its all 1’s and 0’s

so it has been sometime since i have been blogging, one of the main reasons is the level of work on at the moment,

I run the technical (Sound and Projection) department at a very large cinema in the UK, We are due to “go digital” in the next month but there has been loads of work to get ready for this. I is a very exciting time at the moment, the way i look at it is its the biggest change in cinemas in 100 years and for me its at one of the biggest cinema with the biggest team, so exciting.

If you are not aware of this digital change its a little like when CD’s came out, a new technology offering a better level of quality now and 6 month from now, just like LP’s they do last forever if you spend the time looking after them but i think for the mass market CD’s were a big difference in quality and usability, digital cinema is going to be the same.

So far we have had the entire 7 story building wired with CAT 6, a very fast network connection as its going to have to move films around the cinema, as a film is about 300GB and we get about 8 a week its going to be used a lot. All the extracts tested, all the new power supplies fitted, new portholes installed and this is just the pre work.

The next month is going to be hard, we have 10+ new digital screens going in with the 35mm being removed, the plan is for 2 a day which is doable but a challenge.

So what should you expect from this new digital installation:

•Well if you come to watch a film now or in 3 month the quality will be the same, with 35mm it can be damaged and the digital sound track tends to get worse the more time you play the film. No more sell out shows.

•The films cost nothing to copy from one screen to another so the cinema can change to different demands in what films are doing well.

•More films, anyone can make a DCP file from a film they have made, its will no longer cost £3000 a time for a 35mm print, this should give more opportunities for people to get there smaller films on the big screen.

•3D, it is the only cheaper way of getting 3D in to the cinema to a quailty people will like, IMAX has been doing it for years but the costs are high.

•Alternative content, I watched one the operas last week at the cinema in 3D and it was ok, sports, shows, music, gaming and this list can go on and on.

•Conferencing, i had to do a presentation to a local school the other day, as i was using keynotes i could set the resolution to 2048×858, this is the resolution of cinema scope (2.39) this let me put my pretension on a 21×9 meter screen and it look great.

Working in cinema for a few years i think i have a good idea about digital Vs 35mm, if every film i received was a higher quality show print we would not need digital but they are not, sometime they are new (still not the same quality as a show print) and sometime they are copies from America so they have already been shown and tend to be poor quality.

Ask any old projectionist and they will say 35mm is better, ask my day and he will say LP’s are better, explain digital the any person coming to watch a film and i bet they will say digital is better.

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Filed under cinema, Movies, Projection, work

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