Last updateThu, 30 Sep 2021 9am


Introducing – Tools for Cinema Quality Assurance


Cinema Test Tools for the Non-Technical Manager 

  • A free resource for the cinema industry
  • Tuned most particularly for the non-technical manager.
  • Tools include:
    • Several DCPs for testing the sound and picture quality
    • Lessons on sound and light
    • Written to help communicate with the technicians

The key is a free Online Managers Online Walk Through Checklist that correlates with the many DCPs. It helps bring an understanding of the many nuances of the auditorium's situation in a straightforward way. 

Artist's Intent Exposed~! See it here first. Where? In the cinema, the temporary home provided by exhibitors.

Latest Buzzword – H.265

MPEG standards can be ignored in a Motion JPEG world, if all we need to do is pass DCI and InterOp and SMPTE compliant hard disks with movies from one place to the other.

But somewhere along the way, the swirling heap of new technology ideas ends up as a connector or interface in your hands and you must do something about it. The latest, as we see from CES articles is HEVC – High Efficiency Video Coding.

The back story is that MPEG 2 was nice for its time, but its time was the beginning of modern microprocessors; small pathways for minor amounts of data in a world used to 'good enough' – NTSC anyone?

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Gone and Back Again–Return of The Hobbitses

48fps HFR. OK, that happened. Maybe it will happen again, but if Peter Jackson has any choice he whould probably do what instincts (should have) said to do originally: Go for 60. He should certainly insist that any exhibitor showing the movie in 3D upgrade and show the movie in HFR. 

I saw The Hobbit the first time in 3D 24fps and craved 48 during every scene with anything but slow movement...and should have known it would shine in slow movement times as well. It is as if the editor isn't paying attention, making cuts at the wrong places and smearing everywhere. Film is dead. We don't need the magic of judder and weave and unsaturated colors. We are not all Hollywood insiders who get the watch actual first-run prints in ultra-tweaked theaters. And we don't need an imposed anachonism frame rate, especially for the tricks that 3D plays on the vision system.

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Nice India Article

Digital Cinema Report has a nice article about the Indian cinema market. Although I would have loved 2 more paragraphs of background data for each one that Lynne Gardiner whote, it still contains a lot of interesting data:

Understanding India | Digital Cinema Report - News. Perspective. Analysis.

HFR, New 'Silver Screen' and 2 Hobbit Projectors

HFR will finally be presented to a public audience during the Hobbit release in Wellington on 28 November. But that's not all.

They will see the movie with 12 foot Lamberts of light (what most of the world calls 41 candelas per square meter) courtesy of a dual projection system designed by Christie.

And, they will watch it on a newly introduced "polarization preserving screen" that was described at the October SMPTE meeting during a presentation by RealD. It is described as having no hot spot and 40 degrees of Half Gain Angle (HGA) on a 1.5 gain screen. To compare, the typical 'silver' screen used with passive stereoscopic 3D systems has an HGA of 23 degrees using a 2.5 gain screen. 

Lest it is forgotten, the technical reason for 'silver' screens is that they hold the polarization required for passive 3D systems. The gain comes for other, not enough light to the eyes. But since most people in the cinema sit near or beyond the half gain line where the typical 3 or 4 ftL emission is already down to a mesopic 1.5 or 2 and growing progressively less, the HGA of 40 is phenomenal. If the center seats are actually seeing 12, those 20 degrees away will be seeing 6. (Of course, that brings up the topic of what the movie was mastered at, but we'll let that be a different article. Any volunteer authors?)

When the SMPTE Tech Event presentation papers are available, look for High Performance Polarization-Based-3D and 2D Presentation. For now you will have to be satisfied with the patent document: 

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Tripping Over the Laser Light – Fantastic~!

There needs to be some stage setting before getting to the post-play-out conversation of Christie's monumental effort of presenting Hugo at the IBC's Monday Big Movie Night. So, before elaboration on the details: Hats off to Christie and hats off to lasers – Great Science, Great Movie, Great Effort, Great Presentation.

There are two important "everybody knows" issues that need eliminating before discussing the Christie effort. The first is to counter the wishful thinking that has morphed into a meme-life of its own. It gets stated by people who should know better and was even in an earlier slide presentation in the same auditorium on the same afternoon of the Hugo presentation.

The meme says: There is a SMPTE/ISO/DCI luminance standard for 2D presentations (48 candelas per square meter, or 14 foot-Lamberts), but the DCI 3D document only speaks to starting the sequence with the left eye, 4:2:2 data streams and one other issue and therefore, since it doesn't speak to luminance, it therefore allows a de facto standard of 4.5 ft/Lamberts.

That is as insane as saying that since the 3D standard doesn't speak to issues of following the fire code, EXIT signs don't need to be illuminated during 3D presentations. [DCI_Stereoscopic_DC_Addendum.pdf]

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More Light on HRF

Regal Cinema has put up a page giving a few answers about HFR – High Frame Rate, in this case, high frame rate 3D. "This innovative format presents the picture in 48 frames per second (fps), which is closer to what the human eye actually sees." 3D only. ...another option for each consumer's taste...

It doesn't offer a compelling reason, as if they are holding back their cards. "It brings more structured and saturated light to the eye" is probably too much. Explaining that Cameron and others are choosing 60 frames is bad form, since the Hobbit group chose 48 for a valid reason.

I think I'll ask for some of the Sony closed caption glasses to compare.

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Lasers, Christie, IBC...Silver Screen Why [Update 2]

We are heartened by the consistent heartbeat of laser systems being shown at events, each time getting more and sometimes even better. This time, IBC will see Christie's first laser exposition, an anticipated move since their parent company Ushio bought the California laser company Necsel late in 2010. On Monday night of IBC 2012, Christie will be showing a 3D version of the movie Hugo which they are billing as the world's first showing of a complete motion picture in laser 3D.

We aren't heartened by the announcement that they are using a high gain screen, which has the following effect [drawing updated in Update 2 of this article -Ed.], shown in the graphs and attempted to visualize in the drawing of the RAI Auditorium. If a high gain screen wheren't enough, they are also using a silver screen, which just makes niggling problems worse.

Many questions.

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The technology of exhibition explained; from media players and projectors, to memory and local storage, from satellites and devices for the hearing and visual or read it here.

Uncountable little pieces of experience add to a wealth of knowledge that should be shared for the betterment of the community. Please contribute.

The feet hitting the street. This is where it all plays out.

Digital, though costing more, allows for more variety, sometimes at a lower cost and a better return. That variety is called "alternative content."

Building auditoriums for the Arts is a tradition from the Greeks. Projection has since been added.