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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Cinema Sound Processor in Media Block? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Cinema Sound Processor in Media Block?
Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 666
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 02-18-2016 05:55 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've heard that people are considering moving the sound processor functionality (equalization, delays, crossover, etc.) into the media block so the media block would drive the amplifiers directly. What does the group think of this idea?

Thanks!

Harold

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3510
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 02-18-2016 06:28 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Might be worth to consider for very streamlined setups like boothless auditoriums in large multiplexes. Personally, I would always buy a separate device for the added flexibility.

That said, would be nice if all cinema processors would support a basic common IP command set for format, volume, mute. That would make setup and control easier.

- Carsten

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17618
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 02-18-2016 09:40 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Well geez, the media block isn't enough of a mission critical item with all of the DCI security nonsense it has to deal with. Let's just add the sound processing in there too! Oh yeah, that's smart.

And to make it even MORE retarded of an idea, let's do it as an IMS so it's inside the projector!

Personally I would NEVER sell such a ridiculous and downright stupid product to a client. I like this thing called QUALITY and RELIABILITY. The more shit is crammed onto a board in the projector, the higher chances of failure or poor quality.

To give you a similar example, I am a huge fan of the QSC Q-SYS processing system. It represents the highest quality with the most flexible processing I have ever come across. So with my opinion on the product now being stated let's look at a fact...the QSC Q-SYS model 500 processor is so powerful it can process audio for 10 auditoriums at the same time!!! Now ask me if I would even consider doing such a moronic thing.

Just because it might physically be possible in no way makes it a good idea.

Please excuse me while I go rinse out my mouth from the vomit I just puked up.

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 666
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 02-18-2016 10:13 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So Brad, tell me what you really think!

Thanks for the comments! I really appreciate them.

Harold

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15994
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-19-2016 08:45 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is a really dumbest idea ever if the processor is in the security cover of the IMB. GDC is going to be showing its latest media block at Cinemacon and if this is what they have done then they can count me out on that one. Imagine the look on your customers face when you tell him he has to spend five grand on a new media block because his left channel output is intermittent.

I want to be the fly on the wall at Guttags first installation of one of these! He just loves audio coming out of IMB's

However! If the processor were a separate plug on board like the SX-3000 computer control board is on their integrated IMB then I might consider it for some really small installations. But not for normal every day booths.

While I HATE the Doremi IMS the GDC SX-3000 has been 100% reliable for me, zero failures. In fact I have not lost a single GDC IMB at all, not even a version 1. Having all IMB servers in a large complex actually saves a bit on power. Each large full size server is drawing in excess 300 watts! IMB's are drawing about 50 watts or less.

Mark

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 11896
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-19-2016 09:43 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yep...I'm still not a fan of IMBs and dispute them being any time savings on installation. Running 2 HDSDI lines isn't hard or slow.

I've rarely found that one company has a lock on great things. Good ideas come from everywhere. Why would I think that the company that makes the best server would also make the best sound processor? And even if they did, do I really think that they would put as good a sound processor on an already cramped IMB? Mind you, I did think that Dolby made the best server (DSS line) and I like the CP750, but I have no allusions that it is the end-all. It has a very nice feature set...the CP850 lacks a multi-channel analog input...that sort of thing just takes it out of the running in 95% of our installations...what if that sort of "design" was put into an IMB where things just have to be cut (how much real-estate do you have on an IMB faceplate?).

No...I'm quite happy to keep things separate. There are different strengths and weaknesses out there and there are different life-cycles too. Sound processors typically have a long life-cycle since not too much changes with them over time...particularly for the exhibitor that is not desiring to really go beyond their present sound configuration (5.1, 7.1...etc.) So why tie that into the server? So now I have to send ANALOG lines to the IMB to feed the amps or am I supposed to get some RJ45 box (could have some form of sound over cat 5 or AES) to get the sound to the rack to feed the amplifiers. All of this to move one box to the IMB? Really?

Put me in the "no" column please.

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Steve Moore
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 192
From: Leeds, West Yorks, UK
Registered: Apr 2008


 - posted 02-19-2016 09:56 AM      Profile for Steve Moore   Email Steve Moore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sounds like having an all in one washer/dryer for your laundry!
One packs up then both have packed up.

Having said that I suppose I can neither wash or dry my dirty socks, so they will be dry to start with and therefore saving lots of time and effort!
[Razz]

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17618
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 02-19-2016 10:48 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I can't wait for that IMB/auditorium lighting dimmer combo. [Razz]

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2247
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-19-2016 11:10 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
But can it process credit cards at the box-office and concessions stand?

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15994
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-19-2016 12:43 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You know if it can also do that and answer the phones it's gonna get made!

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 666
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 02-19-2016 01:14 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I really appreciate all the comments! Because of the complexity involved in external object-based audio rendering (mostly related to security, KDM transfers, forensic marking, non-standard interface to SMS, etc.), object-based audio rendering within the "media block" (server / media block combination) may be more economical. Once you're doing all this DSP work there, you wonder what other DSP work should be done there. I like putting rendering within the media block and delivering "flat" sound to an external multi-channel processor that also accepts other audio inputs. But, of course, we have to look at all the options.

Now we just have to find a miniature AC outlet to fit on the front panel so you can plug in your houselights...

Harold

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3510
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 02-19-2016 01:24 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One issue may be object based sound systems. It does make sense to have the rendering attached to the media block. Dolby needs a complicated and expensive setup for Atmos. Due to the watermarking, Auro 3D needs to be decoded in the media block as well. Now most object based sound systems need more than the 16 standard DCI channels (sooner or later). The USL media block uses these 16 channels, more or less in a proof-of-concept, for their MDA offline-decoding. But what if you need more? Add 16channels through an IP-based interface, but what about the watermarking?

One would need a revised watermarking practice/standard to get rid of these implications. For systems like Atmos, with timbre matching, etc, it does make sense to have EQ in the media block. I guess you would still need an external 'basic' Cinema processor with some analog and digital IO to do routing and source switching. But because EQ is so important for object based audio, it should be done in the media block audio department.

- Carsten

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 11896
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-19-2016 01:30 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Consider this...what percentage of systems out there are going with object based immersive audio? It HAS to be a tiny fraction of the installed base and likely a tiny fraction of new-builds. To worry about doing much of anything in the mediablock seems like a waste to me. Feed the stream to an external box for those that want/need the fancy sound and let the 16-channels of discrete audio...that we STILL haven't used up yet be for the other 99%. Why make everyone pay?

Honestly, I'd rather there be an SMPTE defined "Object Audio" connector on new mediablocks that can feed the fancy sound info to the Object Audio box...whomever it is and if you have it, great, if not, ignore it. I think putting it all on the IMB, at this stage of the game, is the wrong place.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3510
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 02-19-2016 01:58 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well those installations without the need for object based audio simply would not need to buy THIS media block, but the other one without that capability.

The question is, who defines the term 'Cinema processor'. If you call that part 'MDA rendering block', not many people would object to have it in their IMB/IMS. As a matter of fact, for MDA, it is already part of the USL IMS, for Auro 3D, it is already part of the Dolby/Doremi IMB, Alchemy ICMP, etc. Adding MDA or dts-X to them is only one more step, and it will come.

There would still need to be an external CP, you can hardly get all the necessary IO for an audio CP onboard an IMB. Plus, that IMB/IMS would still need to have a standard AES output port for 'traditional' work.

Adding an MDA renderer to an IMS/IMB as a software function would also make object based audio much more affordable. Look at the price and price difference of the CP850 'bare' and ATMOS model.

- Carsten

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Marco Giustini
Film God

Posts: 2533
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 02-19-2016 04:06 PM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I second everybody's opinion but let's put it this way: if you lose the media block, you lose picture and sound. Hence your CP750 may be up and running but your auditorium is going to be down anyway.

Don't like the idea particularly but I can see that someone may like it. As Brad said, there is this obscure word called "reliability". Nowadays software is a problem, we are running beta software all the time and glitches and issues are common. Now add more electronics and more software to the equation and wait for the BSOD [Smile]

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