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Non-Techie has a DLP question -Long Post (1 Viewer)


Nov 12, 2000
My firends and I have a friend who works at a local theater here in the DFW area, when he found out we would not be catching the midnight screening of movie at his theater, but rather a DLP theater he sent us the following information. His theater has an 80' screen which is great, but no DLP. I've seen DLP screenings at the other theater, and they look excellent. Now I am somewhat confused, I was wondering how factual his information is. Please excuse the long post, but here is what he said

Chris Shelly

Second Unit
Dec 16, 2001
At Showest this year I was able to preview the DLP system playing a 20 minute reel of Star Wars Episode II. The picture was more then perfect and really clear. The screen was much larger then 45 feet. I did not notice any problems with light output. Resolution was better then even the best 70mm prints. Only during a few scenes did I notice any pixelation.

The Texas Instruments/Christie systems looks alot like a regular projector. It uses a standard Xenon lamp found in regular projectors. I doubt light output would be a problem at all. It actually takes the light ouput and focuses in thru a series of lens to magnify it.

I personally would not drive out of my way to see Star Wars in DLP. The 35mm presentation is also very clear and feels slightly warmer. Only defect I could see in DLP was a slight plastic look to the picture.


Leo Kerr

May 10, 1999
1. I sincerely doubt that Lucas shot spherical and cropped; I had the impression (although I may very well be wrong) that they were using mild anamorphic lenses to convert the 1.77:1 to 2.35:1. And in projection, there would be other adaptive optics to stretch the 1.33:1 to 2.35:1.
2. Yes, the technical 'resolution' of the Sony HD-Cam 24sF camera (that's 24 'segmented frames' dividing 24p into even and odd fields for transport purposes, bur at the end of the whole mess, recreating the original 24p. Technically, this is a valid process that won't hurt the image.) Anyway, back to the camera; it is, on the recording spec, 1920x1080x24sF. It is my understanding that when you address the CCD resolution, the optical block assembly, the head-end electronics, and a few other factors, I believe the usable resolution I've heard quoted was 1440x1080.
3. To my knowledge, the largest chips made by TI are, in fact, 1280x1024. At least, in production. I know they are working on 1920x1080 chips. I don't think they have much more than laboratory prototypes.
4. The Look. I saw TPM in DLP Digital, and frankly, was impressed. It was not perfect. It was a whole lot better than I expected. It did look a little plastic, and they had problems with areas that were fully saturated/bright and areas that were fully black (like in The Princess Bride, there's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.)
I was glad to have seen digital projection for a feature film like that. I doubt I'll make the effort again - unless someone opens a digital theatre nearby, in which case I would consider it. My preference would be to see it in a good 35mm hall where the projectionist knows what s/he is doing, and they get good prints. (Fortunately, I'm only about a half hour from the Senator theatre in Baltimore...)
Leo Kerr
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