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TOPIC: digital system failures

digital system failures 11 Aug 2012 12:36 #39003

  • Mike
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Yesterday we started getting phone calls from Technicolor... "Did you ingest Bourne yet?" Yes... why is there a problem? "No, no. just checking. Have a nice day. " And then we get another call just like it an hour later. Later we learned Bourne was in trouble in digital theatres all over the country. Not in ours but in many digital theatre and not one problem in a 35mm house.

Here's a situation: Film Journal and Box Office are so thoroughly in bed with NATO and the distributors and manufacturers who buy all those CONGRATULATIONS TO JOE BLOW! ads which without those ads the publications cease to exist. So we will not read about problems with digital systems in our industry media leaders. Screentrade may do a better job but seriously: when have you read anything about any problems with digital systems?

As I have said in the recent past we like our new digital system very much thank you. We've had some glitches up to last night. On one screen a weird alligator/watermark image on the screen you can only see on white/ blue sky images. But we were working that problem out. It was being paid attention to by Sonic. Then I was watching To Rome With Love on another screen and the image stuttered like a high speed slide show. Okay... could not get it to do it again... but still unnerving.

Friday night: opening night of The Campaign. We start the show and it's in black and white. Trailers, show, the whole thing. We stop the show and tried everything before losing opening night shows. Right now we are trying a upgrade of software but this is what is exactly clear about digital cinema. This is a nascent innovative technology that is inherently unreliable due to the speed of development and the level of security we had with 35mm is gone. We have not lost an opening night in 35 MM in 18 years. Six weeks in we just lost one of our premier weekends. We're working on it but it is essentially a giant pile of electronic goo that is absolutely unknowable. The degree of reliability is so far... low and below acceptable. Having spent more than 190,000.00 we are less safe, less able to show a movie. I'll let you know how this glitch turns out and how many shows we lose.

Meanwhile: please join me in chronicling lost shows, nervous phone calls about how did the ingestion go? and any other problems with the roll out. Whatever manufacturers, integrators, installers, and NATO tell you it's unreliable and the test failures are being tested out in our theatres. And we pay for it.
Michael Hurley
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Last Edit: 11 Aug 2012 12:37 by Mike.
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digital system failures 11 Aug 2012 15:36 #39004

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weird.... but fixed.... sometime between ingesting and testing and the 7:00 show weird things were kicked around inside the gizmo. Tech's found it by going through each preset. The thing is more complicated than anything you can imagine. And the alligator skin problem is still there. What else do you hear?
Michael Hurley
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digital system failures 15 Aug 2012 01:37 #39012

  • Transit Drive in
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We've had the colorless problem crop up a few times. It's corrected by simply stopping the program during the previews and doing a full reboot on both the projector and server. Nerve wracking, time consuming, frustrating, but manageable. Does not happen frequently, and only on one of our four screens.

We have not had any missed shows or dark screens as of yet, and we've been installed since late March 2012 on all four screens.

From what I've experienced, most glitches can be resolved by rebooting the projector and server.

It takes some getting used to. Still don't miss the 35mm.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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