had a chance to do a little daytime viewing with the DEA screen......
Thanks for posting the videos KayGee000. I'm a bit of a noob but I think that looks incredible considering the significant ambient light. I ordered the 110" DEA screen material and its supposedly shipping today. I need to build my own frame for it so hopefully I can get the screen material mounted uniformly when I get to that point. I've got one concern about it now. I was originally planning on getting the Epson 6040 which puts out some significant lumens for that screen. But with all the faux-4k talk, I may save some $ now and get a Sony HW45ES to pacify me until native 4k projectors are affordable for us normal folks. That Sony is only spec'd at 1700 lumens so I'm a little concerned the image may not pop with the dark screen when we are using the area as more of a family room.
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Does Dark Energy do electric drop screens, or only fixed frame? From their web site it looks like only fixed frame.
I have a similar question so I sent a PM to Stephen about it. Hopefully he will read this post or send me a response. If he responds to the PM, I will share the information.

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Thanks for posting the videos KayGee000. I'm a bit of a noob but I think that looks incredible considering the significant ambient light. I ordered the 110" DEA screen material and its supposedly shipping today. I need to build my own frame for it so hopefully I can get the screen material mounted uniformly when I get to that point. I've got one concern about it now. I was originally planning on getting the Epson 6040 which puts out some significant lumens for that screen. But with all the faux-4k talk, I may save some $ now and get a Sony HW45ES to pacify me until native 4k projectors are affordable for us normal folks. That Sony is only spec'd at 1700 lumens so I'm a little concerned the image may not pop with the dark screen when we are using the area as more of a family room.
Don't know how much the HW45ES costs usually but the 5040 can be had for $2,800 depending on current offers. It's the same as the 6040 without the extra frills (ceiling mount etc) and calibration, Projector Central measured the 5040/6040 as putting out a whopping 3500lm, that will be important for ambient light setups.

Also, I too was waiting for native 4K projectors to come down in price and initially dismissed faux-K projectors as just a gimmick and not going to be worth it, so I brought an Epson 3500. Then I saw some of the comparison threads and pretty much, unless you pause video and take the exact same frame to compare directly from a native 4k projector, you aren't going to see the difference. I regret not springing for the 5040 instead as affordable native 4k is still much further away than I thought it would be, faux-K, sure that's happening this year and next but I doubt we'll see native 4k panels or DMD's trickle down into the $3-5k range for another.... 3-5 years maybe?
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Yes, I'm stupid, I just scrolled up and realised there was another video, I'm sorry!

Did you get the DIY screen material or did you go for the fixed piece?
No worries - the Grand Tour stuff was shot in a different lighting scenario, not side lit like the daytime video, but ambient light produced by bare bulbs hanging from the floor joists.

I went with the thin bezel screen and just did the assembly. I thought about DIY. I have the tools and experience in woodworking, but it came down to time for me. I'd spend a lot more time researching, planning, buying materials, etc. and just decided to keep it simple.
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Thanks for posting the videos KayGee000. I'm a bit of a noob but I think that looks incredible considering the significant ambient light. I ordered the 110" DEA screen material and its supposedly shipping today. I need to build my own frame for it so hopefully I can get the screen material mounted uniformly when I get to that point. I've got one concern about it now. I was originally planning on getting the Epson 6040 which puts out some significant lumens for that screen. But with all the faux-4k talk, I may save some $ now and get a Sony HW45ES to pacify me until native 4k projectors are affordable for us normal folks. That Sony is only spec'd at 1700 lumens so I'm a little concerned the image may not pop with the dark screen when we are using the area as more of a family room.
I looked at JVC, Sony, and Epson before settling on the 5040. Mostly for my specific use case - ambient light, low gain ALR screen, etc. I felt more comfortable selecting a projector with higher lumens. I'm not saying the JVC or the Sony wouldn't have worked...I didn't demo either, so I can't speak to that. I read enough about faux-k that I felt this was worth it until native 4k projectors come down in cost.
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Don't know how much the HW45ES costs usually but the 5040 can be had for $2,800 depending on current offers. It's the same as the 6040 without the extra frills (ceiling mount etc) and calibration, Projector Central measured the 5040/6040 as putting out a whopping 3500lm, that will be important for ambient light setups.

Also, I too was waiting for native 4K projectors to come down in price and initially dismissed faux-K projectors as just a gimmick and not going to be worth it, so I brought an Epson 3500. Then I saw some of the comparison threads and pretty much, unless you pause video and take the exact same frame to compare directly from a native 4k projector, you aren't going to see the difference. I regret not springing for the 5040 instead as affordable native 4k is still much further away than I thought it would be, faux-K, sure that's happening this year and next but I doubt we'll see native 4k panels or DMD's trickle down into the $3-5k range for another.... 3-5 years maybe?
I looked at the 5040 first and would have pulled the trigger on it, but as I was shopping around I ended up talking to @John Schuermann and he was able to knock a few bucks off the 6040 to make the bump up with the extra warranty, bulb, and mount worth it to me. For the record, I really think the 3500 looks darn good on this screen...

I'm picking up a Chromecast Ultra tonight (they're on sale) and am looking forward to pulling the 6040 out of the box and running some 4k content through it.
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I looked at the 5040 first and would have pulled the trigger on it, but as I was shopping around I ended up talking to @John Schuermann and he was able to knock a few bucks off the 6040 to make the bump up with the extra warranty, bulb, and mount worth it to me. For the record, I really think the 3500 looks darn good on this screen...

I'm picking up a Chromecast Ultra tonight (they're on sale) and am looking forward to pulling the 6040 out of the box and running some 4k content through it.
They can probably knock some $$ off of the 5040 as well, just depends on what's your budget but yeah the 6040 is definitely more desirable if it's within your means, the bulb alone is probably worth $300 and Epson's warranty and support team are (so far) absolutely amazing. I have no need for the Chief mount (I already use one!) so could probably sell it and get some more money back!

So you currently use the 3500? Is that what is being used in the videos you shot above? That's definitely encouraging if that's the case! What picture mode and power setting did you have it in?
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So you currently use the 3500? Is that what is being used in the videos you shot above? That's definitely encouraging if that's the case! What picture mode and power setting did you have it in?
Yes, the videos above we're using my 3500, which I use for outdoor movies in the summer. I know the Seuss movie was on Dynamic. I use that during the day to get the lumen output up. The other video might have been Cinema because it was darker. I've been flipping back and forth a lot.

What I hope to do is set up two picture modes on the 6040 - one bright and less accurate for daytime viewing and another for mostly dark viewing that is more accurate.
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Yes, the videos above we're using my 3500, which I use for outdoor movies in the summer. I know the Seuss movie was on Dynamic. I use that during the day to get the lumen output up. The other video might have been Cinema because it was darker. I've been flipping back and forth a lot.

What I hope to do is set up two picture modes on the 6040 - one bright and less accurate for daytime viewing and another for mostly dark viewing that is more accurate.
Good to know! Thank you! As I understand it, the 6040 (presumably both uncalibrated) can put out about 700 extra lumens over the 3500!
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Good to know! Thank you! As I understand it, the 6040 (presumably both uncalibrated) can put out about 700 extra lumens over the 3500!
Only in dynamic mode which has horrible color accuracy.
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Only in dynamic mode which has horrible color accuracy.
Yeah, I'm not sure how quantifiable 'horrible' is, but I don't find it unwatchable. My plan is to reserve that mode for situations in which I need the high lumen output to counter the ambient light. Mostly sports get togethers and things like that where no one is looking for a color accurate picture. I'll use another, more accurate mode for my viewing when I'm being more critical about accuracy. To me, this gives me the best of both worlds. Not everyone's cup of tea, I get that.
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Does Dark Energy do electric drop screens, or only fixed frame? From their web site it looks like only fixed frame.
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I have a similar question so I sent a PM to Stephen about it. Hopefully he will read this post or send me a response. If he responds to the PM, I will share the information.
Just a FYI.

Stephen did PM me back about a retractable model for the Dark Energy Abyss, but asked me to not post his reply in the thread. If you are interested, I suggest contacting him directly for information. He is very responsive and extremely knowledgeable about all their products.

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Just a FYI.

Stephen did PM me back about a retractable model for the Dark Energy Abyss, but asked me to not post his reply in the thread. If you are interested, I suggest contacting him directly for information. He is very responsive and extremely knowledgeable about all their products.
We are still working out the logistics & going over some details before we offer the retractable tab-tension DEA. This has taken us a little bit longer then anticipated, but that's to be expected with the complexity of a good tab-tension screen. Thank you for your patience & as soon as it's available we will definitely let everyone know.

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Well, I received my DEA screen last weekend and finally found some time to take it out of the box and get it set up. It's everything I hoped it would be.

For those of you who haven't seen my other threads I had the following samples when trying to decide on a screen:
- Dark Energy
- Elite CineGrey 3D 1.2
- Elite CineGrey 5D 1.5
- Seymour Ambient Visionaire 1.2
- Seymour Ambient Visionaire 1.4
- Stewart Firehawk
- Carl's ALR
- Elite CineWhite
- Carl's Flexiwhite

When I had all of the samples on the wall I found myself leaning toward all of the brightest samples as my favorites. My front runner for a while was actually the CineGrey 5D 1.5 gain material, so the .9 gain of the DEA didn't seem like it would work out.

Now, I'm not a videophile by any means, so I was just picking what I thought looked best relative to other samples. The problem, I've learned, is that I tend to gravitate toward the brighter colors because they seem to provide more of a pop and make the lower gain screens look very dull when right next to each other. My biggest beef was how dingy the whites looked.

However, after some time doing more reading and talking to @John Schuermann I realized I needed to focus more on the black levels of the screens than on the overall brightness. After all, your brain only has black as a reference (the velvet border) during most viewing, so even a 'not so pure' white will look white. I am very glad I took the time to evaluate samples again.

Last night when I finished building the screen I leaned it up against the wall and shot an image onto it from my Epson 3500. It looked amazing. I pulled my other samples back out and hung them on the screen. No contest the DEA looked better. The white was so washed out it was barely watchable in comparison.

I took a quick video and will share it for those interested. Now, video isn't a great way to get an idea of screen performance, but I'll share it anyway. Shot on my iPhone, 4 not recessed 60w bulbs on, PJ on a chair, screen leaning against the wall...yadda yadda.

I do have a few vertical bands on the screen that I let @stephen77 know about and it sounds like a simple fix (need to tension a bit more on the sides). Unfortunately I won't have my screen wall done for another couple months. I stayed up way too late last night watching everything I could. Looking forward to trying it out with my Epson 6040 that showed up yesterday.

Video
Was this video taken with the Epson 3500 in dynamic mode? Can you take a short video of a movie scene with the Epson 3500 using natural setting in medium lamp mode?

I am trying to get a real feel of how bright this screen is with an accurate color mode. Thanks.

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post #26 of 39 Old 02-16-2017, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Normally I'd say sure and get a video, but I put everything away to get started on my basement build. The good news is that framing is done. The bad news is that it might be a while before I break the projector back out.

Let me see if I can find some time this weekend.

Are you looking for something with full ambient light or something with a little less ambient light, more like a night time viewing with some overhead lights on?
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Originally Posted by KayGee000 View Post
Normally I'd say sure and get a video, but I put everything away to get started on my basement build. The good news is that framing is done. The bad news is that it might be a while before I break the projector back out.

Let me see if I can find some time this weekend.

Are you looking for something with full ambient light or something with a little less ambient light, more like a night time viewing with some overhead lights on?
Nighttime viewing with a few lamps or overhead lights on.
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post #28 of 39 Old 02-16-2017, 12:45 PM
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Thanks for the review. I'll have to pipe in real quick and say I've truly loved my Abyss for over a year now. I mostly watch it in completely dark conditions but since my walls are white, it helps maintain accurate blacks. I'm jealous of that thin border/almost zero edge look!!

Thanks!
Cory
Audio: Ascend Acoustics, Sennheiser HD 598, Denon AVR-S710W
Video: JVC RS400, 92" DES Abyss screen, HTPC/RTX 2080/i7 8700k 4.9GHz/madVR, Panasonic DMP-UB900 for streaming
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post #29 of 39 Old 02-16-2017, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by LondonBenji View Post
Looks great but all I ever see on it is cartoons. Would you be able to do a video with some other content that's not animated? Really appreciated!
KayGeeOOO's first posting had video of Top Gear. That's not cartoons, London Benji.
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post #30 of 39 Old 02-16-2017, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by kanerator View Post
KayGeeOOO's first posting had video of Top Gear. That's not cartoons, London Benji.
I'm afraid it seems we both have a habit of not reading all of the posts :P

I realised that I was an idiot right after I posted that comment as I saw his first vid

All good though.
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