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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Why won't NATO push for 4K D-cinema? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Why won't NATO push for 4K D-cinema?
Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1379
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 04-21-2006 12:03 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the early days of D-Cinema, NATO constantly put out statements that D-Cinema had to exceed the quality of what is available at home. Now at Showest, I read a quote from the president of NATO that said the 2K equipment IS better than what is available at home. Now, while that may have been technically true when he said it, HD-DVD went on sale a couple of days ago which makes it untrue (unless you start nitpicking technically about 2.07 Megapixels vs. 2.21 Megapixels and less compression).

My question is, why isn't NATO pushing for 4K equipment which is clearly superior to anything available at home (or likely to be available to the masses within 15 years)? I realize the exibitors want D-cinema to save on payroll but it's going to take 3 or 4 years to convert anyway. Why not push for 4K and delay the rollout by a year or 2. If NATO and the big exibitors (AMC and Regal) said "we're not rolling out D-cinema until we can have 4k" don't you think the studios (which desaparately want the rollout) would get the manufacturers to produce it?

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9443
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-21-2006 12:17 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Probably because of a cost issue there is already a revolt on the part of some exhibitors regarding the cost
It is all well and good to say nothing but the best but only if at the end of the day the theatre still makes a profit

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Paul Mayer
Oh get out of it Melvin, before it pulls you under!

Posts: 3835
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Feb 2000


 - posted 04-21-2006 05:00 PM      Profile for Paul Mayer   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Mayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
4K's already passe anyway. NHK will be showing their 7K UHDV this next week at NAB. That's what NATO and the studios should be aiming at if they really want to abandon film.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-21-2006 06:31 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, 4K is going nowhere because Hollywood in general is too cheap to support it.

With computer power and disc storage space increasing in geometric proportion, Hollywood only wants to take advantage of those improvements by getting 2K effects work and digital intermediate done faster and cheaper.

Current technology is more than powerful enough to handle 4K efficiently. It can certainly handle 4K more efficiently than our technology could manage 2K material at the beginning of this decade.

In the end, we have no "D-Cinema" material being produced in native 4K resolution. It's all done at 2K, which is just a hair above 1080 HD native resolution. With shrinking windows between theatrical and home release, bean counters in Hollywood have even more incentive to only pay for 2K work.

There's two ways how 4K can supplant 2K as the defacto standard for CGI effects and digital intermediate work.

1. A highly influential filmmaker can insist on producing natively in the higher quality 4K format and promoting the difference in conjunction with 4K digital projector installations in movie theaters.

2. This is more likely. Home technology will actually support 4K first. Home computers and video games will likely be able to display native 4K by the time this decade is finished. The video game industry already brings in more money than the movie industry, so there's plenty of incentive for resolutions to increase. Computer monitors are going to keep getting bigger and adding more native pixels. They're also going to be pulling double duty has HDTV monitors. Basically the movie industry will be forced to support the 4K standard in a mode of playing catch up to keep video games and other alternative forms of entertainment from putting them out of business.

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Todd Leach
Film Handler

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From: West Liberty, IA, USA
Registered: May 2001


 - posted 04-22-2006 12:47 PM      Profile for Todd Leach   Author's Homepage   Email Todd Leach   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From attending Showest this year I got the impression that on the production side scanning film at 4K was becoming the standard to make the DI. On the projection side after seeing the Sony demo of 4K, I really can't say that there is much of a difference in picture quality from 2K. There seems to be many more variables than the 2K and 4K number. I would venture to guess that a 1K projector that could display the same color depth and contrast as todays 2K and 4K projectors would look about the same.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-22-2006 04:09 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I'm not surprised folks weren't more impressed by Sony's 4K setup. I didn't see the demo for myself, but others have stated Sony used a 2K original and blew it to 4K. If Sony did that, they sure made one very retarded mistake.

The act of demo-ing a 4K system with material originated at 2K is like demonstrating 70mm projection potential with something shot on 35mm. Why even f**king bother?

There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between 2K and 4K. It's quadruple the number of pixels. It is a huge jump above HDTV levels of imagery. Today's computer technology is mature enough to handle it. Just over the space of this year and next, CPU horsepower is going to take another geometric jump in muscle.

Nearly all CGI and DI material is rendered at 2K. Lots of people just keep doing business at that level. They just throw out that vague "digital film" crap, like any standard of resolution no matter how low is good enough since it's digital.

Damn near everything is digital anymore in creative circles. That makes the "digital" word extremely retarded and meaningless.

It is way past due for technology sellers to move past words like "digital" that have turned to mud and use terms that actually mean something SPECIFIC.

HDTV manufacturers are finally moving somewhere in that direction, with terms like "1080P", now that they finally have some products that actually achieve real HDTV resolution.

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David Stambaugh
Film God

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From: Eugene, Oregon
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 - posted 04-22-2006 07:20 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the Film Handlers Forum thread "Digital Cinema at Showest" Ian Price said
quote:
I know that the Baraka clips in the Sony 4K demo were scanned at 4K by Chris Reyna specifically for the Sony Demo. They looked great, I sat in the second row for those clips.

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Thomas Dieter
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 234
From: Yakima, WA
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted 04-22-2006 07:41 PM      Profile for Thomas Dieter   Email Thomas Dieter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is AMC and Regal, and these large corperations apart of NATO? I would think that NATO would have the mind set of the little guy, and not push for Digital Cinema in any regards, but push for better product. That's what's killing us.

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David Stambaugh
Film God

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From: Eugene, Oregon
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 - posted 04-22-2006 07:46 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Regal is. Or anyway they have a NATO decal on the box office window here.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16113
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-22-2006 09:43 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I also thought the studios had decided on 4K as the scanning and archival standard for D-Cinema. The main reason that 4K isn't being pushed right now is that the companies pushing D-Cinema don't have a 4K T.I. based projector to push. Also many exhibitors are VERY leary of jumping on the bandwagon with anything from Sony after being pissed on with SDDS. Its is said that many actually brought that point up to those in the Sony booth at this past Showest. Of course the Sony people completely denied knowing anything about that [Big Grin] . Having delt with Sony on at least three different levels of products over the years fomr my experience overall Sony is a really piss poor company to any buisness with. Nothing is done in either the dealers or the consumers favor. The "you don't like it thats just too bad" policy of Sony may finally be comming around to bite them in the butt! I would much rather wait for T.I. to do something with 4K!

Mark

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David Stambaugh
Film God

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From: Eugene, Oregon
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 - posted 04-23-2006 09:20 AM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In minor defense of one small division of Sony, there is one area where they shine: AIT tape drives. Sony's AIT tape drives are well-built, fast, and reliable, and they come with a 3-year, no hassle warranty. If the drive fails, they will overnight a replacement to you. We started having an intermittent problem with an AIT-1 drive after 1 year of heavy use, and Sony sent us a brand-new replacement, no questions asked. Since then we've also acquired an AIT-3 drive, and an AIT-4 Library, and they've worked flawlessly.

In consumer electronics in general, Sony products tend to have weak warranties compared to other companies. Don't know about their professional products. Sony Cinema Products may have to make some kind of extraordinary support commitment to exhibitors to overcome the negative SDDS reputation.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16113
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-23-2006 10:22 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave,

It'll be mighty difficult for Sony to convince the guys at AMC to ever buy their equipment again. The SDDS episode had to cost them a ton of dough, not that they didn't deserve to be screwed anyway. Other large chains will also look at the AMC episode with rememberance. Alot of smaller chains and cinemas also took the shaft from them, most with dignity. I can honestly say that personally I have never sold any SDDS product since it appeared..... We certainly have made alot of $$ repairing it though.

My Boss's SDDS motto: "It sounds good when it works"

Thank You Sony!

quote: Paul Mayer
4K's already passe anyway. NHK will be showing their 7K UHDV this next week at NAB. That's what NATO and the studios should be aiming at if they really want to abandon film.

Its certainly what Imax needs to aim for. The digital files will show up on hard drives that will still fill a 15/70 shipping case [Big Grin] !

Mark

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Thomas Dieter
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 234
From: Yakima, WA
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted 04-24-2006 12:16 PM      Profile for Thomas Dieter   Email Thomas Dieter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Gulbrandsen
My Boss's SDDS motto: "It sounds good when it works"

Thank You Sony!

I so have to agree with is. I watched Red Dragon at the Regal Auburn 17 when it came out in SDDS and being a fairly big fan of DTS I was in AWE. Naturally I know the problems that people have had with DTS, but I've yet to have one with the DTS units that I had at my first theatre, and the new DTS 6-AD that we have installed on one of our current screens.

Just Remember;
Soon
Only
Not
Yet
And the ever Famous
Still
Dosen't
Do
Shit

--Tom

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Brad Allen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 688
From: Evansville, IN, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 04-24-2006 03:19 PM      Profile for Brad Allen   Email Brad Allen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I never owned (thank god) a SDDS unit. But based on my experience with Sony's consumer products, and the absolute piss poor support they provide, and their laughable worthless manuals they include.....there is no way I'm putting a Sony projector in any booth I have anything remotely to do with. I would like for it to have a little more life, than 10 days past the end of the warranty expiration.

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Peter Castle
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 211
From: Wollongong University, NSW ,Australia
Registered: Oct 2003


 - posted 04-25-2006 04:34 AM      Profile for Peter Castle   Email Peter Castle   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've read here many people complain about SDDS, holding my tongue. We've had an SDDS unit since 1994 and still use it as a preference over both Dolby and DTS. I accept that we, being a once-per-week cinema do not wear the unit so much, but we certainly see prints come through with very dodgy DD tracks which fault-out while the SDDS continues without a fail. Several weeks ago we had "Walk The Line", a print with about 6'-8' of white paint at the head of each reel. As expected that side of the film lost its signal, but there was no discernible audible dropout. We also showed an original print of "From Dusk to Dawn" with not problems using the SDDS track while the DD track failed continuously. (If you are wondering, we have a Kinoton FP-25E with basement DD reader.)

Saying that, we did try to install a reader on our reserve projector and couldn't get a second-hand one to stop failing.

So, while we continue to get prints with SDDS tracks we'll continue to use them - at present this amounts to about 75% of films.

On a different topic, I talked to a local Sony person about their 4k projector, explaining that we had been burnt before when Sony sold DLP projectors (we still have one sitting uselessly under our current projector). The guy didn't even know that Sony had ever made them!! Not good for future support.

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