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Bye Bye good Picture Quality at IMAX - Page 2

post #31 of 267
What reason would there be to go to an IMAX theater then ? This is the death knell IMO.

Art
post #32 of 267
They say most people attending a commercial theater no longer care about presentation or would know a good/bad picture if it bit them. On the other side those attending Imax are a different bread and do so for the extras it offers, time will tell.
post #33 of 267
I highly recommend the latest edition of SMPTE's 'Motion Imaging Journal,' April 2008. It's titled: 'Sowing the Seeds of UHDTV' and includes feature articles on the following topics:

'Research on Human Factors in Ultrahigh-Definition Television to Determine its Specifications'

'Quest for Finding the Right HD Format: A New Psychophysical Method for Subjective HDTV Assessment'

'A 22.2 Multichannel Sound System for Ultrahigh-Definition TV'

'4K+ Systems: Theory Basics for Motion Picture Imaging'

This publication is free to members of SMPTE. Contact them for availability of single issues. I also recommend becoming a member of SMPTE to anyone who is full time serious about motion imaging. They are non-profit and worthy of the support, plus there are multiple benefits to members.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
G. Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
post #34 of 267
Thread Starter 
yes ther is since long time much talk about 4k and even 8k pr.

but fakt is right now that 70mm copys are soon not anymore at imax
and they will get 2048x1080 thats it.

4k and 8k is most lcos but that system have not enough light to do imax.
post #35 of 267
Bigger picture and same source equals worse picture quality.
Why couldn´t a medium sized screen with high resolution and picture quality be promoted provided the setup is very immersive?
The fact that 4k dlp is not ready for a while gives lcos a chance to iron out all the quirks of 4k lcos or 8k for that matter.
post #36 of 267
Quote:
Why couldn´t a medium sized screen with high resolution and picture quality be promoted provided the setup is very immersive?

More sense of immersion is accomplished by filling more of the audience's field of view, which means a bigger screen, or sitting closer. That's the fundamental purpose for IMAX. Sitting closer still requires higher resolution.

Smaller screens may reduce the light requirement from the projector but results in smaller auditoriums, fewer seats, less ticket sales, delayed return on investment. The physics and psychophysics are unavoidable.
post #37 of 267
Am I missing something ? IMAX at essentially the same resolution I have in my home theater ? This is all she wrote IMO.

Art
post #38 of 267
If IMAX loses their reputation for the most immersive experience with great picture quality, they may never be able to get it back enough. One bad experience and some people will be lost to other theaters (or home theaters). Two bad experiences ...

Some companies never recover from relying on a reputation of excellence to losing that reputation. Even if they go back to their previous quality.

If I owned a theater chain that competed with IMAX I would probably be very happy to hear they were going to have the same resolution as us and force most of their customers to sit close to that.

--Darin
post #39 of 267
IMAX got it's name ,image maximum, for a reason. That reason will evaporate with 2MP resolution. The seating distances in any IMAX I've been in will make that a joke IMO. This really is depressing. I need to be sure to take my children while they are still using film .

Art
post #40 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

If they were using a perforated screen, that may be a large part of the reason. Tests have been conducted for cinema professionals comparing 4K to 2K on a 50 ft. wide perfed screen and they could not distinguish between the two. The same group could also readily recognize an increase in resolution when 2K was demonstrated on a non-perfed vs. a perfed screen.

Hi George,
I'd really be interested in reading about those tests. Can you provide a link? (Or are they described in the SMPTE journal you referenced? I have a friend who's a member so maybe I can get a look.) Also, aren't most (if not all) commercial cinema screens perforated? If so, I can imagine Sony for one wouldn't want the results of these tests to be widely known!
post #41 of 267
"I’m going to take a quick side step and discuss acoustic screens, which allow sound to pass through them. The heritage of building so called “sound screens” dates back to sound coming to the motion picture industry. They put a lot of “small” holes in the screen, so sound from loudspeakers located behind the screen could come through. What this did was help localize the source of the sound for the majority of the audience. In a large theatre, where the screen might need to be 50 feet wide, there haven’t been a lot of “acceptable” alternatives to placing the loudspeakers behind the screen. I’ll go further adrift and tell you that I’ve seen and heard a system in Paris where the screen itself was used to create the sound, I suppose much like a ribbon loudspeaker. I didn’t take the time to figure out if the small vibrations of the screen hurt the image as much as the holes in the screen in other sets of circumstances. I did learn that the motion picture industry has lived with the image quality loss of holes in the screen for so long that not much interest has surfaced (there is a pun in there somewhere) in fixing the problem.

While we are adrift, I should tell you about the world of electronic cinema, where the issue of holes in the screen is once again being addressed. The Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC (DCI) did a presentation where a 4K-image source from an animated feature was projected by a 4K projector on a screen that was about 50 feet wide. That same image was downconverted to 2K and projected by a 2K projector. On the perforated screen, you couldn’t tell the difference between the two images. Put up a solid screen, and the differences were significant. Put up a solid screen on the 2K projector, and it looked seriously better than on the perforated screen. The quick lesson in all of this is that image detail passes through the holes in the screen and never comes back to the audience. Who would have ever thought such a thing possible? Now come to JKP and find us being concerned about the size of the grain on a solid screen and immediately know where we come down on perforated screens. They certainly don’t fit into our idea of a good screen. (We do want to take a closer look at making the screen itself the sound driver.)" From the Widescreen Review, Issue 119, April 2007, Industry View, Joe Kane's 'Qualities Of A High-Performance Home Projection Screen.'

"Several years ago, (Joe) Kane ran tests using the JVC D-VHS D-Theater HD tape format at a peak video bit rate of 24 Mbits/sec and saw that a perforated home theater screen masked the difference between MPEG-2 and WMV encoding and hid image details, while on a non-perforated screen. The difference was obvious to all observers. The Digital Cinema Initiative ran similar tests at the University of Southern California processing laboratory in Hollywood and found that a perforated movie screen mostly masked the difference between 2K and 4K projected images, yet the difference was obvious with a non-perforated screen." From the SMPTE Journal, Issue: 2008 01/02 January/February, Section Meetings Report, Washington, D.C.- October 2007.

Here's a link to Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC: http://www.dcimovies.com/
post #42 of 267
post #43 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Johnson View Post

"IMAX makes a dramatic comeback"

http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/...-05-imax_N.htm

Interesting article.

I liked reading this:
Quote:


"We had to wait for the technology to catch up," Wechsler says. "There were significant hurdles with something as simple as the color black, which is very important."

Maybe they'll be willing to do some things to improve in this area, if they haven't already. I wonder if they could implement the fluid dynamic iris discussed in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1023461

Not sure if it could take the heat from IMAX though. As I mentioned there, the positions for the dynamic iris could all be pre-done by a professional to avoid artifacts, since theaters (including IMAX) display the same things over and over.

This part of the article makes it sound like this is more than IMAX moving to throwing up the same 1080p images we see at most digital theaters:
Quote:


They needed a light to get IMAX out of that dark period, and around mid-2006 technicians seemed to have a promising solution to the screen-illumination problem. They developed a process, and software, that fused and enhanced images from two projectors.

To preserve the trade secret, they called the technology a "flux capacitor" a joking tribute to the device that made time travel possible in the 1985 hit Back to the Future.

The first big test for the $15 million development project took place in a Toronto warehouse. The company created a makeshift IMAX theater and hired a research firm that invited people to watch a series of clips and answer the question: Is this IMAX?

Satisfied with the initial response, the company in mid-2007 made a deal with AMC to turn one of its screens in Toronto into an IMAX venue and show the prototype to technicians from studios and theater chains.

As the positive reviews rolled in, IMAX had to grapple with one more problem and a big one at that: Its business model had become obsolete.

I wonder what kinds of things they've done, given that it says they enhanced the images. Hopefully more than just lumens.

--Darin
post #44 of 267
Well at least the fuse two projectors line says more than just a single 1080 unit. I don't know I'm skeptical though. I think that this is a dumbing down for financial reasons and they are seeing how far down they can go and still meet some acceptability criteria.

Art
post #45 of 267
Not unreasonable to assume they would employ edge blending. Planetariums have been doing it for years.
post #46 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

I think that this is a dumbing down for financial reasons and they are seeing how far down they can go and still meet some acceptability criteria.

Art

Reading the replies from many IMAX theater owners on film forums they are not happy, none made a dime off IMAX except for IMAX who pinched all the profits. Many expressed they cannot wait for their contracts to expire.
post #47 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Gouger View Post

Reading the replies from many IMAX theater owners on film forums they are not happy, none made a dime off IMAX except for IMAX who pinched all the profits. Many expressed they cannot wait for their contracts to expire.


Alan this is a sad time IMO. At least for folks like me who aren't in, IMAX was the best of the best. I always thought that the full theaters at IMAX conversions would have meant at least a small profit.Obviously I was wrong and that era is over.

Art
post #48 of 267
Wow that is too bad. If what Alan says is true, IMAX has just killed itself.
post #49 of 267
I want to see someone anyone show me a digital projection that matches a 70mm 15 perf IMAX shot and screened prints.
post #50 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nk1 View Post

I want to see someone anyone show me a digital projection that matches a 65mm 15 perf IMAX shot and screened prints.

Cineramax says his modified Barco 2K DLP is already there.

Art
post #51 of 267
NHK's (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) breathtaking development of UHDTV (Ultrahigh-Definition Television) is featured in a couple of detailed articles in the April '08 issue of the 'SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.' Other articles have also appeared in previous issues this year. Demonstrations of an 8K image with 22.2 channel sound have been offered in Japan and the US. Efforts have also been under way to expand the color space of digital cinema to meet or even exceed that of traditional film. This all bodes well for such potential applications as IMAX.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
G. Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
post #52 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

NHK's (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) breathtaking development of UHDTV (Ultrahigh-Definition Television) is featured in a couple of detailed articles in the April '08 issue of the 'SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.' Other articles have also appeared in previous issues this year. Demonstrations of an 8K image with 22.2 channel sound have been offered in Japan and the US. Efforts have also been under way to expand the color space of digital cinema to meet or even exceed that of traditional film. This all bodes well for such potential applications as IMAX.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
G. Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"

Hi George,
I would love to see the digital cinema vs Imax 70mm 15 perf shoot out!
Perhaps this Ultra 8k can get close? Who knows, But at this point in time it would be cheaper to shoot and project at 65mm 15perf Imax and the quality is incredible! In the future I am sure we may see something come close but for now I just don't see thats where things are going. Especially since most are happy with 2k and have the world is happy with super compressed Mpeg 2 standard def and 64kbps mp3 audio files! We have taken some giant steps backwards in quality on some levels

Long Live Imax 70 mm film, 15 perforations per frame
post #53 of 267
Late June is the last installation of 'film based' IMAX. Everything moving forward is going to be 2x2k digital - stacked 2K DLP (OEM'd from Christie) and a re-badged GDC server.
post #54 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Bright View Post

Late June is the last installation of 'film based' IMAX. Everything moving forward is going to be 2x2k digital - stacked 2K DLP (OEM'd from Christie) and a re-badged GDC server.

Worst news I have heard all day.


Imax is now nothing more then a expensive big screen to me. Hopefully the local science center will continue showing Film based IMAX doc's, once thats done, I am never going back unless some magical day comes when they can prove to me a higher image quality then 70mm 15 perf shot and exhibited film.
But I am not holding my breath.
post #55 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nk1 View Post

Worst news I have heard all day.


Imax is now nothing more then a expensive big screen to me. Hopefully the local science center will continue showing Film based IMAX doc's, once thats done, I am never going back unless some magical day comes when they can prove to me a higher image quality then 70mm 15 perf shot and exhibited film.
But I am not holding my breath.

There isn't any way that two blended 2K DLPs can touch real IMAX. Of course it should be better than 2K commercial cinema but we are at the end of an era.... very sad.

art
post #56 of 267
Anybody have any updates on how IMAX is doing this? Like is it always 2 projectors? There is an IMAX screen opening at the Southcenter Mall south of Seattle this Friday and I'll go this weekend if some friends are free then. I can try to figure out what they are doing (like whether they have 2 projectors), but just wondering if anybody else has more information. There is something about the screen opening here:

http://www.bigmoviezone.com/txshows/...html?uniq=1122
Quote:


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: The IMAX Experience
Opens November 7th 2008
Theater Features: IMAX® digital projection system

I'm curious about whether they've done anything about on/off contrast ratio, but that movie probably isn't the best one to figure that out.

--Darin
post #57 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2 View Post

I can try to figure out what they are doing (like whether they have 2 projectors), but just wondering if anybody else has more information.

I believe they use the combo of Christie's camera based Autostack system and the Christie Twist hardware/software combo to carry out any warping.
post #58 of 267
I have been in a booth and saw the screen of two of the new digital IMAX installs in so cal. It is a pair of DLP projectors side by side. On rails so they can spread them for service. They are inside a large metal housing with IMAX stamped all over them, but when you lookin the vents, you can easilly tell they are Christie projectors inside. There is no camera I could see, and no servos on the lens centering that I could spot. Accoriding to the people closly gaurding the secrets, they are hyper accurately overlaid exactly 1/2 pixel off both vertically and horizontally to totally cover the pixel grid and the special IMAX processor is taking a full 4096 x 2160 feed and feeding the two projectors the alternating pixel data. Of course for 3D they do run left eye / right eye with linear polarizers in front of the projectors. They have a cute robot arm with 3 positions, open for 2D, closed to douse between shows, and polarized for 3D. They use the douser infront of the projector for one big reason, thermal settling. They have to align the projectors when they are fully warmed up, and the internal douser allows the light engine to cool. They also want a hard douse to make the black screen totally dark between shows, electronic black is not that dark.

When I was in there, they were running "Eagle Eye" which was also running just a few doors down in 2K DLP and across the hall in 35 mm film. They were selling about 2 to 1 on tickets for the IMAX vs film, and the DLP was right between. Funny thing is they charge more for the IMAX, but the same for film and 2K DLP. Yes, more people paid extra for the IMAX. When they converted the room from 35 mm to IMAx, they only lost a couple extreme front corner seats due to the curve of the screen. It is perforated with the spekers behind. But this was odd to me. It is just 5.1 channel. The rack has just 4 stereo amps in the booth. One channel each used for left, center, right, l surr, r surr, and two channels for the sub array. The 8th amp channel is running the booth monitor speaker. Yup, passive x-over, not bi-amped. The amps are each rated at 2000 watts into 4 ohms per channel, so it is not meak, but I have set up many ordinary theatres with far more power for the size room. In fact the 35 mm film system that was removed from this very room was more powerful. And of course in IMAX tradition, they just stuck one huge speaker in each rear corner for the surrounds. They even left the string of JBL 8340A's from the film system, but no longer connected to anything.

Looking at the picture, it looked okay. First complaint... No masking. The screen is sized to match the 2048x1080 aspect ratio. True IMAX releases are supposedly going to use the whole chip for this wider 1.9 ratio. Flat 1.85 movies have side borders and scope films will have top bottom borders. It was BRIGHT, I would guess close to 20 fl on peak white, judging from the picture in the 2K DLP house which I know is set for the DCI 14 fl. The blacks looked good, but nothing shockingly dark, but overall, it was tough to compare the two directly because the IMAX looked like a CRT tube set with the contrast cranked way too high. Once my eyes adjusted to the high brighteness, it looked okay, but going into the 2K DLP house just looked like more detail in the dark areas to me. The film house was not a fair comparison, it was obviously a bit dim, I would say less than 12 fl open gate and the picture was not dead steady. Of the 3 my first choice would have been the 2K DLP. It just was the most pleasing to walk in and watch. The IMAX was more in your face.

As for sound, the 35 film house sounded best that day. This is odd being that Dolby Digital on film is only 348 kbps total for 5.1 audio. But that room was recently tuned up and sounded great. The 2K house sounded good, but I think the balance was a tick off and sounded too bright. The IMAX sounded okay, and was running at the right level, the theatre had the other houses a bit below spec, but the IMAX has no normal fader, it is locked so only the approved operator can touch it. The surrounds were hotter, but point source, and the sub seemed over boosted. Not bad, but just not as smooth and natural as the others. The IMAX and the 2K DLP should both be uncompressed 24 48 PCM. This is a very well maintained theatre, and going into any one of the houses was a very good, far beter than average movie going experience. With the larger screen, hot sound level, and bright picture, I am sure the average movie go'er feels they are getting something extra for the slight increase in ticket price. And the 3D with dual projectors should be a big plus. "Eagle Eye" was not a good judge of image resolution. I will say though that I was far less aware of the pixel grid when I was at the front of the stadium seats. I can't say if it was truely sharper, or if the offset just hid it better though. I will try to critique it a bit better if and when I get behind the scenes there again. All in all, it is a good picture and good sound, but it is certainly not a replacement for 15/70.
post #59 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

There isn't any way that two blended 2K DLPs can touch real IMAX. Of course it should be better than 2K commercial cinema but we are at the end of an era.... very sad.

art

Very sad indeed Art.

I have been an IMAX lover ever since I saw it in Montrel's EXPO 76.

I invested heavily in the company and it paid off handsomely when the stock ran up to $40 and split 2 for 1. Most of my stock purchases were in the $5 range. I sold all my stock shortly after the split.

It helped me to retire 10 years early - a life goal I set at age 30 - retire at 55 using my own money. Now 57.5 and retired for 2.5 years.

Of course the financial melt down has NOT helped me AT ALL.

I go to an IMAX presentation at least 3 times a month and have for over 20 years. To me IMAX represents the zenith of film and content presentation.

And now they are taking a GIANT leap backwards. . .

From "theoritical" 18K to 2K

http://www.studiodaily.com/filmandvi...ssue/9703.html

post #60 of 267
Great to hear you could retire early. I will not even be thinking of this I have three small boys at home. Anyway as far as IMAX all I can say is with the new system "Where's The Beef?"

Art
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