Acoustically transparent home cinema screens from SmX

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December 3, 2007 SmX Cinema Solutions has unveiled a range of innovations aimed at bringing the technology Hollywood uses to produce the movies into the living room. Foremost is a line of audio-transparent screens created with a proprietary, patent-pending material called CineWeave HD that keeps speakers hidden from view while retaining high projected image quality and allowing audio to pass through without distortion. Delivering 160° hotspot-free viewing angles and edge-to-edge image brighness regardless of seating position, CineWeave screens are available in sizes up to a whopping 270x112.5-inches.

CineWeave HD The acoustic transparency of CineWeave HD allows for loudspeaker placement behind the screen—the same method Hollywood uses when they mix the dialogue/soundtrack for movies for cinema release. "This localizes the dialogue to be heard as Hollywood intended - not above or below the screen,” says SmX founder and designer Ruben Ortiz. While there have been acoustically transparent projection screens before, SmX says that CineWeave HD is the first woven video projection screen to combine acoustic transparency that requires zero screen EQ to correct for screen losses with the highest gain of any woven screen currently available (1.16). It is able to deliver acoustic transparency even though its voids are more than three times smaller than even those of micro-perf screens.

CineWeave HD also delivers 160° hotspot-free viewing angles, for equal edge-to-edge image brighness regardless of seating position. Total freedom from reflective artifacts or “sparklies” is also possible as CineWeave HD doesn’t use the pearlescent mineral additives most high-gain screens employ. For those that don’t wish to take advantage of CineWeave HD’s acoustic transparency SmX also offers CineMatte Plus, a solid projection-screen material that boasts a 1.35 gain providing extreme uniformity of color and brightness as well as a full 160°viewing cone.

Pro-Line and Pro-Curv framing systems SmX has also introduced its Pro-Line framing system—a custom-tooled, extruded-aluminum channel system that according to SmX is the world’s strongest, stiffest and most stable, as weel as being the world’s most acoustically inert. This is thanks to a unique injected-foam insulating material that quells any possible resonances while progressively curved bevel edged frames and “blacker-than-black” velvet trimming are used to control light bleed and increase perceived contrast.

With curved-screens fast gaining popularity among high-end home theater aficionados for their more immersive effect, excellent light performance, and superior geometry with the latest high-performance anamorphic lenses, SmX have also announced Pro-Curv - a fixed-curve screen-framing and installation system for Cinemascope-type front-projection installations. Pro-Curv is available in 40-foot-radius curves (the most widely used), plus curves of 30 and 20-foot radius. SmX offers Pro-Curv screens in widths ranging from 80 inches to 24 feet and in all aspect ratios, with virtually unlimited custom sizing and scaling.

SmX says that both Pro-Line and ProCurv assembly is fast, easy, and accurate, thanks to laser-mitered corners and a powerful snap-lock joining design. What’s more, Pro-Line’s unique locking T-spline screen-fixing solution allows easy on-site adjustments, so even end-users can later tweak screen positioning - for example, to eliminate moiré patterns revealed by a subsequent projector upgrade. CineWeave HD is even guaranteed moiré-free with all digital and non-digital projectors when used with SmX’s patent-pending frame systems.

Pro-Mask and Pro-Maskcurv masking systems Completing SmX’s range of innovations is their new four-way Pro-Mask system, which can mask down to every possible aspect ratio without confining the viewable screen to a constant image height or width. SmX can deliver Pro-Mask in native 16:9 (1.78:1) aspect ratio up to 20 feet wide, which can mask literally any aspect ratio down to 4:3 and up to 2.70:1 or higher. These ratios can easily be programmed including dropping the bottom mask for subtitles. Pro-Mask integrates easily into home automation systems including dry-contact, RS-232/serial control, IP network command, wall-panel control, IR, or RF remote systems. The Pro-Mask system is the first of its kind to offer six preset aspect-ratio settings with a standard remote, and up to 99 aspect ratios with home automation systems. For curved screens SmX offers Pro-Maskcurv, a constant-height, fixed-curve masking system with all the virtues of Pro-Mask adapted to curved screens.

CineWeave screens range from a little as US$2,100 for a 70x34-inch screen, right up to US$47,625 for a 270x112.5-inch monster to rival your local cinema.

For further info visit SmX.

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