I have instructed the optical engineer modifying the Prometheus Barco Superkontrast, that this time around I want the Superkontrast MK II to live up to it's name.
No one in this forum has a remote clue of all the legwork involved in order to have had Barco to OK the Helene mod. It was like getting a marriage annulled by the Pope. The ticket to modifying these sets is to not void the warranty, that would be super foolish as I believe the sum of the cost of the parts probably exceeds the cost of the projector. The projector is 100% modular, I don't think the upcoming .98 competing product is. Barco acquiesced on a case by case bassos to honor the warranties assuming certain conditions were met.
All parts that are modified like light engine and lenses have to be clearly labeled with a date and description of the modification performed. This is in case a part is serviced and is swapped; now entering the pool of service parts. I assume.
Much more concern for the heat buildup exists on this chassis than on the larger dp90-100 which Odyssey uses. With closer space confines comes the possibility of accelerated heat buildup. In addition great strides have been made in this chassis to wards perfect uniformity, Barco is adamant that the integrity of the uniformity NOT BE SACRIFICED. This projector uses an O shaped optical path , a departure form the Delta Shaped path, this is credited for it's unmatched uniformity.
Prudently observing Barco's wishes we conservatively set the single aperture plate at .53 reduction and called it a day to monitor the heat levels. We also
limited the lamp size to 1,600 watts.
The purpose of Prometheus is to push the visual to the limit, audio is clearly secondary (we cover all our bases using the tried and proven natural sound of dynaudio esotar controlled directivity units- but we are working around the Torus screen with every known acoustical countermeasures to typical Torus sound anomalies as personally researched over 2 decades). I believe it will sound great -well see.
The Torus screen optimizes for ANSI contrast and MTF. The screen is ray traced to the room . In this case it was Don Stewart personally that did the ray tracing. The Barco Dp1500 control suite does offer the unique capability of trimming any shape during masking to any kind of screen flat, curved, or Torus. This is fortuitous.
Emboldened by the superior uniformity of the TORUS (and having comfort in the low heat levels thus far) I have instructed the optical engineers preparing the SUPERKONTRAST II to spare no sacrifice in obtaining the maximum possible contrast out of this opportunity to break the world MTF record for any HDTV device.
The Barco Communicator software has been on line in Helene with the engineers on the west coast for two months now. Heat and operational data has been collected and analyzed with extremely positive results.
We all now about the custom aperture plates that need be heat proof, we had three plates made. A .53 (Helene), a .63, a .73 this later one is a joke (a pinhole) so for Prometheus a .63. Much investigation with Barco and with a top optical engineer that worked on the .98 engine design for TI and now defected to a German lens Manufacturer has been made during the last few weeks. Greater aperture reduction is clearly yielding a severely diminished return. We also are comissioning with a New England custom lens technician a matching iris. The iris on the lens does not need to match the aperture in the light pipe just aproximate it. Say 60% reduction.
This are the secret tools that have been used thusfar to achieve increased contrast in digital cinema thus far.
The SuperKontast II will sport a third technique not previously considered. THIS CONCEPT IS NEW TO ME and it is still It is not very clear to me what combination of manual adjustment of the DMD and it's corresponding "SEMAPHORE" in the software side of the process but essentially there are ways of aligning the dmd while "setting it up" for native white where the contrast values of native white are maximised, this technique will be used to push the CR over the 5k-1 hump. I am calling it MAXIMUM CR NATIVE WHITE SEMAPHORE SETUP.
While achieving an extra 1.1k-1 in sequential contrast over the Superkontrast I is dignified, what we are after here is the elusive MTF. We will be taking the MTF pedal to the metal here. Don't let the dust trail incovenience you.