I finally got around to making an electronic masking system. This one is a bit different though. The system is intelligent. When I start a movie via Kodi, my software I wrote detects the movie aspect ratio and then applies the masking accordingly. If the movie is 16:9 no masking is done. If it's 1.9:1, 2.2:1 or 2.4:1, appropriate masking is performed. Also the video is automatically moved to the top of the screen so that only the bottom needs to be masked. The entire setup probably cost around $300 and took me about 4 hours to create and install (minus software which I spent a bit longer to write). I think it's the only of its kind in the world.
Here is a video of the mask in action:
I used 2 track actuators for the motors, a DPDT relay, and for the PC side, I used a dual USB relay. Parts:
2 24" stroke track actuators: https://www.progressiveautomations.c...track-actuator
$230 for the pair
1 10 amp dpdt relay: https://www.progressiveautomations.com/ac-22
12vdc 10amp power supply: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Z9X4GLW
1 dual USB relay: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071XHF67G
5 yards of black velvet (from ebay) $35 or so
1 13 foot piece of 2x1/2 trim board from home depot. I cut it to size. $13
I mounted each actuator on the wall to the left and right of my screen. I laid the board across the top of the velvet and wrapped it over the board then used a staple gun to attach it. The velvet hangs down like a drape. When the mask is down, the velvet sits on the floor. My black carpet and room is so dark you cant see it. I took a photo of the drape in the down position when on the floor with flash and attached it. When the velvet is up, it hangs like a drape. Each side of the board holding the velvet was attached to the bracket on the track actuator. The actuators were wired together as a single unit and into my relay system so my PC can control it. I also made some remote control codes (also via the PC, remote to PC which moves the actuators) in case I need some manual control.
The design was fairly simple also because I automated the process of moving the picture in the movie player to the top so that there is only 1 large bar to cover rather than bars on top and bottom. For someone that didn't have the software to do this, you could either cover just the bottom (You really don't notice top bars as much) or you could use your remote and picture memory to move the picture up and cover the bottom like I did. You could automate the moving of the projector lens and enabling the actuator to a single remote press on a programmable remote system with macros.
I have attached a couple photos of the actuators mounted. Sorry, room is so dark this is with the lights on and camera flash and is still dark.
Also you'll notice my mask goes up then down a little. This is because the right actuator goes a little faster than the left. So I move it all the way to the top, then back down to where it needs to be. The way down both move more evenly. I'm going to put a resistance knob on the right actuator and slow it down to the speed of the left one. But that's a job for another day. (Probably the exact day my part shows up for it).
For those that don't take the steps to control via PC, can simply get a remote controller for these and use that instead. Will still be electronic but just not automatic and intelligent. Something like this would do the job: https://www.progressiveautomations.com/pa-31