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Author Topic: Is Cheaper Better?
Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99

 - posted 06-05-1999 05:49 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The saying goes-- "You get what you pay for." Or do you? You would think that would be the case. But in the film/exhibition industry, it is not always true.

Take for instance the digital sound format wars. The most expensive of the crop, SDDS, is plagued by the most problems and many individuals will tell you as well, the worst sounding. DTS is the cheapest digital solution there is, and it has rock-solid reliability, getting the discs is no longer a problem, and the sound is the best there is, even though it is "only" 6-channel as opposed to 8. But that isn't an issue since only 2 or 3 eight-channel movies are even made in a year.

Then there is film stock. Basically there is only Kodak and FUJI. The people who use FUJI stock are mainly small budget productions (like most Miramax releases) and other movies that the studios do not think will do very well, like Lost and Found by Warner Bros. The big guns, like Star Wars, are printed exclusively on Kodak stock. But let's look at the facts here. FUJI prints run smoother, are much cleaner and rarely, if ever, shed into the projector, and they look incredible onscreen! Kodak stock (even Vision and Vision Premeire) will flake into the projector, attract much more dirt that shows up onscreen, and run louder. Both FUJI and Kodak seem to be about the same when it comes to static (not really a problem for me anyhow).

Then there are projectors. Why does everybody buy the Christie "package"? They save money. Tons of it. But then they open the crates and there are the Christie gearless projectors that come with the deal. Whoops! Maybe shoulda spent a little more money on the projector head? Cheaper is not better in this case. And in fact, it is not cheaper at all! Oh sure, initially it is, and that is what the buyers look at (isn't that all that matters?). And they believe the lines that Christie feeds them about their projectors being virtually maintenence free. Truth be told, they require more maitenence than any other projector that I have ever worked with by a factor of at least 6. After 10 years, you will probably have spent more in replacement parts than you would have for the more expensive projector and any new parts it may have needed. It is not uncommon to see Simplex, Century, and other projectors that are well over 50 years old and still running like new. They are proven, I don't think my Christies will be doing too well in 50 years.

Can anyone else think of any other examples of price vs. performance?

[This message has been edited by Joe Redifer (edited 06-05-99).]

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17687
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 06-05-1999 03:40 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 

Well put on everything above!

I can tell you that at my main theater, in the three years we have been open, have spent at least a few thousand on those Christie Worthless projector heads in parts! Now the lamps and platters are wonderful, but I've just about had it with Christie's excuse for a projector.

Someone in purchasing once told me the cost of the Christie lamp + platter was only slightly lower than the entire package price. So basically, Christie just throws their projector in for very little more money. That's apparently why everyone is buying them! What a deal...or is it?

By the way, you forgot all the Dolby-impersonators out there. Putting the CP-45 aside, I don't think there is a better sound processor than the Dolby line. Sexy girl with a gun or not on the ads, Dolby's product is still the best.

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