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TOPIC: going stereo

going stereo 02 Apr 2004 21:20 #21858

  • garymey
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We are mono but thinking about changing. Experience with Ultra Stereo simulation versus an older Dolby processor. Which one should I look for?
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Re: going stereo 03 Apr 2004 00:49 #21859

  • Ken Layton
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For stereo you're going to need alot of stuff:

Stereo processor
Stereo solar cell and narrow slit lens
Multi-channel booth monitor
More amplifiers
More speakers
More wire to the screen for the new speakers
Rack to mount processor, monitor, and amplifiers in
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Re: going stereo 03 Apr 2004 01:14 #21860

  • garymey
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That is why I am thinking Ultra stereo fake stereo with the existing front speaker and some small added in the rear to simulate stereo.
Nobody ever asks why we don;t have it. The mono sound is incredibly clean.
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Re: going stereo 03 Apr 2004 02:20 #21861

  • outaframe
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I believe the unit you describe was actually made by Smart... It was a bare-bones economy setup made for theaters that wanted to add just the surround (ambience effects) channel to their mono (only) front channel... For extremely narrow auditoriums this might be a passable solution, but far short of full Dolby A Stereo that was in use at the time, and really substandard to today's Dolby SR Stereo... Regardless, it would still require stereo a solar cell(s) and SOON, a red LED exciter lamp(s), or red LED reverse scan reader(s) due to the promised/threatened switchover to cyan soundtracks... IF you can still find one of these oldies somewhere it would be CHEAP, but obsolete even before you install it... Your money would be better spent in installing a real Dolby SR Stereo compatible system (several are made by various manufacturers)...

[This message has been edited by outaframe (edited April 03, 2004).]

[This message has been edited by outaframe (edited April 03, 2004).]
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Re: going stereo 03 Apr 2004 10:14 #21862

  • garymey
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so you are saying that the new CYAN tracks will make an Ultra or Smart system obsolete?
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Re: going stereo 03 Apr 2004 12:02 #21863

  • BECKWITH1
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Speaking as a former mono house single screener here I feel compelled to say that something is wrong here if you only want to provide "fake" stereo. We also started with a mono system. We improved it with actual theater speakers set up correctly and had great mono sound. Many people were very happy that they could understand the dialogue in our theater.

But you cannot stay in business by burying your head in the sand and not delivering the goods to the customers. Todays movies have more effects and a good portion of the movie-going experience is sound. No matter where you are located geographically or regardless of a lack of theater competitors, you are competing with the home systems that your customers can buy. Some of them are pretty good and your customers won't be your customers very long if they can get a better experience at home.

Since the jump to stereo requires much of the same equipment required for the jump to digital, we saved our money and invested in a Dolby Digital Sound System. Yes, it was pricey but the jump to current industry standards was worth it. Stereo is not good enough. You have no idea how much you have been missing until you hear it for yourself in your theater. It makes a BIG difference! I hope you will take the long view and do the best thing for your theater overall. Upgrade to digital. You will be very glad that you did. (Since this now sounds like a commercial - a little disclaimer. I have no interest in any sound company at all. I just run a 4 plex now with DTS Sound in one, Dolby Digital in another and two stereo houses which will be upgraded. They are currently running completely obsolete Eprad Galaxy Starscope processors. We will be happy to sell them to you when we are finished.).
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Re: going stereo 03 Apr 2004 12:56 #21864

  • Large
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Gary,

Bite the bullet and get the full Dolby Digital system.
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Re: going stereo 03 Apr 2004 14:49 #21865

  • garymey
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The problem is that we are finishing a huge ADA upgrade that is costing $125,000. We will have to replace the 30 year old existing threads of carpet (another $15-20,000) and have beautifully painted the lobby and auditorium to remind of its art deco history ($10,000). Our snack bar isn't the most efficient and we need to at minimum rebuild parts of it so there are lowered serving sections for wheelchair customers. (Yes, we got hit with an ADA lawsuit that resulted in all this)


So money isn;t exactly flowing right now and priorities must be set.

Our mono is superb and dialogue is probably as clear as any theater in San Francisco. We are a sub run art house and nobody ever asks why we don't have stereo. Recently some tech types were in and wanting to sell us some used equipment suggested the Ultra route since the theaters are fairly long and narrow. The 70s twinning was substandard and there is sound leakage so I have been hesitant to put surrounds on the common walls.

I am far from burying my head but am trying to figure out the things the are most meaningful to improving our business and public enjoyment. In the 3 years since I took over the Balboa we have not only saved it from closure but built a solid, loyal following in an unlikely location. The consistently quality booking, wonderful and personable staff, customers service, modest admission prices, interesting snack bar at fair prices and popular email newsletter and website (www.BalboaMovies.com ) keep us going. But there is an obvious limit as to what can be spent each year.

Other projects include:

We also need to either reupholster our seats or replace them...old Heywood Wakefield self-risers.

We'd like an addiitonal Century projector so we can show archive prints on a changeover basis.

Then there is the painting of our marquee and blade (Greg King of the Elmwood has done an incredible job of restoring our neon) and the replacement and repair of the under marquee lights and decorative glass/plexi that goes into the tracks there.

Replace ancient ticket machine with more efficient system.

We have spent a fortune on replacing deferred maintainence in electrical, plumbing and exterior restoration. The landlord has helped on much of this incidentally but they are pretty tapped out.

But plumbing problems occur regularly, the aisle lighting needs serious consideration (should we go with Tivoli type lighting?) and several overhead lights were destroyed by the manager before I took over. It will require scaffolding to get up there and electricians we've spoken with don;t really want to do it. I have research a manlift but they have too wide a base, are too heavy and would possibly tip over on our slopped aisle.

And I could go on.

If you want to see us, The Balboa has been featured in dozens of magazines this month as part of a VW Passat ad. (New Yorker, page 25 this week, April 5 issue is one.) Last month was a two page spread.) Or check at www.cinematreasures.com

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Re: going stereo 03 Apr 2004 15:17 #21866

  • outaframe
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garymey:
so you are saying that the new CYAN tracks will make an Ultra or Smart system obsolete?[/quote]

NO, the system I refer to is/was obsolete (and not a really very good) from the beginning: it was a COMPROMISE... It mixed the intended 3 Front Channels back down to a mono (single) screen channel, and seperated out only the surround (ambient) channel for playback in the intended surround location... AND it still required MOST of the hardware that a full Dolby A system did... The only things it saved on were 2 additional channels of amplification, and the R & L front speaker systems... It had a copycat noise reduction circuit compatible with Dolby A (the first system) but NOT really compatible with Dolby SR which is now used... So, it's obsolete!...

Cyan soundtracks are a seperate and entirely different issue... Your present incandescent exciter lamp (white light) won't read the cyan (silverless, light blue) soundtrack... You will experience a major loss in gain (volume) and much greater noise content, because white light is not compatible with the cyan tracks... It requires a red light source in the 660 nm color range to read it as intended... Even if you stay with your present mono (only) system (which you CAN still do), you will have to change to some form of red light reader... At the present time there are 3 choices (that I'm aware of): Jaxlight, Laserlight, or one of the several makes of reverse scan red LED readers... ALL are expensive, and will require either a Pro sound engineer, or a VERY competent projectionist/electronics oriented guy to install and allign the unit you end up with... AND SADLY, at best, the results will be an increase in noise (compared to the present silvered tracks) of somewhere between 1 to 4 1/2 db, and a tendency towards sibilance in dialogue... The jury is still out as to how bad the end result will be!...
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Re: going stereo 03 Apr 2004 16:58 #21867

  • garymey
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I know they are claiming saving the environment with the CYAN but I wonder who got paid off to foist this on us.
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Re: going stereo 03 Apr 2004 17:49 #21868

  • outaframe
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WELCOME TO THE CLUB... Please take a number, and get in line with the rest of us doubters!... BUT, it appears that THEY are going to finally succeed in jamming this crap down our throats, so bend over, grease up, and smile!...



[This message has been edited by outaframe (edited April 04, 2004).]
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Re: going stereo 05 Apr 2004 09:05 #21869

  • John Pytlak
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Outaframe wrote:

"the results will be an increase in noise (compared to the present silvered tracks) of somewhere between 1 to 4 1/2 db, and a tendency towards sibilance in dialogue... "

Yes, the signal-to-noise of a cyan dye track will likely be a few dB less, as published in the original SMPTE papers. But since all new tracks (B&W and cyan) will be optimized for cross-modulation distortion on red LED readers, you won't have the sibulant distortion you now find when you have a mix of red LED, IR LED, and tungsten readers that you can't really optimize the track for all. Cyan dye tracks also will eliminate quality problems like soundtrack bleeding or splashes (silver spots in the image area), and audio problems like thumping (uneven application of the soundtrack developer), or "pops" (bubbles or skips in the developer). The environmental advantages are very real and significant.




John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
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John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: going stereo 06 Apr 2004 16:30 #21870

Note that every manufacturer makes a centre/surround processor (the dolby CP45 can be even configured for it)
Of the centre/surround processors the best are ones that actually provide a logic type matrix (same as 4 channel) to keep the L and R track out of the surrounds
The simpler FS matrixs use just a L-R matrix with no logic (Smart Mod2BFS UltraStero and Eprad starlet)
The Eprad DSS Smart Mod6/7/8 and some of the Kintek KT800's allowed for and provided full logic steering in the FS mode (programmed by jumpers or dip switchs and on the CP45 adding several resistors

Since only the CP45 and Mod6 and 8 are still in manufacture I would go that route
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Re: going stereo 07 Apr 2004 02:37 #21871

  • garymey
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Now I am so confused I don't know what to do. The idea is to get better sound and not spend much money at this time.
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Re: going stereo 07 Apr 2004 03:12 #21872

  • outaframe
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HELLO GARY <> Yes, I can understand your confusion and frustration with all this... The HONEST answer is that you can't make a worthwhile improvement over your (very good) existing mono system, without spending some significent money, and that attempting some half-ass part mono with surrounds setup is not really going to be satisfactory in the long run... Why don't you just think in terms of getting a red LED reader so you'll be able to play the cyan tracks that are being forced on us, for the time being, and stay with your present mono system for a while... After you heal up a bit from all the other stuff you're doing, THEN look into a full SR surround system... Good mono is a LOT better than lousy surround!...
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