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#1 Richard Boddington

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 04:31 PM

I realize this is specifically dealing with 3D projection but the exact same thing will happen with 2D projection as well. As I predicted it would on this forum long ago.

As companies think they'll save money getting film out of the theatres they'll discover that various movie chains will all be using different digital projection systems. The giants will all push their own brands and technologies and there will no longer be a standard.

35mm at 24fps was universal, and maybe it's flawed in a few ways, but it did force a universal standard on the exhibition industry world wide. Digital projection is going to create a format nightmare.

"Since 3D digital projection systems currently installed around the world employ incompatible file formats, studios must now distribute dozens of different versions of their films, Disney's chief of production technology said Wednesday. Speaking to the ShoWest exhibitors convention in Las Vegas, Howard Lukk observed that digital projectors currently use eight different file formats. He noted that, with the addition of numerous language soundtracks, Disney is being forced to create 42 different release prints of its upcoming Meet the Robinsons for about 650 3D digital screens -- a "time-consuming and expensive" process. Lukk said that although the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is working on standardizing 3D digital projection systems, manufacturers of the equipment ought to come together to speed up the process."
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 04:39 PM

I think eventually the format used will have to be disc based and some disc playback "standard" will have to exist or be created that all discs must play in for the film to be "valid" and projection ready.
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 12:43 PM

I think eventually the format used will have to be disc based and some disc playback "standard" will have to exist or be created that all discs must play in for the film to be "valid" and projection ready.


How will this be "enforced"?

Each company will want to promote their own method.

How will it be done on a world wide basis? Look at TV we have NTSC and PAL plus SECAM in France.

At least 35mm is 35mm world wide, no argument.

R,
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#4 Hal Smith

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 01:18 PM

I gather this is the professional version of the HDDVD versus BluRay debacle. There is something in the wind in the entire world where large corporations increasingly would rather get on ego trips and fight it out with their competition rather than sit down at a table hosted by someone like SMPTE or EBU and hash out a standard.

If color television were being invented today we'd have fifteen different standards, completely incompatible with each other and Sony vs. Hitachi vs. RCA vs. GE vs. Matsushita vs. LG, etc., etc. all fighting it out trying to capture not only the content creation and broadcast business but force consumers to buy their incompatible products. Instead when color tv happened in the good old days there were only a few standards created, each of which was pretty much the only standard in individual countries. NTSC, SECAM, and PAL aren't too much to deal with worldwide.
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 01:57 PM

How will this be "enforced"?

Each company will want to promote their own method.

How will it be done on a world wide basis? Look at TV we have NTSC and PAL plus SECAM in France.

At least 35mm is 35mm world wide, no argument.

R,



HD is supposed to be format agnostic. DVD's can play all over the world provided it's on a computer screen.

Some type of "rule" will win out, and if someone's DVD or disc does not properly play in the hardware playback device, they lose. The key will be for the major players to accept a universal playback device. Just because there is BLU-Ray and HD-DVD doesn't mean a machine could not be made that plays back both formats. So someone makes a 5,000 dollar playback device that playsback the main HD-DVD formats, no big thing really.

What I don't see happening is a conentional movie theatre switching over to do digital projection because the actual "vibe" will be completely different. Digital projection will mean more live event and reality TV type shows being screened. New Venues will have to be created that can accomodate the younger crowd who may want to get up during the "show" and dance, scream, etc while they watch American Idol on a big screen.

I'd be careful if I were a conventional movie theatre owner and wanted to switch over, because the issue is not really digital versus film projection, but how much would I be willing to spend to completely make over my viewing area, and would that make over be justified considering the original theatre design was for watching films, not live or interactive events.
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#6 Nate Downes

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 02:14 PM

HD is supposed to be format agnostic. DVD's can play all over the world provided it's on a computer screen.


HD is hardly format agnostic. Infact it is the opposite. There are no less than 7 HD forms I can name off the top of my head:

720i
720p
1080i
1080p
2k
4k
8k

And on top of these, are several HD storage systems:
BluRay
HD-DVD
AVC-HD
P2-HD
HDV
HDCPRO
HDPRO

So.... which one will come out on top? Note, within the next year we're looking at no less than 3 more standards.
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#7 Max Jacoby

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 02:25 PM

As far as I know only 720p, 1080i & 1080p are HD formats.

2K, 4K & 8K are beyond HD and more scan formats for 35mm/65mm film.
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 04:02 PM

HD is hardly format agnostic. Infact it is the opposite. There are no less than 7 HD forms I can name off the top of my head:

720i
720p
1080i
1080p
2k
4k
8k

And on top of these, are several HD storage systems:
BluRay
HD-DVD
AVC-HD
P2-HD
HDV
HDCPRO
HDPRO

So.... which one will come out on top? Note, within the next year we're looking at no less than 3 more standards.


How can any one knock film?

R,
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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 04:23 PM

2K, 4K & 8K are beyond HD and more scan formats for 35mm/65mm film.


Wouldn't 2K, 4K and 8K be scans for 16mm, 35mm and 70mm respectively.


How can any one knock film?


It is easy for one to be wooed by these flashy products, but that's all they are...flashy.

Edited by Matthew Buick, 17 March 2007 - 04:24 PM.

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#10 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 04:36 PM

HD is hardly format agnostic. Infact it is the opposite. There are no less than 7 HD forms I can name off the top of my head.....


HD is format agnostic in the sense that all HD formats will play on the same "CRT screen" whereas NTSC, PAL and SECAM won't play back on the same CRT screen. Perhaps this is a moot point since CRT's are being phased out, and yet, CRT's are what the big effects companies use when color correcting their productions.

-------------------------------------------------

I think someone is going to make a lot of money designing some type of high end dvd playback system that will automatically playback all of the HD formats.
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#11 Terry Mester

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 08:45 PM

Those who waste their money on the latest new high technology don't deserve any sympathy. I recently heard a radio announcer lament his stupidity in spending $3000 dollars in 1982 to buy a Betamax VCR. That would be about $6000 dollars today! There are at least two 3D Film processes -- Space-Vision 3D and Stereovision -- that use only one Filmstrip with one Camera and one Projector. In addition to all the problems you mentioned with Digital Projection, there is also the monumental cost of purchasing them, and the annual high costs of maintaining high-tech Digital equipment. Disney would have been smarter to have gone with one of these two Film 3D formats.
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#12 Yusuf Aslanyurek

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 05:11 PM

its a bit off topic,

yes, its cheap to make thousands of discs then positives, but ;
how producers will protect their "digital copy" release.
it's hard to take positive copy and go to lab to telecine it. (labs will not do it even if they do it will be bad quality)
but when it's digital some blueray disc or whatever, it will be easy to just copy it anywhere.
we all know, there is "no protection" (oh there is ofc, for 2days then someone cracking) for digitals,never.
today only russia and china copying (scaning) the film and making pirate copies. when it's digital, all countries will be able to do that.
so why throw 35mm away when it's good, safe and all happy with it?

Edited by Yusuf Aslanyurek, 18 March 2007 - 05:14 PM.

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#13 Dominic Case

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 06:24 PM

Incompatible standards in digital distribution and projection are certainly a big problem that won't go away for a while yet. But don't oversimplify 35mm film.

The so-called "universal" format has at leat two different aspect ratios for which the cinema must fit a different lens, which may need to change more than once during a program of ads, trailers and features.

And there are four different sound formats (Dolby SR (analogue); Dolby SRD, SDDS, and DTS (the separate disk)). Not forgetting earlier analogue formats like Dolby A which still exists on repertory prints (very old ones of course also having a different picture aspect ratio - how many theatres can screen Academy?).

Prints are generally made with ALL the sound formats on them so that they can play in any theatre. A right nuisance. Admittedly that is easier than the present problems of multiple-format digital mastering. But perhaps the argument is, that if film has managed with its multiple standards, then there is hope that the digital problems will eventually come to heel.
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