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ARCHIVE: Joe Kane’s Affinity for Affinity

I just came out of a spirited demo of Da-Lite‘s Affinity line of 1080p video projection screens put on by video producer/projection expert Joe Kane, who asked Da-Lite some time ago to design the Affinity concept in order to allow him to demonstrate what, from his point of view, true 1080p looks like on a big screen when projected by a suitable projector (in this case, Kane’s personal, single-chip, 1080p DLP projector made for him by Samsung) onto a screen unencumbered by the typical impurities that, from Kane’s perspective, ruin the viewing experience.

After a hot digression in which he argued with a demo visitor about the merits of anamorphic projection (Kane hates it, along with perforated screens), Kane explained the basic premise of the Da-Lite screens. His position is that, traditionally, manufacturers design and build video screens in order to compensate for environmental deficiencies which, in Kane’s view, wrecks the picture they are trying to show in the first place. Thus, he asked Da-Lite to manufacture a screen with the basic premise that the viewing environment is, or should be, separately controlled and improved, and that they need to think only about actual picture quality in an optimal environment.

The big difference between the Affinity screens and most others, according to Kane, lies in the vinyl itself. Da-Lite, which manufactures its own vinyl, uses only so-called “Virgin Vinyl,” the same material used decades ago to manufacture high-end vinyl LP records, and they do not spray-coat it for reflectivity, instead building reflectivity into the material itself from the get-go using some kind of magic formula.

“So, here, the vinyl IS the screen,” Joe told his visitors.

Joe screened clips from “South Pacific,” “Casablanca,” and “Pinnochio,” to explain nuances of the picture’s improved performance using his projector/screen system. You had to be there to get the full flavor, but you can check out Da Lite’s web site ( or Joe’s site,, to learn more.

But if you reach him, whatever you do, don’t tell him you favor anamorphic projections…


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