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Draper@Home Newsletter

Issue 7 – May 2016


The Nocturne comes out to play…at night!It’ll be summer before you know it! As people start spending more of their leisure time outdoors, now is a good time to consider helping them take their AV out there with them.

Make the Great Outdoors even greater with Draper’s Nocturne/Series E motorized projection screen. The Nocturne takes your entertainment outside for use on the patio, by the pool deck, or just about anywhere you can think of.

Tie the Nocturne into any AV control system so while the projector and audio fire up, the screen glides elegantly down, secured by guide cables to prevent surface movement during viewing.

Get a crystal-clear image with Draper’s 4K-ready Matt White XT1000E viewing surface, or, for viewing before sunset, get 4K-ready Contrast Grey XH800E. Nocturne is also available with acoustically transparent ClearSound White Weave XT900E, ClearSound Grey Weave XH600E, and ClearSound Perf XT950E for placing speakers directly behind the screen.

It should be pointed out that, while Draper’s standard control options can be used with the Nocturne, they are not weather resistant. It’s the installer’s responsibility to ensure that any kind of hard wired controls are placed in an appropriate weatherproof fixture or location.

When the movie’s over, the viewing surface retracts back into the weather and insect resistant solid aluminum headbox, which includes built-in hinge for easy installation and service.

FlexShade-ZIP-fabric-detail-2-300x195You can also turn an open patio home cinema area into a screened-in theatre with the FlexShade ZIP. The FlexShade ZIP system is similar to one of our standard motorized roller shades, but a “zip” detail is welded to the two vertical sides of the fabric. The zip edges through inner channels in the side guide extrusions, which have cushioning pads to dampen the movement of the fabric panel under wind load. The zip detail stops the fabric from being pulled out of the side guide and makes it very wind resistant. Wind tunnel tested up to 90 mph, the ZIP can be furnished with exterior shade fabrics or with insect screen.

Just like the Nocturne, the ZIP can be tied into outdoor AV control systems to function in concert with all of the other equipment!

To get more information on the Nocturne/Series E, click here.

For more on the FlexShade ZIP, click here.



This month we’re reaching into the toolbox for a handy app that can help with the selection of the correct Video Conferencing Background size. Our line of motorized, fixed, and portable backgrounds can be useful for hiding the background while videoconferencing from home, or even as backdrops in light commercial settings. But you want to make sure your background is wide enough. That’s where Draper’s Minimum Video Conferencing Background Width calculator comes in handy.

What have you got to hide?To use the calculator, you need to know two things: The viewing angle—or field of view—of your videoconferencing camera, and the distance from the camera to where the background will be located. Based on those two numbers, the calculator will tell you how wide the background needs to be.

To try it out, click here.   To learn more about our line of backgrounds, click here (


The waving of the green flag Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will mark the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Since the very first 500 mile race on Decoration Day 1911—(there was a 200-mile affair in 1910)—there have only been six years Indianapolis didn’t see a checkered flag on or around what is now known as the Memorial Day weekend. There were no races in 1917 or 1918, due to World War I, or from 1942-1945, due to World War II.

Living in Indiana, this time of year everyone becomes a race fan and follows the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” As a kid, I don’t remember paying any attention at all to racing until the month of May. Then I, along with everyone else, started following the patterns and traditions of the 500, from “Carb Day” to qualifications. Then, on race day, we’d listen to the race on the radio (TV blackout), from the singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana” right down to the winning driver chugging milk in the Winner’s Circle. Despite being only once a year, a major part of the soundtrack to my childhood is the excited voices of race announcers backed by the growl and whine of racing engines.

It’s interesting to look back over the history of the Indy 500. It’s a dual story of tradition and technical innovation.

One tradition is the race’s four–lap qualification system. This was first used in 1920, and each year since 1939.

Another tradition has to do with the winner always drinking from a bottle of milk. This one can be traced back to 1933, when winning driver Louis Meyer wanted a glass of buttermilk. In 1936 he wanted buttermilk again but was given a bottle instead. After seeing a press photo of this, an Indiana dairy saw a marketing opportunity and started offering the winner a bottle of milk each year—not knowing that Meyer’s choice had been buttermilk.

Along with traditions, there has been a consistent line of innovation stretching back through the race’s history.

For instance—did you know the now ubiquitous rear-view mirror was an Indy innovation? In the very first race in 1911, driver Ray Harroun was the only driver with a single-seater. All the other cars had two seats and included a mechanic, whose jobs included watching behind. So, Harroun mounted: a rectangular mirror rear view. Although he did win, and rear view mirrors made their way in every car on the road, it was not because of its helpfulness on that occasion. Turns out it vibrated so badly the driver couldn’t see anything.

How about front wheel drive? 1922 Indy winner Jimmy Murphy first asked for front-wheel-drive, thinking he’d get better speed in the turns. Engineer Harry Miller developed a transverse-mounted transmission which not only brought about the front wheel drive, but also chopped a lot of weight from the car.

Tradition. Innovation. That dual story strikes a chord with us at Draper, because it’s also an apt description of our own movement through history. From our founding in 1902 we’ve built up plenty of traditions, and introduced many innovations.

And I guess that’s one big reason why both the Indy 500 and Draper are not only surviving, but thriving, after more than 100 years.

So as you enjoy the Indy 500 this year—whether in person, on the big (Draper) screen, or via radio—think of the ways the technology you use has been effected by the technical innovations on display. And remember that the best of the best not only have a strong culture of innovation; they also have a strong tradition upon which to build.

Ladies and gentlemen—start your engines!


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Ultra HD Versus 4K: What’s the difference? via @DraperInc #AVTweeps

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The Orbiter projector lift from @DraperInc rotates into the room-even out of an angled ceiling! #AVTweeps

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Choosing the right screen for ambient light-residential. Advice from @DraperInc #AVTweeps

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Want to hide your TV under the bed? Above the ceiling? Let us design a custom @DraperInc solution! #AVTweeps