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Image Screens iMasque - Impressive Design and Build Quality

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Image Screens iMasque


Our Score:


Many premium screen manufacturers get so caught up in developing and creating the perfect screen material that they apparently forget aesthetic concerns. But not Image Screens. For the iMasque can be bought with a huge variety of different finishes for its chunky frame. We plumped again for a fairly standard - but really quite plush - black velvet, but other options include piano black, a step-up velvet finish, and even a design featuring Swarovsky crystals! Or you can just choose any colour you like from the RAL colour spectrum, or have your installer ‘hide’ the frame entirely, as shown in the images below.

Personally, we wouldn’t opt for any frame design that might cause glinting reflections, but it really is nice to find Image Screens recognising that a projector screen is actually a very dominant feature in a room, and so should at least try to look good.

All this and we haven’t yet got to what’s arguably the iMasque’s best trick - the one, indeed, that gives the product its name. For the reason its frame is so chunky is that it has fully motorised screen masking on all four sides (though you can go for just two sides if you prefer).

In other words, a touch of a simple remote control button lets you adjust the screen’s effective visible aspect ratio to any setting you like. For instance, while the screen we got in for test was built to a 16:9 ratio, we could quickly and easily turn it into a 21:9 screen or even a 4:3 screen simply by pressing the relevant, pre-defined button on the remote control.

For those of you who don’t really think having masking around different ratios of video material matters, and reckon they can just live with the usual black bars from the projector appearing on screen around the image, then all we can say is that you actually need to see a masking screen in action. The difference in terms of contrast and the way you stay focussed on the image is genuinely profound - just as it is when you watch 21:9 films on Philips’ recently reviewed 58PFL9955H 21:9-ratio TV, in fact.

Whenever you’re talking about a screen with motorised masking, build quality issues are a huge thing. After all, you don’t want the motors breaking down a week after you’ve had your screen installed. So it’s reassuring to find the frame of the iMasque feeling exceedingly robust, made as it is from extruded aluminium. What’s more, Image Screens’ dedication to the cause has even led to it developing a proprietary and exclusive bi-directional motor design that cuts down on the amount of cabling used, and reduces the number of control boxes. Meaning, quite simply, that there’s less that can go wrong.


December 3, 2010, 3:28 pm

I have a few year old Yamaha projector which has a 'black mask' feature effectively stopping light from leaving the projector where black boarders normally are. It does mean the black boarders are still only as black as the screen material (perceptively black) but is a different but IMO as good a solution as this, and somewhat cheaper too.

StJohn Group

December 4, 2010, 8:14 pm

Just to clear up a few things. The acoustically transparent (AT) Vevo material is woven fabric, not perforated vinyl. So audio problems like comb filtering and high frequency loss are minimized or eliminated. The "openness" of the woven fabric is less than 3% (as compared to about 10% for a micro perforated vinyl screen) so there is very little light loss. An optional black backing material can be added behind the screen to eliminate any reflected light that DOES get through the screen, from bouncing back into the viewing area. IMAGE now offers the widest range of AT fabrics on the market, including the world's only 3D AT screen material. The minimal light loss through an AT fabric is far outweighed by the advantage of being able to place speakers where the director and sound engineer meant them to be - behind the screen. Once you hear your home theater speakers behind the screen, you won't be able to listen to them any other way. Finally, IMAGE has the blackest masks of any other screen manufacturer doing masking. ~ StJohn Group is IMAGE's North American distributor.

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