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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » SCREEN X - how good is i? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: SCREEN X - how good is i?
Claude S. Ayakawa
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From: Waipahu, Hawaii, USA
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 - posted 07-10-2019 08:00 PM      Profile for Claude S. Ayakawa   Author's Homepage   Email Claude S. Ayakawa   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am sorry if this was discussed before but if it was I never saw it. Regal Dole Cannery Theatre here in Honolulu recently was set up with a Screen X three screen format and I did not know anything about it until today when someone posted a Facebook comment about it. I know it features three screens with one in the centre and two on each side and was wondering how good is it.

Like 3D, does a theatre charge extra for it and have there been a lot of movies already released in the process ?

-Claude

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Daniel Schulz
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 - posted 07-10-2019 08:27 PM      Profile for Daniel Schulz   Author's Homepage   Email Daniel Schulz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There is one Screen X screen here in Los Angeles, and I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales a few years back. I was not impressed. The Screen X system lit up much more of the side walls than Barco Escape in a dramatic way, but was not utilized for the entire feature, and the extra imagery was clearly not created by the original production. I think it would be an interesting technology for a theme park application, but for regular motion picture viewing I found it to be distracting and detrimental to the image quality of the primary image onscreen (negatively impacting contrast on the main screen). The Screen X showing did have an upcharge.

That said, it's interesting, and I'd encourage you to at least check it out once.

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Claude S. Ayakawa
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 - posted 07-10-2019 08:50 PM      Profile for Claude S. Ayakawa   Author's Homepage   Email Claude S. Ayakawa   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Daniel.

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Terry Monohan
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 - posted 07-11-2019 11:08 AM      Profile for Terry Monohan   Email Terry Monohan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The two new San Francisco Theatres going in now will have this Screen X system put in .

The UA/Regal Stonestown 11 and the former space that the AMC Van Ness Theatre was in are both getting this screen along with 4D X.

Screen X always looks better with a new build that they have the surround speakers aimed way down from the top of the ceiling. There is nothing worse when they put the two side wall projectors in a older cinema, you can see the side surround speakers on the picture.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 07-11-2019 11:10 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Such a stupid idea! They are trying to give a deep curved screen effect and all they have to do is put in a deeply curved screen to do that on. The "you are there" effect is a thousand times better on a deep curved screen. And if they'd be using three projectors on said curved screen than pixel loss would not be so high. For a number of years I did work for a chain in the Mountain States that had a lot of deeply curved screens, and when we started installing digital for them I noticed the pixel loss was so high after setting up the masking that they may as well have been running 16mm.

Mark

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Daniel Schulz
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 - posted 07-11-2019 04:57 PM      Profile for Daniel Schulz   Author's Homepage   Email Daniel Schulz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Gulbrandsen
Such a stupid idea! They are trying to give a deep curved screen effect and all they have to do is put in a deeply curved screen to do that on. The "you are there" effect is a thousand times better on a deep curved screen. And if they'd be using three projectors on said curved screen than pixel loss would not be so high.
Given how good seamless image stitching has become, it does seem like a really good time to bring back 3-projector Cinerama. 3 RGB laser 4K projectors filling in a deep-curve screen would be pretty cool...

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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 - posted 07-11-2019 09:25 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'd settle for one projector with lens ground for the deep curve!

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 07-12-2019 07:33 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I'd settle for one projector with lens ground for the deep curve!
Just so it minimizes the loss of pixels after masking. I am inclined to agree that three (4K) projectors might actually be better. It certainly would be brighter and require smaller lamps...

Mark

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Marcel Birgelen
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 - posted 07-12-2019 07:45 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The biggest problem with stitching DLP images together is the awful black levels. Even the RGB laser machines still leak so much light, that you really can see the overlap, without adding some extra filtering.

What you would want is a big farm of Barco 909s on the ceiling in the front of those screens. Those things could be edge-blended to perfection... [Wink]

If you're doing projection mapping on a large building outside, the black levels aren't a problem, they vanish in the ambient light, but inside a dark room like a cinema, you're going to notice quite quickly when stuff is off.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 07-12-2019 09:02 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Marcel, All conemas have some ambient light in relation to projector black level. SMPTE was actually working on a spec for this many years ago... donno why they seemed to drop the ball on it though. Many rooms have a tad bit excessive ambient light just due to emergency egress lights that are required by local fire code. I have had customers that tried to wire lamps in egress lighting fixtures in series, or use glow in the dark lettering instead only to be caught during yearly fire inspections. The basic code is the same everywhere for it. You also must have a certain minimum "foot candle" level of lighting on aisles so people do not fall (They will anyway, but then they can not sue). I have a customer that was once sued because the foot candle level was too low and a patron was injured in the stadium area. Patron won a 50K dollar jugment and my customer had to replace ALL the aisle lighting in an 8 screen theater so it would meet code. So I think that in this country the black level is less critical, because in a lot of situations the ambient lighting is going to be above the black level anyway.

Mark

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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From: Annapolis, MD
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 - posted 07-12-2019 11:01 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What I like about the single lens approach is that it would work with any projector and any server and any movie. One less proprietary thing to go out of fashion costing exhibitors yet more $$$ for short-lived gimmicks.

In my years in the industry, I've found that people tend to go to deep-curved screens (which are also typically associated with large screens). Getting the distortion out of the picture would be great, however. One thing we did have at the Uptown in DC when running 70mm are lenses that effectively corrected for the curve.

I really think if Schneider/ISCO came out with deep curve lenses/attachments, there would be a set of cinemas that would buy them. They'd be very expensive but where they would go in, so are the screens that they would project on.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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Well, not just any projector. Yo9u wopuld need 4K plus lamp size if you are going to be on any kind of screen. Where as you cold probably get away with 2 to 3kw lamps on a three projector setup. I think light distribution wold also be better in a triple setup.

Mark

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Marcel Birgelen
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 - posted 07-12-2019 06:14 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Gulbrandsen
Marcel, All conemas have some ambient light in relation to projector black level. SMPTE was actually working on a spec for this many years ago... donno why they seemed to drop the ball on it though.
Sure, but those ambient light levels, even in the worst case, are nothing compared to those of a church, office building or some castle in some theme park under the open skies.

Put two standard DCI projectors side by side, simply project a non-overlapping black image at the screen on both and turn the lights off. Even with the ambient light from aisle lightning and emergency exit signs, you'll exactly see the contours of both projections and where they overlap. The most used solution right now is to "raise the black level" of the part of the image that doesn't overlap.

Well, it's great to have more resolution (as in more pixels), but it sucks giving up contrast (as in less "color resolution").

There are some edge blending kits for some projectors, which you put in front of your lens and are used as "contrast corrector", but those things are pretty hard to work with.

In any case, stitching images together using multiple projectors will require either a non-DCI distribution or an extension of the DCI standard.

quote: Steve Guttag
I really think if Schneider/ISCO came out with deep curve lenses/attachments, there would be a set of cinemas that would buy them. They'd be very expensive but where they would go in, so are the screens that they would project on.
I'm wondering what kind of lenses they're using for those Warren (now Regal) Grand Infinity screens, they do have a pretty deep curved screen and I guess they do at the least some optical adjustment.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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Schneider did make some primes, and also a few lenses for giant screen theaters. Dwight always said the DLP lenses are extremely difficult to grind because there are multiple flourite elements in them. And flourite is soft and shatters easily in the grinding machine. So I guess it took them several years. Beyond that I have not kept track of it.

Mark

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Bobby Henderson
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quote: Marcel Birgelen
I'm wondering what kind of lenses they're using for those Warren (now Regal) Grand Infinity screens, they do have a pretty deep curved screen and I guess they do at the least some optical adjustment.
If there was any adjustment going on it sure as hell wasn't working. I visited the Warren Broken Arrow theater one time (not long after the theater had just first opened before Regal bought out the existing Warren locations). I did not like the image quality at all. Not one bit. Bill Warren is fixing to open a new Warren location not owned by Regal in Midwest City, OK. It's supposed to have 4 big screen Infinity houses. I'm hoping those houses don't have deep curved screens.

The fatal problem was the sheer height of the auditorium and the position of the projector port. The two Grand Infinity houses have standard sloped seating on the ground level, but also have balconies. The projector port is above the balcony level. So it's aiming down at a VERY STEEP angle at an extremely curved screen. Any higher and the projector port would have been coming out of the ceiling.

I don't think there's a feasible way to overcome the optical/geometrical issues of that situation. I'm sure they probably had very expensive lenses with custom ground glass made as well as the best keystone correction available in a digital projector. Whatever steps they took just didn't work. All one needed to confirm this problem was looking at a green band on the front of a movie trailer. The white lines of lettering on the green background were not remotely level at all. The lines of copy took on an obvious smile shape. The image wasn't badly out of focus, but it wasn't crisp enough to really show off 4K resolution either.

The really tall auditorium ceiling wasn't great for Atmos either. I didn't hear those ceiling surround speakers at all.

How many FT participants visited the National Twin theater in Times Square back in the day? I visited the theater only a couple or so times. My go-to choice most of the time was the Ziegfeld. I'd visit other theaters like the Astor Plaza, Lowes 34th St Showplace, City Cinemas' Cinema One or Gramercy Theater when the Ziegfeld wasn't showing a given movie in 70mm. Anyway, the National Twin theater had a tall main auditorium with a balcony. IIRC, the projector ports were under the balcony in order to have a more direct aim at the screen. If you were sitting in the back row on the ground level it would have not been difficult to reach a hand up in front of the projector beam. And this theater didn't have a deeply curved screen. One complaint: next to the screen there were these curved architectural columns. They did a good job of reflecting ambient light back onto the left and right ends of the screen. But, other than that, I do like the idea of having a projector port built aiming at the dead center of the screen. A deep curved screen and projector with custom glass can probably work well in that arrangement.

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