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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Sound Processor for Satellite Feeds? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Sound Processor for Satellite Feeds?
Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6526
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-11-2007 03:26 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We're going to start receiving satellite broadcasts for presentation in our theater. We've got the satellite downlink and a digital projector in the works but we're going to have to get some upgrades to our sound system to make this happen.

While we're at it, I'd like to see if we can get a sound processor that will do double duty for movies and satellite broadcasts.

Right now, there will only be 3 or 4 satellite broadcasts per year. There will be movies every week.

Would a Dolby CP-650 do the job? It's expensive but we could finally get Dolby Digital for all our movies too.

How about that USL JSD-80? That can do Dolby Dig. too. Can't it?

Finally, I saw a processor from Ultra Stereo. (CSP2200) Would that work?

Cost is a big issue. I'd love to get the Dolby unit but it'd be quite a stretch to raise the money. Is there a more budget conscious option?

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Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3059
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 07-11-2007 03:40 PM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just out of interest Randy, what sort of material are you taking by satellite?

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6526
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-11-2007 03:44 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From the Metropolitain Opera for starters.

If this idea takes off there will be more things. Ultimately, they'd like to do teleconferencing and similar stuff but that's a long way down the road.

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John Hawkinson
Film God

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


 - posted 07-11-2007 04:48 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What format is the satellite content in? I'd be surprised if it was more than L/R stereo, and so you could use your existing non-sync inputs. There are piles of cheaper options, though, ranging from cheaper processors to relays after the processor...what're your real requirements, what's your budget (ballpark), and what's your current processor?

--jhawk

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6526
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-11-2007 04:55 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They tell me the sound is in Dolby 5.1.

We have a Smart Mod II-B for our current processor.

Since we will be using the satellite feed only 3 or 4 times per year I would like to get something that we can run regular movies on too, rather than buying something that's going to sit idle for 4 months at a time.

Getting a cinema processor will give us better sound for the movies, it will allow us to finally upgrade to Dolby Digital AND for those few times per year when there are satellite broadcasts from the Met, we can simply turn it on and the existing equipment will do double duty.

I can't give you a specific budget figure. I know there is grant money coming in but the exact figures aren't solid. It all depends on the grant. That's why I have to get the best bang for the buck all around.

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Ken Lackner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1902
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Sep 2001


 - posted 07-11-2007 06:18 PM      Profile for Ken Lackner   Email Ken Lackner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There is no reason you couldn't use the MODIIB, except for the fact that it is only a 4-channel processor, and if you want to run 5.1 content you need a 6-channel processor. The CP650 or JSD-80 should both work for you. What type of device will the sound for your satelite feeds be coming from? Presumably a computer of some sort. Will it be an analog or digital source? The JSD80 has an 8-channel analog input, and optionally, and 8-channel AES/EBU input and two S/PDIF inputs for AC3 or Pro Logic decoding. It cannot decode film-based Dolby Digital (SRD). For that, you would need an external DA20. The CP650 (available as CP650D which includes SRD decoding) has a 6-channel analog input and, optionally, an AES/EBU (I think it's 8 channels?) input.

Dolby and USL both make external D/A converters that can be added to an existing cinema processor and accept several sources. That could be something to consider.

The CSP2200 is made by Panastereo. I don't know much at all about their product, but it looks like this processor does not include any film-based formats, so you would need something else if you want to run film and non-film on the same processor.

[Edited to mention the JSD-80 does not include on-board SRD decoding.]

[ 07-11-2007, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: Ken Lackner ]

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6526
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-11-2007 10:06 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Communications Department at this college has two satellite dishes and receivers but only one is used regularly. The unused dish will be used for the downlink. That signal will go through a fiber optic link from the Communications building to ours.

The whole campus was linked with fibre only a couple of years ago. While the contractors were on the job, they had a couple extra sets pulled up to the booth just for such an occasion.

I'm not 100% sure what type of equipment the fiber link will be carried on. The fiber has already been pulled but the laser/receiver set still has to be installed. Right now, it's just bare, unterminated fiber.

Right now, I'm working on the booth end of the project.

The Smart Mod II still works but the sound it produces just isn't very good. There are also some other inconsistencies in the sound system. I was hoping that getting a film processor that can handle everything would give multiple benefits.

1) Give us good sound for the satellite broadcasts.

2) Give us upgraded sound for the movies.

3) Replace the Smart Mod II. It was only meant to be an inexpensive, temporary solution to get us going. Later on, we were supposed to get a better sound processor once the film program was established. Well, that unit has been "temporary" for nearly ten years. Its about time. Don't you think?

4) Getting a new processor will give us a good upgrade path to Dolby Digital. Once the processor is purchased, it will only be a few thousand for a penthouse reader.

5) Replacing the processor will help us solve some of the other inconsistencies in the sound system. We can start with a clean slate, so to speak.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16628
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-11-2007 10:31 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Randy's theory...this is a good excuse to upgrade to a 650!

Mark

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12771
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-11-2007 10:50 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Randy,

Based on your description...the Dolby CP650 is the best choice. It is a good sounding unit that deals with both film and digital audio. Note, there are different configurations based on the suffix of the processor name. The straight CP650 is actually pretty well equipped in that it has 4 AES pair inputs (8-channels) and can deal with AC-3 from DVDs and other consumer sources as well as 6-8 channel PCM sources (and Dolby Digital from film). This unit also has Auto-EX too incase anyone mixes in that format.

Note, the CP650D configuration will do Dolby Digital BUT it won't do the the digital audio inputs (or EX). A CP650D can be upgraded to a CP650 at any time. The CP650D DOES have an unbalanced 6-channel analog input with the traditional 25-pin Dsub to work with such devices as DTS or even a DVD player with 6-channel analog outputs (with a suitable cable).

The other configurations are the CP650SR (analog only) and CP650XO (identical to the CP650 but adds internal crossovers to feed the amplifiers directly).

There is also an option board for the CP650D to add digital outputs (Cat 778) BUT this is to the exclusion that there will be NO analog outputs what so ever! The Cat778, adds the same functionality as a normal CP650 otherwise.

Steve

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6526
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-12-2007 12:09 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was looking at the CP650XO.

It'll do the job we ask. It'll be a significant upgrade for our everyday cinema sound. Plus, it will give us a future upgrade path to Dolby Digital just by adding the Cat. 702 reader. From what I read, the reader is only a few thousand more. Once the CP650 is in and running, I'm sure we can raise the money for the upgrade.

I understand that the standard CP650 can be upgraded to the XO simply by adding a card. Right? We could save a few bucks there until it is time to upgrade amplifiers and speakers. Right?

Is it worth it to buy the calibration microphone from Dolby or can you use any standard calibrated microphone? The automatic B-Chain alignment would be a useful feature in our environment.

I read that the Mfg. price on the CP650 is right around $13,500.
The boss is cringing at that price tag. [Eek!] Whats' the going street price right now?

Except for the easy upgrade to Dolby Digital, would the UltraStereo unit be a more economical choice?

I really think the 650 is the way to go but I'm afraid the budget won't be able to swing $13K.

And... If, by some miracle, we COULD get this to go through our budget, my boss would earn the right to trumpet to the heavens about the fact that we now have the most super duper, state of the art, DIGITAL sound system money can buy. Right! [Big Grin]

Bosses like to brag, doncha' know! [thumbsup]

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Tristan Lane
Master Film Handler

Posts: 444
From: Nampa, Idaho
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 07-12-2007 01:05 AM      Profile for Tristan Lane   Email Tristan Lane   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Steve Guttag
The straight CP650 is actually pretty well equipped in that it has 4 AES pair inputs (8-channels)
Steve, I'm not sure if this is correct. I believe that a standard CP650 (EX), will only process AC3 / PCM (SPDIF). AES decoding isn't available without the Cat. 778 card (or so I gather from the manual).

I could be completely wrong. I had a problem when I tried to input an AES signal from a QuVis into a CP650, but that is the only time I've tried to utilize this function. We usually used a DMA-8 instead.

If cost is an issue, the USL JSD-80 is probably the best deal cost-wise. It will process film formats, has 6 channel analog inputs, and has 8X AES as well as SPDIF inputs.

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Jeremy Weigel
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Edmond, OK, USA
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted 07-12-2007 01:17 AM      Profile for Jeremy Weigel   Email Jeremy Weigel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Randy Stankey
The boss is cringing at that price tag. Whats' the going street price right now?

I was quoted $9280.50 for the CP650 and 8452.50 for the CP650D last October from UCS(Universal Cinema Services) http://www.universalcinema.com/contact/.

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Sam D. Chavez
Film God

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From: Martinez, CA USA
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted 07-12-2007 01:50 AM      Profile for Sam D. Chavez   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Steve is right as usual about the 650 but the JSD 80D will also do the basic job of 8 channel AES/EBU inputs and also consumer 5.1.

The Dolby 650 can be had for far less than $13,000.

Call me, I'll make you such a deal on either a 650 or JSD 80.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12771
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-12-2007 06:45 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The CP650 has Dolby Digital (film) capability that the JSD80 does not nor will unless you can also scarf up a DA20.

Tristan, when working with a CP650's Option I/O port, one needs to know exactly which cards are installed because the pinout changes based on that card. The DMA8 (Plus), while adding some extra digital inputs only really brings Dolby-E to the table for the CP650 (or JSD80) which is really rather limited for typical cinemas...I seem to enounter it quite a bit though (it is used extensively in Broadcast).

As for why I would favor the CP650 over the JSD80...the Dolby Digital requirement you listed tops the list...but also the noise factor, the CP650 is notably quieter, Dolby-SR decoding is significantly better...in fact, it is the best I've heard of the digital versions and is right up there with the Cat 280/300 and CM353 from Pana.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with the internal crossovers...I would do that externally since I feel you can do so much better externally and not put all of your eggs in one basket. You can upgrade the CP650 to that but it isn't their most cost effective upgrade since you would be removing a card you paid for to install another card. In the CP650 there are two daughter boards available...one for Dolby Digital and one to work with the Option I/O port. The Option I/O one can either be the standard one (gets you EX, AC3 and AES) the XO version or the Studio version (Cat 778) which is digital only outputs.

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4441
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 07-12-2007 10:49 AM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pricing: far less than 10K.

BTW: We are never out of CP-650/CP-650D. They are stocked in quantity here in Louisville. Louis

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