By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Several projector screen suppliers will debut new products at this week's CEDIA Expo.
Elite Screens (booth 955) is premiering its Raptor projection screen, an electric floor-rising screen that conceals itself in a furniture cabinet for installation projects where wall or ceiling screens are not practical.
The Raptor comes in three diagonal sizes: 72 inches, 84 inches or 100 inches, with a 16:9 aspect ratio. It's available with Elite's MaxWhite FG fiberglass-backed material to provide a flat and easily visible surface in 1.1 gain for presentation versatility.
The Raptor is housed in a fully functional media cabinet that accommodates most media players and software. Currently, furniture finish options are matte black or cherry wood surfaces.
The screen's mechanized cross-rising apparatus is driven by a tubular motor that, according to the company, has a superior weight tolerance and operational lifespan. Variable height settings accommodate most home theater environments while the furniture's neutral design and aesthetics is meant to accommodate the décor of most homes or offices.
Each unit has a built in 5V to 12V trigger for drop/rise synchronization with the projector's power cycle, along with IR and RF receivers for wireless operation package. Both an RF remote and a ZR800D IR universal learning remote are included.
The RF remote eliminates the necessity for line-of-sight contact. The ZR800D IR universal learning remote allows simultaneous screen operation with up to eight different media devices so users can easily and quickly manipulate various video and media sources.
The Raptor has a suggested retail at $3,999 and will be available in September through retail, Internet, professional A/V and systems integrator channels. It comes with Elite's two-year manufacturer's limited warranty.
"Raptor is a premium-grade powered projection screen that fulfills a role in A/V integration that has not previously received the consideration it deserves," said David Rodgers, marketing manager, Elite Screens. "It is ideal for hidden theater environments or executive conference rooms. With the touch of a button, both screen and projector appear like magic."
SI (booth 1056) will feature its Black Diamond projector screen that simultaneously enhances contrast, color saturation, depth of field and video immersion in both bright and dark environments, according to the company.
SI's "dark environment" technology reduces light scatter, increasing viewer immersion and contrast by minimizing the room washout that exists with standard front projection screens. It eliminates the need for masking by creating deep black bars when used with 2.35:1 format projection screens.
The company's "bright environment" technology allows for use in environments such as lighted living rooms, game rooms and theater rooms.
The screen is made of a black native material so it looks like a flat-panel display when the projector is off.
"The exclusive technologies in our Black Diamond projector screen represent a breakthrough in picture quality for home theater applications," explained Aaron Reilly, SI's chief technology officer. "Black Diamond enhances projector performance by creating the ultimate contrast — blacker blacks, whiter whites — and color accuracy with added vibrant color delivery in both dark and bright environments."
A 100-inch model (BD14) retails for a suggested $2,599.
Also new from SI is its EZ-snap projector screen frame system that improves upon the company's previous systems' uniformity of perimeter tension. It reduces tension points that eventually create screen sag over time.
According to the company, EZ-snap retains the benefits of SI's existing T-Line attachment system, but provides a much quicker installation.
"EZ-snap's screen materials install in less than five minutes and have zero learning curve," Reilly said. "Its performance is equal to or better than T-Line, so our existing customers need not worry that they are sacrificing performance for ease of install. They are getting the best of both worlds."
The EZ-snap system is scheduled to begin shipping in October.
Stewart Filmscreen (booth 549) is launching the new Cabaret screen, an electric retractable screen for installations where the screen housing is exposed.
The removable aluminum valance comes in various finishes and can be customized with the color or fabric of a client's choosing. Customization can either be done on site or at Stewart's factory.
The Cabaret has added features to assist installation with included level bubbles, a sliding adjustable wall-mount bracket and a cable-management system built into the frame.
Flexibility of installation extends to the motor unit, giving installers the option of using any motor they choose.
For rooms where both a flat-panel TV and retractable front screen are desired, an optional mount allows the Cabaret to be installed above a flat-panel TV or picture frame. It has a cantilevered design so that the screen is deployed without touching the TV.
Mood lighting is also available in cobalt blue or white. The Cabaret was designed to compliment Stewart's line of light- and sound-blocking window treatments.
The Cabaret is available now. Prices vary by screen size but start at a suggested $3,999.
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