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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Are the Big Chains Still Committed to Sony? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Are the Big Chains Still Committed to Sony?
Steve Kraus
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From: Chicago, IL, USA
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 - posted 10-30-2015 01:22 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Are the several large chains that made the deal with Sony at the start of digital sticking with them for new builds (not counting screens Sony cannot illuminate)? Or are they going with one of the DLP brands?

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Carsten Kurz
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 - posted 10-31-2015 08:15 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sony released stacking solutions for both their 320 and 515 systems, also Doremi options for TMS compatibility. I guess there is a demand for these systems to fill larger screens (though still not the largest). I guess not many larger chains mix systems without good reasons.

The latest and last really big rollout deals for Asia and South America were DLPs, but it seems Sony is doing well elsewhere.
VUE is sticking with Sony, I read they signed a deal for 400+ 3D systems this year.

I guess no-one will really do a huge system switch now after the roll-out is over. The majority of coming deals will be replacing individual series-1 hardware, and the largest screens will switch to laser. Many systems are still under VPF anyway.

- Carsten

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Mark Ogden
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 - posted 10-31-2015 08:43 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've noticed an interesting thing at a couple of big AMC multi's near me: they went with Sony when they went digital, but since then about half of the screens have been switched to Christie. At first I thought the common denominator was that screens that show 3D were switched, but I'm not sure. The AMC LieMax screens near me are side-by-side Christies.

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Marco Giustini
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 - posted 10-31-2015 12:54 PM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Imax switched to Christie some time ago.

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Carsten Kurz
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 - posted 10-31-2015 03:01 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
??? They switched FROM Christie TO BARCO about 3 years ago. Now including the IMAX Laser systems.

Don't know when/how/why/if existing Christie LieMAX installs converted to BARCO systems, though.

- Carsten

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Marco Giustini
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 - posted 10-31-2015 05:15 PM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry, my bad!

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Steve Kraus
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 - posted 11-02-2015 09:22 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Surprised they stuck with 2K when 4K DLP came out. Regardless of whatever gee-whiz things they do between the two projectors (or do they even do something?) when running 2D, if the content is 4K it may be higher resolution in the hall next door.

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Paul H. Rayton
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 - posted 11-02-2015 10:13 PM      Profile for Paul H. Rayton     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I guess and hope (someone out there might be able to confirm this for me?) that more recent Sony 4K projectors might be better in contrast than what they originally put out. The originals were vastly inferior to DLPs, or is nobody able to discern crappy images any more? We recently attended a show at a Regal location in Alhambra (suburban Los Angeles, CA) and they ran the typical Sony 4K logo, etc. -- but the image ... OMG, washed out, dull -- just terrible! It's "4K", but a disaster.

We have just a basic 2K (series 1, yet) where I work, and the image is FAR more satisfying. I have to say, I feel sorry for any folks who seek out a show in "4K" resolution* because, if it's one of those early 4Ks, the picture sucks. (That's a technical term.)

*Such as the recent BYE presentations of "My Fair Lady" in the 4K restoration version. The resultant experience of viewers across the country must have varied wildly, even "in 4K".

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Carsten Kurz
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 - posted 11-03-2015 04:33 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hard to say what and why you experienced what you saw then. The recent Sony machines boast 8000:1, which is even more than todays typical latest laser-projectors.

Earlier Sony machines, 220/320 were quoted in the 2000:1 range, just like most DLPs.

I would admit that DLPs have higher chances for a more consistent image over a longer time span, although I have seen washed out DLPs as well.

Very early Sony machines, like the 105 and 110, are said to have deteriorated pretty quickly. I know a cinema still running a 220, and I heard it is still on the first light-engine. I guess I should go there and see it myself.

Washed out images on these multiplex screens could be due to the machines being to dim, with 4.2kW delivering not enough light for a large screen, through the 3D lens, bad portglas, and maybe with the bulbs running all day. And the owner/operator giving a shit in general.

Concerning dim images from Sony (but probably not exclusively) projectors, that was even a news story 3-4 years back, e.g.:

http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/the-dying-of-the-light

As most news stories about technical things, there are quite a few flaws in these descriptions and citations, but, there's always some truth behind it.

- Carsten

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Marco Giustini
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 - posted 11-03-2015 05:43 AM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Paul H. Rayton
The originals were vastly inferior to DLPs, or is nobody able to discern crappy images any more? We recently attended a show at a Regal location in Alhambra (suburban Los Angeles, CA) and they ran the typical Sony 4K logo, etc. -- but the image ... OMG, washed out, dull -- just terrible! It's "4K", but a disaster.
Then your projector was faulty.
I agree with Carsten that DLP can be more consistent over time - Sony do need extra calibration steps, it's detailed in the service manual. And if you put DLP and SXRD side by side you really need to look closer to find a difference - on bright image.

But on darker image the black level of a Sony 51x machine is just vastly superior to a 4K chip, which by definition has a lower contrast ratio than a 2K machine.

There is nothing wrong with picture quality on a Sony machine, in fact it's great and if you put an SXRD and a DLP side by side there is no "hands down" winner as someone says. You may like the DLP more or the SXRD but the bottom line is that you will need to pause the content and look carefully for any difference.

If you see a Sony with 'terrible' picture quality, then it needs calibration/parts. Projector do break down, including DLP's. As Carsten says, I've seen washed out DLP's as well.

I have seen old 220's and picture quality was still very good, not more washed out than new 320's. This is a fact.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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 - posted 11-03-2015 06:43 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The perceived contrast on the 220s did look inferior to DLPs (anyones) and I've yet to see an SXRD where the colors looked right...especially green. It isn't that it is a bad picture...just that I prefer the DLP look.

And yes, DLP in 4K has a notably lower contrast than their 2K counterparts. Same with the S2K machines.

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Carsten Kurz
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 - posted 11-03-2015 06:46 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Steve Kraus
Surprised they stuck with 2K when 4K DLP came out. Regardless of whatever gee-whiz things they do between the two projectors (or do they even do something?) when running 2D, if the content is 4K it may be higher resolution in the hall next door.

Someone familiar with IMAX on a technical level told me they actually switched to Barco 4k XENON machines for larger screens, not only because of the 4k signal resolution, but because of the slightly increased brightness of the larger imager.

They still went into these machines over HD-SDI in 2*2k, because they needed to go through their 'black-box-raster-image-secret-saucer'. So that whole 2*2k system was not IMB or 4k compatible. That was also the reason they built their own secure housing around the LiMAX system, because they needed the HD-SDI signals without encryption to be processed by their black box. And the only way 'they' would allow this was to use secure boxes, secure harnesses, etc. The Doremi servers used on those systems had HD-SDI encryption disabled and thus were blacklisted.
Of course, these 4k machines, even when fed with 2k, also had the added benefit of a less visible raster pattern on those larger screens.

- Carsten

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Jason McMillan
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 - posted 11-03-2015 08:17 AM      Profile for Jason McMillan   Email Jason McMillan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Ogden
I've noticed an interesting thing at a couple of big AMC multi's near me: they went with Sony when they went digital, but since then about half of the screens have been switched to Christie
I also noticed this myself at a recent AMC 24-plex remodel near me here in Texas. Prior to the remodel, this theatre was all Sony... after the remodel, a number of screens are now Christie.

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Jack Ondracek
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 - posted 11-03-2015 08:39 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A couple of years ago, I attended a screening at a Regal theatre in Florida.... 10 - 12 screens, I think. After the screening, we got a tour of the booth. All screens were Sony, except for the two largest ones, both of which were Barcos.

When I asked why, the manager said they had started with Sony's, but couldn't get the same quality of picture they had with the smaller screens. They converted those two screens to Barco and were very happy with them.

I have no technical info to attach to this... just found it interesting.

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Carsten Kurz
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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
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 - posted 11-03-2015 08:47 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As the Sonys max out around 20.000 lumens, that is quite understandable. Add 3D, and options were quite limited. At the time, there were no stacking options for Sonys as well.

- Carsten

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