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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Doremi Accesslink and HI sources (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Doremi Accesslink and HI sources
Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 01-15-2014 01:08 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Doremi has a cool, self-contained system for bringing ADA compliance to Digital Cinemas. Everything you need is in the box. No, this is not a sales pitch!

If hooked up as intended, one merely plugs their digital audio cable into their breakout box and then from their breakout box the digital signal continues on its way to your sound system. Their breakout box takes channels 7/8 as well as 15/16 and diverts them to the Accesslink transmitter while still in AES digital form. They have the means for one to choose which audio pair (and which type of audio) to use when configuring the receiver before handing it to a customer.

At first, this sounds like a good idea because it makes installation quite simple.

The rub is...the HI channel (the one most of us would associate with assistive listening over the years) will only work if you are running a DCP and only if that DCP has the HI track recorded. It will not help in any alternative content that does not play through the SMS server (pick your favorite brand).

We are choosing to decode the VI-N audio, take the HI mix that is generated by any cinema processor or booth monitor, and then recombine that back with the VI-N track, digitize it and send it on its way.

What are you all doing?

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James Crowley
Film Handler

Posts: 29
From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Nov 2012


 - posted 01-15-2014 01:18 PM      Profile for James Crowley         Edit/Delete Post 
Just having a look at doremi page. I can't see many advantages over the dual transmitter IR system, other than for maintenance

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 01-15-2014 01:47 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Installation is super fast...no need to string any cables...so in a retrofit or in a large single with things like balconies...no line of site issues.

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James Crowley
Film Handler

Posts: 29
From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Nov 2012


 - posted 01-15-2014 02:43 PM      Profile for James Crowley         Edit/Delete Post 
What would be good for a multiplex is a transmitter connected to each processor on a different frequency/channel, a bit like radio mics. Save running cables through walls.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 01-15-2014 04:14 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Doremi system does that! You put a transmitter at each theatre. When the attendant issues the receiver, they merely select what theatre it is for and that sets the frequency for that receiver to pick up the right theatre and the right soundtrack (you also program if you want HI or VI-N)...so the patron has nothing more to do that put it on. The programming station also is a charger for the batteries in the receiver. When you put the receiver in the programming slot, it will also tell you the battery life too.

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James Crowley
Film Handler

Posts: 29
From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Nov 2012


 - posted 01-16-2014 01:26 AM      Profile for James Crowley         Edit/Delete Post 
Ok, I like the sound of this. However, for a multiplex showing several different films, how can you select which film? Or is it only for one feature at a time?

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John Thomas
Film Handler

Posts: 60
From: Northville, MI, USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted 01-16-2014 02:15 AM      Profile for John Thomas   Email John Thomas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I work at a 20-plex that has maintained both the old PhonicEar IR system along with installing the Doremi AccessLink to run with the Fidelio Receivers and the CaptiView dongle/receivers. I'll outline our experiences so far:

1. AccessLink seems to work beautifully on our Doremi server, but not 100% on the Sony's. We are very often powercycling the CCAP dongle or the AccessLink itself when guests come out unhappy that "it's not working." Granted this could be an issue of proper installation.

2. We never, ever use the Fidelios for Hearing Impaired. Why would we? Like you said not every trailer is encoded for HI. Not every feature either. Fidelios are expensive and have to be programmed to the house and channel every time we hand them out, and they have the flimsy belt clip thing (?) and cheap headphones. In contrast the PhonicEars work with all content, every house (even D-IMAX, hilariously), have only a power switch and volume knob, and we have like 100 of them. I think there is something to be said for a device that any usher can hand to a guest vs. hold on let me get a manager...

3. I realize the topic here is the AccessLink itself but if you're using one you're using the other. I feel like Doremi failed to design the things we're giving to our guests with the thought that people tend to beat the crap out of stuff. Both the CaptiView and Fidelio are pretty breakable considering their price and who is using them. Anecdotal evidence: two broken screens on the CaptiViews within 2 months of implementation.

These are just my experiences. If you have any tips on why they get weird on Sony's I'm all ears...

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 01-16-2014 02:51 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the response John! You are confirming that if people hook it up the factory way...the HI is not there except on those features that have it encoded. Hence, when we have installed them, we have used an external A/D converter to put the cinema processor's HI output on the transmitter so ALL content plays.

You'd have to consult with Doremi on Capitlink not working reliably on other servers.

As for your Phoicear...are they 2-channel? How do you handle VI-N for the blind?

I can appreciate Doremi's approach of having a programmable receiver so that the patron is handed a device that is set for what they specifically need. However, your point is valid that it does require an employee that knows how to configure the receiver...which, honestly is not rocket science. Drop the receiver in the configuration socket, select the auditorium and type of audio via touchscreen...for simpler than a typical "Smartphone".

I agree that using an IR type system has many advantages since lower-cost head sets can be used and also no "configuration" is required.

Where Doremi has an advantage is for retrofits since no wiring is required to get an IR panel in the theatre...one can set the Doremi transmitter most anywhere in the booth since it is RF and only has to cover the theatre in front of it. Getting conduit in after the fact (or making a "legal" path into the theatre with new wires can be much more time intensive/expensive. Captilink also is the fastest retrofit to put a closed caption receiver in the auditorium since it can be added to ANY system. The one from USL requires a USL IR panel that also has their dual-channel IR system. So one is either wholesale changing out their ADA system or just adding to an existing one.

I'm curious as to how the whole ADA thing is going to come down on the closed captioning devices. The feedback we have received on them is that the deaf HATE them. Not only must they constantly look up at the screen/down at the CC device...but they ALSO have to have their eyes focus, rapidly between near field and far field. This is something that older eyes don't do well at all. Oddly enough, the "Rear Window" systems are less objectionable to them because, depending on the seating position, the effective distance between the text they are reading and the image they are viewing are "similar."

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Pete Naples
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1543
From: Dunfermline, Scotland
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 01-16-2014 05:27 AM      Profile for Pete Naples   Email Pete Naples   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here (hear?!) we tend to do it this way;

HI is derived from the processors HI output or from the monitor panel. This way everything that goes out FOH also goes out HI.

VN is derived in one of 2 ways. If the processor has a native VI output (CP750) well and good. If it does not then a stand alone DAC is used.

The HI and VN analogue outputs are then sent to a 1U rack mount mixer working in 2 channel mono. This allows for precise level control and also multiple sources without any patching or switching. Usually things like DTS XD10, Dolby Screentalk or simultaneous interpretation/description microphone. Also an input can be dedicated to the voice evacuation announcement from the fire alarm.

Channel 1 is typically HI/EVAC and sent to channel 1/left on the Phonic Ear/Senheisser/Williams or whatever bit of IR kit is in use. It also often sent to an induction loop system.

Channel 2 is VN/AD/SI/EVAC and sent to channel 2/right on Phonic Ear/Senheisser/Williams or whatever bit of IR kit is in use.

When it's installed this way, the mixers inputs are set to give consistent level between sources. After that it's left alone.

I've not seen that Doremi system Steve mentions. Must take a look at it.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 01-16-2014 08:20 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pete,

My question was specific to Doremi since with their system, you have to work in the digital domain...thus the HI signal becomes inconvenient since it is not always available digitally...unless you "make" it.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3681
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-16-2014 10:31 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The separate ADC for the processors analog HI output is our way to go. We suggested to Doremi to enable either an optional local HI mix in the Fidelio FIS Box, or at least an external analog input for a processor derived HI mix. I don't think that functionality is available in the FIS by software or unused hardware only, so I guess they will probably bundle an external ADC or update the hardware later.

Another option would be a software based HI-mix option to HI/VI channel router in the Doremi server software. That would also allow a per-CPL/SPL assignment of HI/VI source.

There is so much more use to this system when traditional HI output from the processor can be used alternatively instead of only HI/VI enabled DCPs with dedicated HI/VI tracks.

You can get cheap S/P-DIF ADCs on ebay for 20US$ or so, and multiple more professional alternatives are available too. They will usually play with AES/EBU inputs happily. Special cables to feed this into the FIS are needed as well.

- Carsten

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 722
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-16-2014 10:59 AM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Would anyone buy an interface that automatcally switched between aes and analog hi source and output aes for the Doremi? It could also add compression on the analog input since I believe doremi is relying on precompressed hi track in the dcp.

Thanks!

Harold

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3681
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-16-2014 11:08 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, I think there is a market for this. HI/VI support equipment is now also taking up pace in europe due to legal rules similiar as in the US, while supplying localized dedicated HI and VI tracks is only at the very beginning.
Being able to use traditional HI mix outputs would broaden the use of this equipment considerably.

I mean, you advertize availability of these systems to those in need, and then you can only offer it every now and then because you have no HI/VI enabled DCPs...


- Carsten

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 01-16-2014 04:46 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Harold,

I don't think anyone really cares about the HI track on the actual DCP and would be quite content with a device that takes the VI-N and combines it with an analog HI signal from the CP or the Monitor of the system.

Carsten,

What A/D converters are you using and do they actually sound good? I've found that the A/D converter is normally a more difficult one to get right and good ones are rarely cheap. Decent ones I've found are generally in the hundreds of USD.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3681
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-16-2014 05:40 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our test went with a really cheap S/P-DIF A/D just to try wether it's output would work with the AES inputs. Admittedly, at first we would be more concerned to get it working at all than getting a nicely sounding solution. I guess something like a combination device commonly found for music recording application would be optimal - until USL comes out with a dedicated piece of hardware ;-)

These 'channel strips' would have Mic/line amp, some EQ and compression, and output to S/P-DIF or AES in 48KHz/24bit format. No, not cheap indeed...

Behringer SRC2496 is quite commonly used over here, but lacks EQ und compressor.

- Carsten

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