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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Vintage DTS disks (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Vintage DTS disks
Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12492
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-16-2008 09:57 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We played "The Polar Express" for a matinee last week. The film was in near-perfect condition, unscratched and only one "opaque tape" splice (which I fixed).

It came with a letter urging us to only allow experienced projectionists to handle the film with utmost care, etc. But then in the bottom of the box, there were the DTS disks in one of those new boxes. Both disks were unusable. One was cracked in a few places, and the other one was scratched beyond usability. The "protective" box itself was a shambles.

I taped the box back together and wrote "These disks are damaged" on the outside, but it just made me mad to think that if we were still using DTS, the excellent soundtrack on that movie wouldn't have been available to us. Since this is happening more and more lately (damaged disks or NO disks) I'm glad we switched to Dolby.

One would think for archive releases they would use the old fashioned "reel" DTS storage unit, which actually protected the disks.

OK I feel better now for having ranted. I just don't understand why SOMEBODY doesn't do something about the problem of missing/damaged DTS disks. I guess I'm still a fan of the format even though we don't use it anymore.

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Blaine Young
Master Film Handler

Posts: 477
From: Kirkland, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2006


 - posted 12-16-2008 12:14 PM      Profile for Blaine Young   Email Blaine Young   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We just played a special showing of "The Polar Express" as well, and the print we received had DTS discs. They were in good condition, but the case was beat to hell. I replaced the case with a spare we had on hand.

Interestingly, the print we had was marked "For Canada" in the "Edition" area on the heads/tails of 3 reels. I've no idea what that was all about.

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John Hawkinson
Film God

Posts: 2273
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 12-16-2008 12:20 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If it's a print I care about, I make an old-style DTS carrier with a pair of broken-off reel flanges gaff taped together with the el cheapo lame case stuffed between. Works like a charm! [thumbsup]

Mike: Just wait until you get one of those old prints where the SRD track is unplayable [Frown] We had that recently for...Forrest Gump.

--jhawk

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Alex Rolfe
Film Handler

Posts: 37
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted 12-16-2008 02:13 PM      Profile for Alex Rolfe   Author's Homepage   Email Alex Rolfe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Crappy cases aside, we've always been able to get DTS discs for older titles. Either TES/DFS will have them or you can contact DTS directly.

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John T. Hendrickson, Jr
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 889
From: Freehold, NJ, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 12-16-2008 02:18 PM      Profile for John T. Hendrickson, Jr   Email John T. Hendrickson, Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Even with new prints, I sometimes get cases that are cracked or damaged and occasionally the damage extends to a disc.

Agreed, something should be done, but it seems that exhibitors are powerless (NATO?? [Mad] )and distributors don't seem to care.

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Blaine Young
Master Film Handler

Posts: 477
From: Kirkland, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2006


 - posted 12-16-2008 02:25 PM      Profile for Blaine Young   Email Blaine Young   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Of the few times I've had damaged discs on a new feature, TES or DFS has replaced discs very promptly. I keep a handful of CD-RW discs on hand to make temporary dupes in cases where this happens (and I have another set of discs to use as a master - of course). Erase and reuse over and over.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5200
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 12-16-2008 11:36 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have taken to putting all my DVDs and CDs in poly sleeves that are the same size as CDs. These I file in the old otherwise useless 5.25in floppy disk file cases. I can store 150 DVDs and/or CDs in these sleeves in the same space as it would take to store just 20 CDs or 10 DVDs with cases. Doing this then give me CD cases, but more to the point, spare DVD cases that are waiting to find a use.

And I HAVE found a use for them. Like John, if it is film I care about, I will donate a DVD case to hold the DTS discs. These are cases are quite substantial and will protect the disc better than most of the crap that you find broken apart in the shipping case. If you really want to get fancy and add even more protection, FedEx will supply, free of charge, an 8x10in padded shipping envelope (it's got a layer of that air-bubble stuff inside). You slip a DTS disc encased in a DVD case into that envelope and it probably will withstand more abuse than the reels.

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John Hawkinson
Film God

Posts: 2273
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 12-16-2008 11:59 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Please don't steal padded envelopes from FedEx. It's mildly unethical. Just reuse those envelopes that trailers come in...

Honestly, though, I think having a reel-sized carrier works better than a padded envelope....(was my description unclear, I wonder?)

--jhawk

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8353
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 12-17-2008 02:54 AM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: John Hawkinson
I think having a reel-sized carrier works better
..have you ever seen teenage kids, who do booth, try to pull the cover off of those old yellow disc carriers?

I really don't miss those things whatsoever, yet granted, they did protect the discs better - even though they were originally designed to contain the caddies that held the discs for the first DTS-6 players...

When I get a busted disc, I just call whichever depot to send me replacements...since it was their dumbass fault in the first place to ensure that they are packaged well in the box or cans.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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


 - posted 12-17-2008 04:16 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I always get brand new prints with DTS discs shattered to pieces along with their cases. I simply try to find all of the plastic pieces in the can, tape them back together without cutting myself and write "These discs came like this" on the tape and put them back in the can. I am glad we are 100% Dolby Digital, otherwise we'd have to wait until replacement discs arrive before we could even play it that way, assuming the replacements arrived in one piece. I have yet to have an unplayable Dolby Digital print, just a few with high error rates (Iron Man, first reel of W).

Actually I did have an Indian print that played once which had the entire Dolby Digital track misprinted (as in only half there), but certainly not a real movie.

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Brian Guckian
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 594
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 12-18-2008 01:10 PM      Profile for Brian Guckian   Email Brian Guckian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm just wondering if it was ever possible to "properly" accomodate DTS discs in shipping cases as used in the US.

Would it be correct to say that ideally you would need an extra 35mm reel-sized space in the case, so that say a five-reel picture would need two 3-reel cases, a six-reel picture two 3-reel cases plus a 2-reel case with an additional spare reel to pad it out, and so on?

(I'm assuming 2-reel and 3-reel US shipping cases here...is there such a thing as a 4-reel case? - never seen one over here).

Is it thus the case that - depending on the number of reels - there has always been a temptation to stuff a DTS case into a full shipping case so as to avoid sending out another shipping case in the package just to accommodate the DTS discs?

Forgive my lack of knowledge here. In Europe with our "cans and cores" system we have always of course had a similar problem where the discs are stuffed into full boxes rather than encasing the discs in another can or can-sized holder which might necessitate shipping another box in the package.

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Jonathan Althaus
Master Film Handler

Posts: 435
From: Bedford, TX
Registered: Dec 2008


 - posted 12-18-2008 01:30 PM      Profile for Jonathan Althaus   Email Jonathan Althaus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For a 5 reel film, ideally you have two three reel cans, with trls and dts. A 6 would use a four reel and a three reeler. But then you have to deal with boxes or a million trls with a print. Ideally, the discs are sent separate, but thats only happened a few times.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8002
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-18-2008 02:20 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ICC shipping cases (which we normally use in the US) come in 1- 2- 3- and 4-reel sizes. Most are slightly wider than absolutely necessary to accommodate the reels, so the DVD-style DTS disk can usually fit in a "full" case. Unfortunately, the depots often use the wrong size cases, leaving an extra space. This results in broken plastic reels, broken DTS cases and disks, and a mess of film if the leaders aren't properly banded or taped down. TES, at least, has the sense to usually include an empty reel or lab can to fill this empty space.

I once got a Digi-beta tape from TES (really!) where the tape was sandwiched between two styrofoam pieces and the whole assembly was shipped in a 2-reel ICC case. Other than causing some confusion at the receiving end of whether we had received a videotape or an incomplete film print, this worked well, and is an idea that DTS should consider. The yellow "reel-style" DTS disk holders were good, but a bit awkward, as they were narrower than a reel, but too wide to stuff into a full shipping case.

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Brian Guckian
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 594
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 12-18-2008 02:21 PM      Profile for Brian Guckian   Email Brian Guckian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Got that, thanks. Well the philosphy should be that the discs are an integral part of the print and have to be accommodated, and in such a way that they don't get damaged or destroyed.

[EDIT]
Scott, thanks for that additional info, and your idea sounds good. No reason why these design issues can't be revisited.

[ 12-19-2008, 04:52 PM: Message edited by: Brian Guckian ]

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Ron Curran
Master Film Handler

Posts: 499
From: Springwood NSW Australia
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted 12-18-2008 10:56 PM      Profile for Ron Curran   Author's Homepage   Email Ron Curran   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
After many years of struggle, a few years ago our little cinema got to the stage where most film companies wanted to place their films here, preferably first run.

However, one companyis reluctant to date films until they are many weeks down the track. Unless we are prepared to run them e-cinema. we don’t mind running flat features on our e-cinema system. at 7 or 8 weeks old, flat 35mm prints have pretty dodgy image and sound. But if the feature is Scope, we have to wait for a print because we refuse to accept a cropped or letterboxed copy for theatrical presentation.

One problem with this is that the company in question has religious objections to dts and the DD track is invariably faulty. I suppose it is a good thing to give our analog system a run now and again.

In most cases with sub-run I am happier to play dts. In Oz, they usually arrive in good packaging. If the DD track is grot-laden, it can be gradually redeemed with FilmGuard, often by our final screenings. The unredeemable tracks could be scuffed, but we have never been able to get an answer to the question of why DD fails so early.

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