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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » DIGITAL PROJECTION EXPLANATION?

Floyd E. Perry, Jr.
New Member

Posts: 37
From: Stockton, CA
Registered: Jul 2005

 - posted September 27, 2007 11:31 AM      Profile for Floyd E. Perry, Jr.   Email Floyd E. Perry, Jr.         Edit/Delete Post 
Can anyone tell me a little more about DIGITAL PROJECTION? My local Regal Cinemas City Centre Stadium 16 has one auditorium which is strictly DIGITAL PROJECTION. In Riverbank, Galaxy 12 Cinemas is 100% DIGITAL PROJECTION. Someone once told me that a DIGITAL PROJECTOR doesn't use conventional film like a regular projector but rather use a Digital Disc similar to a DVD. Is this true? IsDIGITAL PROJECTION the wave of the future? Is a DIGITAL PROJECTOR better than a REGULAR PROJECTOR? Thanks!

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David Au

Posts: 133
From: Walnut Creek, CA
Registered: Sep 2006

 - posted September 27, 2007 02:14 PM      Profile for David Au   Email David Au         Edit/Delete Post 
Digital projection is a new type of projection that does not use film. Movies are stored on hard drives and are projected onto the movie screen using a digital projector.

Digital projection has some advantages and some disadvantages. Digital projection is not as high resolution as film. However, with digital projection, dust and scratches are eliminated.

When you watch a digital presentation the picture is made up of tiny pixels. If you look at film, the picture is smooth. If you like watching a pixelated dvd on your tv, digital projection will look ok to you. If you like a smooth picture, regular old fashioned film looks great. If film is taken care of properly, there should be no scratches or dust and it can look even better than digital projection.

Digital projectors are much more expensive than film projectors. If everyone were to switch to digital projection, obviously movie theater companies will have to raise ticket prices and food prices drastically to pay for the expensive projectors. As of now theaters charge 2 or 3 dollars more for 3D digital projection movies. Sometimes you have to buy special 3D glasses to see the movie. Price gouging!

Some say it is a conspiracy to raise ticket prices. Who knows.

I don't go out of my way to see a digital movie. I find that regular film looks great.

In a few years when 4K digital projectors come out, maybe then digital might look better, but as of now 2K digital projection is more of a gimmick to try to get people back into theaters or just an excuse to raise ticket prices.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003

 - posted September 27, 2007 03:12 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
As a counterpoint to David's comments...

Here in LA, I've experienced Digital Projection many times (most recently during 3:10 To Yuma at The Bridge Cinema de Lux in West LA. In addition, Grauman's Chinese, Mann's Village & the Cinerama Dome have all switched to Digital Projection only.

It looks nice. Good to see a film without scratches and blemishes. But...then again...I never had an issue with scratches & blemishes on movies.

David's right about the films being stored on hard drives and not DVD's. But I disagree about Digital Projection being a conspiracy to drive up ticket prices. One thing that even the film purists among us can attest to: filming a movie using digital cameras is cheaper and less messy than shooting on conventional film cameras.

We're still a ways off from theatres being completely converted to an all digital format. The studios still can't agree on one general, specific format (much like the HD-DVD vs. BluRay war) and some directors are dead set on shooting with conventional film cameras...

...but those digitally projected movies sure are pretty!

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Dan Roben

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003

 - posted September 27, 2007 03:58 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
The Dome now shows films digitally 100% of the time? Interesting. The Seattle Cinerama got rid of their digital projector because the screen was too big for it to project properly (though I have no idea what system they were using).

I am opposed to digital projection for several reasons:

1) When viewing a film digitally, the picture lacks depth and colors can appear to be washed out. Also, and this is hard to describe in words, the projected image looks cold and almost too perfect.

2) Conventional film projection has worked amazingly well for over a century now, with many projectors still operating after 50 or more years of continuous service. I'm not suggesting that digital projection is prone to breakdowns, but once "the next big thing" arrives on the market, all the digital theaters will have to replace their equipment again and costs will continue to skyrocket. Already, 2K systems are becoming obsolete as 4K looms on the horizon.

3) It's a scam brought forth by the bean-counters of the big chains to bring in the unsuspecting customer who thinks that if it's shown in digital, then it must be better. Just read any press release announcing the opening of a new megaplex and, invariably, words to the effect of "no longer will the customer have to endure scratches or dirty prints" appear. Well, if the chains bothered to train their projectionists properly and treat the position with more respect (i.e. higher pay), then film would be "done right" and there wouldn't be any scratches!

Luckily, Seattle has been surprisingly out of the loop for the most part when it comes to digital projection, with only a few screens outfitted. And the quality of standard film projection is very high, with great care taken in almost all venues (including AMC and Regal).

The rest of the country should be so lucky.

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Ken Layton

Posts: 87
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Oct 2004

 - posted September 27, 2007 10:53 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton         Edit/Delete Post 
"Digital projection" is just a fancy buzzword for video projection or big screen tv. That's all it is plain and simple---television in an auditorium.

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Bill Gabel

Posts: 288
From: New York, NY
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted September 28, 2007 08:08 AM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
Sony's 4K Digital projectors are in play in select markets around the country now.

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Mark Campbell

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004

 - posted September 28, 2007 02:56 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Dan Roben. Digitally projected fims are lacking in depth and color. Almost blandly "too perfect". In addition to the richness of a film picture, some of us fim buffs like having a scratch here and there, some grain, and a changover marker every 20 minutes to remind us we are watching a FILM. I am nostalgic for the imperfections. Kind of like the way I like the smell of a good old movie theatre...

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Brian Laurence Wolf
New Member

Posts: 7
From: Des Plaines, IL
Registered: Aug 2004

 - posted September 30, 2007 08:59 AM      Profile for Brian Laurence Wolf   Email Brian Laurence Wolf         Edit/Delete Post 
Muvico's Rosemont 14, which opened this month, features 4k projection in every auditorium.

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Michael Furlinger
New Member

Posts: 22
From: Charleston, SC
Registered: Aug 2004

 - posted September 30, 2007 07:15 PM      Profile for Michael Furlinger   Email Michael Furlinger         Edit/Delete Post 
Carmike theaters are now 100 % Digital all screens all theaters..
Nothing is like the digital picture and sound [thumbs up] this is what will keep theaters going for the next 2o years!

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