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TOPIC: a digital dream

Re: a digital dream 27 Oct 2007 15:56 #16715

  • muviebuf
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Wasn't it the Transit Drive In that was used for a test of the Digital Projection on the outdoor screens?
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Re: a digital dream 27 Oct 2007 16:47 #16716

  • slapintheface
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I hear this tone of doubt.....there is no doubt film will be gone in the next 10 years!
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Re: a digital dream 27 Oct 2007 22:22 #16717

  • Transit Drive in
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rdetzler:
Its 2007 where's my flying car?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Honda has a personal jet on the market, I think they retail for only like 1.5 mil, list price.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rdetzler: <B>
No business model no technology.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Access/IT has a business model that is serving 4,000 screens. Technicolor is a few months away from launching their business model, after they complete their beta testing. DCIP (15,000+ screens) is planning to implement their studio financed VPF business model in 2008. CBG-NATO (6,000+ screens) is narrowing down their list of preferred digital facilitators for a rollout in mid-to-late 2008 or early 2009. Obviously, these theatre operators are working with a feasible business model.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rdetzler:
<B>
You have said a lot Drive In but not one sentence of it has anything to do with my original comment. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I am responding to more than one post author at a time. I felt I was responding to your post with:
"I will guarantee you that every AMC, Cinemark, and Regal will be converted to digital by 2012, probably even sooner. Their rollout is likely to begin in 2008. They will most likely close some of their less profitable locations that do not warrant the investment." I will try harder in future posts not to throw you off, by responding to your posts comment by comment, if that helps.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rdetzler:
<B>
There is no financial reason for anyone to go to digital. Not for theater, not for the customer, and barely for the studio. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


You'll find your financial reason in 10 years or less when studios stop producing prints. Other reasons include better presentation with no dust or dirt on the prints, even after 1,000 runs. Atlernative content such as sporting events, concerts, 3D (did anyone notice that NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS averaged over $9,000 per screen last week), and the ability to run multiple prints at will, depending upon consumer demand. Those seem like worthwhile financial incentives to me, but what do I know.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rdetzler:
<B>
Where is your business model?</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I belong to the CBG-NATO, and my business model is currently being negotiated along with 6,000+ other independent screens. Good luck trying to negotiate your own VPFs and the other terms regarding digital projection in 10 years, when the VPF are no longer even availalbe.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rdetzler:
Where is the quantum improvement in the experience or reliability? Its not there. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It seems to be good enough for the 4,000 screens signed up through Access/IT. The operators I've spoken with at ShowEast and ShoWest who have conveted 100% of their screens to digital projection have spoken very positively about their installations.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rdetzler:
I come from the IT world and I can tell you that if they best you can get is 99.3% (which I think is highly doubtful based on anecdotal evidence) no corporation in the USA would buy that stuff. Six Sigma is the standard not 99.3. 99.999999 uptime. 99.3 means 61 hours of downtime per year. Too many missed shows for me. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

99.3% is very impressive given the newness of the technology. Most dark screen problems have been due to KDM delivery issues (keys which allow the digital files to be shown on the screen) which are easily resolved in time for the next showing. As more screens convert to digital, those logistical issues will be greatly reduced, and the success rate will improve as the next level of installations takes place.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rdetzler:
I'll stick to Brenkert BX-80's.By the time I actually do need to move it will cost me pocket change for some cheap Chinese junk electronics. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That statement alone tells me all I need to know about your judgement as a theatre operator. You'd probably still be running carbons rods if they weren't so expensive and hard to come by. Obviously, you have an aversion to improved technology, as new Brenkerts parts have been discontinued for decades. Do you still own an 8-track player, too? If you think DCI compliant digital projection will be available for pocket change by the time 35mm prints are discontinued, I hope your pockets are big enough to hold $50,000 in pocket change per screen.

This series of posts has been like holding a debate with a thoughtless brick, and I wonder why I even try.

Rick

[This message has been edited by Transit Drive in (edited October 28, 2007).]
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: a digital dream 27 Oct 2007 22:43 #16718

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by muviebuf:
Wasn't it the Transit Drive In that was used for a test of the Digital Projection on the outdoor screens?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, it was. 98 foot screen. Picture quality was excellent. Brighter equipment is on the market today, and there will be even brighter units available in the future.

I'm expecting to install digital on all of my screens at once within the next 2-5 years, depending upon the timing of the CBG rollout. I'm in no great hurry, but when the CBG strikes their deal, I've got my seat on the train. Not all 6,000+ screens will be installed in the first year, and it could even take more than two years. Either way, I'll be prepared when it happens.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: a digital dream 27 Oct 2007 23:59 #16719

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Narrow Gauge:
It is a statistical fact (even using your numbers) that digital is not as reliable as film. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I wonder what the reliability of 35mm was less than ten years into its deployment? Digital projection will exceed the success rate of film in a very short time, if it hasn't already. The first deployment from Access/IT is barely two years into its run, and they claim to be at 99.3%. That will only improve as more systems come online, and better means of content and key delivery are implemented.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Narrow Gauge:
Independents need to know that this system is not perfected yet. I'm sorry that this dampers your cheerleading but do not mislead this forum with your digital hype. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

35mm is hardly a perfected means of film presentation. There is noticable jitter and weave in virtually every showing. Dust and dirt accumulate on prints on a daily basis, if not scratches. You will never see dust, dirt, or scratches on a digitaly projected image. Even after a 10 week run, and I ran several films this summer for more than 10 weeks. Digital has, without question, surpassed the presentation quality of 35mm film. Those who disagree with that are living in a different state of reality. That is not cheerleading, that is a documented fact.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Narrow Gauge:
Moreover when a digital system crashes it can take up to 30 minutes to reboot-it takes most of us less than 5 minutes to fix a film break or wrap. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
A 35mm film breakdown can certainly take over 30 minutes to fix. Similarly, some digital projection breakdowns can be fixed in well under 5 minutes, and there is no law of technology that says digital cinema will be unfixable on site. It depends on the nature of the breakdown, just as with 35mm film. Try replacing a verticle shaft in less than 30 minutes, or a gearbox. 35mm is just as capable of incurring a dark screen as digital projection.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Narrow Gauge:
Mike Labbe has installed numerous digital screens in Mass and a few here in Maine(Cinamagic). Yes he is a good technician of 35mm and I assume digital. Mike will have a job in this industry whether digital is 2012 or 2020. Mike is as solid as they come and I'm sorry his advice(from the actual trenches) means way more to me than the official NATO line. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
The back of a cereal box would mean more to you than any advice from NATO, and that has everything to do with your narrow minded thinking and nothing to do with NATO's many valuable contributions to theatrical exhibition . What I do know, from talking with several 35mm film technicians and equipment dealers, is that they all have a vested financial interest in keeping 35mm in as many theatre locations as possible, for as long as possible. That makes their opinions extreamly biased, in my view.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Narrow Gauge:
How many installs have you done Rick. How many emergency trips to theaters have you responded to. If anything technicians will be more valuable than ever as new technology always means more problems initially. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I don't think any posts I've made on here has indicated that I am a theatre technician, so I assume your question is a rhetorical one. I am expecting to see about the same number of problems with digital projection as there is today with 35mm, possibly even less. As the technology evolves, digital projection should be even more reliable in the long run than 35mm film, as there are fewer moving parts. Calibration and regular maintenance are something to be expected, as is the case with properly maintained 35mm projection.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Narrow Gauge:
John Gallucci has worked for Kinoton of America for 30 years. He freely admits that while the kinoton digital projector looks nice on the screen it still does not surpass film. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
This person is a proponent of 35mm film, and Kinoton is barely even involved with digital projection, currently. The only digital projectors being seriously considered for theatrical installations today are Barco, Christie, NEC, and Sony. It does not surprise me at all to hear that Kinoton is going to stand behind 35mm film, since that is where the majority of their revenue is coming from.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Narrow Gauge:
I will not get involved with NATO for reasons too numerous to post here. Suffice it to say I agree to disagree about the value of that orginization.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
The vast majority of the exhibition industry would disagree with you about the significance and importance of National NATO. No other organization does more for the betterment of theatrical exhibition, on issues ranging from ratings enforcement, to health care, to DVD release windows, to D-Cinema, to ADA legislation, to movie theft, and so on.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Narrow Gauge:
As a first generation cinema owner for the past 20 years I have invested -like many other independents-significant time and money into my theaters. I am not anti technology(All digital sound etc) -I just feel it is very important that we don't get pulled into the hype of digital until the systems are perfected. Clearly there is a difference in opimion in this industry as to how close digital is to being widespread. You can always tell a pioneer by the number of arrows in them-I can't afford to be that pioneer.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have never suggested on this discussion board that you, or anyone else, needs to convert to digital projection today, next month, or even next year. What I am saying is that you need to prepare for the transition, and be aligned with the right digital projection integrator for you at the right time. For some theatres, there will never be a right time, and when 35mm film is gone those theatres will be forced to close. It is up to you to know which category your theatre will fall in.

It should be a foregone conclusion by now that 35mm is going to be obsolete someday, and that exact date has yet to be determined. I wouldn't bet all my chips that 35mm will still be available ten years from now. I'm not sure I would even feel safe betting for seven.

As thousands more screens go digital each year, independent theatre operators would be wise to consider all of their options carefully, and not allow misinformation or wishful thinking to cloud their judgement.

Rick Cohen
Transit Drive-in
Lockport, New York

[This message has been edited by Transit Drive in (edited October 28, 2007).]
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: a digital dream 28 Oct 2007 15:21 #16720

  • Narrow Gauge
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AccessIT (AIXD)closed at a 52 week low of $4.67 per share.....not bad given such a strong bull market. Obviously the fundamentals are wowing wallstreet. Source:
AcessIT official website.
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Re: a digital dream 28 Oct 2007 17:21 #16721

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IF the stocks a penny the digital will STILL be in place within the next 10 years at every theater thats open in the USA!
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Re: a digital dream 28 Oct 2007 18:23 #16722

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Narrow Gauge:
<B> AccessIT (AIXD)closed at a 52 week low of $4.67 per share.....not bad given such a strong bull market. Obviously the fundamentals are wowing wallstreet. Source:
AcessIT official website.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

AcessIT is hardly at the payoff stage of their investment in their company. The payoff for them is 5 years from now, when they are deploying a greater number of screens and servicing more maintenance contracts.

They are currently operating at roughly 30% of their eventual service capacity. They are servicing enough screens to keep their business solvent, but their big payoff is still several years away, and that is the strategy of every start-up company.

Access/IT has only been in business for 2-3 years in an industry that is planning for the long-term.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: a digital dream 28 Oct 2007 19:40 #16723

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Spin baby spin!!! Soon you will have me believing day is night, black is white, good is bad etc etc etc.
52 week low in a bull market-enough said!!
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Re: a digital dream 28 Oct 2007 22:38 #16724

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First let me say my theaters are all 35mm film and will be for the next 12 to 24 months.By then my theaters will HAVE to be DIGITAL OR I WILL SOON BE OUT OF BSNS..I am not going for any grants i will buy them myself ..
How can any one think film will be around in 10 years ..Look at the camera bsns you cant even find stores that still sell 35mm camaras,all digital.....
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Re: a digital dream 28 Oct 2007 22:49 #16725

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But what is the cost per screen to go digital and what companies are best to deal with!
And if I went digital tomorrow will I be able to get all the releases. Are all first run coming out in digital as well as 35 mm?
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Re: a digital dream 28 Oct 2007 22:57 #16726

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I would never go digital now we are all safe for the next 24 to 36 months ...prices are coming down quality is going up!
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 09:51 #16727

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These exchanges have been getting heated. Let's take a deep breath and relax. I think we all can agree that at some point film will disappear. Whether that is 2012 or 2018 or whenever, it will happen. What then?

Currently there are over 4000 screens converted to digital. Can anyone on this forum say that any of those screens is now playing pictures on the break where they didn't have that option before? Or are the studios denying those houses the "keys"?

I think this point is what many of us small guys want to know. Are we going to get a digital print on the break like the big boys? This should be a fairly easy question to answer at this time. Carmike's roll-out included many theatres in small markets. Have the booking patterns changed in those locations to get first-run on opening day?

As far as maintenance costs (as mentioned on the other thread), 35mm vs digital is WAY less expensive. I have the exhibitor agreements from both Access/IT and Digiserv- currently the only two entities doing the roll-out. Basic booth service costs are well over 3x higher for digital than for comparable service on 35mm. The advantage of Digiserv to A/IT contract is the ability to use a an outside repair service (as long as they are digitally certified). A/IT forces you to use their maint. plan- which ain't cheap.

Digital can be great for the little guy IF the studios allow the day and date releases of movies in those smaller markets. If they don't, then my position is absolutely no better and my costs have gone way up.
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 10:05 #16728

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Oh man/ I turn my back and take care of biz and you guys..... cool off. The debate is a worthy one. The questions are important. Opinions and stats help us understand where we're headed. As moderator: I don't care what we talk about but I care greatly that we do it respectfully. Don't forget there's real people on the other end of all this.

You guys have covered an awful lot of grouond. The one thing I'll say is to claim that since Access IT has lost moeny the world will end is i=rrelevant: start ups always lose money. I doubt anyone has made a lot of money from digital projection yet but there has been an enormous amount spent on it. That's not going to change.

When people say 35MM will go the way of 16MM it makes me cringe but I suppose it could, could, be true. It all depends on what replaces it.

I care more about how we get people to come to the moves than what we use to show them the movies.

Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 12:58 #16729

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This was what I received by email a few weeks ago:

Transitioning from film to digital:

The CBG (Cinema Buyers Group) will be sorting their membership into different classes.

1) First-run Theaters – (full-time first run) - Theaters that play nearly all of the major titles on the national release date.

2) First run / Move-over Theaters – (seasonal first-run) - Theaters that play all of the major titles during the summer and holiday play times on the national release dates but otherwise play titles 3 to 4 weeks after the first-run theaters.

3) Move-over Theaters – (full time sub-run theaters) – Theaters that never play on the national release date and are always 3 – 4 weeks after the initial openings

4) Discount Theaters – (full-time discount sub-run) Theaters that are subject to the national sub-run availability date.

First-Run Theaters:
If you qualify under the digital suppliers guidelines as a “First-Run Theater” the initial cost to you will be the installation of the proper exhaust and electrical capacity necessary for the digital equipment and a set up and installation fee from the supplier.
Estimates at this time are running anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000 per auditorium.

As a first-run theater, you will be signing a contract with a digital supplier who are referred to as “Third Party Vendors”. They will be making arrangements with all the studios to be paid a Virtual Print Fee in order to cover the cost of the projector.
The virtual print fee will be paid with the booking of every first run title that you open.
So….after a number of years, the projector is eventually paid off. (see further explanation on the following page)

Seasonal First-Run / Move-over and Discount Theaters:
Since these theaters occasionally or rarely play a first-run title on the national release date, they will not qualify for a virtual print fee. So…how and when will they be converted?
Eventually, the digital equipment that is being installed today is going to become outdated as the technology will, of course, improve. (Think of the computer you had five years ago…and the one you have now). When the larger first-run markets start to upgrade that equipment, the digital suppliers will then be able to move those units to the move-over and discount theaters…thus continuing the digital transistion. This is, of course, IF they are a member of the CBG. So yes…you may be joining this group…but not be converted for another 8 to 10 years. But…this will be cheaper than trying to buy the used equipment yourself from one of the suppliers.

The best estimate now is that by the time 75 percent of the nation’s screens are converted to digital, the studios will no longer make 35 mm prints. Why would they?

However, the CBG is very confident that ALL THEATERS (especially SINGLE screen theaters) will be able to be converted prior to the end of film.

I have called CBG to get answers to the following questions (but have not gotten a returned call as of yet, maybe someone here can answer):

1) At what point will theaters be grouped? Today? Next year? I ask b/c right now I am a Season First Run/Moveover (hoping to climb out of that designation over the next year)

2) If you are classified as a Seasonal First Run, what are the advantages ar there to you? You get hand me down old equipment and get no virtual print fees.

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