Do you realize if it weren't for Edison
we'd be watching TV by candlelight?
More AV Science Home Theaters of the Month use a Seymour screen
than every other screen company combined. The founder owns two.
Seymour AV is the only manufacturer of reference projection screens that are used in the world's leading mastering studios, made available directly to the consumer.
- The world's only retractable with fabric velvet borders.
- Patented stealth tab tensioning.
- Popularly used in front of flat panel TVs.
- Black backing secondary layer, standard.
- Gen5, RF-only or 4-wire, motor options.
- Premium, extruded aluminum case.
- Integrated 1-piece install rail, wall or ceiling mount.
- Dual-roller masking screen available!
Premier 3.3" x 1.6" heavy duty elliptical contour extruded frame with tons of options, the mid-sized 2.6" x 1.3" Precision economical frame, or the Metro 1.5" x 1.5" sophisticated frame with removable velvet trim.
- Easy grommet / O-ring screen installation for lifetime 360° tension.
- Integrated 1 or 2-piece install sliding-rail with included bubble level and mounting hardware.
- Premier, Metro: Wrapped in ultra-premium Fidelio 99.7% black velvet, the world's darkest material.
- Premier: Curved frames available.
- Premier, Metro: magnetic masking panel options
- Precision: Wrapped in premium Baritone™ 99.5% black velvet.
We bring three award winning masking solutions to you at a fraction of the price of anything else out there, while still being custom handcrafted in Iowa.
- Dual-roller masking retractable screens available with our patented stealth tab tensioning system.
- Magnetic masking panels available for Premier or Metro frames in constant height (scope to 16:9), constant width (16:9 to scope) or constant area (2.07 to either 16:9 or scope)
- Masking panels can be wrapped in matching Fidelio velvet or Millibel AT
- Proscenium motorized masking screen
- Proscenium available in top/bottom or side masking, add a set of magnetic panels for 4-way or 1.33
- (NEW) Retromask add-on masks convert ANY brand's scope screen to 16:9
We fully support those who enjoy either the challenge, creativity, or value in making their own screens. For non-AT screens we have our Glacier Gray screen material available along with our Glacier White, reinforced for your staple gun pleasure. Click here for DIY resources: instructions, test results, recommendations, and links to some of our favorite DIY sites.learn more
In the beginning there was nothing. God said, "Let there be light!"
And there was light!
There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.
Center Stage XD™ (acoustically transparent)
Following three years of development, we tripled the hole density, raised the gain, improved the audio by +0.5dB, and reduced the minimum seating and speaker distances. No other acoustically transparent screen fabric on the market offers as high a gain, balanced with such a high level of acoustical transparency (1.4dB average attenuation above 2kHz), and fine texture (1,739 holes per square inch). The perforated vinyls can get higher gain but ruin the audio, require an EQ and have such visually unacceptable hole patterns that AT screens often suffer a terrible reputation. Other woven screens typically keep the audio in tact, but have lower gains and/or visually intrusive thread patterns. Center Stage XD screens are used in world class mastering, mix rooms and demo rooms at premier film production and speaker companies. When video AND audio performance are considered, the Center Stage XD material truly performs. In fact, in this report from AccuCal, Center Stage XD is proven to be the only, Best in Class, acoustically transparent screen.
Center Stage UF2™ (acoustically transparent)
A perfect solution for those who want the large, immersive experience of an acoustically transparent screen but are sitting close enough where even the advanced, coated-thread materials like the XD would have too much visible texture, the Center Stage UF was developed from the formulation of the thread itself to provide the perfectly-smooth looking image of a solid surface but with improved acoustical transparency (1.7dB average attenuation above 2kHz). It's 0.8 unbenchmarked gain will improve your black levels by 20% and perform better in rooms with lighter colored surfaces.
Glacier White PS
A perfect solution for those that want smaller or shorter screens or otherwise aren't interested in an acoustically transparent system, but still have good light control and dark colors. The Glacier White™ PS (perfectly smooth!) 1.3 non-AT solid screen is a multi-layer material that was developed keeping the easiest mounting method in mind, our grommet / o-ring system. The back side is a sturdy reinforced weave. The next layer is a black film to completely kill any translucence to the image, assuring that even in front of a white wall there will not be any contrast-killing light contamination like traditional non-reinforced vinyl screens can have. On top of that is the optical layer with just enough sheen to provide gain and a perfectly smooth surface.
Glacier Gray PS
For use with projectors that can output 2000 lumens or higher, the Glacier Gray PS (perfectly smooth!) will improve your black levels by 20% and room splashback contamination up to 36%. This solid screen material is the perfect solution for those that want a non-AT screen that can tolerate a little ambient light or lighter colored room surfaces. The Glacier Gray non-AT solid screen is a multi-layer material that was developed keeping the easiest mounting method in mind, our grommet / o-ring system. The back side is a sturdy reinforced weave with a black film applied to completely kill any translucence to the material, assuring that even in front of a white wall there will not be any contrast-killing light contamination like traditional non-reinforced vinyl screens can have. On top of that is the optical layer with just enough sheen to keep the white levels up and a perfectly smooth surface.
Our Matinee™ line of ambient light-rejecting optical screens begins with the dynamic, 2.0 gain Silver, effectively doubling the white levels in your image. Perfect for active 3D and also polarized for passive 3D use, it features a reflective layer with ultra-fine particles to eliminate sparkles, and a substrate that effectively consumes moderate ambient light levels from any direction. With a durable diffusion top-layer to allow the screen to be wiped down with nearly any cleaner, it's available in our fixed frame screens up to about 57" image height. A projector throw ratio of 1.8x image width (toward the longer end of the zoom) is recommended. If you can't achieve that throw, a curved screen will fix the issue.
Above is an unaltered screenshot of the Matinee Black. Notice the quality black levels while being in front of ambient light.
For those with severe ambient light rejecting needs, our Matinee Black features an ability to filter out up to 87% of ambient light while boosting your white levels by 40% compared to a white reference. Like the Silver, it features ultra-fine particles to eliminate individual sparkles and is non-directional in ambient filtration. It features the same durable laminate layer and a longer throw is recommended. Starting at $699, the all-US made Matinee line of optical screens redefine the performance values available today. If you can't get a longer throw, consider a curved screen for an incredible image.
Our Matinee Wide is a modification of the Matinee Black. We took the mirrors and dithered them out at an extra wide angle, giving you better uniformity for shorter throw distances. This also allows us to manufacture the material for nearly seven foot tall screens. With its super smooth look, this is the ambient light rejecting screen for the dedicated room purists that had previously not liked that amped up ALR image.;
Our Matinee Wide MicroPerf brings our class-leading ambient light resisting technology into the world of acoustically transparent installations. With 0.020" diameter holes, the Matinee Wide MicroPerf brings a product type we swore we'd never make, but hey - Stewart is now making woven screens so who are we to criticize? While our woven AT materials can be placed right over speakers (~1" is the typical minimum airgap), we recommend 5" spacing for this microperfed material.
No matter how bad the movie, you'll see it exactly as the director intended it. Seymour AV screens are used in dozens of leading mastering studios and universities across the US and worldwide.
Ideally, a gain specification should tell you all you need to know about the brightness you'd get from a screen with a given amount of lumens projected on it. Unfortunately, screen manufacturers in general do a terrible job of accurately representing their gain specifications. Therefore, the second job of a gain specification is to inform you of the change in brightness you'd expect in comparison to another screen, in other words how they benchmark to other brands. For example, when benchmarked against competitors our Center Stage XD is brighter than any other woven screen specified as 1.1 to 1.3, regardless of their claims. We've found their woven screens actually measure from 0.69 to 0.95. We are the only screen company that offers both accurate and comparative gain specifications.
|Center Stage XD|
|Center Stage UF2|
|Glacier White PS|
|Glacier Gray PS|
|Matinee Wide MicroPerf|
¹If you can't get close to the minimum recommended projector throw distance, solve it with a curved screen!
Screen, speaker setup
1.78 (16:9) Matching the panel shape in your projector, this screen shape is set-it-and-forget it. These work great in single-row rooms where sightlines won't be an issue or where you may be width constrained and still want to maximize the image area. An acoustically transparent material is a no-brainer here, as a very tall image shouldn't force you to use a horizontal center channel or have it near the floor. A good target for a 16:9 screen width would have a viewing angle of 40 degrees, based on industry guidelines. You could consider smaller if you watch mostly 16:9 content / TV, or prefer a brighter, punchier image with smoother motion. You could consider larger if you don't want to penalize the epic movies and prefer a more immersive IMAX-like experience.
2.35-2.40 ("Scope") Although these screens require zooming, shifting, refocusing and possibly an anamorphic lens, this shape is popular with the cinemaphiles. Lens memory or automation can greatly help reduce the tweak effort. Although only 32 percent of Blu-Ray discs are scope ratio (i.e. 2.35-2.40), epic content is filmed in scope with 70 percent of the past 20 years' best pictures being made ultra-wide. These work great in multi-row rooms so everyone has clear sightlines, or where the screen is height constrained by lower ceilings or a credenza. Scope screens should be 45 degree wide viewing field, because additional image width is less overwhelming than height (IMAX leverages this effect), and you don't want to penalize the 61 percent of Blu-Ray discs that are in the 1.66-1.85 range. If you're using multiple rows of seats, calculate both 1.78 and scope viewing angles and try to bracket them as best as possible. Narrowing the row spacing greatly helps.
We generally don't recommend larger screens than 45 degree viewing angle unless you have multiple rows, or you've had prior experiences and know you'll enjoy it. The apparent resolution of 1080 diminishes past this point, and film's 24 frames per second can show too much judder. Trends, however, are toward ever larger images. The guidelines are increasing and as the quality of the source and projectors continually improve, we're seeing viewing angles break past 45 degrees even up to 60 degrees for slow-panning 4K content.
For a 40 degree viewing angle, the ratio between the seating distance and screen width is 1.37. For example, if you know you are going to sit 13 feet from the screen, the screen width you would target would be (13x12) / 1.37 = 113.8, so you may consider our 115 inch wide screen size. As every screen is bespoke, we do manufacture to the 0.1 inch resolution without additional charge, so please be as picky as you like. For a 45 degree viewing angle the seating distance to screen width ratio is 1.21. Here is a handy calculator.
System Calibration, Consulting
It's always essential to hire a professional some professional experience to maximize your system performance. We've seen too many poorly-performing expensive systems to know that you can't simply throw expensive product in a room and expect quality performance. For video, the system response needs to be adjusted for the room, screen, and projector variances. In our reference theater, we use Jeff Meier from AccuCal. He's the guy that finds errors in the calibration other calibrators use as their reference and can find that one driver that was wired incorrectly from the factory. At CEDIA, we use the deep knowledge of Ken Whitcomb from Calibrations Inc. His calibrations are so good the Sony engineers come to our booth to see what can be done. For whole-room acoustic consulting from the beginning to the end, our recommended acoustic consultant is Nyal Mellor from Acoustic Frontiers. Half of your acoustic experience is the room. Nyal's skills may be the biggest bang for the system buck you could spend.
Acoustically Transparent Center Stage Screens
If you have a very large screen and a narrow spacing between your left and right speakers you can get all three behind the screen. The advantages of this include better concealment (e.g. high WAF factor), and the minimal sonic effect that the screen imparts will be identical across your (hopefully) identical front speakers. The cinema certainly has all their front speakers behind the screen, but keep in mind they are very wide (e.g. 2.35, or "scope" ratio), always "high definition" film or 4K (which can support very wide viewing angles), and the side fill speakers are often installed starting fairly close to the screen.
THX guidelines for a dubbing stage are for the narrow end of our recommended acoustic range (22.5 degrees from center - 45 degree L/R spread), whereas the home theater guidelines are toward the wider end (30 degrees from center 60 degree L/R spread). If your setup is destined to better adhere to THX and Dolby home theater guidelines, then your left and right front speakers are likely to be outside the screen. Pay attention to where the speakers should be not only for on-screen sounds, but also with off-screen effects and keeping a smooth transition to your side speakers.
Experiment with aggressive toe in for the left and right speakers. Try aiming the left speaker toward the right-most seat and likewise with the right speaker. It will likely improve off-center imaging and reduce the smearing effect from sidewall reflections. You can angle any of the speakers that are behind the Center Stage screen without issue due to the screen's acoustical transparency.
Center Stage screens are designed to hang right over in-wall speakers without compromise as long as you don't have ports with high velocity airflow. The deeper the bass that the speakers behind the screen are reproducing, the more you space you should give between them and the screen. You can place a subwoofer behind the screen as long as it is spaced at least 6 inches away and no ports are directed at the screen. The current record-holder has over 19kW of subs behind the screen and we've never heard of a complaint.
Acoustically transparent (AT) projection screens are now uniquely able to maintain the quality of your projected image and rid your home theater of the acoustic distortion that a television or fixed frame screen would impose. Center Stage screens do not acoustically reflect, refract, or otherwise smear the imaging of your speakers. The majority of your sound comes from the center channel, and with an acoustically transparent screen the sound will come from behind the image, not from the floor or ceiling. You no longer have to be limited to the traditional horizontal MTM center speaker, and can alleviate the comb filtering (horizontal lobing) across your seating positions caused by having the same frequencies reproduced by multiple horizontal drivers. An easy fix is to turn your speaker vertically for improved frequency response performance across your theater, or ideally use a center speaker that is identical to your left and right speakers.
Center Channel Best Practice
On this page we'll collect published advice, specific to best practice with the center channel. It is the most important channel after all...
Frequency response of Center Stage XD and UF at 1/24 octave resolution. The results show excellent acoustic neutrality, as they do not create audible comb filtering. The XD has less overall attenuation but more top frequency rolloff. The UF has more overall attenuation but with a flatter response. The Millibel material used as either optional secondary black backing or in masking panels has a negligible effect.
Nothing, even air, is truly acoustically transparent. More precisely, an AT screen is acoustically translucent, and the trick is to behave as neutrally as possible. For example, any fabric with holes will comb filter to a measurable degree, but in order for it not to have an audible effect the lobing needs to be as closely spaced as possible (our hearing will average frequency/special response) and at the highest frequencies. This is done by having the holes as small and closely spaced as possible. The woven vinyl fabrics have much smaller holes than perforated vinyl screens, thereby minimizing and shifting the comb filtering to high enough frequencies as to not need equalizer correction, although we argue that you can't compensate for audible comb filtering through equalization because its effects are complex and change with position. This is why you want to avoid the main mistake of perforated vinyl screens (no speaker manufacturer would make grills out of perforated vinyl) or horizontally-aligned similar drivers in your center channel and the highly audible comb filtering in the critical midrange frequencies.
If only your center channel is behind the screen, you only need to increase the volume of the center channel one to two decibels. If you have all three front speakers behind the screen, you only need to trim your surround channels one to two decibels to match your slightly attenuated front soundstage. With standard level calibrations, you completely correct for any effect from the screen. This is why your favorite movie was likely mixed and mastered with a Center Stage XD screen.
Here is our testing of the acoustical transparency of the screen material with a speaker firing through the screen at different angles. We confirmed that our screen is acoustically inert enough to allow you to angle your speakers as you need for their radiation patterns, room surfaces, seating locations and general preferences: CenterStageSpeakerAngleTests.pdf (145k)
Because we don't have pixel-sucking perforations in our screen materials to compromise resolution, all Seymour AV screens are fully compatible with 4K video resolution. The Center Stage UF2's holes are completely invisble and there is no minimum viewing distance. Our non-AT screens are inherently resolution independent.
Center Stage XD is a woven fabric and it's extra fine texture will enable it to resolve 4K video without compromise. If you find that you need a completely solid-looking, featureless acoustically transparent screen for smaller images, seating closer than ten feet, or with a nice bright projector then we recommend the Center Stage UF2.
Worry no moiré
When two patterns are superimposed on one another, a moiré patterning effect can be created depending on the relationship of the projector's fixed panel pattern and that of the holes in the acoustically transparent screen. One goal for an acoustically transparent screens is to have a high enough ratio of holes per pixel for interference not to occur. Woven fabric screens are inherently superior to perforated vinyl screens in this respect, especially due to the Center Stage XD having 1,739 holes per square inch. For extra measure, our fixed frame screens are always cut at a 10 to 20 degree tilt with respect to the roll, eliminating the possibility of moiré with any projector at any size for resolutions up to 4K. Moiré is always impossible with any of our other materials.