The What: Screen Innovations (SI), is now shipping its new variable aspect ratio screen, Transformer. First introduced as a concept screen at CEDIA in 2015, Transformer is able to display multiple aspect ratios without utilizing any masking material.
The What Else: Transformer features LED ambiance lighting and moves with the frame as it expands. Transformer is available in custom sizes up to 235 inches (7,315mm) wide, equating to a 254.5-inch (6,464mm) diagonal in the ultra-wide 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
“Masking has been an integral part of projection screens for decades, because they are a simple solution to a problem; not all content has the same aspect ratio,” said Skyler Meek, director of marketing at SI. “However, they are unnecessary. Instead of covering the screen with obtrusive draping systems or masking panels, we have created a screen that transforms, seamlessly changing its shape, depending on the type of content the viewer is watching.”
Transformer also fits into SI’s goal of making installation easier for integrators. SI’s engineering team provides a streamlined installation process, with a simplified method of packing and pre-construction. “The number-one complaint I hear from our dealers is the masking installation process is too complicated and time consuming, sometimes averaging a full day or more,” said SI CEO Ryan Gustafson. “We feel Transformer will make all masking screens obsolete, bringing beauty and simplicity to our dealers.”
The Bottom Line: Transformer is available in a range of SI’s screen materials such as Slate (ALR) and Pure, both of which are available in acoustically transparent varieties, allowing speakers to be concealed behind the screen. From the factory, Transformer ships with pre-programmed default positions of 16:9, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, and 2.40:1, with user-adjustable customizations for any of these positions. SI worked diligently to make certain the unit remains extremely quiet, with a focus on friction-free motion wherever possible and utilizing Somfy Sonesse RS485 Quiet Motors.
Transformer is available for order now, and is shipping globally starting at $18,000.00 MSRP.