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NicollPr 09-10-2007 06:13 PM

SmX Debuts Important New Projection-Screen Technology
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SmX Cinema Solutions, a new player in the field of front-projection screens for high-end home theaters, has unveiled an exciting new line of extremely strong audio- transparent screens created with a proprietary patent-pending material that offers incredible projected image quality and audio pass through without distortion. SmX has also introduced its innovative frame designs, masking systems and the unique ProCurv™ multi-radius fixed-curve screening system.

CineWeave™ HD, Star of the Show
The star of the show is CineWeave™ HD, a proprietary, patent-pending woven material—the first acoustically transparent projection screen to provide clear, consistently bright and vibrant images from edge to edge, pure color accuracy, and increased contrast and sharpness, all without degradation of audio quality. The SmX CineWeave™ HD screen is the first woven video projection screen to combine high reflective gain (1.16); acoustic transparency that requires zero screen EQ; 160° hotspot-free viewing angles; and total freedom from reflective artifacts or “sparklies.” And thanks to its unique, easy on-site adjustability, SmX guarantees CineWeave to be entirely free of moiré-pattern artifacts.

CineWeave™ HD has already made a name for itself in a number of high-end installations—and at several high-profile post production facilities in Hollywood, where industry pros caught the SmX buzz in the early stages of its development. “The CineWeave™ HD technology 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.

In addition to the phenomenal CineWeave™ HD acoustically transparent screen material, SmX also offers CineMatte Plus, a solid projection-screen material. CineMatte Plus boasts a 1.35 gain providing extreme uniformity of color and brightness as well as a full 160°viewing cone. This aids the end user to get the same impeccable quality screen systems SmX offers but without the acoustically transparent screen material.

Pro-Line and ProCurv Framing Systems
SmX has also introduced its Pro-Line framing system—a highly engineered, custom-tooled, extruded-aluminum channel system that is the world’s strongest, stiffest, and most stable. It’s also the world’s most acoustically inert, thanks to unique injected-foam insulating material that quells any possible resonances. Progressively curved bevel edged frames and genuinely, “blacker-than-black” velvet trimming (instead of the inexpensive flocking found on most frames) do superior jobs of controlling light bleed and increasing perceived contrast. 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. Pro-Line and ProCurv frames also include a secondary, spaced installation channel to accept an acoustically transparent black backing to add “bounce back” light control - although SmX has observed that in most setups its new CineWeave™ HD material does not require one.

Pro-Curv, a fixed-curve screen-framing and installation system for Cinemascope-type front-projection installations, is another SmX innovation. Pro-Curv is available in 40-foot-radius curves (the most widely used), plus curves of 30- and 20-foot radius. Having a choice of radii provides the installation professional the means to truly design the application to the installation requirements. Curved-screen applications are 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. (A curved screen also promotes better sound, since toed-in speakers maintain parallelism to the screen for best acoustic transparency.) Pro-Curv incorporates all of the benefits of SmX’s Pro-Line flat screens, including their exclusive extruded-aluminum, complex-channel framing and genuine-velvet “blacker-than-black” trim. SmX offers Pro-Curv screens in widths from 80 inches to 24 feet and in all aspect ratios, with virtually unlimited custom sizing and scaling.

ProMask and ProMaskcurv
The final impressive new product from SmX is the new four-way Pro-Mask system. ProMask can mask down to every possible aspect ratio without confining the viewable screen to a constant image height or width. Engineered to be extremely quiet, ProMask incorporates all of the technology advantages of SmX Pro-Line frames, including acoustic insulation and true-black velvet. ProMask 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 ProMask 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. Of course, ProMask accommodates SmX’s new CineWeave acoustically transparent projection-screens and CineMatte Plus solid screens and offers a choice of acoustic and non-acoustic masking-panel choices. SmX can deliver ProMask 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.

The same superbly effective masking system is available for curved screens in SmX’s ProMaskcurv, a constant-height, fixed-curve masking system with all the virtues of ProMask adapted to curved screens—and logically enough, the ideal companion to SmX’s ProCurv projection-screen systems.

JerryDelColliano 09-17-2007 07:26 AM

Re: SmX Debuts Important New Projection-Screen Technology
There are a LOT of new players in the screen market.

Stewart, for years has been the home theater leader however I am hearing more and more about Draper which makes VERY VERY VERY good screens too.

theavinsider 03-17-2008 04:31 PM

Re: Screen Excellence offers the widest range of AT screens on the market today
Screen Excellence and StJohn Group Jointly Announce Strategic Partnership.

Leading Specialty Distribution and Marketing Firm Launches New Cutting Edge Video Products for Finest Home Theater Professionals

Bellingham, WA – January 2, 2008 – U See, Ltd., owners of Screen Excellence, a line of high-performance, acoustically transparent, moiré free projection screens, today announced their intention to form a partnership with StJohn Group, Inc., a top-flight, exclusive North American distributor of Audio/Video products for the custom installation market.

The Screen Excellence line, already marketed in Europe, will be launched by StJohn Group at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Screen Excellence manufactures in the UK, a complete line of fixed, motorized and masking screens for a variety of high performance home theater applications. These acoustically transparent screens incorporate innovative engineering to prevent visual moiré commonly found with digital projectors as well as the reflection of light back through the screen.

The company’s patent-pending motorized screens pay particular attention to the design of the tensioning to provide a totally flat projection surface free of any ripples. A built-in channel on the frame of the fixed frames provides an area for bias lighting, dramatically extending the perceived contrast ratio.

Screen Excellence will offer the following three screen materials:
Enlightor 1 (EN1) - a micro-fiber woven material in matte white, 0.95 gain, with no discernable "twill" or weave pattern. EN1 is specifically designed for 1080 sources and projection with zero moiré at any size. No re-equalization is necessary with no audio comb filtering and no resolution loss with any high definition sources or projectors. EN1 is intended for state-of-the-art home theater applications where clients may be sitting close to the screen or for calibrators who need a perfectly flat focusing surface.

Enlightor 2 (EN2) - a micro-fiber woven material in matte white, 0.95 gain, equivalent to the screen material StJohn Group introduced 4 years ago. Ideal for 780 resolution projection, there is zero moiré down to 80" wide. No re-equalization is necessary with no audio comb filtering and no resolution loss with any high definition sources or projectors.

Enlightor 4K (EN4K) - designed for state-of-the-art 4k projectors already in use in commercial Digital Theaters and which will eventually find their way into residential use. This material is guaranteed not to moiré at any size. Matte white, 0.95 gain. No re-equalization is necessary with no audio comb filtering and no resolution loss with any high definition sources or projectors. Enlightor 4K is intended for state-of-the-art home theater applications where clients want to future-proof their screen for the increasingly rapid strides in video projection resolution.

Other unique features:
Screen Excellence fixed frames are a proprietary design. Covered in rich velour and easily assembled, the frame contains a built-in track for receiving 6500 Kelvin white LED bias lighting, similar to that found on high end flat panel plasmas. Properly designed bias lighting systems have been shown to dramatically increase the perceived contrast ratio of the screen's image by fixing the eye's iris so dramatic swings in brightness and contrast ratio can be viewed without fatigue.

In addition, Screen Excellence fixed frame screens use a proprietary screen fabric gripping system that uses a tool for easily inserting the fabric into the gripping system. Proprietary acoustically transparent black backing material is included in the cost of each screen. A black backing layer is essential for stopping a ghost image from being seen from behind the screen, or from seeing a contrast between the screen and the back wall or from stopping the reflection of shiny hardware or speaker cones back through the screen.

Kevin Leja, president of StJohn Group said, “We are extremely proud to be partnering with Patrice Congard, CEO and founder of U See, Ltd. He is the originator of the modern acoustically transparent screen concept. Together with his engineering expertise and pioneering efforts in this field, plus our knowledge and experience building the AT screen market in North American over the past four years, we are an unbeatable team.”

Mr. Leja went on to add, “Our goal with Screen Excellence is to position the cost of acoustically transparent screens to the point where they are close in price to non-AT screens that were designed for high definition sources and 1080 projection. Given the option, and with little or no price difference, why would anyone not want to place their center speaker or L, C, and R speakers behind the screen, where they belong? Screen Excellence products will make the decision to go AT or not, pretty much a moot point.”

According to John Caldwell, co-founder and sales director for StJohn Group, “Screen Excellence is a high quality brand committed to providing the custom installation and commercial markets with the highest level of customer service available for their video projection needs. With StJohn Group, we are not just concerned with how the picture looks. Rather, through our products and personal service, we are committed to providing specialists with the ability to reconcile the entire audio and video experience for their discerning clients.”

During CES, StJohn Group will be debuting their Screen Excellence line along with their other premium brands Artcoustic, Cabasse, Cineversum, and iSky Panels at the Tuscany Hotel, 255 East Flamingo just west of Paradise. For more details, an appointment or interviews, contact Peter Hoagland at (703) 989-3680.
StJohn Group will be taking orders for Screen Excellence at the CES and will begin shipping in January. Orders will ship from company facilities in Bellingham WA. All screens will receive prepaid ground freight from Bellingham.

Fast Facts about Screen Excellence and StJohn Group:

• Patrice Congard, founder and CEO of U See, Ltd. is the originator of the modern acoustically transparent screen concept and a pioneer in developing the technology for the category.
• Now available in the U.S., Screen Excellence is a line of state-of-the-art acoustically transparent screens for a variety of high performance applications.
• Enlightor is a proprietary screen fabric that provides picture quality and acoustic transparency that is superior to perforated screens
• Though offering the highest possible performance Screen Excellence products are aggressively priced to deliver unmatched value
• StJohn Group established the market for acoustically transparent screens in North America and with Screen Excellence creates a formidable team

About Screen Excellence
Screen Excellence offers the most advanced Acoustically Transparent (A.T.) screens available today. Using the proprietary Enlightor woven screen fabrics, their state-of-the-art screens provide flawless picture quality and acoustic transparency, superior to perforated vinyl screens or other woven screen materials. Only the best finish, build quality and mechanical features are standard for Screen Excellence.
Patrice Congard, founder and CEO of Screen Excellence, is a leading innovator of the technology. His entire career has been focused on delivering superb engineering solutions to a variety of professional and consumer audio projects. The development of acoustically transparent screens is the natural solution he envisioned after providing loudspeaker systems that had to be accommodated around screens – not in their natural position, which, as in commercial applications, he believes to be behind the screen.

About StJohn Group
StJohn Group, Inc. is not a typical American distributor. Only representing lines offering exclusive North American distribution opportunity allows the company to closely work with its partners on a holistic approach to brand development. Unlike most U.S. distributors, StJohn Group handles all facets of sales and marketing, including literature and collateral creative and production, advertising creative and buys, public relations, web sites, business development and long range market planning.
Based in Bellingham, WA with a satellite office in Ventura, CA, StJohn Group has seventeen regional representative firms and an active roster of more than 850 specialty A/V dealers.
StJohn Group specializes in products and services for the custom integration (CI) market – both residential and commercial – and represents Artcoustic and Cabasse Loudspeakers, Cineversum, iSky Panels and Screen Excellence in North America and the Caribbean.

John Caldwell
Phone: (805) 647-3779 • Fax: (805) 856-2212

4396 Saddlestone Drive, Bellingham, WA 98226
Phone: (360) 756-2205 • Fax: (360) 647-1087

Media Inquiries:
Peter Hoagland
5863 Old Dominion Court
Warrenton, VA 20187
Phone: (540) 349-9648 • E-mail :

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