Moiré-Free Screens to Debut at CEDIA

Many home theater experts assert that a center channel loudspeaker belongs behind the screen—which is what commercial theaters do with them. Yet many acoustically-transparent perforated screens contribute moiré interference to the image when used with fixed-pixel (LCD, DLP, and D-ILA) projectors.

Screen Research claims to have solved this problem with a new screen material called ClearPix. The material is said to produce "the first projection video screen that does not compromise picture or sound quality," according to an announcement released a few days prior to the annual CEDIA Expo, returning this year to Indianapolis, September 5-7.

"You can place loudspeakers behind it with no performance penalty, and enjoy LCD, DLP, and D-ILA projection images completely free of moiré interference patterns," Screen Research claims. Unlike traditional vinyl perforated screens, ClearPix uses patent-pending fabrics that are geometrically optimized for acoustical transparency. There are no holes, and the screen absorbs virtually none of the acoustic energy flowing through it. The material is ideal for both fixed and retractable screens, according to the manufacturer.

ClearPix material is claimed to be visually opaque but acoustically transparent, and suffers from none of the image or sound artifacts inherent with most perforated screens. ClearPix reportedly attenuates the center channel output by only 1dB across the audio spectrum, with none of the comb-filter effects usually encountered. The image from DLP, LCD, and D-ILA projectors is improved by eliminating black or dark holes in a perforated screen, according to the manufacturer.

Distributed by the St. John Group in Mission Viejo, CA, ClearPix material is used in high-performance FlatCinema„ theater products. St. John Group also distributes CinePanel acoustic treatment, Matthews Studio architectural lighting, and ArtCoustic on-wall speakers and subwoofers. Screen Research products will be demonstrated in the group's booth, #528 at the upcoming CEDIA Expo.

In other home theater product news, Samsung has announced a digital video recorder (DVR) capable of 100 hours of recording time. On August 26, the Korean electronics giant unveiled its SIR-S4120R, a DirecTV/TiVo device priced at $399 retail. The 120GB hard drive DVR will begin shipping in early September, with a $30 rebate to kick in on September 14. A high-definition model with two tuners is said to be in the works, expected to debut early next year.