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Author Topic: Projector upgrades?
Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-28-1999 08:30 PM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Because of the rate at which new processors are invented and the old ones become obsolete and unsupported, I was wondering, what is a theater owner to do when their $100K + whizbang digital projector becomes obsolete in 2 or 3 years. It's one thing to add new sound gimics as they are invented, but to have to replace the whole gizmo...? Seems like the theater owner's piece of the pie is small enough as it is without having to buy new computerized projectors every couple of years. Also I was wondering about these nanomirrors that cut-off or pass the pixels as needed. Being an amateur astronomer I know that because of corrosion from atmospheric effects, mirrors must be stripped and realuminized every 3 to 5 years. How do you realuminize a nanomirror?
I know that new technology has a very strong appeal and begs to be put to use by the inventive mind, but the reoccuring question is, just because we have the technology must we employ it? i.e., We have nuclear weapons capable of destroying the Earth, must we then destroy the Earth? Granted this is a bit extreme, but the question remains (to me) we have a system that works perfectly well and has for many years. It is not broke, why must we fix it?

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 06-28-1999 09:38 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Isn't it nice that a 50 year old Simplex projector is still in use (and factory supported, too!) in many theaters today.
Can you say the same about the new "digital cinema"? Will that brand new digital video projector still be in use 50 years from now?
No! It would be obsolete in 50 days and more likely the factory would stop supporting it in 2 years anyway.

It wouldn't be 'a night at the movies' anymore it would be called 'a night at the videos'. No longer would you go to the CINEMA, but rather the VIDEMA where you could bring your own remote control and pause the picture while you go out to the restroom or turn down the volume during those loud trailers.

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Aaron Mehocic
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 804
From: New Castle, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-29-1999 12:55 AM      Profile for Aaron Mehocic   Email Aaron Mehocic   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well I've sat patient on this subject long enough, but now I'll tell you what I think.

I believe film will be obsolete within the next 20 years. Although many of you will think I'm crazy and say I believe in conspiracy theories, here is how it will happen if it is going to happen. How many of you older folks remember being in high school and the teachers showing 16mm films on subjects ranging from the Battle of Gettysburg to proper sexual tecniques? Now fast forward (no pun intended) to the 1990's. Everything of this sort is now on video. Kids today don't even know what a 16mm projector looks like. I know, I teach sometimes. OK, you say, big deal a TV/VCR set up is a couple of hundred bucks tops and most schools can afford that with no raise in taxes anyway, right? Right! But know this: That school is getting those TV/VCR combos absolutely free because Advertisers realized about seven years ago that school kids are a captive audience and if we can show them a 10 minute news broadcast geared toward them at some point in the school day, followed up by a few minutes of commercials for stuff like Moutain Dew and Cinnaburst Gum, profit margins for these products will go up. Those advertizers then got together with executives at ABC, created this bullshit news program called "Channel One", and seven years later, almost every school in the country (and there is a hell of a lot) is subscribing to this program to get free AV equipment, TV's, VCR's, computer software, the whole nine yards! All the school is required to do to get this stuff is to let the kids watch those commercials. The cost in doing this must be incredible, but its happening! Now if your still reading this and saying "but what does this have to do with me?", well, I'll tell you. Studios will not want to foot the bill for digital projection, and we know the exibitors don't want to do this either, so they'll compromise. They will use this 'captive audience' crap to get advertizers to pay for their new toys. And the saddest part is these idiots in the New York and Los Angeles ad agencies will think their getting the deal of the third millenium. The studios will turn movies into two hour commercials. They will write scripts that promote products, restaurants, and places ten times more than what we see now (I'm speaking in particularly of the Taco Bell scene from Sylvester Stallone's "Demolition Man"). Exibitors will then try to chuck their slide contracts with guys like Coke or Pepsi, claiming they and their subsideries get enough play time in the actual film, and go to finding more and more folks to advertise locally in the newly available spots on the carrosel. In the end, everybody is happy, right? Well, until ten years later when every company, group, small business, and even person who bought into this digital cinema crap realizes they've just been SCREWED!!!!!

Who should we pin the blame on? Isn't that the American way? Well, some will say it is the studios. Others will say it is the exibitors. Still others will say it is those groups who advertize. In this case, everyone is right and everyone is wrong. We have reached this point together as a nation that loves movies and technology as much as the SUV's and shopping malls. A classic case of you can't have your pie and eat it too. In our lust for one, we will destry the sanctity of another. You may disagree (I think many will), but remember, the studios want it, the exibitors think its worth it, and the ad execs need it. Just like the switch of the wagon maker to the autoworker in the early 1900's, so will we see the switch of the film projectionist to the "video guy" in the early 2000's. That will be the utimate disgrace for a proud a noble profession.

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-29-1999 08:08 AM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Another question... WIll people pay to go watch TV at a "theater"? Maybe video will succeed in killing movie going. We will no longer have big dark rooms where people can have a collective dream

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Aaron Mehocic
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 804
From: New Castle, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-29-1999 09:35 AM      Profile for Aaron Mehocic   Email Aaron Mehocic   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No, theaters will be a mainstay in our society now forever. Remember, 100 years ago film did not kill the stage, it just made it a more classy way of being entertained. Kids will still need a place to go to get away for a while, people will still want to go sit in air conditioning on a hot July afternoon, and powerful exibitors like Regal and Cinemark will not let their friends in Hollywood put everything on VCR tapes for home consumption.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12446
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-29-1999 01:31 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All the same, I firmly believe that the words "VIDEO" and "TV" should NEVER be used in public to describe the theatre movie experience. Even if we ARE projecting high-tech video, we should still call it a FILM or a MOVIE. One of the mystiques of the movie business is that people have the knowledge that this format of entertainment can't be exactly duplicated in their homes....if we start talking about "video projection" and "it's kind of like a giant TV," that mystique will gradually evaporate. I don't even particularly like telling people that our digital sound comes from "CDs."

------------------
Mike Blakesley
www.goforsyth.com/roxy


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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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


 - posted 06-29-1999 01:49 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well actually, normal people can get "theatrical digital sound" in their homes right now. Dolby Digital 5.1 exists on LaserDiscs and DVDs, both offer better sound than the film version (less compression), although the surrounds still do hiss if you listen closely. DTS also exists in the home on LaserDiscs, DVDs, and even normal music CDs. Less compression here as well than theatrical DTS. Even SDDS can be had at the home on a very limited scale, in the form of the MiniDisc which also uses the ATRAC compression scheme, only it is 2-channel. The line between the theatre and home theatre is blurring already for some moviegoers.

[This message has been edited by Joe Redifer (edited 06-29-99).]

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Brad Miller
Administrator

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


 - posted 07-11-1999 03:00 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I suppose calling it a "movie" or "going to a movie" or even the "cinema" is ok...but I will NEVER call any video "film".

Sadly enough, we all know the power of the word "digital." I believe that is why Lucas held off for two months before releasing Phantom Menace in "digital". He knew his movie would generate the millions it did and start to die off. But wait, THEN he releases it in "digital" and everyone flocks back to see the new technology, regardless of how much they want to see bloodshed in the name of Mr.Binks.

What will this cost the industry? Well, we know how much Mr.Lucas made on his film in "digital", but we don't really know what this will cost us in the end. Lost jobs? Lower quality presentations in the form of "compressed" video (currently the demos are uncompressed)? Extremely high maintenance costs? Exaggerated down time due to fewer techs to service them? Who knows? All I have to say is I miss 70mm and it's still a big TV to me.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12446
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-12-1999 12:53 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Re "the power of the word 'digital'":

I have a friend who owns a theatre in a neighboring town...he put in DTS last summer and has AVOIDED advertising it because he thinks people equate "digital" with "loud."

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Stephen Winner
Film Handler

Posts: 57
From: Richmond,VA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-28-1999 10:27 PM      Profile for Stephen Winner   Author's Homepage   Email Stephen Winner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As sad as it may be, I think you are right on film being replaced by video! With high-definition coming out and high-brightness LCD projectors, film may become obslete in 1st run theatres.

My opinion on the picture quality of film though still stands...it's the BEST, I don't care how fancy technology gets, film still delivers the best picture no if's and's or butts!

But remember though, front wheel drive in automobiles was touted as "better" than rear drive, and most people don't care. The biggest advantage in front-drive is cheaper manufacturing cost, not in handling! Same goes for video formats, they are cheaper, and easier to use, but definitley not higher an quality.

....I love the looks on peoples' faces when I tell them my movie theater has a fully functional pipe organ!

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6425
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-28-1999 10:59 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Two things:

1) I don't know of any video display technology that can even come close to film. I don't know exactly, but isn't the resolution of film somwhere in the 10's of Microns range? I don't even think nanomirrors can get that small. (Some of the experts out there will be able to answer that question better than I can.) Furthermore, even when you can see the film grain on the screen, the grains are "Moving" on the screen and your eye can't perceive them unless you look. (Or unless the director makes the film grainy like 'Eyes Wide Shut'.) With video, you'll have the pixels always in the same place. This causes all sorts of goofy things like alialing where diagonal lines look jagged. I know most people don't notice but it drives me crazy. (Okay, a short walk.)


2) Obsolecense! -- How many people have old Apple ][ computers in their closets collecting dust. Not only are those computers useless, nowadays you can't get software to run on them and anything you stored in the past is now inaccessible by modern computers. (How many iMacs or Pentium clones have a 5.25 inch disk drive?) If you stored any important information on that old computer you're screwed if you ever have to read it again!

There was a really interesting article in "Scientific American" magazine on this subject about a year or two ago. It said that todays computers would be obsolete in 50 years and any data on them would be inaccessible.

WE STILL HAVE 100 YEAR OLD FILMS AND THEY CAN STILL BE PLAYED ON (ALMOST) ANY MODREN MOVIE PROJECTOR. -- Not so for video. Video tapes will last in perfect storage conditions for an average of 10-20 years! That goes for almost any magnetic medium. Those digital video "prints" of Star Wars won't be around in the year 2099, I bet.


The final thing that p*sses me off is the use of "film" and "projector" logos on TV movies and stuff. *I* think there ought to be a rule that if any exhibitor or studio goes all digital, they ought to be prohibited from using ANY images of 'old' film equipment in any way, shape or form. Regal would have to take that reel of film out of their logo, etc. That "cheezy-cool" old policy trailer that General Cinema used to have way back in the 70's would be unusable too. -- You know, the projector with the letters that came crawling out..... (Sing the cheezy music here!) Only theatres that still use film would be allowed to use it.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7991
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-29-1999 02:22 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All good points. I have seen 35mm nitrate from 1916 in someone's home theatre that looked darn impressive (none of the "dupey" look that we often associate with early silent films). Just try to find a 2" quad videotape machine to play back tapes recorded as recently as the mid 1970s, if the tapes themselves are even playable...

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