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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » NEC 1600 C "too dark" complaints

   
Author Topic: NEC 1600 C "too dark" complaints
Sean McKinnon
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1605
From: Peabody Massachusetts
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 06-13-2010 11:42 AM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Author's Homepage   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have 2 NEC 1600 C's that have been recently calibrated. However when we play certain tapes back we get complaints that they are too dark and that a lot of the detail is lost in certain scenes. However when we play other tapes of the same formats (HDCAM or DIGIBETA) that have a lot of dark scenes they look great and there is plenty of detail. My first thought is that it is just bad tapes that have not been properly color corrected or processed but it seems to be happening often with a lot of film festival tapes. We recently had a major cable network in to do a show off of the same tape format. The show had qa lot of very dark scened but we had no problem with losing any of the detail and they were extremely pleased with how it looked. I guess I am looking to see if anyone else has ever experienced this and to find out what gives? Is it really just a lot of poorly processed and color corrected tapes? Why would some tapes look to dark and have a loss of detail on dark scenes and others look fine with plenty of detail on dark scenes? Anyone have any ideas?

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 06-13-2010 01:25 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tapes vary all over the place.

Many tapes have a lead in with a slate and color bars. If your scaller has adjustable settings, you can use the bars to set up each tape.

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Sean McKinnon
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1605
From: Peabody Massachusetts
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 06-13-2010 02:09 PM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Author's Homepage   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thats the problem were using an MM2000 as our scaler and everything was preset for each format by the installer. Also my bosses opinion on the subject is that we are a presentation house and not a post production house therefore it is not our responsibility to compensate for poor quality content.

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Adrian Hauser
Film Handler

Posts: 44
From: Sydney
Registered: Mar 2008


 - posted 06-14-2010 05:38 PM      Profile for Adrian Hauser   Author's Homepage   Email Adrian Hauser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ONe thing to check when projecting tape based content is that your projector scaler software is set to scale the luminance content correctly. Tapes by nature should be made within a Legal Video range of 64-960 10 Bit Code Values.
Often we have found that some setups on scaling boxes assume a legal range input in but scale the output to the projector as a Full Range of 0 - 1023 Code value. This by nature will crush the Blacks and loose detail in dark scenes. Make sure you go through all your setups to ensure scaling is transparent all the way through the video path.

Just my thoughts,

Adrian

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9470
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-14-2010 05:48 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That is why NTSC is what it is "Never The Same Colour"

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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5436
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 06-14-2010 06:28 PM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
^ Amen.

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Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

Posts: 3014
From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 06-14-2010 06:52 PM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I second the amen to Gordon's comment. I HATE dealing with video formats in general as THERE IS NO STANDARD!! (Color, Contrast, Luminance).

Sean, your boss is 100% correct. You have gone above and beyond to provide quality, properly calibrated projection equipment. It will make great sources look outstanding and will make crap tapes look as they are, crap.

I have absolutely no sympathy for people who provide garbage source material and expect it to look good on a large-format screen.

As Mike said, if they provide Color Bars and greyscale slate at the start of the tape, I would be happy to adjust the projector to help ensure quality. But if they don't provide them, they suffer with what they get.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16273
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-14-2010 09:58 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No bars and tone... it's anyone's guess!

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Bill Gabel
Film God

Posts: 3873
From: Technicolor / Postworks NY, USA
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 06-15-2010 12:40 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel   Email Bill Gabel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Sean McKinnon
we are a presentation house and not a post production house
In the NYC / LA markets you have to be alittle of both. Tapes and content do vary. So you have to go the extra mile.

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David E. Nedrow
Master Film Handler

Posts: 368
From: Columbus, OH, USA
Registered: Oct 2008


 - posted 06-15-2010 05:00 PM      Profile for David E. Nedrow   Author's Homepage   Email David E. Nedrow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sounds like a gamma problem with the tapes in question. If the person doing the color work -- on local productions, the editor usually handles it -- isn't familiar with the difference in gamma between different types of computer systems and broadcast, then you can end up with something that is "too dark", or "too light".

I keep a GammaX dongle around for these situations. It's easy to use, has a single control, and generally does the job. Handles most video signals, but the only connector it has are RGBHV HD-15 D-Subs.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9470
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-15-2010 10:49 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just like 70mm prints tones and noise to match the title

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