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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » HD projection: What say the pro's about the Barco DP30 (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: HD projection: What say the pro's about the Barco DP30
Geoffrey Gilbert
Film Handler

Posts: 9
From: Austin, TX, USA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 05-05-2003 06:08 PM      Profile for Geoffrey Gilbert   Email Geoffrey Gilbert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is my first post. Greetings everyone. I can't promise to be able to respond right away, but nonetheless, I am very interested in all of your opinons.

I am trying to bring HD movies to smaller theatre chains, theatres with screens no larger than 10m or 33 feet.

The DP-30, being portable and weighing only 180 lbs, might be the ticket for a first HD projector. I am working on a business plan and revenue model, so my thoughts were to JV (joint venture) with a local chain, and share ticket prices. I buy the projector, they advertise (for ex) Star Wars HD, run the concessions, use their theatre, run my DP-30 in the alt projection window next to their primary fixed projector, use their THX or other sound system, and I take a portion of ticket sales only for rental of the projector.

Is this an insane flyer to be sailing on? These units are about $100k with an ANVIL case to store it in. I have another partner who has a tower to store a 2 terabyte HD film. I need the chain's distribution experience/license, and then I will lease HD satellite to receive the film and store on Tower Hard drive.

Maybe there are other projectors? I just thought this one was about right. It could also be used with an inflatable screen for outdoor cool car drive in type stuff.

Sure would like to project Matrix reloaded in HD to anyone who wanted to see the real deal.

anyway more later... cheers

 -
specs

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John Westlund
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 204
From: Burney, CA, USA
Registered: Jun 2001


 - posted 05-05-2003 06:39 PM      Profile for John Westlund   Email John Westlund   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That thing will never be as good as film [Smile]

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 05-05-2003 07:01 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
you will probably not get anyone to agree to a ticket split or a percentage of anything. The current Texas Instruments are prototypes that they have installed in certain markets at there own expense and do not ask for any money from theater chains. You would probably have film companies barking at you to because you would not be working with them. Remember, theater chains have the equipment to project the images on the screen but the movie companies own the product. According to the latest information we have received from our company in reguards to the Matrix Reloaded. They make no mention at this time that a DLP digital version of the film will be used. The important thing is Resolution and film offers a high amount of resolution with no compression of the information.

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Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-05-2003 07:02 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a great projector. But what kind of business are you trying to be in? If you are trying to get people to pay for classic movies in a movie theatre, you may be in trouble. There isn't a ready market for classic or retrospective films. When people can rent the film at blockbuster or buy it at Costco, they will not pay you to see it at a movie theatre. They will not care if you show it on film or in HD.

Try this as an experiment. Have the theater rent 35mm prints of the type of film you wish to show and see if anybody shows up.

Retrospectives and classics work in large cities with huge populations. They will never work in places with limited populations.

Showing movies is as much about timing and grabbing the public’s attention as it is about quality. They see that review and publicity campaign on Friday and they got to the theatre that weekend. People are clued in to the grapevine. If you aren't part of that grapevine, they will not come.

Also, please note that this is a heavily “Film” biased forum. If you get flamed or the topic is moved to the Afterlife, don’t take it personally.

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Per Hauberg
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 878
From: Malling, Denmark
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 05-05-2003 07:05 PM      Profile for Per Hauberg   Author's Homepage   Email Per Hauberg   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have NOT seen any digital picture yet to go up against a good 35mm picture - and heaven know, how that electronic fluff should do against The REEL Thing - 70mm. -And having reached the so far presented standards only, why should anyone throw out that much money for less quality than we allready have.
'Thank You - no !

Per

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Geoffrey Gilbert
Film Handler

Posts: 9
From: Austin, TX, USA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 05-05-2003 09:41 PM      Profile for Geoffrey Gilbert   Email Geoffrey Gilbert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
First, I am and have been a film person my whole life. I don't ever forsee that changing, and I personally am not on any crusade to destroy, diminish or otherwise replace the format.

I am Bolex RX-5 spring winder, steenbeck and terrible reproduction 6 plate editor. I have bell & howell diplomat US Intelligence issue 16mm projectors. I am no stranger to cutting away precisely when the sound loop mysteriously unsync's itself. I have assisted Arri BL I, II's & III's, all the non blimped ARRI's (up to 1992), Aaton's, SR's, some Panavisions. I have slept in the camera truck in Bushwick in the old Kojak Police station, in between the cases with a browning 9mm. I've worked for Lloyd Kaufman for crying out loud. I love film.

But I also love computers, and the thought of storing an uncompressed HD film in one tower is very intriguing to me. I may be out there, but if the bulb aint bright, resolution isn't going to matter whether it's a master release print, or a dirty dupe - an uncompressed digital image, or compressed dvd, d2, d6 or other signal burned onto magnetic tape.

I don't think the digital image will ever catch film---ever. As soon as they triple the pixel x factor, Kodak changes the emulsion and resets the bar all over again. I know DP's whose sole modus operandi is to challenge the negative to every lighting extreme possible. From over exposure and then printing down to the opposite exercise. Kodak & Co still reset the bar every year. It's awesome. I hope that never changes.

The Rushes from Alamo being filmed just south of Austin, are said to be astounding, and though the year's not over, it may be the highest production for 2003...if that counts for anything.

The business track I am on is bringing the first commercial grade HD projector to Austin. I know it's a tough sell, but there are smaller theatres, and venues that only show films some of the time that might be interested. That's not the only use for the projector. With satellite technology and the broadband width and high packet transmission, Hollyweird could beam digital rushes to a receiver, say in Austin, and I could show them to directors et al, and they could get a much faster/cheaper read on how their film is progressing without all the additional time and money transport issues. Negatives could be flown to LA for processing, and a first gen work print could be timed, and corrected into a digital camera and stored uncompressed onto a massive harddrive and then beamed to me by satellite...it saves a lot of steps, and could actually be beamed to a set on location. Of course smaller projectors could be used, and would be required, but I want the power of the commercial grade bulb and lens to get the most out of the stored image.

I know Im barking up the wrong tree asking opinions of folks who rightly are offended at the thought, but you guys know the cinema business. Why wouldn't a smallish 5 plex allow a one theatre two night's a week to show some wild anime, or HD based movie on a ticket split only? Hell, they get all the other elements of their business. It'd be like incubating a new music act for a short period of time.

I know that some theaters are doing it. I know that Lucas has HD content not in 35mm or 70mm. Why the heck not?

I'd give up the whole enterprise for one 70mm print of Frankenheimer's Grand Prix, my all time favorite movie.

Thanks for your replies. I respect your professions.

peace

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

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


 - posted 05-05-2003 10:28 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Geoffrey:

With all due respect to your enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit, I don't think the people here are as one-sided as you may believe right now. The problem I see is with your last statement... that you're trying to bring the first HD projector to your area. I AM an owner, and I think about these things a lot. However, I'm not interested in spending $100K, or handing out percentages of what margin I do make just to be able to say I have HD projection... which is all I really see in the argument right now. As an owner, I think there's one major nagging problem with digital... well, probably more, but this one seems to me to be the one basic problem that will haunt the concept for a some time yet... at least from the prospective of those who the industry might like to see pay for this stuff (us).

If, as an owner, I were to have any substantial number of customers walk up to my boxoffice and actually ASK if I was presenting my shows with digital projection... suggesting that they would buy a ticket elsewhere if a digital presentation were available, THAT would go a long way toward getting my attention.

Sadly, it's a recognized fact that relatively few people are even aware if you're presenting a film with digital sound, much less even SR... and with reasonable care and products like the Film Guard system, a film print (presently) can present a beautiful picture longer than it's market is likely to last.

When you can buy state-of-the-art equipment that will produce quality film images by today's standards for half (usually less) what current digital systems cost, and an audience that doesn't know or yet care, it seems to me you'd have a hard time convincing an exhibitor why he should invest in (or rent) digital technology right now.

I'm pretty sure nothing posted here is aimed at you personally. Most people here are pretty rabid when it comes to their feelings about film... but thats mainly because this group is more in a position to rationally evaluate what they're looking at. When (if) digital exceeds the limits of film and offers a saleable economic incentive to us as the purchasers of said technology, then we'd be nuts not to look at it.

As for retrospective product, previous posts have this issue covered. For example, I'm in a market of over 250,000 and wouldn't touch it with a 20 foot stick. The local discount houses are broke, nobody's getting anywhere with sub-run, nobody's nuts enough to go up against the movie channels for old product, and there's only one screen that runs indie material... and it's niched into a high-income community that would seccede from the county, given the chance! Digital, as opposed to film-based presentations of such product would probably not be a motivating factor to get people to buy a ticket for these kinds of movies.

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Geoffrey Gilbert
Film Handler

Posts: 9
From: Austin, TX, USA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 05-05-2003 10:54 PM      Profile for Geoffrey Gilbert   Email Geoffrey Gilbert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Jack.

To be clear, I never expected to solely project retrospective material. Someone else brought that up. But like people flock to IMAX, there might be a niche for a single HD projector to show HD versions of HD rendered films. Films like Star Wars trilogy, Spiderman, Jimmy Neutron, Spy Kids, Daredevil and the like. Maybe the three Alien movies or Cool World do count as retrospective. I mean, once they leave the theatre, aren't they then retrospective. Already theatres can't compete with home dvd distribution much longer than the original release period, but isn't that more a function of the distribution angle to begin with? Couldn't HD bring some of them back?

At some point in time, release prints will be digitized and beamed into theaters no matter what format they were filmed in. You guys know when that point in time is more than I ever would.

I know this idea is novel; that's why I brought it in here to get the crap/reality kicked out of it. It's a good exercise honestly.

I think the larger obstacle is finding the HD content that's not already compressed past the point where it would really pop and the paying pimply faced kid could discern the difference. I have seen movies like Matrix on xx,xxx'$ plasma screens, with big theatre sound, and it's pretty awesome. I am still optimistic that after Matrix Reloaded plays IMAX, that an audience may grow to demand this highly defined product.

Compared to the cost of IMAX the DP-30 fully accessorized is relatively cheap. With the theatre owner providing the bricks and mortar, there might be a relationship.

The idea can is soundly kicked, but I don't think it's flattened yet.

Thanks again Jack for your good words.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Film God

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


 - posted 05-05-2003 11:00 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"But like people flock to IMAX,"
________________________________________________________________
In fact that rarely happens...only on the really good IMAX films.....They(and other 15/70 producers) also have many dismal performing films.
Mark

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Geoffrey Gilbert
Film Handler

Posts: 9
From: Austin, TX, USA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 05-05-2003 11:15 PM      Profile for Geoffrey Gilbert   Email Geoffrey Gilbert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good point Mark. You are absolutely right.

Back to the DP-30 and it's portability. Mobility brings it more uses, venues, and if you are projecting dvd's through it's ACSAR device manager (in specs from 1st post) The investment has more than one vein in which to pursue revenue. I hear you on the losing proposition of retro movies, but there are some keepin it weird/vulvan video Austinites that now only go to theatres where they can drink beer or wine and eat more than just popcorn. This customer base is actually growing i.e alamo drafthouse theatre chain

I think those customers are my target. That and the outdoor movie crowd and the pre-production segment I mentioned earlier.

a bientot

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 05-05-2003 11:43 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think the applecation you are writting about can be utilized in a different way and you mentioned it. Allowing directors to see there dailies on a big screen and save the cost of daily print production. The problem with ticket splitting percentages is the fact that the smaller chains need all the money they can get. There budgets do not allow a lot of leway with the money and the way hollywood works with the massive print releases, by the time a percentage come down the movie is gone or no longer being a draw.

The DVD and video market would not be anything if it were not for theatrical releases. This is there promotional device and it is the word of mouth from theater goers that make non theater goers want to rent the films.

It is just still to early to give the opinions of being in favor of digital projection for theaters right now. The cost is prohibitive and I doubt that you will draw anyone from there big screen T.V.s who no longer attend theaters on regular basis. Mainly because they can get away with anything in their own homes.

It's hard enough to get the companies to by new carpet for the theaters.

All I can say is utilize it the most efficant way you can until it becomes a viable source for the industry. In other words wait for the standards to be set. Something that still has not been done.

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Tom Sauter
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 163
From: Buffalo, NY, USA
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 05-06-2003 10:09 AM      Profile for Tom Sauter   Author's Homepage   Email Tom Sauter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The DP-30 is a nice projector but you'll have trouble getting content right now. It is certainly more cost effective than the big DP from barco but ask anyone who has one and they'll tell you it just sits there looking impressive. Studios haven't been convinced to release their prints digitally.

Aside from purchasing the projector you will also need a Boeing ICE rack which is the actual playback unit with hard drives, satellite receiver, DMA-8, etc. Barco has told me that they are currently not allowing anyone to present alternative content on their projectors via an ACSAR. Its either Boeing/Barco digital presentations or nothing...you should contact Barco directly to confirm this.

Since digital content is so lacking, you will get more mileage out of one of Barco's other product offerings in a more traditional video projector.

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Geoffrey Gilbert
Film Handler

Posts: 9
From: Austin, TX, USA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 05-06-2003 10:22 AM      Profile for Geoffrey Gilbert   Email Geoffrey Gilbert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The rep from Barco gave me the impression that the Acsar was going to be the appliance to present content through. I was going to use Boeing to get the content to Texas. As far as storing on a hard drive I was going get boxx computers to build me a unit to capture and present the content. The Acsar was going to interface with whatever the Theatre threw at me.

Thanks for your input. I need to call the Dallas rep at Barco today.

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 05-06-2003 10:27 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Availability of product can be a serious issue:

http://www.infocusmag.com/02september/digital.htm

http://www.sabucat.com/digital.pdf

With 2K resolution DLP and D-ILA projectors already demonstrated at ShoWest and the USC Entertainment Technology Center in Hollywood, what are your plans for upgrading?

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/digital/showEastKennel.shtml

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/digital/system.shtml

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Geoffrey Gilbert
Film Handler

Posts: 9
From: Austin, TX, USA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 05-06-2003 10:37 AM      Profile for Geoffrey Gilbert   Email Geoffrey Gilbert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John, thanks so much for the links. gotny more?

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