HOME > Press Releases > Kaleidescape And Stewart Filmscreen Partner to Automate Screen Masking Systems
P R E S S R E L E A S E
KALEIDESCAPE AND STEWART FILMSCREEN PARTNER TO PROVIDE AUTOMATED CONTROL OVER SCREEN MASKING SYSTEMS
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – JUNE 15, 2004 – Kaleidescape, Inc., the company that created the first movie server for whole-house video entertainment, announces a partnership with Stewart Filmscreen to fully automate the control of their ElectriMask screen masking systems. When installed with a Kaleidescape™ System, the motor-driven masking panels of a Stewart Filmscreen ElectriMask system can be fully automated to precisely eliminate unsightly stripes or undesirable cropping of the image to maintain a picture perfect screen at all times. The Kaleidescape System is the first video source product to provide a solution for automating this process.
Properly masking a video screen to accommodate the different aspect ratios of DVD movies has previously been a challenge for systems integrators and their clients. Home theater owners had to manually adjust their masking system to accommodate the different aspect ratios found on today's DVDs (4:3, 16:9, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, and others). The problem is further complicated by the fact that most movies have a "framing error," which means the position of the projected image can vary from one movie to another, even for the same aspect ratio. With the Kaleidescape System, you simply select a movie and press "Play," and the masking adjusts automatically and precisely, ensuring that the movie will be viewed the way it was intended. This provides a superior viewing experience and an efficient installation solution for the systems integrator.
Automatic screen masking is made possible by Kaleidescape's patent-pending Video Bookmarks. Each time a customer imports a DVD into his Kaleidescape System, its unique set of Video Bookmarks is automatically downloaded via the Internet from Kaleidescape's Movie Guide™ Service, along with other movie metadata such as cover art, factual data, and a synopsis of the movie. Some of these Video Bookmarks are used during playback to generate "event cues" that are transmitted via the control protocol to the third-party control system. Whenever the aspect ratio changes during playback, the control system receives an event cue containing all of the information required to automatically readjust the screen masking.
"We very pleased to be partnering with Stewart Filmscreen to provide an automated solution to this long-standing problem with the ease of operation of high-quality home theaters," said Michael Malcolm, Chairman and CEO of Kaleidescape, Inc. "I am personally excited about this new feature because I have a Stewart Filmscreen and masking system in my own home theater, and the lack of fully automatic masking has been an on-going frustration for me – to the point that I had stopped using the masking. Now that it is automatic, screen masking is an essential feature of my theater. I believe that this Kaleidescape feature and Stewart's masking system will become essential to our mutual systems integrators and their customers," added Malcolm.
In order to provide accurate screen masking event cues for different movies, Kaleidescape has individually measured the true aspect ratio and associated framing error for each of the many thousands of movies in its Movie Guide Service.
Kaleidescape has installed the Stewart Binary Reciprocal Intelligent Control (BRIC) digital motor control system in their corporate facilities to demonstrate, test and perfect the automated screen masking system; soon to be integrated with a premier Director's Choice model. Stewart will shortly be unveiling a 6,000 sq. ft. training facility at their headquarters featuring a seven-zone Kaleidescape System and several of their ElectriMask systems. The demonstration facility will be open to trainees, dealers and installers, as well as interested consumers.
Stewart Filmscreen's Director of Sales Joaquin Rivera stated, "Kaleidescape is the first video source product designed with bookmarked event cues that automatically handle the challenge of screen-masking. Integrators will agree that this is a very big deal now that the aspect ratio is set and the operation is hands-free for their clients. Paired together, they are a complete solution for maximizing the theatrical experience for high-end residential applications."
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