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Author Topic: What are you using for Digital automation?
Joe Elliott
Master Film Handler

Posts: 497
From: Port Orange, Fl USA
Registered: Oct 2006

 - posted 02-09-2009 11:25 PM      Profile for Joe Elliott   Email Joe Elliott   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just wondering what other theaters are using for automation for their digital houses. We received in a Barco and Doremi that had been a test unit at another theater. I put together "sortamation" using the built in GPIO on the Doremi, and a few relays, etc. I have been looking around at various options, but I have seen nothing specifically designed for it. A Crestron processor seems to be my only option that is even close.

So, what is everyone else using?

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12814
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 02-10-2009 05:42 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are many out there. Even Strong has a DCinema only version of their CNA series (I think it is the CNA-10). Moving Image Technologies have several levels of DCinema automations. Christie has their Digtial Only automation too. Many, as you have found, can use the DCinema server itself to perform most or all traditional automation functions.


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Ed Mauger
Film Handler

Posts: 11
From: London, London, UK
Registered: May 2008

 - posted 02-11-2009 01:57 PM      Profile for Ed Mauger   Email Ed Mauger   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Joe,
Most people over here are using 1 of 2 solutions:
A JNior interface will connect to the Doremi via Ethernet, and then has a number of relay outputs. Don't know the exact model number, but an e-mail to Doremi would confirm. It is directly supported by the Doremi, so would be very quick to set up. The instructions are in the Doremi installation manual.

If you want a bit more fun, you could try a PLC such as the Siemens "Logo". You'd need a 24VDC power supply, Logo Basic 24RCo, and up to 3 expansion modules DM824R. This would give you 20 digital inputs (buttons and GPOs from server), and 16 relay outputs (curtains, lights, etc).
Also get a programming cable, printed manual and the programming software. Sit down for a few days slogging through the manuals, and build whatever you want!

Both of the above would use the server's script to do the entire automation - works beautifully, and would cost 300 to 400 USD to build (as long as you kindly donate your time for free!).

As for Crestron (or AMX) systems: These would do absolutely anything that you would want, but would cost a fortune. I don't know whether you do Crestron programming? If you don't, you'd need to spend a few weeks learning it, or get someone in at vast expense to program the system. It may be tricky to get it to talk to the projector and server. Total cost: 10,000USD???!!!

Good luck,


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Joe Elliott
Master Film Handler

Posts: 497
From: Port Orange, Fl USA
Registered: Oct 2006

 - posted 02-11-2009 04:37 PM      Profile for Joe Elliott   Email Joe Elliott   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My main concern is the fact that our set up automates everything, but provides no feed back should anything go wrong (hince why I call it Sortamation). Should the power blink off long enough that the lamp goes out, the server just keeps on a chuggin, and the lamp doesn't know to restrike, and of course neither know to sound an alarm. I am somewhat familiar with Crestron progamming, but I am not sure about the Barco or Doremi. I am curious what ones people like. What gives you the most options. I knew about the CNA-10, and similar models, but I have not been able to find info on them. I did find monitoring software that is available for free (Cinesuite) if you have that line of automation, so I would be interested in hearing how people like the automation, as well as if they use the software and how.

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