Carada Masquerade CIH Review - Summary
Carada Masquerade CIH Masking System: Bottom Line
As I see it, a masking system is a good thing. In a fixed wall screen setup, there's no good reason (other than cost), not to have one.
The Carada Masquerade CIH works very nicely. It's performing smoothly as expected. The large black border of the Masquerade, over 6 inchs wide, all the way around, presents your image without letterbox, with that large inky black border, which looks great.
While those with hefty budgets can easily rationalize the Carada masking system as part of their overall plans, many others may be concerned about the price, relative to spending more on a projector, or other aspects of their systems.
To them, I put forth the same rationale I have when people ask me if an expensive screen is worth the money: A screen is most often a longer term investment (unless you move a lot), than a projector. As such, for us enthusiasts, we can go through two or three years per projector and still have the screen outlast four or five projectors.
From that standpoint, a four thousand dollar expenditure becomes easier to justify.
And a motorized masking system like Carada's Masquerade CIH, is pretty slick. Of course, some might say that some black velvet from the local fabric store and some ropes, will work, but it sure won't compare to the Masquerade CIH.
One last thing. There aren't a whole lot of masking systems out there, but from a quick scan of some forums, most seem to be around or above $10,000. That starts making the Carada Masquerade look light a downright steal.
Carada Masquerade: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities
Carada Masquerade: Pros
- Creates a neat, larger, black, border around the image
- No visible letterbox
- Absorbs letterbox light, as opposed to bouncing off screen, and adding to room ambient condition
- Operates smoothly, no surprises
- Remote allows four aspect ratios, plus separate controls and dual controls of the masks
Carada Masquerade: Cons
- Does require a larger area than the underlying screen, thus can limit screen size somewhat, in tight rooms
- Remote is not backlit (not much of an issue)
- Slight lag to remote control action - it may fool you a few times
- No RS232 or other command and control (but IR can be used by most control systems)
- Cost justification hard for those on limited budgets
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