Engineers in China have built a laser digital cinema projector - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 10-17-2008, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Cinetopia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Laser Cinema, Coming Someday to a Theater Near YouMaybe
By Monica Heger
First Published October 2008
Engineers in China have built a laser digital cinema projector
Email Print Comments ( 1) Reprints Newsletters
Del.icio.us Digg Slashdot


PHOTO: Yong Bi/Chinese Academy of Sciences

14 October 2008The first laser TV is set to go on sale soon in North America, but engineers from the Academy of Opto-Electronics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Phoebus Vision Opto-Electronics, in Beijing, say they've already brought the eye-popping color of laser-generated images to the big screen with a digital cinema projector that uses lasers as the light source. The team combined several lasers with the MEMS technology used in digital projectors today. They describe the device in September's Journal of Display Technology .

The technology will be the next generation of cinema display, says Yong Bi, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and chief technology officer at Phoebus, which is commercializing the projector. However, others in the industry question whether laser cinema will be ready in time and inexpensive enough to catch much of the market.

Bi's projector replaces the white light and color filters used in today's digital projectors with several red, green, and blue lasers. The lasers illuminate a digital micromirror device, a MEMS chip invented by Texas Instruments. The chip has an array of microscopic mirrors that each correspond to a pixel on the screen. The chip turns the pixels on or off by tilting the mirrors to direct light either toward or away from the screen.

Engineers have been interested in replacing the white light source and its accompanying color filters with lasers for years. Russell Wintner, consultant with WinterTek, a business, technology, and digital-media consulting firm based in Los Angeles, says the range of color that can be produced from lasers is the most attractive feature of the technology. Lasers get closer to what the human eye can see than any other technology, he says. It makes for a much more lifelike image.

Another advantage is that lasers are more energy efficient. Xenon lamps, the standard projection light source today, dissipate a lot of their energy as heat instead of light. In addition, xenon bulbs produce infrared radiation, which has to be filtered out so that it doesn't damage the projector's optics.

Despite these advantages, lasers have been considered too costly for digital projectors. Michael Karagosian, president of MKPE Consulting, a business, technology, and entertainment consulting firm in Los Angeles, estimates that a laser lamp could cost between US $10000 and $20000, while a xenon lamp costs just a couple of thousand dollars. However, he says, the energy savings could make a laser projector economically viable, particularly if mass production brings the cost down.

Another problem with lasers is speckle, a kind of self-interference that makes images shimmer and sparkle, says Bob Rushby, chief technology officer at Christie Digital. When a laser hits a rough surface, its waves reflect randomly and interfere with each other, either adding or canceling each other out, to produce bright and dark spots when the light reaches the viewer's eye. Lasers are especially susceptible to speckle because they are coherenttheir light is of one wavelength. Noncoherent white light is made up of many different wavelengths, so the interference is not visible. To reduce the speckle of interference, Bi and his colleagues used multiple lasers, each of a slightly different wavelength, to produce each color. This reduces the coherence of the beam so that the speckle is not visible, according to the researchers.

Rushby, who's firm makes digital projectors, says that while this technique does work, it doesn't completely eliminate speckle, and he wasn't convinced that an audience would not detect it.

Speckle is an extremely challenging problem, he says. The method helps, but it is not yet suitable for theatergoing audiences. Other techniques to reduce speckle include vibrating the movie screen or bouncing the lasers off rotating mirrors in the projector, both of which make the speckle pattern change so quickly that it becomes less perceptible.

Christie Digital is also researching laser projector technology, but Rushby would not give details on any potential products. We believe laser has a future, but we have some problems to solve, he says.

But if laser doesn't come to the market soon, it may lose out to other technologies, WinterTek's Wintner thinks. The industry is already starting to invest in white-light digital projectors, he says. And once theaters have made a huge capital investment in the projectors, they won't be looking for a replacement.

If you had [a laser digital cinema projector] working today and could demonstrate it, it would be huge. But in another two years, it might be too late, he says.
Cinetopia is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 Old 10-18-2008, 01:04 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Ohlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Falun, Sweden
Posts: 5,434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
FINALLY
Naturally the ones with orders coming in will say that this technology is not ready yet. Christe gets orders as the situation is today and why confuse the customers by talk about lasers.

If the industry is so short sighted that they settle for 2k and white light it is a shame truly.
I see 4k and lasers as a natural next stop after film projector dominance. DLP is not likely to rock the boat.
We can only hope that Sony will push 4k and laser. Not for Sony´s sake but in interest of a better future de facto standard. In addition sxrd technology benefits more from a change away from xenons to a cooler light source than dmd based projectors that better handle heat.

Mattias Ohlson
Ohlson is offline  
post #3 of 14 Old 10-18-2008, 06:27 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
Art Sonneborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Battle Creek,MI USA
Posts: 22,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 44
Mattias,
Unfortunately, the economic reality is setting in. The full transition to digital projection is happening as we speak. The available technology now is likely to get the lions share of the installs which will likely be in place for a decade.

Still ,"better" if it is dramatic, will still have a place IMO.

My HT


iRule rules my theater
 

"If she's amazing she won't be easy,if she's easy she won't be amazing"

 

Bob Marley

Art Sonneborn is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 10-18-2008, 09:52 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
CINERAMAX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: everywhere
Posts: 12,462
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohlson View Post

FINALLY

We can only hope that Sony will push 4k and laser. Not for Sony´s sake but in interest of a better future de facto standard. In addition sxrd technology benefits more from a change away from xenons to a cooler light source than dmd based projectors that better handle heat.

I begin to agree. Let's hope those chinese projectors are not hazardous in some imaginative new way, like the lead toys and melamine milk has been. This could get really lethal if that sh_t starts making people blind or something.
CINERAMAX is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 10-18-2008, 02:35 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Ohlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Falun, Sweden
Posts: 5,434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I understand the mature 2k technology developers want to sell now before it is too late. The industry has to be careful though since a 2k white light standard at the cinema and 4k and laser in the homes will not make it easier to sell tickets.

I hope that the industry will at least try 4k and laser and see what can be done with that technology.

2k is not upgradeable as film has been over the years.

Mattias Ohlson
Ohlson is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 10-20-2008, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Cinetopia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
White paper on this project is available for purchase if anyone is that interested - http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/articleSa...number=4597116

Looks like their prototype is based on a Barco DP100 as the engine/electronics platform. 9,000 lumens, 2600:1 on/off, <50db noise level, ridiculous color space.
Cinetopia is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 10-20-2008, 06:14 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
CINERAMAX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: everywhere
Posts: 12,462
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Barco sold 800 projectors to a movie theater chain in China. The joke was that soon they would be copying them, talk about a Barco hack.
CINERAMAX is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 12-13-2008, 07:51 AM
Senior Member
 
Gradius2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iquique, Chile
Posts: 398
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

Barco sold 800 projectors to a movie theater chain in China. The joke was that soon they would be copying them, talk about a Barco hack.

If it's a copy then it would be a clone, not a hack.

[]s,
Fernando
Gradius2 is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 12-13-2008, 08:02 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
CINERAMAX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: everywhere
Posts: 12,462
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Liked: 42
I was talking about the laser part...
CINERAMAX is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 12-14-2008, 07:55 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
Art Sonneborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Battle Creek,MI USA
Posts: 22,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 44
I just feel that at least in the US once a theater invests in a digital projector they are unlikely to swap them out in quickly for something else. I believe there will be premium venues but 2K lamp based DLP will dominate for some time.

Art

My HT


iRule rules my theater
 

"If she's amazing she won't be easy,if she's easy she won't be amazing"

 

Bob Marley

Art Sonneborn is offline  
post #11 of 14 Old 12-14-2008, 08:11 PM
 
Lee Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 19,369
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 44
Laser projection from digital source is not new (though maybe 100% pure laser driven might be) Evans & Sutherland have been selling one for years.

This is a company that develops super high end display technology.

Here is their lastest version of their "Laser" Projector.

Oh - BTW - it's resolution exceeds ULTRA HD.

http://www.es.com/products/displays/..._Datasheet.pdf
Lee Stewart is offline  
post #12 of 14 Old 12-14-2008, 08:18 PM
 
Lee Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 19,369
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

I just feel that at least in the US once a theater invests in a digital projector they are unlikely to swap them out in quickly for something else. I believe there will be premium venues but 2K lamp based DLP will dominate for some time.

Art

Hi Art!

Long time no speak. My bad.

The DC PJ's that Sony is pushing are 4K. They have sold some here in the USA.

The Multiplex in Rosemont ILL. (near Chicago) standardized on them.

If you would like to keep up with current events on the expansion of DC - here is the site I use:

http://www.dcinematoday.com/default.aspx

Regards,

Lee
Lee Stewart is offline  
post #13 of 14 Old 12-15-2008, 12:47 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
noah katz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Mountain View, CA USA
Posts: 20,377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Liked: 138
http://www.es.com/products/displays/..._Datasheet.pdf

Sounds an awful lot like GLV, except they say the pixels are refelctive instead of refractive.

Noah
noah katz is online now  
post #14 of 14 Old 12-15-2008, 08:10 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
Art Sonneborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Battle Creek,MI USA
Posts: 22,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

Hi Art!

Long time no speak. My bad.

The DC PJ's that Sony is pushing are 4K. They have sold some here in the USA.

The Multiplex in Rosemont ILL. (near Chicago) standardized on them.

If you would like to keep up with current events on the expansion of DC - here is the site I use:

http://www.dcinematoday.com/default.aspx

Regards,

Lee

Thanks !

Art

My HT


iRule rules my theater
 

"If she's amazing she won't be easy,if she's easy she won't be amazing"

 

Bob Marley

Art Sonneborn is offline  
Reply D-cinema Equipment and Theaters

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off