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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone come up with a good DIY masking system for 16x9 media on a 2:35.1 screen? I know there are systems you can buy, but they seem to be a lot of $$$. Have projectors gotten better where the black on the sides are not that noticiable, so a mask is really not longer needed?
 

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Masking is still (and always will be) needed. Side masking adds a sharp clean edge to the sides of the image in much the same way the top/bottom boarders frame the image. If I was to make a list of things that I could do to improve the presentation, I've have to add side masks, they just would not be at the top of the list. I don't use side masking in my current system simply because I watch more Scope than non Scope program, so if I had masking, it would open more times that it is closed and I'd rather invest the $$$ into other areas of my HT like acoustics than into something that hardly gets used.
 

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Masking will always make the image look better and the presentation look neater and more professional. Even with projectors with the better black levels (like my JVC projector) masking still pays dividends.


But the "need" for masking tends to be subjective. That is, masking will just about always look better, but some people can live without it much more easily than others. I personally can't live without masking on my own system, so it's up to you how important it is.


As for the expense, if you don't want to buy a commercial masking system, DIY options run from, like, $50 (or less) for some foam board covered in velvet that you can place on and off the screen manually, through to options using curtains and curtain tracks.

Depending on how your screen is positioned you should be able to run a curtain track along the top of your screen. Simply setting up some dark curtains to pull along for side masking would be super cheap. (Some people sew in wooden dowels or the like to the inner edges of the curtain, to keep it straight for a crisp masking line).


You can get fancier by buying an automated curtain track with remote control. These can actually be found pretty cheap - a couple hundred bucks or so.


Personally for my side masking I wanted it remote controlled, with programmable pre-set stopping points for various image widths, and a crisp masking line. So I spent a bit more - about $1,500 because mine set up was really large and fairly complex, with 10 moving panels. But it works superbly and still costs less than many commercial systems.


If you are really handy you can build your own motorized side masking. Look in the DIY CIH forum for examples. But it's tricky, and time consuming...a labor of love thing that isn't everyone's cup of tea. I preferred to go with a professional, reliable, quick-to-set-up system myself. But then, I'm not nearly as handy as many people on this forum.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness /forum/post/19506643


Depending on how your screen is positioned you should be able to run a curtain track along the top of your screen. Simply setting up some dark curtains to pull along for side masking would be super cheap. (Some people sew in wooden dowels or the like to the inner edges of the curtain, to keep it straight for a crisp masking line).

This is precisely what I did. Very cheap, very easy to implement. Looks great.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z /forum/post/19507777


This is precisely what I did. Very cheap, very easy to implement. Looks great.

Me too. I think the corded curtain track cost me something like $20, and the curtain material was left over from the velvet I used elsewhere. Dowels were cheap too.


Like Mark though, it wasn't on the top of my list, and was just something I got round to eventually.


Gary
 

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Wow, some great tips from some well respected and prolific members here, thank you for this.


I'm a major lurker and very infrequent poster, I just like to research lots on here as I'll be doing this type of setup shortly. Very helpful responses. With all the talk of masking being so important, I had started to think just putting up black curtains on a rod above the screen was maybe a bad/amateurish idea but this really helps me out as well. Kudos to helpful experienced members!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z
This is precisely what I did. Very cheap, very easy to implement. Looks great.
Glad to hear this works as this was an idea I was kicking around that seemed cheap enough to pull off. I seem to remember my the movie theater I went to as a kid doing something like this.
 

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There's a lotta creative, industrious folk on this forum, which makes it such a great place.
 
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