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Super 35 and SDDS


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#1 dd3stp233

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 02:06 AM

A movie could be shot in super 35 (4 perf) and contact printed, using only a SDDS soundtrack, this would utilize the extra space on the film for picture instead of the other soundtrack types. Other then projectors needing a full aperture gate (some art type theaters may have already if they play silent movies) and having a SDDS system, does this not sound like an idea that has some merits to look into? Other then not being compatible with some (manly older) theater systems can anybody think of why this isn't a good idea? SDDS offers 8 channel sound and super 35, a larger picture area.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 07:22 AM

Hi,

Nice idea on paper, but I can't see them changing practically every projector in the world to accomodate it - at least not before going to some sort of digital solution.

Phil
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 08:24 AM

Hi,

Nice idea on paper, but I can't see them changing practically every projector in the world to accomodate it - at least not before going to some sort of digital solution.

Phil



But a digital refitting of a theatre cost what, quarter million US on average? What would this proposal cost? I know that digital is facing an uphill battle because of the high cost to the theatre. Studios may shy away from this because they are looking to save money by not having to make huge amounts of prints, where digital projection is much cheaper for them in the long run.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 09:18 AM

Hi,

Why would they bother, though?

It's not going to save anyone any money (Digital projection will, in the long run, if they can figure out the business dynamics of it.)

Recentering lenses on projectors is a major operation.

Phil
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 09:42 AM

Hi,

Why would they bother, though?

It's not going to save anyone any money (Digital projection will, in the long run, if they can figure out the business dynamics of it.)

Recentering lenses on projectors is a major operation.

Phil


Phil,

Your totally correct. There is no point in changing the specifications for 35mm projection. Then cinemas would not be able to project movies made over the last 70 years. If you want higher quality shoot anamorphic. Why would anybody want to change a system that already gives a better image than a 2k DI.

Stephen
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 11:51 AM

I know that Storaro was suggesting 3-perf Full Aperture projection for his Univisium 2:1 format.

I don't think theaters are comfortable with not having an analog sound back-up.

Besides SDDS, there is probably a way to squeeze the other two digital sound tracks (Dolby Digital & DTS) in there since they don't take up much space.

The slight improvement in projection is probably not worth the overall of every theater in the world. And as long as there were theaters with the sound aperture set-up, you'd have to make prints for them too, so if everyone was shooting Super-35, you'd have to make reduction prints or blow-ups to the sound formats anyway.
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#7 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 03:28 PM

First of all SDDS was a complete failure due to Sony's mis-design of it. It relied on utilising the 5 speakers in the front that were left over from the old 70mm 6-channel magnetic soundtrack (and already installed in many theatres). Nice idea, only it's not what a mixer needs - they don't need 5 channels up front. SDDS still only had 2 sourround channels which isn't what a modern audience wants. Modern mixes called for a center surround channel that was soon implemented in DTS 6.1 and Dolby Digital 6.1.

Secondly, the system was the most expensive to install of all the digital systems (something the exhibitor had to shell out for) and had the least reliability. When I worked as a projectionist SDDS never ever worked. The only film I can rememeber that even was mixed in 8 discreet channels was the first Zorro. Granted, that film did sound fantastic when everything worked, but that was rare.

Thirdly, the SDDS system used the ATRAC compression algorithm that the MiniDisc system uses. I.e., it was a heavily compressed format - the heaviest compressed one of all the digital sound systems. DTS has the least compression and DD being the second.

Now I don't think SDDS is even made any more by Sony - it was a massive failure. Good idea, but mismanaged and came at the wrong time. Today a discreet 8- or 9-channel system would probably work better. Many mixers complain that they can't place sounds above or below the audience for instance. But at the same time - do we really need more standards than we already have?
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#8 dd3stp233

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 10:41 PM

I didn't really mean for this idea to be accepted as a commercial theater standard. I may just make my home theatre this way. Dolby digital would work just as well since it isn't printed in the super 35 picture area.

I am concerned that movie companies pushing digital theater projection have not fully considered piracy more since it such a growing problem these days. First a digital copy when copied will have a perfect clone copy. Encryption methods are easily cracked. (Decss the Dvd encryption code was cracked by a 10 year old boy in Norway) Theather projectionists and employees are generally low paying jobs, copies are bound to leak out. Look at how fast perfect digital copies of Star Wars 2+3 were available on the black market, in some cases it was before the movie was released. Digital makes it easier for pirates. Considering statements by the MPAA over the last few years about how much the industry is losing due to piracy, I would think that motion picture companies would try to do something to make it harder for pirates not easier. The price of prints are much less then how much would be lost due to piracy.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 07:43 AM

Hi,

I would have much more time for the piracy issue if people like the MPAA didn't handle it in such a preposterously isolationist and standoffish manner - CSS was practically security through obscurity, a very naive encryption which they refused to run past any cryptology professionals for fear of someone finding out how it worked, when of course any properly designed crypto system should work regardless of how well its mechanism is understood. What isn't frequently appreciate is that one of the three DVD-Audio standards uses very robust encryption which is not often defeated; it can be done.

Nonetheless, I think the NBT after the digital transition will be a gradual realisation that trying to keep these things completely locked down is a very expensive waste of time. As someone (can't remember who) once said, the only reason copyright laws are tolerated is that they're rarely enforced. With "Screaming Jack" Valenti advocating ever more ridiculous restrictions on the distribution and use of digital media, the backlash can't be far off. One thing they're proposing is decreeing that no digital media may be used for any purpose not foreseen at the time of manufacture, which is obviously and palpably unacceptable.

This is not the solution, guys. It's already much, much easier to use cracked software than it is to go through the elaborate dance of registering it properly (whether you paid for it or not.) Encryption and content protection has a negative value for the consumer and I believe these days of fanatical pursuit of security are numbered.

Phil
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