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Will HD optical players REPLACE film projections in cinemas?


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32 replies to this topic

#1 of 33 OFFLINE   JediFonger

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Posted April 30 2006 - 03:30 PM

think about it, lossless audio, film-like pictures, dirt cheap medias. when you project 1080p across a 50' diagonal screen, it still holds up really well. i'm thinking star wars ep2, 3, etc. i understand that 1080p can't hold up w/IMAX (70mm) but for most 35mm applications, i can't see why 1080p wouldn't hold up. i bet there are reasons. so please list them. why wouldn't this make business sense in the long scheme of things?

#2 of 33 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted April 30 2006 - 11:24 PM

Hmm, you might want to check out a good DLP theatrical presentation. The last time I saw the equipment in action, DVD's were used to load the movie onto a hard disk. HD-DVD or BD would also work in this regard, but the current install base of projectors and associated equipment racks is already using DVD. Besides, from what I understand, the real goal is to use satellite distribution, not physical media. - Steve

#3 of 33 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted April 30 2006 - 11:29 PM

Realistically, I'd not want to go with HD or 2K for digital presentations of film. If you're going to go to all the effort and bother, go for the 4K presentation (or the so-called Q-HDTV - 3840 X 2160.) Now, granted, with the current production 4K projectors on the market, you wouldn't really want to do this for other reasons, but at 80megabit/second, QHDTV doesn't look that bad. 80mb/s is pretty easy to get off of a RAID; I don't know if you'd really want to try and get a full presentation off of a streaming sat or internet feed... Leo

#4 of 33 OFFLINE   JediFonger

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Posted May 01 2006 - 02:30 AM

steve, i have. there are a few DLP cinemas around boston (where i live). i've seen a few movies since ep2 (debut). i've also sat through a Red Fox game (HD- sat. broadcast). yeah, live broadcast isn't as good as film, but still. i really believe sat. will have a hard time making inroads into cinemas. why? cost. fiber optics, on the other hand, if they connect up the last mile, will make huge datafile transfers easier. the cost is probably about the same. but either sat., film, or fiber optics won't matter when the HD-DVD/BR is so good that you CAN buy a few hundred dollar player and a disc that's good enough for large cinema broadcast. the cost of doing business THEN will be dramatically lower! think of $1 fresh run blockbusters! =).

this isn't to degrade film, no, not at all. film is still mucho better. but for most viewers, if you compare both mediums side by side, they won't notice the finer details. for the lower cost of doing business, if i were a cinema owner, this is definitely something i would begin experimenting with, especially if i already owned a commercial DLP.

DLP is just "low-res enough" and HD discs are "high-res enough" to meet both in the middle ground to conquer film projection. i wonder if people have tried =) already.

re: current loading methods. i'm unfamiliar, but i thought current DLP setups required a hard disk. even if DVDs are used, they have to come in multiple discs. i can't imagine a 2k movie like star wars coming on ONE SD-DVD.

leo, from what i've read, 4k is only marginally better than 2k in 50' diagonal screens in regular cinemas. but if you're talking about 100' diagonal screens in IMAX, THEN 4k can make a big difference... though technically IMAX is more 4:3 and 4k is more like 3.3-3.5k Posted Image.

#5 of 33 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted May 01 2006 - 04:12 AM

Right, it takes several. They are loaded onto hard disk. - Steve

#6 of 33 OFFLINE   JediFonger

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Posted May 01 2006 - 05:21 AM

i wonder if commercial cinema owners are experimenting with hooking up a HD-DVD player to their projector. they're probably rubbing their hands together cause they found a way to cut costs =).

#7 of 33 OFFLINE   TedD

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Posted May 01 2006 - 09:33 AM

I just visited a new multiplex currently being built a few miles from where I live. Every auditorium has film, none have digital cinema. All the auditoriums are shallow and wide, with wall to wall screens. The smallest screen was probably 35' wide. All have state of the art audio systems. In my opinion, because of the large screens and shallow auditoriums, none of these theaters would provide an acceptable viewing experience with less that a 4K projector. Ted

#8 of 33 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC

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Posted May 01 2006 - 01:36 PM

Ted : Where is this? I may have to go there, although it is a bit of a drive from the south end of the county. Most of the cinemas I've been to recently have had zero presentation quality. Loud buzzes or other noises in the audio, scratched or badly-spliced prints, I saw the Narnia movie and all through the first 20 minutes the film was weaving from side to side quite rapidly so as to make it almost unwatchable. Projection from a DVD would be better.

#9 of 33 OFFLINE   JediFonger

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Posted May 01 2006 - 01:43 PM

chris, are you in boston?

The Boston Common (Loews I think) has DLP in auditorium #18 i think. they may have 2 of them (when they have films playing):
http://www.fandango.....2111&tid=AAPNV

right now the wild is on DLP.

Then there's one in Randolph cinema #2 or somn. Can't remember, but there are no movies shown digitally right now. It's scarcely used.

There are a few in the outer rims of 128. I'm surprised we actualy have a lot =).

i believe kendell sq. recently installed one, but i dunno which films have been shown digitally. i honestly haven't been to the cinemas in a while =).

#10 of 33 OFFLINE   TedD

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Posted May 02 2006 - 12:44 AM

Chris, it's in Southlake Town Center. It is a Harkins 14-plex. All stadium seating. Both projection and sound equipment look to be state of the art for film. Klipsch speakers, QSC Rave Audio systems http://www.qscaudio....k/rave/rave.htm .

What remains to be seen is how well the theater will be run and how well the prints are handled.

Ted

#11 of 33 OFFLINE   Chris Moreau

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Posted May 03 2006 - 06:45 AM

Hmm, I'm just trying to picture how one could possibly connect a DVD player to a FILM projector! As far as costs, I assume you mean the cost of the software. Remember, that when you buy those DVDs, they're licensed for home viewing only, and any public exhibition is strictly forbidden. A cinema owner who rented a DVD at Blockbuster and then showed it in his theater would soon find himself in very serious trouble, indeed!

#12 of 33 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted May 03 2006 - 07:43 AM

I believe he was referring to commercial digital projectors, not film, and in this case you could connect them the same way you would at home (HDMI/DVI/Component/etc).

#13 of 33 OFFLINE   JediFonger

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Posted May 03 2006 - 08:35 AM

yes, commercial DLP. but if th cost of distribution is lowered. there is no reason why laws can't change =).

#14 of 33 OFFLINE   TedD

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Posted May 03 2006 - 09:43 AM

No, you really couldnt. Most commercial projectors have a dual or quad link HD-SDI connections only. No DVI, no HDMI, none of the normal consumer stuff. Not to mention the fact that the FBI would be at your door so quickly, it would make your head spin..... Ted

#15 of 33 OFFLINE   David Coleman

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Posted May 03 2006 - 09:58 AM

I welcome when E-Cinema becomes commonplace!

#16 of 33 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted May 03 2006 - 10:50 AM

Not neccessarily. There are many examples where this is perfectly legal, as long as the exhibitor clears it with the studios. Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow has occasionally used DVD's connected via component (and now likely HDMI/DVI) to their commercial digital projectors for special events.

#17 of 33 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted May 03 2006 - 11:23 AM

Eventually yes it probably will be digital projection. But the data space needed is still pretty huge, and the 4K projectors are still in the works largely.

#18 of 33 OFFLINE   Thomas Newton

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Posted May 03 2006 - 01:09 PM

For most theater owners, there isn't a "lower cost of doing business". There is a higher one, associated with buying new digital projection equipment to supplement or replace perfectly good film equipment. The "lower cost of business" is on the Hollywood end -- where theater-level digital projection would let them crank out DVD-ROMs instead of 35mm reels.

#19 of 33 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted May 04 2006 - 01:23 AM

There is certainly an increased cost in the purchase of new equipment (a capital cost). However there is (can be) a lower distribution cost as digital movies can be downloaded, instead of using physical distribution. Of course you are correct in that there is a lower cost from the studio end as well.
¡Time is not my master!

#20 of 33 OFFLINE   JediFonger

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Posted May 04 2006 - 04:19 AM

large upfront investment but lower overall distribution for the cinema owners. and it's far more flexible. if attendees for mi3 are low (just an example) they can swap that out easily for a classic like lawrence of arabia, etc.




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