Seven months later Christie did somewhat the same, but made the demo last for 2 weeks. The initial show was fine, with no horror and a lot of good questions answered well. Seeing the presentation 2 weeks later was a bit of a different story, but no one broke the code of silence, and without going into details or in any way mocking their great efforts, let it just be said that we often learn more from our errors.
One thing that has been missing in all the past laser demos (SMPTE 2012 with Sony and LLE, Barco at CinemaCon 2012, Christie at IBC 2012 and pre-CinemaCon 2013 at AMC) has been real comparative viewing: Step by step, side by side, scene by scene, slow and with time for reflection (so to speak). Finally, that is what is being promised.
Thankfully, the PDF tells more of the tale than the PR Poster which simply says Hold the Date – 11-14 November at Technicolor’s Theater in Burbank.
“…the sessions will feature LLE’s latest RGB laser engines specifically adapted to an NEC 4K DLP Cinema® projector, to demonstrate image quality and despeckling performance, in side-by-side comparisons with an identical NEC 4K Xenon arc lamp projector.”
“…The event will also offer presentations and breakout sessions to explore the recent advances in laser illumination technology that make it a viable commercial solution for movie theaters, large venues, and theme park attractions. Scheduled sessions include a series of mini-tutorials on image quality, colorimetry, contrast ratio, speckle reduction, and the use of fiber optic light delivery to retrofit current and future projectors.”
One wants to see despeckling without shaking the screen. After reading the SMPTE paper Further Investigations Into the Interactions Between Cinema Loudspeakers and Screens (Brian Long, Roger Schwenke, Peter Soper and Glenn Leembruggen), one is suspicious of more things than one was before. More potential points of failure doesn’t seem like a good idea in any case, and one appreciated the Beck demonstrations at SMPTE/NAB and SMPTE Hollywood at the Academy that shows how tuning frequencies has the benefit of getting more watts from the wall (or some other user cuddly phrase) while tweaking for the proper light frequency.
But the real treat will be the side:side. It has been needed for a long time for both science and satisfaction. Who will be the first to declare that metamerism is a non-issue? Who will be the first to say that extended color gamut may be nice but a light source that doesn’t drop 15% during the first 100 hours of use is a much bigger issue? (Not to say that seeing greener greens or greater blue-green blue-greens won’t be cool.)
Now that there are 100,000+ DCI level projectors in the field, there is a logic to retrofits. But all arguments in that favor seem dim when compared to the potential elimination of expensive optics and lenses that will come with laser direct to the chip and everybody understanding bien étendue, of course. Perhaps we can flesh this out a bit in a future article.
The PDF is attached below. See you there.