Screens

Do you realize if it weren't for Edison
we'd be watching TV by candlelight?

Al Boliska

Retractable electric

  • 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!
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Fixed frame (NEW - economy frame!)

Premier 3.3" x 1.6" heavy duty elliptical contour extruded frame with tons of options, or the new 2.6" x 1.3" economy frame.

  • 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.
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DIY

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 Gray screen material available along with our Glacier White, reinforced for your staple gun pleasure.  Click here for DIY resources: instructions, test results, recommendations, and links to some of our favorite DIY sites.

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Screen Materials

Center Stage XD (acoustically transparent)

 

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, balanced with such a high level of acoustical transparency (1.4dB average attenuation above 2kHz), 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 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!) Center Stage UF (acoustically transparent)

A new perfect solution for those who want the large, immersive experience of an acoustically transparent screen but are sitting close enough where even the advanced, coated-thread materials like the XD would have too much visible texture, the new Center Stage UF was developed from the formulation of the thread itself to provide the perfectly-smooth looking image of a solid surface but with acoustical transparency (2.2dB average attenuation above 2kHz).  It's 0.8 unbenchmarked gain will improve your black levels by 20% and perform better in rooms with lighter colored surfaces. 

Glacier White

A perfect solution for those that want smaller or shorter screens or otherwise aren't interested in an acoustically transparent system, but still have good light control and dark colors.  The 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.

(NEW) Glacier Gray

For use with projectors that can output 2500 lumens or higher, the new Glacier Gray will improve your black levels by 20%.  This solid screen material is the perfect solution for those that want a non-AT screen that can tolerate a little ambient light or lighter colored room surfaces.  The new Glacier Gray 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 with a black film applied to completely kill any translucence to the material, 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 keep the white levels up and a light embossing to maximize uniformity and viewing angle. 

(NEW) Matinee Silver

Our new Matinee line of ambient light-rejecting optical screens begins with the dynamic, 2.0 gain Silver, effectively doubling the white levels in your image.  Perfect for active 3D and also polarized for passive 3D use, it features a relective layer with ultra-fine particles to eliminate sparkles, and a substrate that effectively consumes moderate ambient light levels from any direction.  With a durable diffusion top-layer to allow the screen to be wiped down with nearly any cleaner (including rubbing alcohol), it's available in our fixed frame screens up to about 57" image height.  A projector throw ratio of 2x image width (toward the longer end of the zoom) is recommended.

 

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.

Ellen DeGeneres

Image specifications

No matter how bad a movie this guy makes, you'll see it exactly as he intended it.  Seymour AV screens are used in dozens of leading mastering studios and university virtual reality labs across the US and Europe.

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.  For example, 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.  We are the only screen company that offers both accurate and comparative gain specifications.

benchmarked
gain
unbenchmarked
gain
AT?
(2k-20kHz)
Room
colors
Ambient
light
Min.
seating
Viewing
angle
Center Stage XD
1.2
1.0
yes (-1.4dB)
dark
no
8 ft
160°
(NEW) Center Stage UF
1.0
0.8
yes (-2.2dB)
dark
barely
0
160°
Glacier White
1.3
1.1
no
dark
no
0
160°
(NEW) Glacier Gray
0.8
0.8
no
medium
minimal
0
160°
(NEW) Matinee Silver
2.0
2.0
no
light
moderate
0
35°

Our fabric has been tested to have nearly undetectable color shift.  The XD's 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 download reference quality projection material.  CenterStageXDColorTesting.pdf (Rev. 8/09, 77.3k)

Screen, speaker setup

A good target for your screen width would yield a viewing angle from 36 degrees, the THX recommended cinema minimum, up to approximately 40 degrees, the THX recommended home theater 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.

Acoustically Transparent Center Stage Screens

Speaker locations

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.

Center Stage screens are 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.

Audio

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. Center Stage 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...

Here's an article Vertical vs. Horizontal Center Speaker Designs we wrote for one of our favorite AV sites, www.audioholics.com: Vertical vs Horizontal Center Speaker Designs

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.

download

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)

   

Resolution

Because we don't have pixel-sucking perforations in our screen materials to compromise resolution, all Seymour AV screens are fully compatible with 4K video resolution.  The new Center Stage UF's holes are completely invisble and there is no minimum viewing distance.  Our non-AT screens are inherently resolution independent.


Texture

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 images, seating closer than eight feet, or with a nice bright projector then we recommend the new Center Stage UF.

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.  Moiré is always impossible with any of our other materials.