Cinemark Theatres Have All Digital New Barco Projectors - I am Most Impressed! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-06-2011, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.cinemark.com/technology

Just saw the new Planet of Apes movie there today. Outstanding picture and sound!

Digital movies have been problematic. Theaters with 3D would not take the hours to change the lens for 2D and that 3D lens with filters would wipe down the l.ight output, such that you are often better seeing the
2D movie, even if shot or processed digitally, in analog even with the digital to analog conversion.

I talked with an employee at the theater , who advised they recently changed out all projectors and screens. Sure enough, the above weblink shows all new Barco digital projectors as of this year 2011.

I thought I heard better sound, clearer, lower in volume, better deep pass - it may well be that I've lately been going to analog Harkins locally (only all digital Harkins is out in W Phx on Happy Valley Road) there
has been some DA conversion affecting the sound, such that the new Barco's and digital sonics are unsurpassed.

Cinemark Mesa also has wider more comfy seats and a bit more leg room than even Harkins!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-07-2011, 11:23 PM
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Barco may have some advantages over its competitors for those considering a D-Cinema projector for HT use where we focus on specs and features but in the commercial world other factors more important ( financial, service contract ) come into play influencing the choice of equipment. There is a reason for this, commercial cinema electronics should not alter the source content making sure all cinemas deliver the same image on screen within tolerance regardless the cinemas location world wide or brand equipment used. That is why these projectors do not have internal processing. It keeps the projectionist from mucking the image based on his liking.
Steve I went to my local cinema recently for a digital screening to see what digital looked like on a really big screen & like you I was impressed. Not sure what projector the cinema I visited are using but focusing on image I expected compromise verses celluloid but to my surprise the experience was very film like with no digital glare.
In comparison the biggest weakness in any HT chain is the source and its 8bit limitation. For those who think your home theater purchases are behind you be warned if we ever get 10 or 12 bit color we will then need 12 bit projectors and VPs.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-08-2011, 06:18 AM
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My last D-Cinema experience was Transformers 3 in 3D. I got to see the projector in their newest cinema which was a 2K Barco. The REAL D 3D shutter lens thing was on a slide that the projectionist could push manually out of the light path. There was no ISCO 1.25x anamorphic lens for this projector. During the presentation, it appeared that they were using the "shrink" method as the presentation was CIH, but at no time did there appear to be any zooming of the image when it went to Scope for the feature. What I did see was a rapid pixel by pixel (similar to some home VPs) side pillar opening out when the AR changed to scope. This means that there was about 853 vertical pixels on screen, yet for the image size, it was very good - detailed and sharp as with all the D-Cinema presentations I've seen. I actually do prefer them to film now that I have seen scratch free, stable images.

This particular style of cinema is called a "V-MAX" and has no side masks curtains, so the full width of the screen is exposed all the time including the during the pre-show. Normally when Scope on flat trailers are shown, they are letter boxed because the side masks hides the sides of the screen. In this case they were "window boxed" on the Scope screen. I do prefer the side masked versions I've seen in other D-Cinemas.

The sound was 7.1 (Dolby TrHD?) which was cool, but not loud enough. I doubt that they ran the master at "7".

The only two negatives I had with this cinema was the small lights that have installed on the seat cup holders. They stayed on and were too bright once the ceiling lights had faded out. I covered mine with my jacket. And the price - $23 a ticket is rude even if it is 3D. Apparently it a V-Max thing to charge that much.

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post #4 of 13 Old 08-08-2011, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

In this case they were "window boxed" on the Scope screen.

I find that the worse of all scenarios. Hopefully only used for pre-show presentation.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-08-2011, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Gouger View Post

I find that the worse of all scenarios. Hopefully only used for pre-show presentation.

It was, but why not show it as full screen Scope? I've seen many times where the curtains open for CinemaScope trailers for 35mm. Why should digital be any different?

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post #6 of 13 Old 08-08-2011, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Gouger View Post
I find that the worse of all scenarios. Hopefully only used for pre-show presentation.
Screens with movable masking cost a lot more than simply fixed screens. If say a 12 or more movie Cineplex has all brand new Barco projectors, and all brand new screens, why not install perhaps no more than a few movable masking screens and the rest some fixed 2:35 and fixed 1:78 screens as they "juggle" the movies by aspect ratios. I'd put the movable masking screens in the largest theaters with the higher light output Barco projector, to have the flexibility to use those largest theaters for either aspect ratio.

Our local Cinemark even replaced the 2-3 digital projectors they had with brand new Barcos.

I do nor mind previews on a 2:35 screen showing borders left and right when its a 16:9 preview. No big deal. Its the movie that counts.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-08-2011, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
I do nor mind previews on a 2:35 screen showing borders left and right when its a 16:9 preview. No big deal. Its the movie that counts.
I can live with pillar boxing as well but I will take Marks stand against window boxing, at least to get a free popcorn!

Steve Cliff says you have a sweat theater and he was impressed with the black level from your Sim2. That is saying a lot coming from a CRT extraordinaire.
Sounds like you did it right, congrats.
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-08-2011, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Gouger View Post
I can live with pillar boxing as well but I will take Marks stand against window boxing, at least to get a free popcorn!

Steve Cliff says you have a sweat theater and he was impressed with the black level from your Sim2. That is saying a lot coming from a CRT extraordinaire.
Sounds like you did it right, congrats.
I blame you, Mark Haflich and Scott Horton for some good advise on projector, distance for the T2 lens to screen, screen, etc. And my dark room of course!!

I have liked the contrast, but I was surprised that Steve Cliff liked it so much as he also liked my brightness as well! And I don't even have a Lumis!

Since Steve Cliff is in town Monday - Wed, mebbe he and I will go to the Cinemark for a movie during the week so we can again see their new Barcos in action!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-08-2011, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
Screens with movable masking cost a lot more than simply fixed screens. If say a 12 or more movie Cineplex has all brand new Barco projectors, and all brand new screens, why not install perhaps no more than a few movable masking screens and the rest some fixed 2:35 and fixed 1:78 screens as they "juggle" the movies by aspect ratios. I'd put the movable masking screens in the largest theaters with the higher light output Barco projector, to have the flexibility to use those largest theaters for either aspect ratio.
Side masks should be about presentation.

There are two ways to do this - brand new construction or retro-fit. In the case of a retro fit, they change out the white screen fabric to 'silver' for REAL D-3D and they replace the 35mm projector with a new digital (Barco or Christie). The masking is already there. They don't have to add it again so it certainly not a cost issue.

In the case of this V-Max, they completely gutted the old flat floor cinema and re-built it as a brand new stadium seated cinema. The screen width is still the same because they re-worked the same auditorium. Why they didn't include the side masks is a mystery. This cinema was one of a select few that was listed on the Dolby website as "Dolby Digital" equipped back when it was a 35mm cinema. Despite is previous flat floor, it was one of the better sounding cinemas in my city.

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post #10 of 13 Old 08-21-2011, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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DO NOT LAUGH!

My wife is a "Glee" fan on TV. I hadn't watched it. But I wanted to go back to the Cinemark to see how a 3D movie looked with their new Barco projector!

This was one of the probably medium sized theaters with a fixed 16:9 screen.

During the previews, if one wore the 3D glasses for the 2D previews, one could see a strobing effect.

Also, previews were dark - meaning that they left the 3D filter in during 2D filters.

Sound was also way to loud and boomy during previews.

But for the main "Glee 3D" presentation:

Sound was excellent and as musical as is possible for a movie theater in my experience.

Picture was like its supposed to be for 3D, adequate brightness. 3D gave some nice 3D visuals but overally, the greater brightness of 2D presentation I think outweights the 3D benefits of a movie like this.

In the whole theater, there were only - 3 people!!@@@ Sunday afternoon 4 PM movie! And here in Phoenix, what is there to do Sunday afternoon other than watch football on TV, swim, or go to a movie!

Oh! Even though I haven't watched "Glee" on TVl, I enjoyed the outstanding singing and dancing in the movie! I didn't fall asleep as I often do during movies with duller moments.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-26-2011, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

This particular style of cinema is called a "V-MAX" and has no side masks curtains, so the full width of the screen is exposed all the time including the during the pre-show. Normally when Scope on flat trailers are shown, they are letter boxed because the side masks hides the sides of the screen. In this case they were "window boxed" on the Scope screen. I do prefer the side masked versions I've seen in other D-Cinemas.

I had a similar experience, but in a theater that uses 4K Sony projectors (Alamo Draft House). This was a 2D viewing of Harry Potter. Their screen was ~2.35 and was nearly as wide as the theater itself. Previews seemed to all be 1.85 a/r, and were not zoomed or "lensed", but scaled/shrunk to maintain CIH on the 2.35 a/r screen (effectively pillar-boxed). They had a bunch of Harry Potter humorous tribute videos before the previews (instead of all the crap commercials that nearly every other theater does), and those were 1.33 a/r also shrunk to constant height, with "super" pillar-box. The movie itself used the entire screen (2.35), and looked incredible. The detail on 4k was awesome.
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-14-2011, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I blame you, Mark Haflich and Scott Horton for some good advise on projector, distance for the T2 lens to screen, screen, etc. And my dark room of course!!

I have liked the contrast, but I was surprised that Steve Cliff liked it so much as he also liked my brightness as well! And I don't even have a Lumis!

Since Steve Cliff is in town Monday - Wed, mebbe he and I will go to the Cinemark for a movie during the week so we can again see their new Barcos in action!

I'll be glad to take you up on that Steve considering hopefully I'll be traveling to Phoenix for a while to come

Cliff
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-14-2011, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll be glad to take you up on that Steve considering hopefully I'll be traveling to Phoenix for a while to come

Cliff

I've been swamped at the office the past few weeks. Hopefully will see some daylight early October so mebbe then we can check it out!

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