DLP question(digital light projection)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shad R, Mar 29, 2002.

  1. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    I saw Ice Age this weekend(loved it), and when the theatrical previews started,I noticed how clear and detailed the picture was. My friend turns to me and says "holy crap, I've never seen a picture this clear!" A few previews later, a DLP(digital light projection) trialer pops on the screen, and my friend and I almost started clapping, it was so cool!A few minutes into the movie, we were both in aww at how crisp that picture was! My question is...if it's not film, what is it? like a DVD type disc, harddrive, what?
     
  2. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

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    That's cool! I've never seen a movie theater use DLP before. Did you notice a layer-change? [​IMG]
    I can't answer your question, but I'm sure some Hollywood knob jockey might know...Vince?
     
  3. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I believe it's delivered via hard drive which should have faster access time and no layer change.

    I could be wrong.

    However you wouldn't need to ship a "disc" anywhere if you already had a hard drive DLP setup. The film could easily be downloaded which is my understanding of how it is already done.

    After all a big point in eliminating film is not BETTER RESOLUTION because it simply IS NOT BETTER. Film will continue to have much higher resolution for some time now unless digital technology has an incredible breakthrough and film technology goes nowhere (don't count on that - still photography is already working on upping resolution - source Discover magazine)

    The point with digital theaters is consistent reproduction and cheaper/easier film distribution. Thus, high bandwidth downloads rather than Fed-Ex bringing cans of film to the theater.

    I haven't been in a DLP booth though so someone who has can fix any mistakes I've made.
     
  4. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Couple of points about DLP.
    If you're lucky, they use three 1280x1024 chips (no color wheel) and an anamorphic lens to extract whatever the proper aspect ratio is. (Yes, "good" DLP projectors have a lens turret with 3 or 4 lenses.)
    The data is delivered off of a small hard drive RAID. Last time I was in a DLP booth, they had a whole bunch of 18GB disks, striped for RAID-5. Security was accomplished by pulling any three drives. (The system could cover for the loss of any two drives.)
    Early systems had a seperate hard drive array for the audio; it may be embedded now with the rest of the video.
    The DLP engine consists of a chip with a bunch of little mirrors that can rock something like 5°. In one position, the light goes out the lens. The other position dumps the light into a light-trap. Close on to 10% of the light does not hit a mirror, and gets absorbed by the chip itself. Theatre grade chips are, in fact, water-cooled, with integral heat-sinks, and water channels in the ceramic package itself.
    Gray-scale is obtained by rapidly tipping the mirrors - we always called 'em 'tippy-disks' - with pulse-width modulation, so the actual D-A is done by your eye watching the screen. The projectors scan the image at 72fps, but like LCDs, they're always showing the full frame (unlike CRTs.) (Note: this does not mean that it's 72fps material; each frame is being 'drawn' three times.)
    The data-rate is something huge - something like 3gb/s.
    Leo Kerr
    [email protected]
     
  5. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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    Oooooh! Whn can I get one in my home???

    That color wheel drives me nuts whenever I shift my eyes quickly.
     
  6. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    thanks you guys...Seth, believe me, it was MUCH clearer than film..I don't know if it was only for ice age(since no film was needed) or if they are all like that, but beleive me, there IS a difference, when they showed the MIB 2 preiveiw, it looked like film, but when the "Arnold Movie" and "spirit" previews came on, I was absolutely blown away by how clear the picture was, and how much more detail I noticed in it than with the MIB2 preview...also the Episode 2 preview looked damn good! There IS a difference in picture quality..trust me
     
  7. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Attendees at ShoWest were highly impressed of the digital AOTC presentation. They basically raved about it. So did reporters reporting on it.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I've seen four or five features in DLP now, and it's been very, very impressive. But then I saw Ice Age at NYC's Ziegfeld Theater and learned (or rather, relearned) a sad truth -- no matter how good the technology, theaters can't be relied on to maintain it properly. The Ziegfeld's projection system had developed some sort of flaw in which the image had constant, bleeding movement from left to right across the upper third of the picture; it looked like nothing so much as fast-moving water currents viewed sideways in a tank. It was a constant and lasted throughout the film.

    I would have spoken to the management, but I had to be somewhere immediately after the film. The Ziegfeld hasn't had DLP for that long, so this experience prompts me to wonder what the expected life of these units is.

    M.
     
  9. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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  10. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Seth, I don't know the specifics, but I go to a theater that doesn't have DLP. It does have a state of the art film projection, and the picture looks fantastic. But recently, a friend of mine saw a film in a state of the art digital projection theater, and he said it was absolutely jaw-dropping in terms of clarity, detail, and cleanliness of the print compared to the very best film theaters he's been in. He likened it to going from NTSC TV to HDTV. He said if he could see every movie in digital, he would never watch film again.

    I don't know the technical details of each system, but every report I've read, including my friends don't say whether or not it is better than film technically, but that it certainly looks better than film. And this is even with digital in it's infancy. Imagine when it matures and gets even better. Maybe the digital is tricking the eyes. But everyone that's seen a good presentation of it seems to be stunned. I see digital eventually taking over film, not for a long time because of cost and lack of films in digital, but eventually. Whether that's good or not, I don't know. But I sure as hell would like to see AOTC in digital, but the Atlanta area doesn't have a theater with it, unless one has just installed it.
     
  11. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

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    I saw TPM in a digital projection theater. Very impressive. There's probably better technology out today than 3 years ago, so I'm sure Ice Age was damn impressive.

    It's on a RAID. The theory, explained to us bythe Fox rep, was that the movie data would be transmitted via satellite, therefore cutting down on transport and printing costs. Digital projection and LOSSLESS audio.

    Mike
     
  12. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Having just seen the trailers at the front of the FOTR spool go off track and burn up in the camera I can think of another benefit from DLP. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  13. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Ouch! Never heard of that happening before.
     
  14. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    But Seth...it was Scorpion King...having it burn up saved the evening for me [​IMG]
     
  15. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    [​IMG] Then it probably did you a big favor.
     

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