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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Barco versus Christie - Has anyone used both? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Barco versus Christie - Has anyone used both?
Martin Thuss
Film Handler

Posts: 20
From: Strathoy, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Nov 2013


 - posted 02-10-2014 12:10 PM      Profile for Martin Thuss   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Thuss   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Among many other things, I am comparing various projectors. I know that Barco and Christie are the major players. I also expect that those who have used only Barco will say that Barco is the best and those who have used only Christie will say that Christie is the best.

So, without trying to start a war [Wink] , has anyone used *both* Barco and Christie projectors enough to have a decent idea of the pros and cons of each? If it helps, we are looking at three auditoriums of approximately 225, 175 and 125 seats each, respectively. We would like to do 3D in at least one auditorium (the largest one).

Christie is actually based in Kitchener, Ontario ... a little over an hour's drive from where I live, so I'm headed there Thursday for a tour of the factory and some demos.

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Andrew Thomas
Master Film Handler

Posts: 273
From: Pearland, TX, USA
Registered: Jun 2012


 - posted 02-10-2014 08:08 PM      Profile for Andrew Thomas   Email Andrew Thomas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think most of the differences between all three DLP manufacturers are negligible and mostly preference. The big differences to me are between the different sized DMDs.

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Sam D. Chavez
Film God

Posts: 2153
From: Martinez, CA USA
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted 02-10-2014 10:39 PM      Profile for Sam D. Chavez   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This topic has been kicked around in other threads but we all have definite opinions about what we like best.

I've sold and installed both Barco and Christie and tend to stay away from NEC as they seem comparatively crude. All will get you there though.

Christie seems to have a huge numbers advantage in Canada so there would seem to be compelling reasons to go that way.

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Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1445
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 02-11-2014 01:30 PM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've now worked with both. Your question is like asking an automobile driver if they prefer a Ford over a Chevrolet brand vehicle. They both "do" the same thing. They were built and designed by different people.

They each have their good points and bad. Having worked with both, for me these two brands are almost equal from an operational standpoint. I will say that I have always heard that Christie's stuff wasn't that good, before I worked with them. However, since I've worked with Christie 2210s and 2220s for a few years - they haven't had many problems (knock on wood). I was equally impressed with the Barcos I worked with. So, again, they are on an even playing field for me.

Now, if you want to talk about N.E.C.s or even the dreaded Sonys - that would be an entirely different story.

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Martin Thuss
Film Handler

Posts: 20
From: Strathoy, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Nov 2013


 - posted 02-11-2014 01:40 PM      Profile for Martin Thuss   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Thuss   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That is pretty much what I expected to hear ... those who have used only Barco say Christie sucks, those who have used only Christie say Barco sucks and those who have used both say they are pretty much on equal footing. I eliminated both NEC and Sony from consideration pretty early.

Given my physical proximity to Christie, I will likely go that way. It's nice to know that if things get bad enough I can actually go and bang on someone's door. [Wink]

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Phil Ranucci
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 236
From: Carpinteria,CA, United States
Registered: May 2006


 - posted 02-11-2014 02:06 PM      Profile for Phil Ranucci   Email Phil Ranucci   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One thing to be aware of is that you'll have to replace the Christie filters while you'll clean the Barco's. Three screens and a full schedule could add up over the years. Christie's lamp change is dead simple while Barco has the removable lamphouse that is a bit more involved.Who will be doing lamp changes?
The Christie uses the touch screen for everything, while the Barco is controlled by the side panel. A potential problem, but not a deal breaker.
Since you're close to Christie, I think you'll be very happy with them, and I've found their support to be very good.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16657
From: Music City
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-11-2014 03:34 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Dennis Benjamin
Now, if you want to talk about N.E.C.s or even the dreaded Sonys - that would be an entirely different story.

While I can't speak for Series 1 NEC's I can for Series 2. They've been uber reliable out here. With an installed base of well over 200 now I've had three actual breakdowns (none of which resulted in lost screen time) since the appearance of the Series 2 projectors. No complaints from me or any of my customers. Some of them are now just over three years old.

Speaking of filters... I've seen popcorn oil dripping inside Christie DLP lamphouses, Barko's all covered in dust internally but the NEC's all still look brand new inside, like they were delivered yesterday.

Sony... Bah!

Mark

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 894
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 02-11-2014 06:29 PM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Phil says it's more involved to change a bulb on a Barco, but in reality its 4 flathead screws and the entire lamphouse just slides out. Not really a con. If anything, it may be a plus, depending on what all a exploded bulb would do inside a Christie and the cost of both.

Cliffs notes- Removable lamphouse is less than negligible labor changing a bulb. I know nothing of Christies so I won't comment, but our series 1 Barcos have been great and look great.

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 777
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 02-11-2014 06:36 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Count us as a Canadian drive-in with a Barco (23B). Filters are super-easy to clean, bulbs are easy as I recall, I was shown how by our tech but haven't had to replace one. We'll be doing that this spring, though our tech is coming up to check everything before warranty ends, so I'll have him do it. I've replaced an enigma board myself (with Brad's help, we have the "Film-Tech" system). Have never seen the Christie's, I'd be leery of paper filters in comparison. The Barco chip is also apparently completely sealed to dust, which some drive-ins were concerned about, though the booth is much different now with full ventilation and a/c system, possibly not a big concern. Was talking with an owner in southwestern Ontario today, he went with Barco after being quoted $3,000 for Christie's basic training seminar versus $150 for Barco's down in Sacramento, for what it's worth...

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Martin Thuss
Film Handler

Posts: 20
From: Strathoy, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Nov 2013


 - posted 02-12-2014 06:34 AM      Profile for Martin Thuss   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Thuss   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I asked the Christie rep about training the other day and he said that any basic training I might need (use and basic maintenance) would be provided by my installer/integrator. In any event, it looks like the digital cinema training courses offered by Christie are available in Kitchener, so when you factor in the cost of travel to Sacramento and the fact that I could just drive to Kitchener each day (no hotel stay), that cost gap becomes much smaller.

I'll have to ask about the paper filters and "lamphouses dripping in popcorn oil" when I'm at the Christie facility tomorrow.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16657
From: Music City
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-12-2014 07:19 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All three brands are very easy to change lamps in.
Reflector change out in case of explosion is another story... Barko wants to sell you the whole lamphouse module. Christie you have to remove the top of the projector and some other stuff to gain full access to replace the mirror, NEC... two screws and the whole mirror assembly slides out the back of the projector. The new one goes right back in the same way.

Mark

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Terry Lynn-Stevens
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1081
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2012


 - posted 02-12-2014 08:37 AM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Martin Thuss
Barco and Christie projectors enough to have a decent idea of the pros and cons of each?
From a person who pays for the odd movie, if I were paying, I would pay for a movie that is showing in a auditorium equipped with Barco projectors. This is just my opinion and the perception that I have got based on the theatres in my area. To me, the perception is that Barco looks better.

Cineplex uses Christie projectors in a lot of their theatres, they have never looked great IMO, Cineplex has been known for going the cheap route and they often cut corners. Their new non AVX theatres use no masking which significantly hurts the presentation. Cineplex always looks washed out IMO.

The former Empire Theatres in my area use Barcos in some of their auditoriums. Empire almost always uses masking and their presentations always looks brighter, sharper and usually more colorful.

Rainbow used to have some really good 35mm presentations (best in the city perhaps), they employed an experienced full time projectionist at that time but I can't comment on Rainbows digital presentations but I think they have gone with Christie.

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Chris Slycord
Film God

Posts: 2986
From: 퍼항시, 경상푹도, South Korea
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted 02-12-2014 02:31 PM      Profile for Chris Slycord   Email Chris Slycord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's like saying that I should avoid Honda cars because a bunch of drunks crashed them.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17775
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 02-12-2014 02:34 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Terry, you may be comparing early series 1 at Cineplex projectors before the "dark chip" was introduced in late models of series 1. Those will always look poor.

Rainbow uses series 1 Barco and NEC.

We run all 3 (and Sony) on our NOC. I'm not saying Barco or NEC aren't good projectors, but Christie has the lowest number of failures of all them.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

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From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-12-2014 02:40 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have series 1 BARCO NEC and CHRISTIES depending on the locaation and Series 2 NEC and Christies in others depending on many variables Serries 1 is all Dolby 100 series servers the Series two all have GDC servers

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