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post #1 of 40 Old 10-16-2009, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Folks,

I've got some basic questions for the group...
Can the digital theaters can be matched or exceeded with today's home theater equipment? If so, what does it take? That's my general question but have a few follow-ups.

Do the 2K DLP theater projectors offer better viewing than the newest 1080 home theater projectors in the sub $3000 range? Looking just at the specs, the resolution is a bit higher with the 2K units, but the contrast is far lower.

Do theaters use blu ray disc players? If not, what is the source material? Is it any better than the best blu ray players like the oppo model?

Thanks and sorry for these elementary questions.
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post #2 of 40 Old 10-16-2009, 07:18 PM
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Have a look at Peter (=cineramax)'s topics on his cedia demo, and the helene prometheus theaters. He claims his modifications improve on commercial theater projectors, and is using them in hometheaters.

The sub $3K projectors can not provide enough light to light up a screen large enough to make one feel one's in a real theater. Let's say 3-4 meter wide, still considerably smaller than in a commercial theater.
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post #3 of 40 Old 10-16-2009, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twstand View Post

Hey Folks,

I've got some basic questions for the group...
Can the digital theaters can be matched or exceeded with today's home theater equipment? If so, what does it take? That's my general question but have a few follow-ups.

Twstand, you'll probably get answers on both sides of the issue. You can buy the same projector used in digital theaters from CINERAMAX (Peter) but you can't get the source material used in digital cinema. You can also buy "consumer" units that will give a digital theater a run for the money but they are expensive.

Quote:


Do the 2K DLP theater projectors offer better viewing than the newest 1080 home theater projectors in the sub $3000 range? Looking just at the specs, the resolution is a bit higher with the 2K units, but the contrast is far lower.

A digital theater projector is over $100,000. Nothing sub $3K is going to touch it. Contrast can be higher on consumer units because they are not nearly as bright.

Quote:


Do theaters use blu ray disc players? If not, what is the source material? Is it any better than the best blu ray players like the oppo model?

The source material is from a hard disk. It is encoded with 12-bit color instead of 8-bit which is the Blu-ray spec. Movie studios make these digital versions available to theaters but not the general public. There is more picture information on the digital cinema server that can not be duplicated on Blu-ray regardless of the player.
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post #4 of 40 Old 10-17-2009, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the answers! If I follow what you all said, the theater projectors have much higher light output, and the color is better on the source material, compared with home theater projectors and blu ray discs.

For a living room environment, is the quality of the picture from a $3k projector and blu ray unit comparable to a digital theater? I'm assuming the color is not as good, but are there other quality differences?
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post #5 of 40 Old 10-17-2009, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnty View Post

The source material is from a hard disk. It is encoded with 12-bit color instead of 8-bit which is the Blu-ray spec. Movie studios make these digital versions available to theaters but not the general public. There is more picture information on the digital cinema server that can not be duplicated on Blu-ray regardless of the player.

The main difference with a DCP, as it impacts PQ, is not color. Its data rate.

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post #6 of 40 Old 10-17-2009, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twstand View Post

For a living room environment, is the quality of the picture from a $3k projector and blu ray unit comparable to a digital theater? I'm assuming the color is not as good, but are there other quality differences?

The short answer is no. You will need to spend very significantly higher than that. Entry level PJs are not even close to the image fidelity of a DCI machine.

The cinema source material, known as a Digital Cinema Package (DCP), has a far higher data rate. The color is also better, but that has nowhere near the impact of data rate.

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post #7 of 40 Old 10-17-2009, 11:06 AM
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This doesn't mean you will not be able to get a very enjoyable experience from the new crop of 3K or less projectors.
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post #8 of 40 Old 10-17-2009, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twstand View Post

I've got some basic questions for the group...
Can the digital theaters can be matched or exceeded with today's home theater equipment?

Depends partially on how much one values different imaging parameters. I have little doubt that with the same consumer source I would prefer to use something like the JVC RS35 for watching AVP: Alien vs Predator than a DCI projector limited to under 3000:1 on/off CR. But others might prefer the DCI projector even for that source as it is better than the JVC RS35 in some ways, but not in on/off CR (which is a pretty important factor for AVP IMO). And for some other sources I'm sure I would prefer the DCI projector. In this case beauty is somewhat in the eye of the beholder.

And although some hate them others like fake frame interpolation modes like the new JVCs have along with Panasonic, Epson, and Sony. Start with something shot in 1080i60 especially and the frame interpolation may push some people toward the lower priced projector over the much higher priced one with no mode like that. With 1080p24 material more people dislike the fake frame modes, the JVCs reportedly do very poorly with fake frame interpolation with those sources, and it takes things further from the standards, but that doesn't mean some people won't prefer those modes even with film (especially with ones that have implementations that work well). And Sony has the dark frame interpolation mode (where it does black half the time and half showing the frame). I doubt any DCI projector has that and some people may be drawn to that.

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post #9 of 40 Old 10-20-2009, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnty View Post

The source material is from a hard disk. It is encoded with 12-bit color instead of 8-bit which is the Blu-ray spec. Movie studios make these digital versions available to theaters but not the general public. There is more picture information on the digital cinema server that can not be duplicated on Blu-ray regardless of the player.

The DCI spec is archaic in many ways. For instance, each individual frame of the original film is encoded as a seperate JPG2K frame. No motion compensation involved, which means the archives take up 2-5 times as much room as they would otherwise.

Given the ~50GB on a blueray, with a proper video codec, it could hold a digital film, no problem.

Cheers,
Mitch
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post #10 of 40 Old 10-20-2009, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrybczyn View Post

The DCI spec is archaic in many ways. For instance, each individual frame of the original film is encoded as a seperate JPG2K frame. No motion compensation involved, which means the archives take up 2-5 times as much room as they would otherwise.

Given the ~50GB on a blueray, with a proper video codec, it could hold a digital film, no problem.

You seem to be mistaking the archived and distributed material. No motion compensation should ever be used for archive material. Thats the whole idea of archival integrity.

When all the audio, image and data components are brought together, this forms the DCDM. This is then compressed and encrypted for the DCP.

The suggestion that a DCP could be compressed to 50GB, and still look the same, is simply not true.

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post #11 of 40 Old 10-20-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrybczyn View Post

The DCI spec is archaic in many ways. For instance, each individual frame of the original film is encoded as a seperate JPG2K frame. No motion compensation involved, which means the archives take up 2-5 times as much room as they would otherwise.

Given the ~50GB on a blueray, with a proper video codec, it could hold a digital film, no problem.

Cheers,
Mitch

1. The video codec used for DC is Motion JPEG 2000 which is not in the specs of BD.

2. The file size after being compressed is something like 300 GBs (2K).

So no - you can't use a BD for a digital film meant for a DC
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post #12 of 40 Old 10-20-2009, 05:35 PM
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however if you are moving from cable and bluray and a plasma to a nice projector (sub 3k) and bluray and a screen a nd a decent (maybe 3k max) sound system... you will be far more impressed than you can imagine and the envy of ALL your friends. however it is a hobby that is a leading cause of upgradeitis and given a sufficiently sized wallet and an understanding spouse... you can get close to what is really DCI.

but in the beginning, you will satisfy the most important aspect of a theatre presentation... immersion. And giggle yourself stupid for months.

So dont worry about the 100k numbers and other stuff, you can have a very nice image and sound for under 10k (given a little homework) and find a great new hobby that has no endgame!

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post #13 of 40 Old 10-21-2009, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

1. The video codec used for DC is Motion JPEG 2000 which is not in the specs of BD.

2. The file size after being compressed is something like 300 GBs (2K).

So no - you can't use a BD for a digital film meant for a DC

1. Yes, a re-encoding would be necessary to fit BlueRay specs.
2. Going from JPEG2K (with no motion compensation), to something like h.264, would significantly compress the video. From 300GB to 50GB is possible, and not likely to affect perceived image quality.

Lets face it, Digital Cinema movies are still shot (or digitized) with very low resolution (2 or 4 megapixels), low frame rate (24), and displayed with equipment better than a 1080p home theater only in accomodating more viewers (brightness, loudness).
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post #14 of 40 Old 10-21-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrybczyn View Post

1. Yes, a re-encoding would be necessary to fit BlueRay specs.
2. Going from JPEG2K (with no motion compensation), to something like h.264, would significantly compress the video. From 300GB to 50GB is possible, and not likely to affect perceived image quality.

All you are describing is what BD is today. Nothing new here.

Quote:


Lets face it, Digital Cinema movies are still shot (or digitized) with very low resolution (2 or 4 megapixels), low frame rate (24), and displayed with equipment better than a 1080p home theater only in accomodating more viewers (brightness, loudness).

But all of the "very low resolution" that you speak of is making it's way up onto the screen - which is a bunch more than what you see when watching a 35mm print:

http://www.etconsult.com/papers/Tech...Resolution.pdf
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post #15 of 40 Old 10-22-2009, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

All you are describing is what BD is today. Nothing new here.

But all of the "very low resolution" that you speak of is making it's way up onto the screen - which is a bunch more than what you see when watching a 35mm print:

http://www.etconsult.com/papers/Tech...Resolution.pdf

Thanks, great whitepaper.

But 35mm isn't what people use in their home theater. I guess I was pointing out that 1920x1080 res at 8bits of color per pixel, is damn close to 2048x1080 at 10 bits per pixel... Home theaters are essentially on par with current movie theaters (which is probably one of the reasons for the big 4K push in recent cinema announcements).

Cheers,
Mitch
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post #16 of 40 Old 10-22-2009, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrybczyn View Post

But 35mm isn't what people use in their home theater.

I think you'll find there are a few who do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrybczyn View Post

I guess I was pointing out that 1920x1080 res at 8bits of color per pixel, is damn close to 2048x1080 at 10 bits per pixel... Home theaters are essentially on par with current movie theaters

The theaters are, but the content isn't. I assume, by your posts, that you have never actually seen a BD and a DCP directly compared. There is a major difference, and its mainly due to the huge difference in data rate.

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post #17 of 40 Old 10-22-2009, 09:24 AM
 
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post #18 of 40 Old 10-22-2009, 01:22 PM
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BD is rec.709 video.

DCi is not video ; larger potential encoded dynamic range , closer to print film.

The color with DCi is 4:4:4 which makes a pretty noticable difference on its own.

The gamut of DCi is significantly larger than rec.709.

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post #19 of 40 Old 10-22-2009, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post

DCi is not video ; larger potential encoded dynamic range , closer to print film.

How are you using the term "dynamic range" here and can you put a number on it if it isn't just the number of steps? In another thread you said the following about 8 bit versus 10 bit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post

Its exactly the same dynamic range with increased precision: white and black same place same range just more discrete steps inbetween.

Just wondering if what you mean in the first thing above is only that there are more steps between the endpoints or whether you are saying the endpoints are different and if different, whether you can put numbers (or approximate numbers) on the ratios of the endpoints between the two cases.

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post #20 of 40 Old 10-22-2009, 02:00 PM
 
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Digital Cinema Dynamic Range

http://prolost.com/blog/2008/2/22/di...mic-range.html


Assessment of resolution and dynamic range for digital cinema

http://www.itl.nist.gov/iad/894.05/p...namicRange.pdf
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post #21 of 40 Old 10-22-2009, 08:00 PM
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Lee always comes to the rescue!
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post #22 of 40 Old 10-23-2009, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2 View Post

How are you using the term "dynamic range" here and can you put a number on it if it isn't just the number of steps? In another thread you said the following about 8 bit versus 10 bit:
Just wondering if what you mean in the first thing above is only that there are more steps between the endpoints or whether you are saying the endpoints are different and if different, whether you can put numbers (or approximate numbers) on the ratios of the endpoints between the two cases.

Thanks,
Darin

Its not as simple as saying the end stops are further apart. The thing you have to realise about video is that because of the limited encoding range you have to compromise the dynamic range according to image content to ensure you don't run up against precision limitations. (banding)

This is the main reason you can't transfer a film successfully into video just by the numbers. ( you need someone referably a human being, eyeballing the process)

If you want to preserve detail towards black in a shot you will likely have to compromise some of the precision used towards peak white: this may also involve dropping the white point mapping in certain cases : thus dropping dynamic range. In some cases you may leave the white point mapping where it is but end up crushing a huge range off up to that point: dynamic range hasn't changed but the intensity steps in between have gone to pot. ( swap black point for white point in the above and you have the same issue at the lower end)

The point is that with something like print ( or DCi) you have a more consistent dynamic range on display with healthy encoding compared with video.

This to me this is what gives video its characteristic look. The dynamic range and the way its depicted has to slide about a fair bit from shot to shot, the more precision you have the more consistently you can display a larger healthier dynamic range. Video never looks like film for this reason: sure you might get the odd shot with minimal differences but across the range of imagery in an average film something has to give somewhere...most of the time.

I've just been grading a bunch of film shots to match video grade references ( for temp and feedback). To get the film into video is a pretty arbitrary curve mapping process (I'm just eyeballing matching straight from log not having to decide the grade itself). Sometimes they are transferring pretty much the entire dynamic range from the neg : but the resulting curve necessary to make the video have a pleasing contrast means there are huge swathes crushed, other times they have clipped off large regions towards black and/or white.

So sometimes its dynamic range limitation , other times its tone scale compromises : usually a bit of both banging about depending of image content.

The solidity and consistency that film ( and DCi) has in this regard should not be underestimated in terms of offering a superior psychovisual experience.

Video reminds me a lot of someone photocopying a photographic print and banging the brightness up and down.

You want numbers start with Lee's links and branch out from there: numbers bore me rigid most of the time. I am supposedly an artist not an engineer : I'm just able to masquerade as one on occasion.

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post #23 of 40 Old 10-30-2009, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnty View Post




The source material is from a hard disk.

How big is the hard disk usually?

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post #24 of 40 Old 10-30-2009, 11:51 PM
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How big is the hard disk usually?

180 - 300 gigabytes.

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post #25 of 40 Old 11-01-2009, 01:16 PM
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180 - 300 gigabytes.

Blu-ray could do that by employing it's multiple layers. I wonder what the hold up is?

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post #26 of 40 Old 11-02-2009, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrybczyn View Post

Lets face it, Digital Cinema movies are still shot (or digitized) with very low resolution (2 or 4 megapixels), low frame rate (24), and displayed with equipment better than a 1080p home theater only in accomodating more viewers (brightness, loudness).

It seems that You have mixed up "Digital Cinema Movies",
and "movies shot with Digital Cameras".

If You take a look at some HIGH END Hollywood movies now like last Harry Potter, You can see that they were scanned at resolution of 8K (40+Mpixels),
color graded at 4K (10+ Mpixels), and than downconverted to 2k for DC.
There has been sold around 7000 RED ONE 4K DIGITAL CINEMA camera,
and there is a few hundereds of 4k capable film scanners,
so the high quality sources are present.
There are studies that have shown theoretical resolution of 35mm negative to be even higher than 8k.

When You talk about very low resolution digital camera,
it can only apply to HDV or XDCAMHD or some other consumer-prosumer HD cameras.

Also the resolution by itself does not mean anything.
You can have "full hd" camera in range of 2.000$-200.000$.

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post #27 of 40 Old 11-02-2009, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephan.o View Post

There are studies that have shown theoretical resolution of 35mm negative to be even higher than 8k.

Thats slightly misleading, as it refers to scanning to resolve the finest grain, when film is used as a capture medium.

As a display medium, a 35mm system yields less MTF (small area contrast, and hence detail) than a 2k system or a good domestic digital unit.

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post #28 of 40 Old 11-02-2009, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

Thats slightly misleading, as it refers to scanning to resolve the finest grain, when film is used as a capture medium.

As a display medium, a 35mm system yields less MTF (small area contrast, and hence detail) than a 2k system or a good domestic digital unit.

I've read that the noise or grain in 35mm gives it a higher perceived detail/resolution. Basically, it fools our brains in believing that there's more resolution than is measured. Fixed pixel images have a constant resolution so our brains perceive what is actually shown. Therefore, to equal and surpass this phenomenon, you'd need 4K. This is something I read in a forum with industry professionals discussing what resolution is needed to equal/surpass 35mm.

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post #29 of 40 Old 11-03-2009, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbuudo07 View Post

I've read that the noise or grain in 35mm gives it a higher perceived detail/resolution. Basically, it fools our brains in believing that there's more resolution than is measured. Fixed pixel images have a constant resolution so our brains perceive what is actually shown. Therefore, to equal and surpass this phenomenon, you'd need 4K. This is something I read in a forum with industry professionals discussing what resolution is needed to equal/surpass 35mm.

I explained that above, with a need for 8k archiving to capture the grain fully, this fact has led to a significant ammount of confusion and misunderstanding, including within the industry. Also, don't confuse the capture capabilities of 35mm film, with the capabilities of a 35mm display system. 2 very different things indeed,

As I said above, a 35mm system has lower MTF, that is beyond dispute. It is therefore impossible for it to display higher levels of detail

I have a 35mm system and the difference is still there when comparing to a high resolving (high MTF) digital unit, and that's with a 35mm unit that is expertly maintained and inherently superior to the vast majority of commercial units. Even with a pristine print, the digital yields a more detailed image....assuming the BD transfer is good. When the source is a DCP, the difference is greater still.

Hope this helps.

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post #30 of 40 Old 11-03-2009, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

Thats slightly misleading, as it refers to scanning to resolve the finest grain, when film is used as a capture medium.

Not exactly.
I have personaly seen the difference and I know many more people in film postproduction who can see the actual difference between 4k and higher resolution scans.
Before our decision of purchasing a 35mm film scanner, I have tested various film scanners with resolutions 4k or higher.
I had seen test scans of same 35mm negative in 4k, 6k, and even 8k.
There were visible differences.
And this is very useful when downconverted it to 4k and than used for VFX and color grading.
At this moment all ARRISCANNERs scan at 6K and than downconvert on the fly to 4K. All NORTHLIGHT2 scanners scan at 8K and than downconvert on the fly to 4K.
Also ARRI has demonstrated us that they can scan even in 8k and 10k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

As a display medium, a 35mm system yields less MTF (small area contrast, and hence detail) than a 2k system or a good domestic digital unit.

I will reply to this later.
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