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Screen Excellence Introduces Enlightor™ 4K, the World’s First Acoustically Transparent Screen Fabric for 4K D-Cinema and Home Theater Enthusiasts

Press Release  |  Feb 3, 2009

North American Distributor, StJohn Group, Inc., is now shipping Screen Excellence’s proprietary reference screen fabric

Bellingham, WA – February 3, 2009 – Screen Excellence, the ultimate brand for high-performance, acoustically transparent, moiré free projection screens, has announced Enlightor 4K – the world’s first acoustically transparent projection screen material designed specifically for commercial D-Cinema 4k projectors, as well as all Hi Def 1080p projectors on the market. North American value-added distributor, StJohn Group, announced the immediate availability of Screen Excellence’s proprietary EN4K, matte white, woven fabric on all Screen Excellence Reference fixed frame, Craftsman fixed, and TAM Cinemascope fixed frame masking screens, as well as the company’s new VistaCurve™ curved fixed frame screens.

The innovation of EN4K brings the Screen Excellence line to four distinct AT screen formulations, making it the widest selection of acoustically transparent projection screen fabrics on the market today.

Retail pricing for an EN4K fabric screen begins at $840 for a 70” wide viewable area Craftsman series (frameless) 16:9 screen, and $2,615 for the luxurious Reference velour-covered aluminum fixed frame screen (70” wide viewable area). Seamless screens up to 250” wide in 2.37 aspect ratio and 210” wide in 1.78 aspect ratio are available for immediate delivery.

The Reason for Acoustic Transparency
According to Dolby, DTS and THX, the front Left, Center, and Right loudspeakers, as well as the subwoofer(s), in a commercial cinema should be placed behind the screen. The three main channels should also be at the same height. All commercial cinemas use this architecture, and have for the past 70 years.

Technical issues with digital video projection have restrained the use of acoustically transparent screens in home theaters until recently. Solid vinyl screens require positioning speakers around the screen, causing a breakdown in the “suspension of disbelief” so highly sought after by cinema enthusiasts. So-called acoustically transparent perforated vinyl screens tend to cause audio and video problems such as video resolution loss, moiré interaction between the grid of digital pixels and the fixed grid of holes in the screen, as well as pronounced audio high frequency loss and comb filtering.

With the new generation of Screen Excellence acoustically transparent (AT) woven fabric projection screens, the challenge of front speakers behind the screen in residential theaters has now been elegantly met for all of the popular hi-def projector resolutions (780, 1080 or commercial D-Cinema 4K). Screen Excellence AT screens create the most realistic cinematic experience possible by matching the sound with action on the screen, as intended by the movie’s director. This is much more effective than the old fashioned way of placing speakers around the screen where even the finest loudspeakers are compromised. Not only is the sound better and more coherent, but the theater also looks more elegant aesthetically.

With today’s push towards 2.35 constant height projection and wider screens in general, the placement of speakers behind the screen is a must. With wider viewing angles of 45 degrees or greater comes the distinct advantage of placing the speakers at the optimal listening angles of 45 degrees.

Enlightor 4K Key Benefits
The Enlightor 4K fabric brings a dramatic change in the approach to front projection.

-No discernable holes or weave pattern to the material at any distance.
-NO COMPROMISE in terms of imaging quality due to the exceptionally smooth surface structure. EN4K is the smoothest acoustically transparent material on the market today – even smoother than most solid vinyl screens.
-NO COMPROMISE in terms of audio quality due to the razor flat 2 dB insertion loss. No HF roll-off or comb filter-effect like vinyl perforated screens. There is absolutely no re-EQing needed.
-Guaranteed zero moiré interaction with the ultra small 4K pixel structure of professional digital cinema projection.
-Matte white, 0.98 gain formulation ensures uniform field of white and zero hot spotting. This means the corners of even large screens will remain as bright as the center. Off axis viewers experience as bright and uniform an image as the center seats.
-Future-proofs installations for years to come.

With exceptional imaging quality, high contrast, unity gain and flat audio response, Enlightor 4K is now the defining standard in home theater and commercial projection.

Screen Excellence has spent two years in the development of this groundbreaking woven projection fabric, which brings to videophiles and audiophiles the ultimate solution to providing a lifelike experience in home theaters.

Installation of the fabric is quick and simple. The material is washable and requires no maintenance other than a once a year brush with a clean fabric brush, or vacuum brush attachment.

StJohn Group’s sales director, John Caldwell, summarized, “The introduction of EN4K represents a true milestone for the Screen Excellence brand. StJohn Group and its growing base of specialty residential and commercial dealers have been at the forefront of the acoustically transparent screen market since 2003. But Screen Excellence’s new EN4K material puts our dealers and their performance driven clients well beyond anything on the market.

“Specialty dealers who appreciate the need for reconciling both the audio and video performance of their client’s theaters will benefit most by EN4K. With the smaller pixel structure of 4K projection, losing pixels though perforated holes or having them be altered by a bumpy surface wasn’t an option. 4K projection, while years away from residential use, represents a daunting engineering challenge that we can answer today.

“While the current rollout of commercial D-Cinema was our initial impetus, there is every reason to believe that our dealers will also employ EN4K for their residential 1080 and 720 based clients who simply want the finest experience possible.”

About Screen Excellence
Screen Excellence offers the most advanced Acoustically Transparent (AT) 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.

Behind this rich heritage is Patrice Congard, founder and CEO of Screen Excellence. Mr. Congard is the originator of the modern acoustically transparent screen and 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 800 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 projectors, iSky Panels and Screen Excellence in North America and the Caribbean.