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   » Large format projector advice

   
Author Topic: Large format projector advice
Steve Cohen
Film Handler

Posts: 6
From: Boca Raton, Fl, USA
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 06-09-2019 10:22 AM      Profile for Steve Cohen   Email Steve Cohen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Greetings,

I am looking for advise on replacing a projector that is used to show feature films on Blu-Ray. Currently we have a Barco NH-12. Our matte white screen size is about 26' X 14'. The screen is non-perforated and has 0 gain. The throw distance is about 125 feet.

We keep projectors at least 10 years so I would like to be as future proof as possible.

My questions are: which version of 4K do you think would be best for the non-digital cinema market to purchase? I assume we will be streaming content in the future as I think Blu-Rays will be discontinued over the next decade.

Should we stick with xenon lamps or look at laser. If laser is an option, the only 3 chip, DLP non-digital cinema projector at this point in the 12K lumen range is the Digital Projection Highlite 4K laser. I am hesitant to purchase a Digital Projection product as I am more familiar with Barco and Christie.

My last question is, should we go with a digital cinema projector such as the Barco SP4K-12 and purchase HDMI/DVI input cards?

Thank you in advance,
Steve

 |  IP: Logged

Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2250
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 06-10-2019 07:19 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you don't intend to play movies on DCP - ie new features before the home release - there is no reason to get a cinema projector.
There are two main differences between cinema and AV projectors. The cinema imager is 2048x1080 rather than the typical AV 1920x1080 (double these for 4K) with the extra pixels rarely used in non cinema content. The cinema projectors also have a sh!t ton of added security stuff that contributes nothing to a non-cinema application... and can easily shut the projector down for no relevant reason.

 |  IP: Logged

William Kucharski
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 229
From: Louisville, Colorado, United States of America
Registered: Oct 2012


 - posted 06-11-2019 06:43 AM      Profile for William Kucharski   Email William Kucharski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you're only going to show non-DCP content, you might be happier with something like a Barco F80-4K12 instead,

 |  IP: Logged

Steve Cohen
Film Handler

Posts: 6
From: Boca Raton, Fl, USA
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 06-11-2019 08:18 AM      Profile for Steve Cohen   Email Steve Cohen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Dave and William for the response.

Dave, the reasons for me considering a Digital Cinema projector are better manufacture Tech support, 12K lumen, 3chip, laser, and 4k. The only non-digital cinema projector made that meets these requirements is the Digital Projection HighLite laser. I am not familiar with Digital Projection products but am familiar with Christie and Barco. I will see if Digital Projection has this projector at Infocomm Thursday.

I was not aware of the issues with security shutting down a digital cinema projector when using HDMI or DVI inputs so that is something I need to explore.

William, the Barco F80-4K is a single chip projector.

 |  IP: Logged

Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2250
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 06-11-2019 09:52 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The security on a D-Cinema projector is extreme. Open a cover and it's down, but you just need to replace the cover and do whatever is needed to remarry or reauthorize the system... every brand has a different procedure which is pretty simple but can take a while if you don't have what's needed at hand - Barco uses a "Dallas Key" for many models (some just have a pushbutton) plus a password, Christie is a button and password, NEC needs a password and I think it can only be done through the PC program DCCS - there will be a delay. Possibly you can project DVI input with a security lock active but I haven't tried that.
Barco and Christie have xenon 3 chip AV projectors that seem identical to the cinema ones except for things like the security covers over the prism area - and the 1920x1080 or 3840x2160 chips.
laser is an option but personally I would wait for the products to mature a bit. I've seen some oddball problems with those we service, and the scheduled maintenance procedures have been changing to include some things that are not easy to do.
AV projectors generally have more scaling and image manipulation options compared to cinema projectors. The DMD projectors use the TI ICP board - integrated cinema processor - Barco has a version of it in their ICMP internal server - it offers some scaling and geometry correction but that's not supposed to be used for cinema projection and has an unwieldy interface. I'm only somewhat familiar with the Barco FLM and HDX AV projectors but the image manipulation interface is way better than any cinema projector I've tried it on.

 |  IP: Logged

Paul Finn
Film Handler

Posts: 30
From: Bay City, MI
Registered: Jan 2019


 - posted 06-11-2019 12:02 PM      Profile for Paul Finn   Email Paul Finn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You may also look into the Panasonic PT-DZ and PT-RZ series of pro AV projectors. There are sizes in both mercury-arc and laser versions in the range you are considering. The PT-DZ series is a workhorse and the PT-RZ laser series is a newer addition to the group.

Paul Finn

 |  IP: Logged

Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8056
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-11-2019 01:27 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Assuming that this is for a performing-arts center or some similar location: is this only for showing movies, or will there be other uses for it, possibly for effects for live performances or similar?

One issue with most D-cinema machines and xenon machines generally is that the tilt angle is somewhat limited. If you need to project up or down at a steep angle, you don't want xenon. In the past, the solution for this is the mercury lamp machines, although laser might work as well (does anyone know?).

Also, D-cinema machines do not have handles and rigging points like the "rental and staging" projectors do. This is likely a nonissue if it will sit in a booth for its entire life, but it might be if there is a need for it to be used as part of a live show.

On the other hand, if this is only for movies, D-cinema projectors would offer the option of adding a server later for DCI content in the future.

Finally, consider who will be operating the unit. Stagehands and "video" people in general will be most familiar with the "rental and staging" projectors, while cinema projectionists will be more familiar with D-cinema equipment. The operators who run your screenings may affect the decision one way or another.

The points made above about internal scaling and choice of inputs are important, too.

In the absence of all other issues, I would probably go with whatever the local dealer or service organization recommends and knows how to service.

 |  IP: Logged

Steve Cohen
Film Handler

Posts: 6
From: Boca Raton, Fl, USA
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 06-11-2019 02:15 PM      Profile for Steve Cohen   Email Steve Cohen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks everyone for the responses.

This projector is permanently installed in a projection booth on a pedestal at rear of house with a 125' throw. We prodomantaly show Blu-Ray movies but also use the projector for live performances. When the projector is used for live performances, the content is usually originates from a laptop with an HDMI output. We usually shift the lens up and zoom in a bit during a live performance to minimize projecting an image over the performer.

Most of the time to projector is run by experienced operators but we use a trained staff member to show Blu-Ray movies from time to time.

The existing Barco NH-12 is accomplishing everything we need at the moment as it natively does 1080P but we needed to replace a lamp power supply this past year and we think that the main power supply may be failing. In addition, lamp modules for this model are very expensive and only last 770 hours. The projector is about 11 years old and we want to have money in the budget to replace it this next budget cycle.

Its not the best time to replace the projector as laser is not proven and we have no idea what type of content we will need to be ready for if/when Blu-Rays are discontinued.

One vendor recommended going with a 3 chip xenon digital cinema projector as he said the lamps are much cheaper than an A/V projector lamp modules. I am a former 35 mm projectionist so am familiar with handling and changing xenon lamps.

I will be at Infocomm in the next day so I will demo a few projector and ask lots of questions.

Thanks again to all for taking the time to respond,

Steve

 |  IP: Logged

Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 4137
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 06-11-2019 04:33 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So, if you show Bluray movies regularly - would you consider showing DCPs as well? That would open possibilities to showing more current movies as well.

If the money is there to buy a D-Cinema machine - go ahead. You can use it's HDMI or DVI/DP inputs for all sorts of alternative content.

True, most AV projectors nowadays offer way more options for image manipulation that may be useful for live performances. DCI doesn't want cinemas to be able to do that to their precious content.

You throw ratio (125/26) is approx. 4.8:1 - you don't get suitable lenses in that range for some entry levels projectors. However, for the mentioned Barco SP4k, that should be no issue. Wondering wether Barco would sooner or later offer the SP4k platform for non-cinema applications as well. There certainly is a market for that type of machine.

- Carsten

 |  IP: Logged

Steve Cohen
Film Handler

Posts: 6
From: Boca Raton, Fl, USA
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 06-11-2019 04:58 PM      Profile for Steve Cohen   Email Steve Cohen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Carson,

At this point our non-theatrical distributor that we use only offers Bluray. Perhaps in the future that may change. The current lens ratio on our Barco NH-12 is 5.0-8.0:1.

 |  IP: Logged

Paul Finn
Film Handler

Posts: 30
From: Bay City, MI
Registered: Jan 2019


 - posted 06-12-2019 07:58 AM      Profile for Paul Finn   Email Paul Finn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What size and type of surface is the screen being used here? How close is the nearest seating? It may be that 4k vs. 2k should not be an issue in this application and 2k would be entirely satisfactory.

Please keep us informed of your decision(s) as it helps others facing similar situations.

Paul Finn

 |  IP: Logged

Steve Cohen
Film Handler

Posts: 6
From: Boca Raton, Fl, USA
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 06-12-2019 08:34 AM      Profile for Steve Cohen   Email Steve Cohen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul,

Our matte white screen size is about 26' X 14'. The screen is non-perforated and has 0 gain. The throw distance is about 125 feet.

The closest seat to the screen is about 10'.

 |  IP: Logged

Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 387
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 06-12-2019 08:09 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Steve, I believe you mean "unity" screen gain, which is valued as "1." I believe a "0" would be a black wall! [Smile]

Some screens, such as translucent ones for rear-screen projection, lose a lot of light and are more like an 0.6 or so. Thus the scale in this manner.

Your screen will be blissfully free of hot-spotting, and these days that's a rare thing.

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)  
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.