Large 4 way masking screens - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-30-2019, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Large 4 way masking screens

Hey guys,

I've decided I'd like to have 4-way masking in my planned cinema room, budget permitting.

However, I'm struggling to find any reviews / comparison or very much information at all about the various options. Here is my criteria:

1 - I'd like to be able to automate my setup such that the content playing automatically resizes the screen (via masking) not only to the correct ratio, but to a target display size. For example, I may want to watch some content at 170" 2.40:1 and other content at 135" 240:1. Or 170" 16:9 vs 155" 16:9. I am technical enough to do the programming for this, but I need the screen to be able to respond to specific instructions on the 4 panels independently.

2 - I'd like to ensure that the masking panel - specifically the one at the top, is as thin and as close to the screen as possible. My projector will be mounted ~6m back, and about 40cm above the top of the visible screen (in the worst case scenario) - and I want to minimise the dropped shadow.

3 - Size wise, the total width I have available for the screen after deducting speaker space, and including the frame, is 450cm (14.76ft) and the total available height (also including frame) is 250cm. This likely means a visible screen width of approx 410cm, and height of 205cm, I would like to maximise this.

4 - The masking panels have to be acoustically transparent

5 - Full closure would be a nice bonus.

So far I am looking at DT screens Dynamic 4, as well as Screen Research X4R3-160-2.00 and the Screen Excellence TAM-4. I believe the Director's choice can be ruled out as it's too expensive.

I am hoping someone here has experience with some of these screens to give me some feedback.

Cheers
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post #2 of 17 Old 05-02-2019, 07:02 AM
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Perhaps, you can have a chat with the creator of this screen. This one is a DIY. Notice the youtube vid of it in action.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...fy-motors.html
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post #3 of 17 Old 05-04-2019, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaji View Post
Perhaps, you can have a chat with the creator of this screen. This one is a DIY. Notice the youtube vid of it in action.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...fy-motors.html
Thanks. DIY is an option, but I'd prefer to find a high quality manufactured screen if possible.

Has anyone on here used any of these screens? Seems like it must be a tiny market size..

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post #4 of 17 Old 05-05-2019, 06:04 AM
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I've been wondering the same thing. When I was doing some research the Screen Research X4R3 seemed like the best option because the masks are fully variable and there a variety of control options. DT Screens is UK based, and I'm not sure if they are available in the US (not sure where you're located). I'm curious if anyone has some insight as well.

Edit: I've been informed DT Screens is available in the US (through Atlanta Home Theater and maybe others).

Last edited by lockdown571; 05-05-2019 at 07:12 AM.
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-05-2019, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post
I've been wondering the same thing. When I was doing some research the Screen Research X4R3 seemed like the best option because the masks are fully variable and there a variety of control options. DT Screens is UK based, and I'm not sure if they are available in the US (not sure where you're located). I'm curious if anyone has some insight as well.

Edit: I've been informed DT Screens is available in the US (through Atlanta Home Theater and maybe others).
Yep, I've heard good things about DT screens and I'm UK based, but with the amount that these screens cost I do want some sense of how the screens compare.

Specifically, like you mentioned - fully variable masks that you can set to any position - and also crucially for me, the shadow dropped by the top frame and/or the top masking.

I may end up having to see them all :-)

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post #6 of 17 Old 05-05-2019, 11:09 PM
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Contact these guys in Germany:

https://www.takeoffmedia24.de/beamer...eh1oji5e7a8vc1

They fabricate solutions with masking 4 ways.

Check videos on YT: Hollywood ZuHause

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post #7 of 17 Old 05-08-2019, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LydMekk View Post
Contact these guys in Germany:

https://www.takeoffmedia24.de/beamer...eh1oji5e7a8vc1

They fabricate solutions with masking 4 ways.

Check videos on YT: Hollywood ZuHause

And they make airbags as well ..one stop shopping.

Art
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-08-2019, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post
And they make airbags as well ..one stop shopping.

Art
Hahaha, I noticed that too. A weird way to advertise what is effectively 'Good aftercare', such as a loaner projector when yours is being repaired etc.

I got in touch with Lars directly (I had been before too) and they are currently redesigning their 4 way masking systems (July / August). So from them, I could either go with IMasque Slim (2 way masking) or wait for their newer version.

I do have time so I'm going to try and gather more info. I think it's likely I'm gonna have to physically see the screen before buying.

Cheers

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post #9 of 17 Old 05-08-2019, 07:44 AM
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Would something like this do the trick? It is a VERY cool product. Can be scaled up to 255" and can be had in AT materials.
https://www.screeninnovations.com/screen/transformer/




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post #10 of 17 Old 05-08-2019, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montucky View Post
Would something like this do the trick?
Spoiler!
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, there are a couple of issues with this. First one is, I think it's only 2 way masking. If I was going down that route, one option may be the Seymour AV Proscenium, which has 2 way masking but also manual masking for the IMAX mode. The second issue is that the frame has to be 'exposed' whereas I would like to conceal the frame in the screen wall.

Cheers though.

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post #11 of 17 Old 05-08-2019, 11:57 AM
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I’m glad you are looking for a variable approach to presentation as we have talked about it in several other threads.

You are basically doing everything I’m doing except I’m doing it in the most budget friendly way. That being a projector that does fairly good blacks, has lots of lumens and a moderate sized screen and closer seating to still allow for IMAX immersion. Then using a DIY very dark gray stealth screen wall. Thus self-masking.

The benefits of variable sizing with variable vertical shift far outweighs for me the loss of masking. At least in the context of what automatic programmable masking as shown above would cost to do. I had 4way manual masking for about 5 years and I know how nice that was once set in place and what a pain it was to try and adjust it all the time for media room usage. If it was a dedicated HT and I showed a few movies a week to larger groups of people it would be perfect. That just wasn’t my usage pattern and when I stopped masking and started self-masking no one noticed anyway, except me. What really got me thinking about it were movies like The Grand Budapest Hotel and Dunkirk that are impossible to mask for as they frequently change AR. After quizzing a dozen people after watching those movies with me no one noticed the AR changes let alone the lack of masking.

Talking recently with my friend MM who posts mainly in the DIY screen forum and runs a custom screen business, he tells me the majority of screens he does now are self-masking dark stealth screen walls. They are well accepted by his costumers, but other than me I have yet to hear of anyone doing it on the forums here.

Ether way go variable you will love it.
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-12-2019, 02:43 PM
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What do you mean by self masking?

As for auto-AR with 4-way masking Stewart was showing this years ago. Stewart is also high-budget.
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-12-2019, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donaldk View Post
What do you mean by self masking?

As for auto-AR with 4-way masking Stewart was showing this years ago. Stewart is also high-budget.
Yes - I ruled out the Director's Choice because it costs more than I'm prepared to pay for a screen :-)

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post #14 of 17 Old 05-12-2019, 02:57 PM
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shows off a 4 way mask, in action.
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-13-2019, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donaldk View Post
What do you mean by self masking?
Self masking is no masking. Letting the projector do its best at making black and having a dark screen that helps with the rest.

When you watch movies like Aquaman , Dunkirk or The Grand Budapest Hotel that switch AR during the movie it is impossible to mask for the rapidly changing ARs. Most people watch these movies at home or in theaters and never notice the AR changes.

I have found for myself the lack of any deep dark black frame around the image draws attention away from the masking and back to the movie. I have even projected a masking around the image in different colors using a HTPC setup. For me the simplest and best is to simplify it to self masking. It is not perfect and many feel there is a connection between having that reference black in the vision with perception of black within the image. I find having that perfect black in the boarder is a source of comparison that shows you what you projected black really is and that can be its own distraction. Bottom line is most people don’t think about it and just watch the movie in my studies. So I eliminated it and the cost of doing it.

YMMV
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post #16 of 17 Old 05-14-2019, 07:09 PM
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I have the Stewart 4 way masking director's choice and have been very happy with it.

Bryan
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post #17 of 17 Old 05-16-2019, 05:01 AM
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Even after watching the Christie Large Venue projector in action at their plant in Canada with 29 million to one contrast and 500 nits output on a 20' screen ,thus projected black and any hand puppet shadows are the same, I'd still use masking for the esthetics and cleanest possible margin.

Art
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