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Projectors in the cinemas


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#1 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:32 AM

I went to buy some tickets for The Dark Knight Rises today and asked what type of projector the theatre had, but they didn't know. After the guy made a few calls, he said it's a Christie, but no other information other than that. Are they any good? Anyone know what the standard is around Sydney? You'd think with the price of tickets these days we'd be hoping to get some quality worth.

I feel like maybe it'd be worth going IMAX, but I didn't enjoy Mission Impossible that much, so I don't know.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:12 AM

Any one of a number of huge 3-chip DLPs with 1-2KW Xenon lamps. Christie is a principal player.

If you want to see something truly heartbreaking, look on YouTube for "DLP Projector Teardown", where an NEC DLP, made uneconomic by the cost of replacement lamp modules, is dismantled and analysed right down to component level. Blame NEC: they chose to discontinue the lamps!

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#3 Jock Blakley

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:25 PM

All of the DLP D-Cinema projectors are pretty much the same on-screen; the main differences are in how the manufacturer has built the interface

I don't know what sort of tiny shoebox multiplexes Phil has been visiting but 1 - 2 kW is a bit on the small side, 3 kW lamps are more along the lines of what would be a standard lamp power.

Of course theatre managers still have the ability to underpower them to extend their lives, leading to a dark picture on screen. Even more so with 3D - the target screen luminance for 35 and 70mm was 16 FL, but 3D D-Cinema can get away with a stygian 4.5 FL.

We use a Barco DP4K-32B with a 6.5 kW lamp, but our screen is a touch larger than usual AND we light for 16 FL.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:08 PM

I don't know what sort of tiny shoebox multiplexes Phil has been visiting



Crap British ones.

What surprises me is that you're stating a need for more power in DLPs than was typical for 35mm. I've worked with one small 35mm installation that had an adequate 1.5KW lamp; it worked alongside a 1200W DLP which was very visibly brighter - in fact, almost uncomfortable, really excessively bright and that's not management speaking.

This is not very difficult to justify: the lack of a shutter provides for a 1-stop increase, and DLP chips are larger than a 35mm frame, creating a lower effective F-number through the optical system. It also has a vastly more elaborate lamphouse than the 35mm installation which is effectively a box with a reflector and a hole in the front, so I'd happily believe that the DLP is four times (that is, two stops) more efficient per watt lamp input, even though the optical path is much more convoluted (RGB splitter/combiner prisms, etc).

This wasn't a d-cinema-certified DLP, it was merely a moderately good 3-chip type with the common dual lamp setup - it was very nearly bright enough on a single lamp, which is pretty impressive. I'm not aware of any reason why the full DC spec ones would be dimmer.

I wonder why our experiences differ.

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