CIW returning to movie theaters? - AVS Forum
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been reading about the new Regal Cinemas LA Live Stadium 14 in downtown Los Angeles and it appears that in the 13 regular auditoriums and the 800 seat "Premier House", they are using top-down masking to convert from regular to 'scope pictures. This obviously means that a 2.35:1 picture would have a smaller total picture area than one shot in standard 1.85:1.

I've never seen this before and would think it would be disappointing. When I used to live in LA, all theaters used CIH and would open the side masking for scope. The same is true here in Denver where I just saw Dragon in 3D scope at a local multiplex. It was much more immersive than some of the 1.85:1 previews because of the extra screen width, the height remaining constant.

Are others theaters doing this? Is Regal leading the charge in CIW? Seems like a step backwards in movie presentation.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:20 PM
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Sad hearing this but then again showmanship is all but gone in cinemas. No more curtains, organs, ushers. The union projectionists are all gone.
Why bother dropping the masking. Might as well file the aperture plate to mask the scope image to the same 185:1 screen. Now the high school kid has one less button to press.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:37 PM
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I've seen this done a lot recently. Though I'm sure there are other reasons and people will correct me if I'm wrong, here's what I can think of....

1. It may just be easier to have one masking system drop down from the top rather than side masking which is more intricate.

2. Cost could be a factor. It could save them money somehow. I don't think it's by not having to use an Anamorphic lens. I think a lot of the DCI projectors require them.

3. Many new films are being done in 1.78-1.85:1 to match the TV standard. Especially with the increase in animated films.

4. The general public doesn't care/know so long as when the movie is projected, the screen is in the correct AR format. So for simplicity and perhaps cost, they setup the majority of their theaters the same and save the larger venues for CIH.

Just my 2 cents...
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:52 AM
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Not an expert or anything but it really seems to make it easier for possible future conversion of the theater to a DLP (if they weren't already) The theater i work at(Cineplex) has gone through a renovation and an expansion of 4 theaters in the past 6-8 years. The original 8 have the side masking and the newer four have the top and bottom masking system. This past October we got our very first Christie 2K projector (for the 3D Avatar onslaught) Anyways they set it up in one of the original 8 with the side masking system. Our Flat presentations look great and fill the entire screen no problem, but the Scope ratio films do not. With the scope films we still have to deal with black bars on the top and bottom of our presentations like on an HDTV (kind of sad to see) My theater company is too cheap to change the masking system, because no one cares/complains about it. Now we have movie companies complaining to my theater company to convert more screens at my theater for the 3D movies that keep getting added. So if they decide to use the newer theaters. I tend to think that our black bar problem could then disappear for our scope features, because of the top and bottom masking system. The Flat films would be amazing to view on that size of a screen, but the scope works out to about the overall same size as the older 8.

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Old 04-06-2010, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invadergir View Post

Not an expert or anything but it really seems to make it easier for possible future conversion of the theater to a DLP (if they weren't already) The theater i work at(Cineplex) has gone through a renovation and an expansion of 4 theaters in the past 6-8 years. The original 8 have the side masking and the newer four have the top and bottom masking system. This past October we got our very first Christie 2K projector (for the 3D Avatar onslaught) Anyways they set it up in one of the original 8 with the side masking system. Our Flat presentations look great and fill the entire screen no problem, but the Scope ratio films do not. With the scope films we still have to deal with black bars on the top and bottom of our presentations like on an HDTV (kind of sad to see) My theater company is too cheap to change the masking system, because no one cares/complains about it. Now we have movie companies complaining to my theater company to convert more screens at my theater for the 3D movies that keep getting added. So if they decide to use the newer theaters. I tend to think that our black bar problem could then disappear for our scope features, because of the top and bottom masking system. The Flat films would be amazing to view on that size of a screen, but the scope works out to about the overall same size as the older 8.

Your post was rather confusing to me. Could you clarify? What do you mean by flat presentations?
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:05 AM
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"Flat" is the name for a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, whereas "Scope" stands for 2.39:1.

Digital Cinema projectors have a native 1.89:1 aspect ratio, because DMDs or SXRD chips have a resolution of 2048x1080 (2K) or 4096x2160 (4K).

So, as per DCI specs, Flat is 1998x1080, and Scope is 2048x858: in order to present both ARs correctly, you need to have either a motorized zoom lens, an additional 1.26x wide converter lens, or a 1.25x anamorphic (which is actually not allowed by DCI, but many theatres use one anyway).

Personally, I don't like Flat (1.85:1) screens, but it's cheaper to build a stadium seating auditorium around them (a screen which is narrower or higher that Scope allows more screens in a multiplex and/or more rows), and I'm willing to bet most theatres who have one just crop Scope material to 1998x858, and - maybe - mask top and bottom, without changing the zoom ratio. Faster and again, cheaper.

But the real question is: is 3D here to stay, and what's the preferential AR for it going to be? Flat material uses more pixels (this translates to higher resolution, and obviously more light on screen): should the bulk of 3D pics transition from 2.39 to 1.85, then a Flat screen would be a logical choice. But, IMHO, that would be the only acceptable reason.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aidoru View Post

"

But the real question is: is 3D here to stay, would be a logical choice. But, IMHO, that would be the only acceptable reason.

In the film arena 3D has reared it head many times only to fade and return another decade. It is expensive for both Movie Studio, Cinema and consumer.
I see it never replacing 2D in its "current form"
Consumers will decide its success. 4 months to Cedia.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Gouger View Post

In the film arena 3D has reared it head many times only to fade and return another decade. It is expensive for both Movie Studio, Cinema and consumer.
I see it never replacing 2D in its "current form"
Consumers will decide its success. 4 months to Cedia.

The current 3D 'craze" started 5 years ago with one film - Chicken Little. This year, (20) 3D films, not including IMAX 3D or concerts. And a few are already in the can with no release date. Could go as high as 23.

If you think that 3DTV will have any meaningful results in the home in 2010, then you weren't around for HDTV in 1999 were you? If you were, then 3DTV will have a better start than HDTV had.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aidoru View Post

"Flat" is the name for a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, whereas "Scope" stands for 2.39:1.

Digital Cinema projectors have a native 1.89:1 aspect ratio, because DMDs or SXRD chips have a resolution of 2048x1080 (2K) or 4096x2160 (4K).

So, as per DCI specs, Flat is 1998x1080, and Scope is 2048x858: in order to present both ARs correctly, you need to have either a motorized zoom lens, an additional 1.26x wide converter lens, or a 1.25x anamorphic (which is actually not allowed by DCI, but many theatres use one anyway).

Personally, I don't like Flat (1.85:1) screens, but it's cheaper to build a stadium seating auditorium around them (a screen which is narrower or higher that Scope allows more screens in a multiplex and/or more rows), and I'm willing to bet most theatres who have one just crop Scope material to 1998x858, and - maybe - mask top and bottom, without changing the zoom ratio. Faster and again, cheaper.

But the real question is: is 3D here to stay, and what's the preferential AR for it going to be? Flat material uses more pixels (this translates to higher resolution, and obviously more light on screen): should the bulk of 3D pics transition from 2.39 to 1.85, then a Flat screen would be a logical choice. But, IMHO, that would be the only acceptable reason.

Interesting, never heard it called "flat" before. It now makes a lot more sense. Thx!

Based on the MPAA Theatrical Market Statistics, in 2009 558 movies were released. As Lee stated and the pdf shows, 20 were in 3D. That's less than 4% market share. Not sure I can agree w/ the significance of 3D determinig the screen size just yet.

I think that is more up to the projector maunfactures and what they do. I think the valid questions would be is are the chips going to remain at the current resolution or as others have alluded to on the forums, will we finally see a "scope" resolution chip? Also, do they have projectors in the works that are brighter?

Finally, what are the theaters doing? Is the trend now as the OP said and more CIW's are being installed? How will one affect the balance from the other?
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:16 PM
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This was a remarkable visual experience though fake 2d.

Beautiful new torus implementation with novel boom top down masking.

With the digital sound track the sound (all coming from above ) did not suck like in previous 35mm situations, the projector was the dual eyed Sony Cinealta320).



Excellent, of course you would go next door and the Imax system sound was 6 times better but there you would notice a huge hospot on the bottom center of the screen with barely no light in the upper third (completely unacceptable) whereas the Torus room had a bautiful corner to corner luminosity.

I think (at least for DCI HomeTheatre) that the secret is to use (like Aidoru describes) the full 2048 pixels for CinemaScope and the 1920 for flat (with a little masking on the sides) and bottom up or top down masking.

And thanks Aidoru on the 1.89 tip what I was seeing at the latest Lab Setup was definitely not 1.85, I thought it was I never did the match here...

[IMG][/IMG]


The Wild Geese has been recently remastered in Germany, what a treat seen in floor to ceiling 1.89ar.

But let me tell you them IMAX transfers look incredible presented in the 2048 width [209 inches/5.31M].






This is a CIW complemented with minimal side swing panels to mask off for flat.

Time to start putting a nail on the cih approach, it makes no sense for new construction theaters.



And a small request to my CEDIA copycat (find out your own aspect ratio), use your brains sometime.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

This is a CIW complemented with minimal side swing panels to mask off for flat.

Time to start putting a nail on the cih approach, it makes no sense for new construction theaters.

Peter, are you advocating this approach for DCI home theaters, commercial theaters or both? It sounds like today's approach in reverse where the screen would be sized for scope, then mask the top and/or bottom to get rid of the letterbox, zoom in for flat and mask off the sides to get rid of the pillarbox. If my math if correct, this means a scope picture would have 25-30% less total picture area that a flat presentation.

That to me makes no sense. Am I missing something?
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:43 AM
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Hi Johnty, (sorry for the delayed response).

You (and Aidoru) are right, for a movie theater where there is ample screen size I agree with you, big CinemaScope primary screen and zoom down to flat, for the people doing DCI at Home (which quite frankly I think it frequently escapes people like Odyssey, Wolfgang and Myself why so few have chosen this generally superior path), you have ceiling limitations, it is here where people have to start digging deeper basements and doing modifed CIA-CIW like I showed...

Now I am sure of those with the big Barco's not all are going to agree on the scaling using the TI internal engine. I di not expect it to look this good and to be such an effective way of getting rid of stair-stepping, and excessive pixel definition. This is obviously an Area where TI has engineered with fuzzy logic because this 1.9 ar stretch mode look the most film-like. This is very similar to the anamorphic stretch I have been adamantly oposed to , but maybe the lads that have been doing it , do get the similar benefit to de-pixelate the image I see with this scaling to 1.9 thing to accomplish FLOOR TO CEILING wall to wall.
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:43 AM
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I'm most interested in seeing what 4K does with all of this. With res to spare it could throw a monkey wrench into this.

I still feel that with 3D, the jury is still out, athough if things proceed as they appear to be right now scope is on the ropes.


I was wondering how that floor to ceiling projection Peter is doing performs in the ANSI contrast department ? I will admit it looks gigantic and pretty cool actually but seeing the film on the screen and on the floor would distract me a bit.

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Old 04-30-2010, 07:47 AM
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Hi Art,

While I am well adjusted to seeing the reflections off the floor which has no gloss (I was seeing them before anyways with the smaller CinemaScope screens*) , a proper screening room would be black velvet and dark carpet to be sure. There is such an intense ansi everything with this PJ that the images is spectacular nonetheless even in these Loft conditions.


This is the new goal on Skoll on a 9 foot ceiling height. The masking system frames from our top vendors are ridiculously thick for my application, I will device my own solution for Skoll (maybe a three way masking with one bottom roller inserted in the a floor channel)


The Lab is just a temporary setup. We hope that our work permits us to increase the size of the venues and thus the size of our labs.

Maybe like this:


The goal of the lab is for private research (as a custom designer, DCI at Home blogger/journalistand DCI at Home manufacturer/custom modder). You can see how we started with the 144 x 60 supernova and the Titans, then tore it out after the superkontrast came back from cedia effectively doubling the screen area, and now that we made upgrades to the signal path we tripled the original screen area, so a good thing we did not build anything around those previous screens.

The series 2 projectors with 4k are coming, 4k dci content in a screen 9 feet tall is simply scrumptious. The IMB though permits scaling of now hdmi 1.3 2k but soon may handle hdmi1.4 and I hope the consumer format conversions.

It does make sense for doremi combine the dimension 3-D and the IMB functions into one for cinemas and even for other special venues (like high end ht).

All of this stuff , 3d and 4K is expensive but truly it is the most exciting technical development of my career since I named my little company FERMONT HOME THEATRE in 1979 while in college.

And as I have found out since 2K4 frame quadrupling scaling is what is going to be used, devices like the big Teranex's and the Calibre VPPRO are now new requirements to pre-scaling unsharp masking tasks. So it can get even more expensive.

And that due to the size of the chips an engine change from 2k to 4ki on a series 2 projector (leaving originally lens intact) will project a 15 % smaller image. So new far more expensive lenses are coming.

There are $37,000 short throw lenses out there. So as you see this new frontier is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards that await are worth every sacrifice.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:30 AM
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Just order a rol of black felt and drop a piece of it on the floor, before showing prospective clients. The stuff comes on 35 or 50 meter rolls, or simillar US lengths and is still cheap enough to cutt off and throw out when trampled on too much or too stained, or filled with half the beach dragged up from downstairs.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:44 AM
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We don't bring clients into the lab except architect friends and stuff. The lab is a lab for secret research for system development work and my writings here and one day my book.

That being said, I like my bamboo floors the way they are for now, actually if you want to be really picky a cave room still reflects light from peoples garments and other nicknack's (best Buy Boxes, pizza boxes), the ideal situation would be a giant black German velvet below that tapers from the entire screen size in the front to (2 feet in front of the sofa) where it would be as large only as needed for 2 people to see the screen.

Like a negative light Ricola horn.

Oops we are completely off topic now Donald.
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:29 PM
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That's why I suggested, something light, soft, and easy to drop down as required. I thought you mentioned basketball player prospective clients that come over needing to mind their heads, hence the suggestion.
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