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Discussion Starter #1
I received my 136" CIH Masquerade system earlier this week. Yesterday afternoon, a friend and I installed the MMS screen and CIH masking system. While I don't yet have my projector hooked up (Jason Turk is coming over next week to install the PJ and A-lens), a number of you expressed an interest in my first impressions.


As expected, the folks from Carada were more than attentive. I only wish all companies exhibited this type of Customer Care. Thanks, David!


The install took about 4 hours to go from bare walls and unopened boxes to a fully-functioning 2.35 screen and masking system. That included a beer break, of course.



I bought the MMS screen (Brilliant White) from Carada. After installing the bracket on which the Masquerade hangs, you put together the MMS frame, attach 4 wooden mounting blocks to the wall, and then attach the MMS frame to those wooden blocks. Pretty simple. The screen fabric has a sewn border complete with snaps to mount the screen onto the frame. Contrary to some reports on the forum, we had zero difficulty stretching the fabric onto all the snaps. Perhaps with a larger screen size the fabric is a bit more easily stretched - I dunno, but this step was quite easy for us.


After the MMS is installed, the Masquerade is installed in 6 steps

1. Hang the top channel on the bracket and secure it to the wall

2. Attach the pre-assembled motors and mask fabric rolls (the motor assembly frames are the side members of the Masquerade)

3. Bolt the bottom frame assembly to the motor assemblies

4. Attach the tensioning cables (pre-installed in the top and bottom frames) to the mask rollers

5. Hook up AC power

6. Slide on side panels to cover the motor assemblies


The 'normal' installation calls for power to enter the bottom right-hand corner of the Masquerade. Since I couldn't access that area, we routed the power behind the MMS screen and stapled it to the wall. Worked pretty well, I'm just hoping the staples hold so I don't get any bulges in the screen!


With that, the installation was complete. Considering the complexity of a masking system (underlying screen, motors, pulleys, moving fabric panels, etc., etc.), Carada's design and docs made this a pretty simple exercise. If you are half-way handy, it's no problem to complete this installation. Everything fit well and installed as expected.


The masking panels move along at a pretty brisk pace, going from fully extended (1.33) to fully open (2.35) in just a little over 3 seconds. Jogging, either both together or just one mask, seems pretty easy as well. The motors run VERY quietly - if there's any background noise at all, you won't hear them run.


I dearly wish I could show you some screen captures, but that will have to wait until after the RS20 and Prismasonic lens are installed.



Here's a few images of the installation. First, the MMS frame after installation (you can see the Masquerade bracket above the MMS):



After the screen fabric is snapped onto the MMS frame:



Power for the Masquerade run behind the screen:



And the theater after the Masquerade was installed over the MMS frame/screen:



Masked for Academy:



Masked for 1.85:



Masks fully retracted for 2.35:
 

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Nice job. Pretty impressive room. How come you didn't go with a 2.37 or 2.40 screen and opted for a 2.35?
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samaritano /forum/post/17049653


Nice job. Pretty impressive room. How come you didn't go with a 2.37 or 2.40 screen and opted for a 2.35?

Only a few of my DVD's and Blu-Rays are wider than 2.35, so I stuck with 2.35. Also, if I went 2.40, the screen height is reduced by an inch. I preferred keeping the screen height, knowing I'd only miss viewing just .2" on each side of the screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimim /forum/post/17049903


Looks real good. I like your setup too. Nice room. What size screen do you have?

Thanks! The viewing area is 136" diagonal when the masks are fully retracted. At the 16:9 mask position, the viewing area is about 110" diagonal. At 1.33, it's about 90".


See the CIH calculator at: http://www.carada.com/MasqueradeCIHCalculator.aspx
 

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Very nice!


Mike
 

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Looks fantastic, nice job documenting the setup. You'll gonna be blown away even more once you get that Proj. and lens going. Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine /forum/post/17065096


YES! Very nice indeed! Let us know how the RS20/A-lens install goes and more pics (screen captures) please.

Thanks, John. I'm hoping to capture some projected images Sunday evening during the first watching experience. We're now trying to decide which movie to watch for the system's maiden voyage!


Quote:
Originally Posted by oman321 /forum/post/17066185


Looks fantastic, nice job documenting the setup. You'll gonna be blown away even more once you get that Proj. and lens going. Enjoy.

I'm seriously hoping to be blown away!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J /forum/post/17066838


Very very impressive.

Did you get a break on the price for ordering both the screen and CIH masquerade at the same time?

Standard pricing from Carada, but that's about half of other non-DIY CIH masking systems. I blame this fixation on the AVSForum. I never heard of CIH before coming here -- after reading far too many posts from far too many fanatics, I just had to have the new Carada Masquerade. :rant:
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD in Ohio /forum/post/17070373


Thanks, John. We're now trying to decide which movie to watch for the system's maiden voyage!

Some of my favorite 2:35/2:40 BD's (ALL w/ STUNNING Picture/Sound):


A BUGS LIFE

BLADERUNNER

CARS

I, ROBOT

CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (LION /WITCH)

HARRY POTTER (PHOENIX)

KING KONG

RATATOUILLE

TRANSFORMERS

WALL E
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Those in my collection are highlighted. Also thinking about:

TRANSPORTER 3

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

IRON MAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine /forum/post/17071126


Some of my favorite 2:35/2:40 BD's (ALL w/ STUNNING Picture/Sound):

A BUGS LIFE

BLADERUNNER
CARS

I, ROBOT


CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (LION /WITCH)

HARRY POTTER (PHOENIX)

KING KONG
RATATOUILLE
TRANSFORMERS

WALL E
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD in Ohio /forum/post/17071576


Those in my collection are highlighted. Also thinking about:

TRANSPORTER 3

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

IRON MAN

All good stuff.

It is raining here in WI -- makes me want to go home and watch a movie.



Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #15

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine /forum/post/17075196


HD in Ohio:

What is your "eye to screen" (viewing) distance from row #1? Row #2?

Front row is just under 10 feet, back row just over 17 feet. I'm hoping the front row isn't *too* close to the 136" screen!


Brad
 

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Brad,


Do you have any pictures of the assembly of the masking system? If not, can you describe the mechanics of how their masking system works? For instance, how do they maintain tension on the fabric as the rollers "open" and "close"? What is the track system like for the masking panels?


I'm just looking for ideas to inspire my own DIY masking system. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I can't get a view of the cable workings once everything is assembled...


There are no tracks for the panels. A metal bar is sewn into the hem of the leading edge of the panel material. At the top and bottom of the panel, a spring-tensioned cable is attached to the metal bar -- the other end of the cable is attached to the roll holding the material. When the motor spins the roll, the cables pull the panel open/closed.


Pretty simple - I imagine the trick is engineering everything so it stays aligned over hundreds of roll-up and unroll operations.


Brad
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD in Ohio /forum/post/17075570


Front row is just under 10 feet, back row just over 17 feet. I'm hoping the front row isn't *too* close to the 136" screen!


Brad

Those are my same distances.

I have a 128" 2.40:1 Carada BW screen.

On BR movies with less action it is great and immersize.

On BR movies with much action -- eg James Bond -- it can be too big/close and really be too much. Moreso for my wife but I agree and I was actually glad I didn't go bigger.


On SD DVD it varies, but is somewhat soft and looks better back at 17 feet.


I think some of that is personal preference and you can judge by where you sit in a movie theater. I usually try for the middle. If you sit closer to the front, you are selecting for a bigger angle of view.


Enjoy!



Mike

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD in Ohio /forum/post/17076467


There are no tracks for the panels. A metal bar is sewn into the hem of the leading edge of the panel material. At the top and bottom of the panel, a spring-tensioned cable is attached to the metal bar -- the other end of the cable is attached to the roll holding the material. When the motor spins the roll, the cables pull the panel open/closed.

Thanks for sharing. It seems pretty close to the method used in one of the DIY CIH forum threads. You have a very nice setup btw. The automation in your setup when going from 16:9 to scope will blow your guests away.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Nice setup, Mike!


I was pretty indecisive about going with the 136", worrying that it would be too wide - I wanted immersion without causing a tennis-match experience. As I recall, I checked a few calculators and found the viewing angle well within THX recommendations, so I went with the 136".


Thanks for posting your impressions - after Sunday night, I'll be able to see if the front row will be reserved for kids.



Brad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_WI /forum/post/17076916


Those are my same distances.

I have a 128" 2.40:1 Carada BW screen.

On BR movies with less action it is great and immersize.

On BR movies with much action -- eg James Bond -- it can be too big/close and really be too much. Moreso for my wife but I agree and I was actually glad I didn't go bigger.


On SD DVD it varies, but is somewhat soft and looks better back at 17 feet.


I think some of that is personal preference and you can judge by where you sit in a movie theater. I usually try for the middle. If you sit closer to the front, you are selecting for a bigger angle of view.
 
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