Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » AMC to Install 100 Imax 3D Digital Units (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 5 pages: 1  2  3  4  5 
 
Author Topic: AMC to Install 100 Imax 3D Digital Units
Mark Lensenmayer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1572
From: Upper Arlington, OH
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 12-07-2007 06:10 AM      Profile for Mark Lensenmayer   Email Mark Lensenmayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In an article in the 12/07/07 NY Times, AMC and IMAX announce that they will be installing 100 Imax 3D digital units in 33 cities. These will be in existing locations. IMAX will pick up the cost of the $500,000 projector, and AMC will pay to retrofit the auditoriums. No dates are given for any installations.

In 2006, IMAX lost $16.8 million on revenue of $129.5 million. The AMC deal is expected to add $35 million in cash yearly. AMC and IMAX will divide the revenue according to a pre-existing formula that they decline to describe.

 |  IP: Logged

David Zylstra
Master Film Handler

Posts: 432
From: Novi, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted 12-07-2007 10:01 AM      Profile for David Zylstra   Email David Zylstra   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I heard that the Imax digital is based on 2K DLP . . . . . I wonder if they are replacing any of the existing MPX machines?

 |  IP: Logged

Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3172
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 12-07-2007 11:50 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"IMAX" and "DIGITAL" are two words that don't belong in the same sentence. I'm not sure what to think of this yet.

 |  IP: Logged

Dick Vaughan
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1032
From: Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 12-08-2007 04:52 AM      Profile for Dick Vaughan   Author's Homepage   Email Dick Vaughan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The test set up at AMC in Mississauga, according to information given by Brian Bonnick of IMAX at the GSCA conference in September, is based on Christie 2k projectors.

There was talk of them using Sony 4k projectors but my undestanding is that these can't cope with lamps large enough to fill an IMAX screen.

It was also stated at the conference that MPX operators would be given the opportunity to swap out for the IMAX Digital projectors and my guess is that many of the MPX sites scheduled for installation after July '08 will have digital setups from the off.

 |  IP: Logged

Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3172
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 12-08-2007 05:42 AM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So how exactly is 2K DLP considered IMAX? Don't they go out of their way to explain to patrons that they are NOT watching IMAX whenever they show something in 35mm on the "big screen"? What's the difference? So now we can put a picture on the screen with a lower resolution than 35mm, and all of a sudden since it has the IMAX name slapped on the side of the projector... it IS IMAX? WTF? Why not just put the IMAX name on the side of the 35mm projector and save all of that money?

 |  IP: Logged

Mark Gulbrandsen
Film God

Posts: 15868
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-08-2007 09:20 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually its a step in the right direction for troubled Imax as the cost of the film system is what has killed many an Imax or deterred others from having Imax.

It won't be just one 2K projector attempting to fill an Imax screen... it'll be 4 or 8 or 10 of them each in its own quadrant or area of the screen. Since it is possible to adjust the image sizing on the DMD's right down to the pixel blending many DLP projectors into a single image is very simple. Christie and others also have a feature known as Constant Light Output) or CLO so keeping all those projectors at the same light level will be simple once they are all calibrated. It will be a massive system to set up and calibrate although once setup the D-Cinema projectors are actually very stable in terms of color space and light level.

If Imax can't make this work and generate more revenue then they are ultimately doomed as losses have been too high for many years in the running.

So much for Sony...

Mark

 |  IP: Logged

Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3172
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 12-08-2007 09:45 AM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That sounds interesting, but what will the image resolution be?

 |  IP: Logged

Mark Gulbrandsen
Film God

Posts: 15868
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-08-2007 11:46 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It depends on how the image is split up and how it is fed to the projectors. If they use 4 projectors it will be the same resolution as 4K, 8 projectors takes it up from there and so on.... the amount of data becomes formidable after 4K though. I don't know what the limitation is on scans either so they may be developing gear to do even higher resolution scans than 4K. At least one would hope so....

Imax was always a formidable system and I doubt the digital version will be any thing less.

Mark

 |  IP: Logged

Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3172
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 12-08-2007 12:15 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What is the resolution of the DMR scanning process? Anyone know?

 |  IP: Logged

David Zylstra
Master Film Handler

Posts: 432
From: Novi, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted 12-08-2007 05:46 PM      Profile for David Zylstra   Email David Zylstra   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Gulbrandsen
It won't be just one 2K projector attempting to fill an Imax screen... it'll be 4 or 8 or 10 of them each in its own quadrant or area of the screen
Actually the report I heard was that it was only 2 2K projectors - I didn't follow up to find out if they were stacked or edge blended, but the sense I got was they were stacked . . . . . . if the end result is only 2K resolution I don't see much benefit over normal digital cinema (besides marketing) . . . . .

I'm sure most of the drive to come up with a digital solution is print costs and not a better picture (not to mention the big chains wish to move towards unattended booths).

Hopefully the 2 2K system is for use on "Imax Lite" and not full blown Imax.

 |  IP: Logged

Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7848
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-08-2007 08:23 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It was my understanding that even the equipment manufacturers will admit that 2k DLP is "almost as good as 35mm film." Does Imax claim that this technology that is "almost as good as 35mm film" is somehow equivalent to 15/70? If not, then why call it Imax? If so, then something seems very wrong.

If they are actually using an array of 2k machines to fill a giant screen with an 8k or 12k image, then their marketing department needs to explain what they are doing, since that would be very impressive (but probably still a step down from 15/70). I'm not sure that the data rate would be a problem if they had a separate server for each projector and some mechanism to synchronize them. If a single 2k projector/server system is (say) $100k, then it probably wouldn't be unreasonably expensive to have a 4x3 array of them for an Imax screen.

 |  IP: Logged

Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2243
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 12-10-2007 10:07 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Gulbrandsen
it'll be 4 or 8 or 10 of them each in its own quadrant or area of the screen
WOW!... Well, considering I know about as much about IMAX as the average viewer, looking into one of those cool view windows, I'm wondering what that does to the real cost of operation.

If IMAX is concerned about $20,000 prints, what does 4-10 digital projectors mean in maintenance, bulb and electricity costs? If a bulb lasted 6 months and had to be replaced twice a year, you'd have pretty much blown that print cost, wouldn't you?

Over the long haul, how hard is it to maintain even illumination across the screen, when you're using that many light sources? I know they do this on temporary venues all the time... but on a permanent basis? Can you automate, lose the projectionist and really keep that many machines looking like one huge one?

Considering what IMAX was(is) supposed to be, compared to traditional theatres, is film cost that big a deal? Compared to how long a print lasts in an average IMAX theatre, and the number of people the place is designed to serve per-performance, do traditional theatres go through fewer dollars worth of film in a year, making IMAX so much more expensive by comparison?

 |  IP: Logged

Mark Gulbrandsen
Film God

Posts: 15868
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-10-2007 02:22 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If they use 4 projectors lamp cost will be 4X what ever a 3kw or a 4kw lamp costs. Lamp cost all really depends on how many projectors they decide to operate.

I find it hard to believe it wold be done with a single 2K projector... Imax definately isn't stupid and Dick Vaughn did mention "projectors" as in plural in his post. They'd better be attempting something along the lines of one huge video wall or it would probably sink the company.

Light level is tracked automatically and extremely accurately by the CLO lamp feature available which is standard at least in the Christies. Its an option in the Barco DP-100 though.

Image alignment is easy since it can be done to the exact pixel.

All in all Imax needs to generate some revenue to keep existing and this is a good way to do it provided they are not using a single 2K machine.

The Sony's would never work for this... and with a price in excess of 130K it wold be way too expensive and then you have to put up with all the crap from Sony and so on...

Mark

 |  IP: Logged

Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3172
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 12-10-2007 02:47 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Light levels can be matched between two projectors, but light levels aren't the same across the screen with one projector. So can one assume that we'll be treated to a big image with a bunch of spots that are lighter than others? Or can they use some kind of a diffuser or beam splitter or whatever to smooth out the intensity & brightness of light across the image?

 |  IP: Logged

Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7848
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-10-2007 03:21 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Couldn't you project an all-white image and then measure (with a camera or very sensitive light meter with a computer interface) and adjust (electronically) the brightness of each and every pixel to achieve a perfectly uniform field? Would this work with a silver screen?

(Do the MPX installations all have silver screens?)

Anyway, this could be really great if they actually took advantage of the strengths of the technology, but I agree that it will absolutely destroy the Imax brand (and company) if they aren't able to make it comparable to or better than 15/70 presentations.

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)
This topic comprises 5 pages: 1  2  3  4  5 
 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.