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CR Talks To: Joe Kane Productions : Hollywood’s ‘Reference Room’

Joe Kane, president and video director of Joe Kane Productions, provides a virtual tour of his home theater, filled with all his favorite things.

May 2010 By Interview by Nancy Klosek
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CustomRetailer: At the center of your media room is a projection screen that you worked with Da-Lite on developing—the JKP Affinity HD Progressive 0.9. What were you aiming for in collaborating on that design, and what did you achieve?

Joe Kane: I was not able to find a screen on the market from any company that could do an adequate job of showing what my projector was capable of producing in image quality.

The projector, the Samsung SP-A900, is a design I worked on. It had been on the market for about two years, and over that period I’d tried to talk a number of manufacturers into making a screen that was, effectively, invisible—meaning that the screen didn’t add its own signature to the image. What I found was that almost every screen I looked at put its own mark on the image. I didn’t want the screen getting in the way of the image I was trying to present.

Screen manufacturers through their history have built screens that compensate for environmental or projector problems—that dates back 100 years, with the first silver screens built with metallic surfaces for higher reflectivity. But no one’s told the audience that there’s a downside to compensating for environment or focus and geometry problems in projector, or color or light output. It was a mindset I couldn’t get past, because it was so ingrained in screen manufacturers’ mentalities. Da-Lite took the challenge to build what I sometimes call an “invisible” screen. 

A lot of screens are promoted as giving you light isolation—so that you can have lots of lights on and still get a high-contrast image. The cost of doing that can be color shift and hot-spotting; no two people in the audience will see the same color.

Since this screen came out, a number of projector manufacturers learned things they never knew about their projectors. It’s a reference screen for them.

CR: Tell us about your media room. What makes it a great place for a soup-to-nuts home theater demo?

Kane: It’s a 20-by-36-foot space designed as an audio and video showcase. In my industry position, I had to have something that approximated the best that can be had because I’m trying to pull the entire industry forward.
 

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