One of the mainstays of high-end home theater is the ability to place speakers behind the projection screen.

To do this, one needs acoustically-transparent material that passes audio without coloration and projects an image that is faithful to the display its paired with.

Seymour TAM 1-T Masking System

Seymour Screen Excellence recently shipped me its TAM-1T masking system configured with Enlightor 4K fabric and a top-down mask. It allows me to place the screen in front of my LCR speaker array and includes a mask that effectively eliminates the black bars in 1.85, 2.35, and 2.40:1-aspect films. The improvement in image quality with this approach cannot be overstated. No matter how good your projector’s black levels are, it won’t compare with a physical mask that completely absorbs all light. By framing the image in its true shape, the perception of contrast goes way up, depth and dynamic range appear far greater, and the picture just floats in front of the viewer.

Seymour TAM 1-T Masking System Open and Closed

With my speakers placed behind the screen, sound literally emanates directly from what’s happening in front of me. While my Axiom system does a great job of creating immersion and a suspension of disbelief, having dialog actually come out of the screen rather than from beneath it makes a huge difference.

This is a beautifully-made and well-engineered product. It’s expensive but once you’ve seen its effects, you’ll want it at any price. My full review will follow soon with complete benchmark and real-world content tests. Stay tuned!