The most eye-catching display on the show floor at this year's InfoComm in Orlando, FL was at the Nationwide Video booth, where the well-known provider of gear for the rental & staging sector featured the prototype of a large, high-performing ALR screen from partner CarbonBlack Technology.

The cutting-edge CarbonBlack material, developed in the Netherlands, is optimized for laser projectors. Unlike a traditional screen, it does not actually reflect light in the classic sense. Instead, the nanotechnology integrated on the screen surface works something like the cones in your eyes that take in light and convert it to another form of energy. In this case, the carbon-based screen surface is designed to resonate specifically when it sees laser-generated light, while ambient light is dissipated as kinetic energy. Company officials say that the material is so finely tuned to laser energy that peak brightness would drop off by about 30% if it were to be used with a common lamp projector.

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The CarbonBlack screen displayed at the Nationwide booth showed surprisingly good contrast and color in demanding conditions on the InfoComm floor.

If the concept is a little hard to grasp, the result is undeniable. Two 16 x 9-foot demo screens lit by a 25,000-lumen Christie M-Series RGB laser projector and a 35,000-lumen blue-laser+phosphor Panasonic PT-RQ35, displayed remarkably deep blacks, superb contrast, and excellent color fidelity, with barely a hint of any sparkle or artifacts even from close up (where I spotted only the slightest touch of sparkle in pure whites). This was particularly impressive given the full showfloor lighting and brutal overhead reflector beams that tried their best to wash out the image.

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A 16x9-foot screen powered by a 25,000-lumen Christie laser projector successfully fought off the bright light from two sets of powerful reflector fixtures directly above. (Screen image: Dustin Ferrell Visual Concepts, dfvc.com; by license to Christie Digital)

Also impressive are this material's other attributes. It's made with a flexible textile substrate that's extremely lightweight, just 270 grams per square meter. It is both foldable for transport or rollable for use in retracting screens, and easily stretch-wrapped around a truss or frame. Unlike common screen materials in which viewing angle is affected by gain, the CarbonBlack screen offers a full 180-degree viewing angle in all directions. So, all viewers get the same image whether they are off-axis horizontally or looking at the screen from below or above. This characteristic also makes it suitable for use with long-throw, short-throw, and UST projection. Finally, CarbonBlack is said to be sustainable for the benefit of the environment.

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CarbonBlack screens were also used by several exhibitors at the 2021 ISE show in Spain. This was taken at the booth for LANG AG, CarbonBlack's European distributor.

Liam Mahon, the visionary behind CarbonBlack Technology, says the company is focusing first on pushing CarbonBlack screens into large venues and events supported by the rental & staging industry, where they are partnered with Nationwide in North America and Lang AG in Europe. Consumer home theater sales through integrators could come later.

You can learn more about the CarbonBlack screen at the company's website or by contacting Nationwide Video via their corporate site.

 
Comments (4) Post a Comment
Lawrence Posted Oct 31, 2021 11:27 AM PST
The material is available for purchase on their website. Assuming it performs as advertised, the cost isn’t bad.
Steve morgan Posted Oct 31, 2021 11:53 AM PST
Is it possible for it to be Acoustically Transparent?
Brian Posted Oct 31, 2021 8:34 PM PST
Thanks for the write up on this, been waiting on a black front projection material for some time.

You mentioned almost no gain related sparkle, but what about visible matetial texture?

Also, is it essentially 1.0 gain for laser projectors?

Thanks! Brian
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 2, 2021 7:48 AM PST
It's an extremely smooth surface, I can tell you that from looking at it and touching it. I honestly don't know about the "gain" except to say that I asked the company rep described it as not having any, at least in the traditional sense.

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