At the CEDIA 2007 Expo on the Gold Coast last week, home theatre systems distributor Mareor demonstrated projector screens that aim to bring the cinematic experience into the home.
Hurdles in traditional home theatre set-ups include perforated screens that distort audio, screens that aren't in Cinema Scope format (2.35:1 aspect ratio), and moire patterns appearing in the picture, said Gerben Van Duyl, home theatre consultant for Mareor.
"The commercial cinema always had a few tricks up its sleeves that couldn't be done easily in a home cinema," Van Duyl explained.
Van Duyl claims that perforated screens can reduce the surface area and the amount of visible projected image by up to 10 percent.
For audio, the story for perforated screens doesn't fare well either.
"Certain audio frequencies will travel better through the small holes than others, depending on their wave length and how that corresponds with the size of the holes," says Van Duyl.
"A filtering effect is the result, whereby only part of the audio frequencies travel through the perforated screen," he added.
Unlike perforated screens, the THX and ISF-certified Screen Research screens Mareor distributes are made of woven projection cloth dubbed ClearPix2, an "acoustically transparent fabric" with a three-dimensional weave of glass fibre containing air, through which audio passes unobstructed.
"This allows proper behind-the-screen placement of loudspeakers with no degradation in audio performance," according to Van Duyl.
Screen Research announced in May that its screens would be used exclusively for digital cinema projection at the Cannes Film Festival.
Around three percent of the image is lost due to the weave structure, Van Duyl admits.
Mareor sells a range of fixed, drop-down and in-ceiling Screen Research screens through its dealer network in Australia, with options for motorised masks to eliminate black bars from movies and curved screens to combat anamorphic projector lenses.
Retail prices start at AU$3,399 for an 80-inch screen and go up to AU$75,000 for a six-metre wide TheaterCurve X-Mask screen in Cinema Scope format. Mareor also sells screen up to 12-metres wide, with prices available on request.