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Has anyone experienced a DLP crash / failure?

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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted May 23 2002 - 06:05 AM

I found it ironic that my very first full theatrical experience with the theater version of the TI DLP system would feature a complete system crash 1/2 way theough the film.

I saw SW: EP2 in DLP yesterday, and during the fireplace scene with Skywalker and Senator Amidala, the projector system crashed. The audio dropped, and about 2 seconds later, the Screen filled with a grid of colored squares (standard computer video looking stuff: cyan and that commodore 64 pink).

The entire system died- someone went to the lobby. After a minute, the booth light came on, and the projector was obviously shut down (the screen, which was previously slightly lit from the projector on standby, now went black).

Heard small jokes in the audience: "welcome to the future", I myself joked with a friend that it would be funny to see the windows spash screen when the system was rebooted.

After a minute, the house lights came up, and the advertising slideshow started (boos and groans came from the audience). As people started getting up to leave, the movie started back up again.

Oddly, it took another person going to the lobby to remind them to turn the house lights back off (they stayed on for a good 5 mintes after the feature was restarted).

I found the whole thing a bit odd, and wondered if anyone else had seen a DLP system like this fail and have to be manually restarted? Specifically I found it curious that:

- Despite the fact that there are only a handful of these projectors out there, TI doesn't seem to have a technician stationed in the booth (or even a specifically trained theater employee). I'd think if they were trying to prove their technology, they'd go out of their way so no one would ever see a system crash.

- The film was able to be restarted from the exact point that it left off. I wondered when it failed if it would be navigated to a chapter stop like a dvd- or if the whole film would need to be restarted. Seemed like it picked up from the exact frame on which it failed.

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#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Terrell



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Posted May 23 2002 - 06:27 AM

That is one of the few negatives with digital. It can crash. However, I've been in movies where the film burns up in the projector. I haven't heard of any incidences like that. I heard that in Glasgow, the film reels were placed in the wrong order. It jumped from the first third of the film to the last third. But the theater would restart the movie. They just gave everyone free passes.

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   MickeS



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Posted May 23 2002 - 07:51 AM

I've never seen a DLP presentation, but I guess it's inveitable that they will fail. Like you point out though, you'd think that with only a handful of these currently in theaters, there'd be people there monitoring it to prevent the movie from crashing.

Hopefully they'll get better. At least you didn't have to put up with the slightly dark/grey spots on the left side of the screen all through one of the reels (probably the 3rd, it was when they werew at Kamino) that was in the film presentation when I saw it. Since the movie is new, I bet it was a bad print.

I'd be interested to hear if other people have had problems when seeing it in DLP.

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   Chad R

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Posted May 23 2002 - 08:00 AM

Yes, when DLP was in its infancy (Tarzan I think, maybe Emperor's New Groove) I experienced a crash. It only took about 30 seconds to get it back up and running though.

I'm still not convinced that Digital is better than well projected 35mm (and luckily round these parts there are a lot of theaters that porject 35mm properly).

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   Ron-P



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Posted May 23 2002 - 08:05 AM

I will be seeing this in DLP Saturday morning, hopefully crash free.

I'm looking forward to a DLP presentation to see why Lucas is such the digital diehard.

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#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Kevin Bush

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Posted May 23 2002 - 08:42 AM

So when it wasn't crashing...how was the picture Posted Image Posted Image ?


#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted May 23 2002 - 10:02 AM

So when it wasn't crashing...how was the picture

Well- I'm probably not the best guy to ask on this issue- I'm an audio geek- but while I appreciate good video, I don't know if I'm a good judge.

I sat near the back of the room (they had a weird VIP row with chairs far apart, leather- So I choose that as my seat!)-- and for the most part I couldn't have told you it wasn't film (aside from the completely blemish free picture and the crash).

The only bad issue I had was during fast panning scenes- the closeup chase sequences-- the panning looked kinda staggered, digital-ish... but I'm suspecting this was more the prodcution in Hi-Def/effects than the projection.

I'm going back tomorrow at 10am for an early showing on DLP- will have a chance to pay closer attention as I've already seen the film.

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#8 of 13 OFFLINE   Jeff Cooper

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Posted May 23 2002 - 07:21 PM

I've seen it both in film and DLP, and the Digital presentation was stunning. Absolutely rock solid picture with no dirt/scratches. Colors leapt off the screen and I didn't see any digital artifacts at all. The film presentation was quite good too, but paled in comparison to the DLP. I sat in the center area of the theater for the DLP, couldn't see any individual pixels or scan lines.
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#9 of 13 OFFLINE   Dan Brecher

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Posted May 23 2002 - 10:21 PM

Interesting. I have seen it 3 times in DLP so far (the first time, a midnight showing, was 35mm).

Now, two of my DLPs I did on the same day, back to back, and it was interesting because at the 10:20am viewing I had what I can only describe as a black splodge (technical term) for a split second in one shot, a digital artifact of some sort. When I want right back in for the 1:40pm show, no splodge, so I was left curious as to what caused that issue.


#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted May 24 2002 - 02:59 AM

I have never seen a DLP crash, but I've seen a different sort of failure. I've written about it in an earlier thread. When I saw Ice Age at New York's Ziegfeld Theater (currently playing AOTC), something was definitely wrong with the DLP projector. It was like looking at an aquarium into which strong currents of water were being pumped; the top third of the screen was a constant wash of activity. Colors didn't bleed into each other, and objects remained where they should, but the whole top of the frame seemed "alive".

Since no one has reported anything like that in the Ziegfeld's AOTC presentation, I presume it was fixed. I saw AOTC at our other DLP venue, the AMC in Times Square, and the presentation was flawless. I didn't much care for the look of the movie, but that was a matter of taste, not a fault in the projection.

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#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Paul.S



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Posted July 22 2003 - 06:09 PM

Vince et al.:

Bumping this back up over a year later . . .

There was a DLP failure opening night (Tuesday, July 1 at 11 p.m.) during T3 at the Mann Village in Westwood.

The audio went out of synch during the trailers (which, with the exception of BBII, were not appropriate for a T3 aud--Matchstick Men, The Order and The Whole Ten Yards). Due to no one being in the booth, it took a few minutes before the film backup was started. But they had staggered the film back-up too far behind the DLP, so we had to watch the trailers again--there was much cat-calling and jeering. (For a few moments before they shut down the DLP, we watched the DLP and film images superimposed over each other on the screen.) It really ruined the mood/atmosphere for a film I had been very much looking forward to. At least this didn't happen during the film.


#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted July 23 2003 - 02:37 AM

I’ve seen ATOC in both digital and film presentations. I think that careful viewing will reveal some digital artifacts along the edges when there is a lot happening (but I suppose that could be from some CGI source, not the fault of the digital camera/projection).

I’ve also seen the newly restored Giant via a digital projection system. It looked quite good and I did not detect any artifacts. However, I’d need to see it a couple of more times to be able to comment as to whether the digital projection really captured the film flavor (I’m leaning on the ‘it did not quite make it’ side—but then I’m happy to have this film restored period—I wonder if Robert Harris has a position?)

I’ve never seen a crash nor any other problems with the digital projection system.
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#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Tom J. Davis

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Posted July 23 2003 - 03:24 PM

I've only seen AOTC and Nemo in DLP. Would like a chance to see something that wasn't digital on a dlp, but the nearest theater is 70 miles away and I don't get there very often.

Those two movies though were excellent in the digital theater.