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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Regal Cinemas, Sony and INTEG

   
Author Topic: Regal Cinemas, Sony and INTEG
Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

Posts: 28
From: Jeannette, PA, USA
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted 06-13-2018 01:42 PM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The JNIOR is in about 1/3 of all the screens worldwide. That is based upon the numbers we've shipped to Cinemas and estimates for the total number of screens. Of the remaining screens there is a glaring block consisting of Regal Cinemas and Sony installations.

My understanding is that Sony has not opened their protocols to outside automation devices. We also know that through theater acquisitions there are some Regal Cinemas now with JNIORs. I have heard that Sony has recently begun to communicate with some eCNA devices. Wouldn't it be fair to add JNIOR to that club?

I spoke with Sony out at InfoComm 2018 last week. They took my information and offered some follow-up. You know how busy these guys get at these shows. I am not holding out a lot of hope for hearing from anyone. I wasn't in a position to do that at CinemaCon.

So I am appealing to you guys and gals if you have a contact within Sony maybe you can pass my contact information along. I would very much like to discuss how INTEG can support their customers.

I don't know, maybe they won't benefit from the JNIOR. If that is the case I would like to understand. We also plan some product variants and there is the opportunity at this point to influence where those go.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16057
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-13-2018 03:31 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
LOL! You know darn well that if you expend all the effort that you'll be lucky if Sony is still doing Cinema projectors at all this time next year. Is anyone really still buying them? Certainly no one I know is. Sony also has a nasty habit of walking away from money losing scenerios and completely stopping support. SDDS was only one thing they abandoned, many more were abandoned in the broadcast industry.

Mark

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 11982
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 06-13-2018 03:53 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
FWIW, I see more JNIOR integration from server OEMs than I do eCNA. My guess is that via Strong you'd get the Regal/Sony/eCNA connection.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3582
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 06-13-2018 04:23 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sony S10 servers as part of the SRX-510/515/810/815 projection systems support JNIORs through RAW Ethernet communication (and some limited serial commands). This is not as much as their eCNA support that was built-in from the start.

From my point of view, additions to device protocol support for Sony servers always only took place when a larger customer/chain demanded it or was open to pay for it. It looks as if Sony by themselves were never keen to add features to just improve the feature set of their systems as most other server manufacturers seem to do it for competition or simply to acknowledge user feedback.

RAW Ethernet was added to the Sony server software when a need to support 4D/motion seat systems came up. Since then, it is possible to control e.g. USL and Datasat processors through TCP (before, only GPIO was possible).
So far, this is only an output protocol, in order to send TCP/IP towards a Sony, you'd probably have to sign an NDA for their API/TMS protocol. Serial also supports some basic transport control.

Sonys CP750 protocol support is bidirektional over RS232 and/or TCP/IP, it is actually pretty cool, as it requests actual CP750 preset names and offers them in clear text on the server for cues. Would be nice to have that level of support for other gear as well.
How is your Japanese, Bruce?

- Carsten

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Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

Posts: 28
From: Jeannette, PA, USA
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted 06-14-2018 07:30 AM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Carsten Kurz
How is your Japanese, Bruce?

I wish that I had picked up a second language over the years. If I had though it would not likely have been Japanese. I just don't recall it being offered in my early years.

Someone from Sony bought the 412DMX last week. The ink on the manual for the DMX application that we supply with it was still wet. We don't know exactly who at Sony bought it or what group has taken an interest in it. I can't say if it is cinema related.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3582
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 06-15-2018 05:45 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have seen some recent dcinex/CinemaNext Sony installations using the Proyecson Automation interface. It is far more limited than the JNIOR, but it is rack mountable. ;-) I understand why many techs prefer the small JNIOR form factor for some reasons, but I think the larger companies want something that can be 19" for planning reasons. Also, I believe Proyecson belongs to CinemaNext, or at least they have some sort of close relationship. You may try to contact CinemaNext and convince them about the JNIOR. They used JNIORs for their non-Sony installations, you probably know how many were sold to FTT/dcinex/CinemaNext in the last 10 years or so. One issue probably is that for a long time, the Sonys (also the predecessors of the current line) only supported GPIO for automation (and all Sonys offer very many GPIO ports), and the eCNA was never popular around here. So the majority of these installations were done using only dumb relay boxes. Also because the Sonys only learned raw TCP communication just a year ago, and few houses retrofit an existing installation with something smarter just for the fun of it.

Very typical - a small center with a Sony installation base only got their first JNIOR just recently when they bought a small NEC/Doremi combo for their latest small auditorium.

I think it is very important to stress the DMX capabilities now - while many cinema installers over here are allowed/certified to do electrical installations, lights and lighting control is often handed over to electrical contractors for new builds or major rebuilds, creating efforts to coordinate interfaces, cabling, planing, etc. Often it turns out that house light installations can not be controlled easily from cinema gear, cinema installers and electrical contractors have different schedules, etc. Control schemes/ambitions of electrical contractors differ from the cinema operators and installers.
Being able to use DMX resolves some of theses problems.

- Carsten

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Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

Posts: 28
From: Jeannette, PA, USA
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted 06-15-2018 07:20 AM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As an aside we now have 412DMX in stock. It has only been a couple of weeks and we have been surprised by the number already shipped. It is not a huge number but indicative of interest. It is encouraging. In a white paper I had described how you can do DMX with a standard 410. That uses an application program to generate the DMX output. In the 412DMX that is done by JANOS down at the operating system level. We're pleased with the performance.

It has pushed us a little bit to get some of the related development done. Kevin has been developing a DMX.JAR application offering a lot of flexibility for controlling DMX fixtures. Using the browser you can define fixtures and map them in the DMX512 universe. You can use sliders (faders) to manipulate those channels. There is also a way to define scenes and create sequences. I know that Rick and Kevin have been going back and forth creating features and polishing them. Uh... of course documentation is lagging behind. And, I need to be trained on it myself.

People like physical faders switches and controls. So I have been working to OEM a sweet low-end panel that could integrate with the JNIOR. Most of those have a direct DMX output so depending on what you are doing you wouldn't need the 412DMX. I have started talking with Elation who has an expansion panel without its own DMX output for their big console. That could connect to the JNIOR. The cool thing there is that it has high-features like motorized faders. That means when the JNIOR engages a previously defined scene all of the physical faders will actually move to those settings. That's cool.

There also eventually will be a JNIOR that works as a DMX fixture. That might not be far off if interest continues.

But as far as Sony goes, I would like to find the right person inside to enlighten. I am realigning INTEG to be even more responsive. In defining our roadmap forward I would like to include the interests of everyone in this market.

Our marketing in the cinema industry by the way still relies mostly on word of mouth. Thank you to everyone who has played a role in that. I plan to make JNIOR available to the IoT world where we will be spending on advertising. Yeah, we are working with AWS so maybe you can say "Alexa, start the pre-show in theater five". It's availability on Amazon.com is just the beginning of that. You know... just for fun.

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