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Acoustically transparent screens...we recommend them, read some facts here:

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Acoustically transparent screens...we recommend them, read some facts here:

Acoustically transparent screens have overcome their initial hurdles and are now a superior technology, writes Screen Excellence chief executive Patrice Congard [edited by Bill Mclean].

There is some controversy in the home electronics industry about the use of acoustically transparent (AT) screens in home theatre applications. For those ‘for’ AT screens, it is essential that the sound comes from where it is supposed to, especially in the case of movie dialogue. For those against AT screens, the trade-off in terms of image and/or sound quality that is associated with their use is more important.

In short, the arguments put forward by AT supporters are:

• The sound corresponding to action on the screen emanates from where the action takes place.
• The dialogue intelligibility is enhanced by enhanced lip-syncing, in space as well as time.
• The dialogue channel loudspeaker is located behind the centre of an AT screen in commercial movie theatres and sound studio facilities.

Those against the screens generally acknowledge the merit of these arguments, but assert that they are of little importance when compared to the shortcomings of AT, in that:

• AT screens incur unacceptable moiré artefacts.
• They are not really acoustically transparent and cause serious loss in sound quality.
• AT screens act as an acoustic reflector; the sound bounces off the rear wall and reflects off the screen.

These objections may have been valid a few years ago, but new, state-of-the-art AT screens do not suffer from these problems.

Early perforated AT screens were prone to moiré effects due to interference of projector pixels and screen holes. Micro-perforated screens were then introduced, which, along with fabric screens, offered sufficient small steps to avoid interference. Then HD arrived with smaller pixel size and moiré problems returned.

Today our fabric screens have fabric engineered to completely solve this problem. However, refined arguments that are still pertinent to newer screens include:

• They have a surface granularity that blurs the image and limits resolution.
• They cannot provide gain or contrast enhancements.
• They are more expensive than solid screens.

We have found that installers who adopt AT technology and experience their benefits find that they far outweigh the drawbacks; they are learning to accept that AT screens offer a superior experience.

Overall, more and more installers are joining this enlightened group that judges the compromise from experience, rather than dogma.

Our experience has led us to reject solid screens for video projection; our aim is to produce the very best AT fabric screens available.

This doesn’t mean that we accept the current compromises: Our R&D team is constantly striving to reduce the limitations of sound transparency and of image quality, as well as adding more features to improve the viewing experience.

Our latest achievement in this domain is the Enlightor 4K projection fabric, the first AT screen fabric compatible with 4K resolution projectors [exciting! : ED].

I hope you will soon get a chance to experience the benefits fabric AT screens can offer you.

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