DCI. Just three small letters, yet they are very powerful.
My first introduction to a DCI projector was from Peter (Cinermax) at the 2009 Cedia in Atlanta. At that time he was demoing a Barco 2K projector with a 2D image. That one booth and demo became my Holy Grail of sorts. It combined with Ruben's SMX screen was by far the very best demo of the show. In the days and then months that followed, i really started to pay attention to Peter's work. Ground-breaking does not begin to describe it. He seems more like a mad scientist always striving for his one absolute perfect creation!
i.e. Frankenstein, which does strike a close resemblance to a Barco projector when its all hooked up!
I would follow his projects and vicariously live through them. Always imagining what it would be like to live in some of the houses he had worked and to experience what was always the most cutting edge home theater experience.
The months past, and quickly to say the least. (Time continues to speed up as I age, its weird how that happens.) Before I knew it Cedia 2010 was upon me and it was back in Atlanta. This year Peter was touting the very best 3D experience possible. As he continued to post pictures of the booth, and press releases, I knew I would not be able to pass up the chance to experience it for myself.
So I hit the trade floor as soon as the door opened on the first day. I knew I was in pursuit of Peter's demo, but wanted to see all of the other goodies too. Before I knew it the morning had quickly pasted into late afternoon, and I had not come to Peter's booth yet. As I made my way to the back corner of the trade floor, I walk up to this very unassuming booth of almost solid red and black. The only way I really knew what treasures were hidden inside, was a smaller SMX screen mounted on the outside of the booth and a small little green light shining from the back of this huge black grill, which proudly displayed the Barco name. You certainly didn't have to put your ear up to it to see if it was running, and it certainly could double as a space heater if your heater were to break down in the middle of winter.
As everyone entered the booth, there was no doubt we were in for a treat. The screen was 16' wide, the projector was the size of a baby elephant, and each seat had a pair of RealD CE4 glasses. Needless to say, Peter delivered, and he delivered in a big way. It was by far the best 3D performance of the show, and to this day, it is still one of the best demos I have ever experienced.
While I was at the show, I also spent a considerable amount of time at Digital Projection's GIGANTIC booth. It was incredible. I am a DPI fan without questions, and after I laid eyes on the Titan Reference 3D projector they were demoing, I knew that would find its way into my home. It is a fantastic projector and has served me well since I received it in April, almost two years ago. At the time, from a cost stand point, the picture quality, the light output, and the overall physical size, it was the obvious choice for my home theater. Even just last week, I watched Hugo for the first time ever, and I was just blown away. After having a 3D projector for a couple years, I have found myself watching less and less. But when this movie came out, everyone said, watch this movie in 3D. I would say it is the very best 3D movie I have ever seen, but it was a little lacking in the action department, so I will continue to give the number 1 spot to Avatar. But this would most certainly be tied with Avatar based solely on the use of 3D.
About a month ago, me and Alan Gouger started talking about DCI projectors on the forum, he too had made the transition to a DCI unit and said that he could never go back to a consumer unit. Since the release of Barco's new 4K units, and the overwhelming response of 4K units both for DCI and Sony's consumer machine, we realized that the only logical choice when considering a DCI projector purchase today, would be with a 4K unit. I can not remember the last time I lost sleep over a purchase of AV equipment, but this was one of those moments. There are so many "what ifs" that run through my head every night, not because I doubt the performance level, but more concerned about what it will take to operate this beast. From the PC control software, to the 3Dimension piece, to the DVI and HS-SDI connections, everything is completely new and unknown. I feel like a novice again, and with a purchase this large, it can be unnerving. But Alan has done a terrific job keeping my mind at piece.
After about a week of talking on the forum and through lengthy phone calls, he said I should come by his place and see his unit. Granted I already knew how great these units were, from seeing Peter's setups, but yet I still had not gotten to see one installed in a residence. Even though we both live in Florida, there is still a good 6 hours or so between us. But as luck would have it, I found myself headed to Tampa for something completely unrelated. Alan once again offered for me to come see his place. I only had a limited amount of time, but I was able to spend about an hour with him, and when I left I realized Peter had nailed it. The Barco unit, when modified, is by far the best projector money can buy. The picture on Alan's screen was incredible. And for anyone that thinks you can have to much light on a screen, before you make that claim, you should see what 100+fl looks like. INCREDIBLE!
As I walked out of Alan's house, there was only one thing I could say, "Check is in the mail." I ordered a Barco 4K-23B. I hope to have it within a week or so!
So I have just started to dip my toe into the water where only a handful of people swim. But I'm about to dive in head first. Luckily Peter, W.Mayer, and Alan, are all here to keep me from drowning!
Stay posted.. more challenges lay ahead! The biggest right now is how to make this projector fit into a room thats 8" to small
With some creative ideas I have hopefully solved that problem