Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Dolby CP950 (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Dolby CP950
Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7382
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 04-03-2019 07:43 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thought this launch deserves its own thread, given that this is likely to be a widely sold and installed audio processor. It's been on display at the Dolby booth at Cinemacon. My thoughts:

PROS

- Booth monitor and crossover built in
- Web UI that is very similar to that of the CP850 (so only a small learning curve for installation techs, and no separate PC app needed for tuning, etc.)
- Can be made Atmos-capable by adding a card
- Has HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 pass-through for alternative content audio
- Same ballpark price as the CP750

CONS

- No analog inputs
- HDMI input cannot decode DTS
- Possibly, early adopter bug discovery if you buy now; might need to go through a few firmware update cycles before it's a "set and forget" proposition

IMHO, this will be a very attractive proposition for mainstream 'plex screens (significantly more functionality than the CP750 for a similar price), though the lack of any analog inputs will make it less suitable for arthouse venues and installations that combine d-cinema with other projection sources.

 |  IP: Logged

Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12653
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 04-04-2019 09:41 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the Dolby "ecosystem," which all are migrating to the same web-ui, there is the DMA (Dolby Multichannel Amplifier) so installation could be as simple as running a single Ethernet cable from the CP950 to the DMA...done. The DMA is available in 16, 24 and 32-channel variants and is only 4U tall with a crap-ton of redundancy.

So, for a straight up 5.1/7.1 system, that has no need for multichannel analog sources, it probably will win the battle on size of sound system in how compact everything is.

Naturally, the CP950 has analog outputs to feed traditional cinema sound topologies too...16 channels of them so crossovers up to tri-amp are covered.

It should also be noted that the CP950 has the tuning power of the CP850 (swept sine wave via up to an 8 mic plex) complete with the ability to do a manual tuning, again like the CP850

 |  IP: Logged

Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 3134
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 04-04-2019 03:39 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What I don't really get is why they put BLU Link support into it, but seemingly no direct support for Dante.

At least if they'd put in the latter, the lack of analog audio ports could probably be easily solved via a simple and relatively cheap DAC interface with Dante support.

 |  IP: Logged

Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 878
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 04-04-2019 04:34 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I believe ATMOS Connect is BLU link, so that support was probably brought over from the CP850. It's possible to license FPGA code that accepts I2S or I8S audio and drops it onto BLU link.

Harold

 |  IP: Logged

Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8102
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-04-2019 04:48 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They really built a processor with no analog input? That is going to bite anyone who does festival screenings or special events in a venue with this type of processor. I'm guessing that there is no 35mm film support, either?

I guess that this could be worked around with a separate ADC, but that is annoying.

(No doubt, this is probably a perfectly fine product for the average multiplex, but even those places do rentals and other events at times.)

 |  IP: Logged

Jarod Reddig
Master Film Handler

Posts: 467
From: Hays, Ks
Registered: Jun 2011


 - posted 04-04-2019 05:48 PM      Profile for Jarod Reddig   Email Jarod Reddig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If it wasn't for the lack of analog inputs I would really love this processor. Even so when using the Dolby DMA like Steve said would be a simple little set-up.

 |  IP: Logged

Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12653
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 04-04-2019 06:13 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wouldn't have put Dante on a product like the CP950. They are already AES67/Blu-link. Having Dante in there would have added a licensing cost for very little benefit. However, there is a decent point on the potential to bring in analog via an AES67, if they had the code/ability to do it.

But, if it were me, there would have been the analog multi-channel input and it would have been pretty complete product for what it could be.

 |  IP: Logged

Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 3134
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 04-05-2019 02:11 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Scott Norwood
They really built a processor with no analog input? That is going to bite anyone who does festival screenings or special events in a venue with this type of processor. I'm guessing that there is no 35mm film support, either?
It does have a stereo non-sync input. No 35mm support either, but that was somehow to be expected.

quote: Harold Hallikainen
I believe ATMOS Connect is BLU link, so that support was probably brought over from the CP850. It's possible to license FPGA code that accepts I2S or I8S audio and drops it onto BLU link.
Yes, Atmos Connect is BLU link, or at least it's based on it (I don't know if they've extended it with their own proprietary stuff).

There are some pretty expensive processors out there that can get you from analog to BLU link right now. Still, more doable than to build your own interfaces. I guess since even the ARM processor on a Raspberry Pi could do most of the legwork needed in software, there is not even a need for an FPGA in there. [Wink] My biggest problem with BLU Link is that it's yet another proprietary protocol, with no readily available specifications and most likely quite some licensing costs.

quote: Steve Guttag
But, if it were me, there would have been the analog multi-channel input and it would have been pretty complete product for what it could be.
I guess that's something almost everybody agrees upon. But that's why I went looking for a decent alternative to get those channels into the machine.

I don't know about licensing costs for Dolby, but it looks like they don't like to pay for any licensing where possible. They also skimped on the DTS licenses.

But I'd say that such a licensing powerhouse like Dolby, would probably have sufficient bargaining power to get the licenses for their devices rather cheap. Also, we're not really talking about consumer-grade equipment here, were every dollar you save can make the difference between profit or loss.

AES67 might even be a better solution than Dante or BLU Link, since it's an entirely open standard, but right now, the amount of products available for it are still a bit lagging and for whatever reason often even more expensive than Dante products...

 |  IP: Logged

Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 4222
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 04-05-2019 03:08 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Again, I don't think the missing DTS decoding is a real issue anymore, as long as it DOES have HDMI LPCM multichannel audio capability. Many, if not most of todays Bluray-Players and other devices can decode all Dolby and DTS codecs to LPCM. This is typically done by autonegotiation between source and sink (No DTS-HD Master decode->Switch to Multichannel LPCM).
That was no option for the CP750, as it only had SPDIF/TOSLINK connectivity which can not convey multichannel LPCM.

If the CP950 comes at the same price as the CP750, and includes an upgrade path to ATMOS, I guess it's not such a bad choice, given that it offers internal crossovers, which saves quite a bit of additional gear and setup cost for external crossovers, monitor, etc..

- Carsten

 |  IP: Logged

Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12653
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 04-05-2019 07:32 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm a bit puzzled why people think having crossovers in a CP is such a big deal. That, to me, just increases wiring and often limits you do the basics of crossovers (LR-24 at some frequency that hopefully you know). Many/most amplifiers have crossover options for them that cuts your wiring down and likely is at least as good a crossover as in a typical CP.

If I'm particular about my crossovers, I'll want to have them external or part of a DSP system of my preference. I can only think of one maybe two installations in the past where I used internal CP crossovers and eventually pulled them out and went a more traditional way.

To each their own, I guess.

As for HDMI...it is a dangerous connector/format. I don't believe most Blu-ray players come out of the box ready to switch to LPCM though it may be a configuration so I do predict instances of no-sound. But as others have said, Dolby not licensing DTS is to be "expected." The Blu-link output is configurable to be AES67 so you are not locked into that format. The return is just Blu-link. Too bad it isn't configurable too as an AES67 input.

 |  IP: Logged

Greg Routenburg
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 176
From: Toronto, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 04-09-2019 03:20 PM      Profile for Greg Routenburg   Email Greg Routenburg   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can only think of one occasion in the last 3 years that I've needed a 6ch analog input on a processor so I'm not heartbroken that it's missing. Having said that, if I needed such a beast, I'm wondering if the two RJ45 AES inputs (AES 1-4 & AES 5 - 8) could be assigned to different formats in the processor individually. If so, you could theoretically use 3 stereo SPDIF ADCs and balancing transformers to create a 6ch analog input through one of the AES ports. I know the two standards aren't identical but they usually play nice unless there is something really sophisticated happening but that's not the case here.

 |  IP: Logged

Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 4222
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 09-10-2019 08:20 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is there a recommendation already for a suitable 6/8ch ADC to input analog surround sound from e.g. a traditional 35mm processor into the CP950?

Yes, one could think of using three separate cheap S/P-DIF converters - but these are not clock synced, and may cause issues. While multichannel audio converters are quite often seen in the music/audio production domain, those with multiple discrete AES/EBU outputs are hard to find and prohibitively expensive. Music production settled mostly on ADAT or DANTE for multichannel interfaces. Does Dolby already suggest something? As it seems, the ATMOS Connect/AES67 input on the CP950 is not functional?

The AJA ADA4 would be a candidate, but it only offers 4 analog input channels, so two would be required for 5.1.
.

- Carsten

 |  IP: Logged

Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8102
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-10-2019 08:39 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What about passively mixing the outputs of the CP950 and the film processor together before feeding the amplifiers?

One venue where I work occasionally does something like this. They have a CP650 for 35mm optical/digital and D-cinema and a CP200 for 35/70 mag. These outputs are mixed together and then feed the QSC monitor/crossover and amplifiers. The LE/RE from the CP200 are also sent to the monitor/crossover. This seems to work fine, and the sound quality is good. The only downside is having separate faders and sound changeover systems for mag and optical/SRD.

 |  IP: Logged

Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 4222
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 09-10-2019 08:45 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Many will probably use the internal crossovers of the CP950, so, the speaker configuration then is specific to the 950. We just have that issue on a german forum (connecting a CP500 for film), and, you would either go full passive, or the filmsound processor would need to do the same active crossover to enable this (e.g. CP500/650). You would also need to calibrate/EQ both systems separately. Unless you use external active crossovers. There are certainly multiple ways to solve the issue, but, none is cheap or easy or elegant.

I think this will come up quite often now that the CP950 hits the streets. Quite a few sites will probably try to add a pre-existing CP65/DA20, CP500 or CP650 for filmsound to a CP950. I can see the rollyes of the Dolby sales people, and the reluctant nodding of their engineers when they hear 'And what about our film sound?'

- Carsten

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10871
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 09-10-2019 12:00 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
- Booth monitor and crossover built in
- Web UI that is very similar to that of the CP850 (so only a small learning curve for installation techs, and no separate PC app needed for tuning, etc.)
- Can be made Atmos-capable by adding a card
- Has HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 pass-through for alternative content audio
- Same ballpark price as the CP750

If the CP950 can be made Atmos-capable simply by adding a card, how does the price of adding that card to a CP950 compare to the price of a CP850 with Atmos capability out of the box?

I think Dolby Atmos has been rolling out to movie theaters at a very slow pace in part because of the really high cost of the CP850. Dolby slashed a few grand off the price a couple or so years after the CP850 was first released, but it was still really expensive. Combined with other factors (like needing to buy a shit-ton more amplifiers) Atmos turned into a very cost prohibitive equation for most theaters.

If the CP950 with Atmos capability and the new Dolby multichannel amplifiers can dramatically lower costs and make installation easier that could lead to a lot more theaters installing Atmos.

quote: Carsten Kurz
Again, I don't think the missing DTS decoding is a real issue anymore, as long as it DOES have HDMI LPCM multichannel audio capability. Many, if not most of todays Bluray-Players and other devices can decode all Dolby and DTS codecs to LPCM.
Just about any Blu-ray player will feature basic internal DTS decoding for output to a non-surround playback device, such as the built-in speakers of a HDTV set. It's similar to how Dolby Digital was handled in many DVD players. Not all Blu-ray players are capable of 5.1/7.1 LPCM output of decoded DTS-HD Master Audio streams. It's an important point to consider since DTS-HD remains the dominant audio format on Blu-ray. But that's only if the given theater plays any alternative content off Blu-ray disc.

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.