Projection technology

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I don't know much about this topic, but I think I know what I like, and I know that there's a lot of controversy on this topic. At any rate, I think that the local English language theatre is using crappy digital video projection -- but how can I be sure? And should I just get used to it, or is there a winnable war going on here?

Colin Meeder (Mert), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 08:51 (nineteen years ago) link

I used to suspect this myself, but I think more often it's just bad projection. Look closely at the screen: do you see grain or pixels? (or both)?

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 13:20 (nineteen years ago) link

I didn't think any theaters outside of some of the major, luxe ones were equipped for digital projection yet. I think perhaps what you're noticing is stuff having gone through some digital processing or even a digital transfer before being struck to 35mm. That or just old-fashioned bad projection, which I've come to accept as standard practice at most theaters.

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 13:43 (nineteen years ago) link

There are more digital projectors being used (at least here) for moving ad projection.

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 13:45 (nineteen years ago) link

(and projection in this city is so bad it's not even funny. not that it would be funny if it was only mildly bad)

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 13:46 (nineteen years ago) link

I see pixels (big fat ones) and too little light. I've also seen a couple of weird things: twice, a film was shown in English from what was clearly a dubbed "print" (because the subtitle "later that day" was shown in German) and once the wrong film was started up and they were able to switch to the proper one so quickly that I suspected that the changing of a disk rather than a reel was involved. Or am I just paranoid?

Colin Meeder (Mert), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 18:06 (nineteen years ago) link

And this definitely isn't your TV, right?

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 18:27 (nineteen years ago) link

I know it's not my tv 'cause they won't let me in unless I'm wearing trousers, and that's not generally a problem in my living room.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 18:40 (nineteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

When I saw Blade Runner 2049 a few weeks ago I could totally see the pixels when text appeared on the screen. It was odd. I thought the point to digital projection was that it was better!

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 21:19 (four years ago) link

six months pass...

9 of 10 commercial theater projectors use 3 x DLP chips, which have a pretty good fill factor (95%), but that 5% comprises a black margin around every pixel. This could be solved with a slight defocusing, so that bleed from pixels effectively covers gaps between pixels.

Some theaters are still running older 2K projectors (2048×1080) (the 4Ks are ~$100k investments), which have no more resolution than the monitor I'm typing at, and less than current TVs. Sit too close, with a "perfectly" focused projector and pixels will be visible.

Chaos reigns... in my pants (Sanpaku), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 16:49 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

Edward Norton, at the end of an interview that's mostly about Motherless Brooklyn:

If I had to say the single biggest contributor to people preferring to watch things on Netflix versus going to theaters, it’s that the theaters nickel and dime on bulbs. People have no idea how many theaters do this. A lot of filmmakers and cinematographers that I know that have really started to look into this say that more than 60 percent of American theaters are running their projector at almost half the luminosity that they’re required by contract to run it at. It’s the theater chains that are destroying the theatrical experience. Period, full-stop. No one else.

They are delivering crappy sound and a dim picture, and no one is calling them on it. If they were delivering what they’re supposed to be delivering, people would be going, “Wow, this is amazing, I do not get this at home.” Like Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise with the motion smoothing, when they said to turn off the gaming thing, you’re ruining the work we’re giving to you! Well, I want people to literally walk into their theater and find the manager and say, “If this looks dark, you’re giving me my money back. Because I’m paying—and at the ArcLight, I’m paying premium—for a premium experience.”

I went in and quality control-tested my movie in a theater that was running Captain Marvel, and you know 14 is the spec that it’s supposed to be running at, and it was running at a 6.2. That means it was literally running at less than half the light that was supposed to be on there. You want to train people. Like, go get your money back. If the movie looks dark, it was—go get your money back! I think we should rally around that. I really do.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 16:23 (two years ago) link

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