Center Stage screens
Do you realize if it weren't for Edison
we'd be watching TV by candlelight?
- The world's only retractable with fabric velvet borders.
- Patented stealth tab tensioning.
- Popularly used in front of flat panel TVs.
- Black backing secondary layer, standard.
- Gen5, RF-only or 4-wire, motor options.
- Premium, extruded aluminum case.
- Integrated 1-piece install rail, wall or ceiling mount.
- NEW: Dual-roller masking screen available!
- Easy grommet / O-ring screen installation for lifetime 360° tension.
- Integrated 1 or 2-piece install sliding-rail with included bubble level and mounting hardware.
- Premier: Wrapped in premium Fidelio black velvet, the world's darkest.
- Premier: Curved frames available.
- Premier: CH (scope to 16:9), CW (16:9 to scope), or CA (2.07 to either 16:9 or scope) fixed masking panels available in Fidelio velvet and Millibel AT.
- NEW Economy: Black powder coat with 0.6" velvet overscan trim.
We fully support those who enjoy either the challenge, creativity, or value in making their own screens. NEW: For non-AT screens we have our new Glacier White screen material available, reinforced for your staple gun pleasure. Click here for DIY resources: instructions, test results, recommendations, and links to some of our favorite DIY sites.learn more
Center Stage XD
Following three years of development, the Center Stage XD™ is the overall best performing acoustically transparent screen available at any price. We tripled the hole density, raised the gain, improved the audio by +0.5dB, and reduced the minimum seating and speaker distances. No other acoustically transparent screen fabric on the market offers as high a gain (1.2), balanced with such a high level of acoustical transparency (1.5dB average attenuation above 8kHz), fine texture (1,739 holes per square inch) and price. The perforated vinyls can get higher gain but ruin the audio, require an EQ and have such visually unacceptable hole patterns that AT screens often suffer a terrible reputation. Other woven screens typically keep the audio in tact, but have lower gains and/or visually intrusive thread patterns. Center Stage XD screens are becoming the industry standard for world class mastering, mix rooms and demo rooms at premier film production and speaker companies. When video AND audio performance are considered, the new Center Stage XD material is the best performer, anywhere, at any price.
(NEW) Glacier White non-AT
Our new solid screen material is the perfect solution for those that want smaller or shorter screens or otherwise aren't interested in an acoustically transparent system. The new Glacier White 1.3 non-AT solid screen is a multi-layer material that was developed keeping the easiest mounting method in mind, our grommet / o-ring system. The back side is a sturdy reinforced weave. The next layer is a black film to completely kill any translucence to the image, assuring that even in front of a white wall there will not be any contrast-killing light contamination like traditional non-reinforced vinyl screens can have. On top of that is the optical layer with just enough sheen to provide gain and a light embossing to maximize uniformity and viewing angle. As with any white screen, both the Glacier White and our Center Stage XD must be used in rooms with good light control.
In the beginning there was nothing. God said, "Let there be light!"
And there was light!
There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.
No matter how bad a movie this guy makes, you'll see it exactly as he intended it. Center Stage XD screens are used in mastering studios and university virtual reality labs across the US and Europe. Our fabric has been tested to have nearly undetectable color shift. Its performance of x=.002, y=.004 (red +/-0.0%, green +/-0.0%, blue -2.9%) with a Sencore OTC-1000 using a NASA Calibrated White Reflectance Standard as the reference means that its neutral white color makes for a reference quality projection material. CenterStageXDColorTesting.pdf (Rev. 8/09, 77.3k)
Because we don't have any features such as pixel-sucking perforations in our screen materials to compromise resolution, both our Center Stage XD and Glacier White non-AT screens are fully compatible with 4K video resolution.
Ideally, a gain specification should tell you all you need to know about the brightness you'd get from a screen with a given amount of lumens projected on it. Unfortunately, screen manufacturers in general do a terrible job of accurately representing their gain specifications. Therefore, the second job of a gain specification is to inform you of the change in brightness you'd expect in comparison to another screen, in other words how they benchmark to other brands. When benchmarked against competitors, our Center Stage XD is brighter than any other woven screen specified as 1.1 to 1.3, regardless of their claims. We've found their woven screens actually measure from 0.69 to 0.95.
|Center Stage XD|
|Glacier White non-AT|
Worry no moiré
When two patterns are superimposed on one another, a moiré patterning effect can be created depending on the relationship of the projector's fixed panel pattern and that of the holes in the acoustically transparent screen. One goal for an acoustically transparent screens is to have a high enough ratio of holes per pixel for interference not to occur. Woven fabric screens are inherently superior to perforated vinyl screens in this respect, especially due to the Center Stage XD having 1,739 holes per square inch. For extra measure, our fixed frame screens are always cut at a 10 to 20 degree tilt with respect to the roll, eliminating the possibility of moiré with any projector at any size for resolutions up to 4K.
Center Stage XD is a woven fabric and it's extra fine texture will enable it to resolve 4K video without compromise. If you find that you need a completely solid-looking, featureless acoustically transparent screen for smaller size 4K images or for seating closer than eight feet, the only AT screen that can do this is the Enlightor-4K.
Acoustically transparent (AT) projection screens are now uniquely able to maintain the quality of your projected image and rid your home theater of the acoustic distortion that a television or fixed frame screen would impose. AT screens do not acoustically reflect, refract, or otherwise smear the imaging of your speakers. The majority of your sound comes from the center channel, and with an acoustically transparent screen the sound will come from behind the image, not from the floor or ceiling. You no longer have to be limited to the traditional horizontal MTM center speaker, and can alleviate the comb filtering (horizontal lobing) across your seating positions caused by having the same frequencies reproduced by multiple horizontal drivers. An easy fix is to turn your speaker vertically for improved frequency response performance across your theater, or ideally use a center speaker that is identical to your left and right speakers.
Center Channel Best Practice
On this page we'll collect published advice, specific to best practice with the center channel. It is the most important channel after all...
Frequency response of the Center Stage XD at 1/24 octave resolution. The results show excellent acoustic neutrality, as the XD screen does not create audible comb filtering or affect the tonality of your speakers.
Nothing, even air, is truly acoustically transparent. More precisely, an AT screen is acoustically translucent, and the trick is to behave as neutrally as possible. For example, any fabric with holes will comb filter to a measureable degree, but in order for it not to have an audible effect the lobing needs to be as closely spaced as possible (our hearing will average frequency/special response) and at the highest frequencies. This is done by having the holes as small and closely spaced as possible. The woven vinyl fabrics have much smaller holes than perforated vinyl screens, thereby minimizing and shifting the comb filtering to high enough frequencies as to not need equalizer correction, although we argue that you can't compensate for audible comb filtering through equalization because its effects are complex and change with position. This is why you want to avoid the main mistake of perforated vinyl screens (no speaker manufacturer would make grills out of perforated vinyl) or horizontally-aligned similar drivers in your center channel and the highly audible comb filtering in the critical midrange frequencies.
If only your center channel is behind the screen, you only need to increase the volume of the center channel one to two decibels. If you have all three front speakers behind the screen, you only need to trim your surround channels one to two decibels to match your slightly attenuated front soundstage. With standard level calibrations, you completely correct for any effect from the screen. This is why your favorite movie was likely mixed and mastered with a Center Stage XD screen.
|Average 2k-20kHz, dBA|
|Average 8k-20kHz, dBA|
|Average 16k-20kHz, dBA|
Here is our testing of the acoustical transparency of the screen material with a speaker firing through the screen at different angles. We confirmed that our screen is acoustically inert enough to allow you to angle your speakers as you need for their radiation patterns, room surfaces, seating locations and general preferences: CenterStageSpeakerAngleTests.pdf (145k)
Screen, speaker setup
A good target for your screen width would yield a viewing angle from 36 degrees, the THX recommended minimum, up to approximately 40 degrees, the THX recommended maximum. You should consider the smaller side of the range if you watch more 16:9 content, standard definition resolution, or prefer a brighter, punchier image with smoother motion. You could consider larger if you watch mostly movies, all high definition resolution, have no ambient light, and prefer a more immersive experience. We generally don't recommend larger screens than 45 degree viewing angle unless you've had prior experiences and know you'll enjoy it. Trends, however, are toward ever larger images. The guidelines are increasing and as the quality of the source and projectors continually improve, we're seeing viewing angles break past 45 degrees even up to 60 degrees for Imax and 4K images.
For a 40 degree viewing angle, what we believe is the sweet spot, the ratio between the seating distance and screen width is 1.37. For example, if you know you are going to sit 13 feet from the screen, the screen width you would target would be (13x12) / 1.37 = 113.8, so you may consider our 115 inch wide screen size. For a 36 degree viewing angle the seating distance to screen width ratio is 1.54.
If you have a very large screen and a narrow spacing between your left and right speakers you can get all three behind the screen. The advantages of this include better concealment (e.g. high WAF factor), and the minimal sonic effect that the screen imparts will be identical across your (hopefully) identical front speakers. The cinema certainly has all their front speakers behind the screen, but keep in mind they are very wide (e.g. 2.35, or "scope" ratio), always "high definition" film or 4K (which can support very wide viewing angles), and the side fill speakers are often installed starting fairly close to the screen.
THX guidelines for a dubbing stage are for the narrow end of our recommended acoustic range (22.5 degrees from center - 45 degree L/R spread), whereas the home theater guidelines are toward the wider end (30 degrees from center 60 degree L/R spread). If your setup is destined to better adhere to THX and Dolby home theater guidelines, then your left and right front speakers are likely to be outside the screen. Pay attention to where the speakers should be not only for on-screen sounds, but also with off-screen effects and keeping a smooth transition to your side speakers.
Experiment with aggressive toe in for the left and right speakers. Try aiming the left speaker toward the right-most seat and likewise with the right speaker. It will likely improve off-center imaging and reduce the smearing effect from sidewall reflections. You can angle any of the speakers that are behind the Center Stage screen without issue due to the screen's acoustical transparency.
The Center Stage XD was designed to hang right over in-wall speakers without compromise as long as you don't have ports with high velocity airflow. The deeper the bass that the speakers behind the screen are reproducing, the more you space you should give between them and the screen. You can place a subwoofer behind the screen as long as it is spaced at least 6 inches away and no ports are directed at the screen. The current record-holder has over 19kW of subs behind the screen and we've never heard of a complaint.