Stewart Filmscreen offers a variety of masking systems designed to define a specific image ratio (4:3, 16:9, 2.35:1, etc.) by covering all areas outside this image with a very dark material that negates any unwanted light spill and creates a sharply contrasted edge.
However, light absorption and contrast are not the only factors that are important to consider when designing the optimal masking system. Many homeowners opt to have screens that are nearly as wide as their theater – thus, along with the center channel speaker that is commonly placed behind the screen, it results in the need to also place the left and right speakers behind it as well. When a masking system is deployed, the overall acoustical transparency of the screen is determined by the aggregate of the screen and masking materials.
Certain aspect ratio masking formats can and will result in the leading edge frame of the masking system covering a critical part of the loudspeakers. Therefore, Stewart has listened to sound expert customer Haas Accoustics and has designed a leading edge frame that is stiff enough to support the masking system and maintain a sharp edge, yet shaped and configured to have minimal acoustic effect on the sound.
Testing was conducted for months to optimize the frame/batten configuration, the masking fabric selection and the manufacturing process itself until the system for all Stewart filmscreen masking products delivered the desired level of audio and visual performance. As a result, Stewart utilizes new round profile leading edges on masking panels to reduce parallel sonic reflections and achieve optimal separation of screen material to masking system. When combined with a unique, deep-black masking fabric that transmits more sound yet absorbs more light, Stewart Filmscreen has effectively established the industry reference standard in variable masking systems.
All MicroPerf X2 products from Stewart (including screens with variable masking systems) are THX certified, and come with Stewart's exclusive Cinemasonic Processor. This simple, active network compensates for sound frequency variance and levels out the frequency response within the 20 Hz to 20 kHz range. The benefit of this Stewart Filmscreen innovation is that the end user need only adjust the volume to fully compensate for any dB loss through the screen and masking.
LuxeMask™ is Stewart's "standard" masking material that you'll find on all masking systems up to a certain size. It was selected for it's similarity to the VeLuxe™ material we employ on our fixed frame screen systems. The difference is that LuxeMask also performs extremely well on measures of acoustical transparency. It is available on curtain style systems and can be deployed from roller systems in sizes up to 11' wide horizontally and 7' high vertically. Beyond these size limitations, orders automatically divert to JumboMask™ materials, which represent the best tradeoff between visual and acoutstic performance at larger sizes (can be vertically deployed up to 19').
For installations in which acoustical performance is of primary concern, an optional material called AudioMask™ can be specified on some products. This THX certified material provides even better acoustical performance, while still performing well as a visual masking material. Please consult your Stewart Sales Technician for specifications and availability.
• Stewart's Variable Masking Systems transmit more sound, yet absorb more light with a deeper black design
• Round profile leading edges on the masking panels reduce parallel sonic reflections
• Stewart optimized the system to the typical separation distance
between the masking system and their MicroPerf screen materials
• Allows installers to now place the center, right and left speakers behind the screen without fear of acoustical disturbance.