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Dolby IMS3000 package 3.5.13 has been released

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  • Dolby IMS3000 package 3.5.13 has been released

    It has been a while but Dolby has finally released the next software/firmware package for the IMS3000 (3.5.13) and it is a significant change. The entire look and feel of the UI has changed. I, personally, find it much easier to read. Most everything has been relocated, however. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes, it seems like change for change's sake. For instance, 3.4 and earlier put all of the info, logout and that sort of stuff on the it is on the upper-right (right under the meters, if you have the sound processor option. The volume level indicator has become rather small.

    The big change, in terms of where things are located is that most everything is on the left column with a de-emphasis on tabs across the screen.

    Screen Shot 2022-09-15 at 8.48.47 AM.png

    Note, on Cinelister...all three portions are accessed with the left column...and selecting Cinelister does not open you into Editor, it just opens the Cinelister part of the side-menu. This means that most things are now 2-clicks away.

    Within Cinelister, Editor looks mostly like its previous self but adds a nice "Start Playback" button. Thus, if you are making a test can create it and immediately load and start playback with just one button press. Note, this works for selecting a previously made SPL too...just open the desired SPL and hit "Start Playback" and you are will automatically switch you to the playback section of Cinelister. Of note, if you are in schedule mode, it will still let you start playback of your content without taking you out of schedule mode.

    I'm curious as to what people think of the playback screen. It is pretty different. Of note, the SPL window (the one that essentially shows what you see in Editor, where you are, what has played) is significantly smaller (less information is shown at one time). Depending on your window size/ may only see between 3 and 8 lines. Yes, you can scroll, but who wants to do that? For this reduction in size, you get nearly edge-to-edge progress bars for the show. If you can't find your icons for things like playback or eject or schedule...try looking in the opposite location...they're probably there.

    They've gone back to the Control Panel as a catch all for things they didn't know what to do with or didn't want to make the left column absurdly long. This is more reminiscent of the IMS1000/2000 UI and, of course the original DCP2000 concept of a collection of disparate apps. So, when setting up a new server...most everything you'll need to fool with are collected there.

    I don't think any functionality has been lost...just moved about or it may look a little different but it is probably there, somewhere. They have spent a lot of effort to get the server to "chase" for dual-projector systems. They have also stepped up its game with respect to formats with 4K60 being added for those projectors that can handle it as well as the HFR 3D stuff. I suggest proceeding with caution on the 4K/60 front. You have to enable it in Device Manager, as before. I tried it on a Barco S4 and could not get the image formatted correctly (it was anamorphic appearing) on 2K content (remember, this isn't a per-content is done in Device Manager and on the projector) and you'll have 2K content mixed into 4K shows for the foreseeable future. I didn't have enough time to flesh this one out but proceed with caution. anyone that has it working properly, I'm interested to know what you did.

    Lastly, there is a patch that should be installed at the same time as this update, Patch 1.0.0. It's small and goes in pretty fast.

  • #2
    They were demo-ing this at Cinemacon and it then took them five months actually to release it, so there must have been some serious bugs to iron out. Either that, or they anticipate a flood of support requests in response to the new UI, and were gearing up for that.

    Apart from in TMS-based venues in which the actual server's UI is never used, I'll be reluctant to roll this out to my customers, at least without discussing it with them, unless they actually need either the chase or 4K60 features, or are directly impacted by one of the bug fixes listed. For less confident users (e.g. technicians in mixed use venues that only play DCPs a few times a year), this will be a big shock.

    And why require a hotfix directly with the release?! Could they not have incorporated it into the main package? It's one thing to release a hotfix six months later in response to a critical bug being discovered, but publishing one actually with the release version suggests to me that the development of this new software version was somewhat chaotic.


    • #3
      Conversely, I'll be rolling it out to all of our clients. There is a bug fix in this version not present in previous versions...there is the situation where the first show of the day could fail to start due an incorrect assessment of a valid KDM. It doesn't happen often but if you support a lot of people, as I do, you get to see even 1% issues show up a lot (there are a lot of 1st shows of the day over the course of months). 3.5.13 does address that problem. Personally, I'd also offer a hotfix to address this in 3.4.11 because it's true, if you are not interested in the features (does not apply the equipment in use), you shouldn't need to upgrade an entire system just to fix a bug.

      I also agree that packaging a hotfix with a release seems strange...roll it into a 3.5.14 but you'd have to speak to someone at Dolby for that one.

      As for the time lag between releases. It seems like Dolby is quite slow at releasing IMS software...particularly on the IMS3000. I don't know why. One would have to know what sort of engineering resources are put behind the software versus the demand for an update versus what their comfort level is with known issues. Because I participate in various beta programs, I'm not a liberty to discuss how things were along the way but I would not characterize the time lag from CinemaCon to be one due to serious major bugs. IMS3000 updates seem to just move at turtle pace for everything. Compared to the Dolby DSS line, where updates were relatively frequent and nimble...these are not. Then again, the DSS line didn't change its look and feel once version 4 hit. The biggest change to the UI was for the CAT745 to allow for input source and then the Intermission feature. While GDC will pump out build rarely knows what the differences are as the UI pretty much stays the same (and I'm not saying that is a bad thing, at all).

      I like the color change on the new IMS3000 UI, a lot. I'm not too sure I like the new layout(s), however. I have to presume someone was pushing for those for them to go through so much effort.


      • #4
        I have installed around 100 IMS3000s, and have around 30-40 under active care (either service contract customers, or those who book one-time calls regularly enough that they might as well be), all of them currently on 3.4.11. No-one has ever reported experiencing the "first show of the day" bug to me (though that doesn't mean that it hasn't happened - they might just have rebooted it and carried on, without reporting it). However, I do experience customers complaining loudly and often when they have to learn a new GUI; especially so when operators used to the SX-3000 have to tackle the SR-1000, and those familiar with the DolRemi web UI from the ShowVault to the IMS2000 have to transition to the (now old) IMS3000 layout. So I will certainly forewarn end users that the web UI is going to change a lot if this update is installed, and give them the option of sticking with 3.4.11 unless bugs or other issues force their hand.

        IMHO, Dolby leaving the DSS/Show Manager UI alone for the entire product lifespan was a wise, customer/end user friendly decision, a principle that was unwisely abandoned when they ditched it in favor of the DolRemi platform. Unnecessary major changes to a user interface create stress, cost time, and reduce productivity for the users of computer-based business tools.


        • #5
          What comes to mind in this is the question as to how much of the underlying code changes when the GUI is radically changed. I agree that the GUI change leads to potential frustration and support. Changing the look and feel of a product is one thing, rewriting a good chunk of underlying code is another. The latter opens the door for new bugs and at a minimum performance alterations. So a new layout would make me a bit nervous in updating as well. I mean, why did all of that change?

          But from Steve's perspective if there is a specific bug or even bugs that have been plaguing at least his customers then maybe the update is still worth the risk? You have to take everything into consideration.

          We've discussed the to-update or not-to-update question over and over let alone the dreaded auto-update. I am not sure though that making a big change in a product just for fun makes any sense. So what do they have in mind? Did the underlying system change? Is this more indicative of something bigger at Dolby?


          • #6
            At this point, all of my more manual customers (Screening rooms and Art) are on 3.5. The TMS customers are involved with the UI so infrequently that they have no stated preference.

            I absolutely understand and agree that a UI change is traumatic. Just look at Windows. Just when you think you know where something is...they up and move it (sometimes, it seems just for being different's sake).

            I, actually, much prefer the SR-1000's UI over the classic UI of the SX-4000 and before. They still let you run a VNC of the old UI, last I checked...which speaks to Bruce's statements of the difference between the underlying code versus the UI. The worst part of the SR-1000's UI is the dashboard. It doesn't serve the purpose it should. The IMS dashboard is pretty decent at getting what is important front-and-center.

            One didn't change the DSS UI (much) because it was a home-run...right from the get-go. I don't know of anyone that thinks the Doremi UI was good...they may have gotten used to it but it isn't what anyone thought was intuitive or well conceived. GDC's classic UI is a mix bag. The SMS and even the show build screens are fine. The Control Panel (the "way station, as I call it) is a waste of time. It's purpose is to get you somewhere else and the ingest/content section is not the greatest. The Config stuff should have been off the UI but if it had to be one, it should have been accessible during a performance. The SR-1000 will still block you from changes in configuration (at least most, if not all) but one can access it and get ready.

            The botched first show issue on the IMS3000 with 3.4.11 is definitely real. It isn't like a daily thing but it was enough to make me mad...I never had it before. It is addressed in 3.5.13

            The thing with the is coming their way, like it or not. It will just be a matter of time to acclimate. New people will never know there was a prior version. That is one reason I had some early adopters. As IMS3000s have trickled in...I put them in as 3.5 so that people that never worked with an IMS would never have to learn two variants.


            • #7
              I'm curious as to what people think of the playback screen. It is pretty different. Of note, the SPL window (the one that essentially shows what you see in Editor, where you are, what has played) is significantly smaller (less information is shown at one time). Depending on your window size/ may only see between 3 and 8 lines. Yes, you can scroll, but who wants to do that? For this reduction in size, you get nearly edge-to-edge progress bars for the show.
              I had the chance to test a 3.5.12 beta version during summer and projectionists were really happy for the general improvement of the UI, except for the SPL window in player. As the server was used in a film festival, it was better to have a complete view of the SPL, without needing to schroll. I've tried to suggest a change and I've been told that I wasn't the only asking for that...
              The only other thing I've seen is that the interface works well only with a 1920x1080 resolution screen: with lower resolutions it's harder to read and more confused (and some arthouse I service are using laptops not fullHD).


              • #8
                Dear friends and colleagues. Let me know where I can download the new firmware? Thanks.


                • #9
                  Like all Dolby software it is on their support site, for which you have to be registered and have the right credentials to have access. In short, you should contact the entity that supplied you with the unit for access to the upgrade.


                  • #10
                    Hello everyone
                    When I use the new version, SP4K-20C + IMS3000 is set to series-4/4K60, the resolution will be reduced, did you foresee this problem?


                    • #11
                      A couple of things:
                      • Yes, this is not really ready, in my opinion. To run 4K/60 you need to set that in device manager. You also need to set 4K/60 on the SP4K projector.
                      • You have to run 4K...which is dumb. Hence, this is not ready yet.
                      All of my systems are currently just on 2K/4K mode until their 4K/60 implementation works properly.


                      • #12
                        Halo all
                        Any options available in IMS3000 Macro cues files copying to injest another IMS3000.
                        Like Doremi macros files copying via FTP.

                        Advance Regards.


                        • #13
                          You can copy CPL and SPL between servers in the IMS the same as with Doremi. As for cues, you can copy the macros.xml between units via your FTP program...just remember, it is a winner-take-all, moment. If you copy the macros.xml from server 1 to server 2, it will overwrite server 2's macros. So, having good backups can be key.

                          When I deploy a multiplex. I, generally, have my macros.xml at the ready and send it to all servers so they are all identical (unless there is a need for any to be different).


                          • #14
                            Unfortunately, the Dolby company has decided to suspend the operation of accounts from my country.
                            That is why there is no way to download the firmware through the official website. I would be grateful if you download the firmware to a cloud drive. Or is there an alternative source? For example, FTP....


                            • #15
                              It is Dolby's software to do with as they wish and not for some other entity to decide to distribute it on their own.