Seymour-Screen Excellence, best known for premium acoustically transparent woven screen materials, contrast-enhancing ALR screens, and motorized masking systems, has begun shipping its unique Retro Masking System.

SSE Retro Masking System 800
The Retro Masking System from Seymour-Screen Excellence allows any fixed-frame wide aspect 'Scope-style screen to be outfitted with motorized and automated 16:9 masking for $1,195.

First shown last fall at industry trade shows, including CEDIA Expo 2022 where it earned a ProjectorCentral Best of Show Award, the RMS allows enthusiasts to easily and cost-effectively add side-pillar masking to any fixed-frame 'Scope-style screen to accommodate 16:9 aspect ratio content—even on screens from other brands.

The system, developed by SSE co-founder Chris Seymour, consists of a pair of black-velvet covered motorized cartridges on either side of the screen that drop the proprietary sheer-black masking material when needed to frame out the 16:9 image. The cartridges offer various mounting options to accommodate a wide variety of screen frames up to 300 inches wide.

Priced at $1,195 for the pair regardless of size, all systems are custom built to order at the company's factory in Ames, Iowa. SSE calculates the exact size requirements based on your screen and adds modest additional width for adjustability during installation. The product is said to be engineered down to a 1/10th-inch tolerance. A tight spec between the mask and screen surface is further said to prevent mask shadowing. Tandem control for the 24 volt DC motors is handled by the provided RF remote or supplied wall panel, or the system can be upgraded to trigger with an existing control system.

Masking systems offer the advantage of eliminating any possibility of noise that may be visible in electronically-generated pillar bars from the display while also providing the deepest possible black to frame the image, one free of any room reflection that might otherwise hit the unoccupied areas of the screen. Prior till now, the most common option to retrofit masking to an existing fixed-frame screen was magnetic masking panels, which lack the sophisitcation and experience associated with remote-controlled motorized systems.

Along with being offered separately, the RMS will also be offered going forward as an option on Seymour-Screen Excellence fixed-frame screen orders.


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