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TOPIC: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!!

HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 24 Aug 2011 23:51 #36860

  • svogar
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Okay, I'm an idiot. There, that's off my chest. I and my business partner are looking at an older theater. It has been totally renovated and has top of the line sound and 35mm equipment in it. We want to put a used digital unit in. My question is, how much lumens do I need for a throw of appx 50'. This is a small theater, 235 seats, and we do NOT need a $100,000 unit! KRAP MONKEYS...Do the projector manufacturers think that we are all AMC!!! Anyway, Please help a couple of old time theater owners who need to learn a few new tricks.
BTW, we KNOW that we are insane...maybe that is why we have had raging success in all the theater projects that we have done. Thanks for the help.
Joe
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 25 Aug 2011 00:34 #36861

  • rufusjack
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It looks like you are looking at consumer projectors when you need to look at those that are approved for theatrical use. They need to be compliant with the standards the studios have agreed to. You will have to be extremely lucky to find a used one. If you do find one you will want to be careful that it is compliant. From reading posts on another forum, some 1st generation projectors need an expensive upgrade.

Since you will find it hard to find a used projector, you will have to look at new. $70,000 per screen will be a good starting point. Tell us what general area of the country you are in and I am sure someone will recommend a dealer/installer.

This theater that you are looking at, should be heavily discounted to account for the conversion that will be needed to go to digital.

BTW, are you sure you have the throw right? 235 seats is alot for such a short throw. Are ther many seats outside the width of the screen?
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 26 Aug 2011 13:00 #36867

  • Mike
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you need to start calling integrators and suppliers to get a true cost and understanding of what's involved. It is far too complex for us to try and reveal all. Can you attend Show East?
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 26 Aug 2011 15:47 #36869

  • revrobor
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Go to www.digitalprojection.com for answers.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 26 Aug 2011 19:33 #36871

  • BusyBee
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Are you just wanting to show DVDs? If not, there's really no way to skirt around the "digital" issue on the cheap.
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 27 Aug 2011 11:27 #36874

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Thanks Everybody!! Your help and input have been invaluable. I seem to have left out some details that might help with your answers, sorry. Yes, the throw is 50'. The theater is stadium seating so it is effect short and fat! There is a very excellent top of the line 35 system in place which is what I will be using to run "studio" films on, however in our studies we have discovered quite a market of the "genre" public domain films. These will of course be shown with proper licensing and mad amounts of advertising. The theater is well suited to the size of the community (75,000 within a 10 mile radius) but we will be staying away from first run films as there is a 10 screen multiplex a mere 20 minutes away. Again, thanks for all of your help and I will keep you posted of our progress. When we have opened I would welcome any member of this board as my guest for a viewing and tour after the show. The community is on the rail line for Amtrak and the station is right across the way. There is a nice hotel and yummy dining within wlaking distance too.
Joe
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 28 Aug 2011 02:28 #36876

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Joe,

Is this a purchase? If so, you absolutely have to figure converting to digital. Why is the person(s) selling?

Is this a short-term lease? (meaning 2 years of less) If so, you can probably make it without digital. But who gets into a new business for only 2 years.

Have you run public domian movies before in your other theater projects?
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 26 Sep 2011 13:23 #37071

  • slapintheface
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SHOWEAST!
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 27 Sep 2011 16:25 #37096

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If you intend to run current movies, you will need projection equipment that conforms to the DCI standard.

As for the lumens, it's the screen size that would determine what you need and not the projection throw. Don't buy based on price alone or you could make a VERY expensive mistake.

Good Luck!
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 27 Sep 2011 20:16 #37101

  • Mike
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while we can offer all the handholding and support... this is a question you should be calling various tech and equip companies. They'll give you a lot of expert help.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 25 Feb 2012 20:20 #37930

  • BryteWerks
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You might also want to check out BryteWerks.

We created The Model One to solve this very problem. The Model One is an inexpensive computer-integrated digital projector with custom software, onboard storage and the ability to control the device with your smart phone.

- Justin Eugene Evans
www.brytewerks.com
Last Edit: 25 Feb 2012 20:21 by BryteWerks.
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 25 Feb 2012 22:27 #37931

  • sevstar
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They are not DCI compliant are they?
BryteWerks wrote:
You might also want to check out BryteWerks.

We created The Model One to solve this very problem. The Model One is an inexpensive computer-integrated digital projector with custom software, onboard storage and the ability to control the device with your smart phone.

- Justin Eugene Evans
www.brytewerks.com
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 26 Feb 2012 02:31 #37932

  • BryteWerks
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Forgive some typos. I'm dealing with a squirming five year old. :dry:

Can you install a DCP reader on them? Yes.
Can they read KDM's? Yes.
Are they as bright if not brighter than most $50,000.00 projectors? Yes.
Can you hook up a DCI-approved media block to transfer a DCP to the projector's hard drive? Yes.
Can you download the KDM directly to the projector which makes it MORE secure than the industry standard? Yes.
Is it 2K? No. It is 1080p+, which means it is 1920X1200. That's about 5% lower than 2K. And 2K projectors are roughly 10 times more expensive.

So, in a world that is telling you to "convert or die" this is the best solution for independent theaters. This eliminates the need for a server farm, results in increased security (because a computer-savvy theater operator can lock this sucker down and make sure nothing enters or exits this projector without their permission.) The DCI is NOT about quality. That's a myth. The DCI is about security.

Why anyone thinks a series of lossy JPG2000 images on an overpriced cludgy 200 grand computer-less projector is somehow a better cinema experience just because it has 5% more pixels is beyond me. I've built the best device we could to solve independent theater's challenges. Independent theaters are going to die if they don't convert. There is no way to do a 2K projector at our price point. Our price point puts everything else within their reach: high lumens, awesome color rendition, sharp picture (and no one can tell the difference between well projected 1080p+ and 2K. Seriously. Is 5% more pixels worth 1000% more money?) excellent file control, security, the ability to play back nearly every format on earth legally and awesome software that makes it effortless to calibrate a movie so it looks incredible. What we're doing with XBMC is going to blow your mind. The first time you pull up our calibration tools your projectionist is going to LOVE our projector.

If I were a theater owner who had to choose between buying a $40,000.00 2K system or buying a $2,999.00 system that gave me MORE features I'd call up the studios and say "You're system isn't fair! This projector allows me to run my movie theater DEBT FREE and it still delivers an exceptional experience for the customer. I have a voice in this. I'm more than willing to convert to a digital system. You care about security more than anything else. I'll buy the DCP software necessary to protect your movie from piracy."

Everyone has a choice in this. Everyone. The DCI is not sacrosanct. It decided on its delivery format a decade ago (which is why JPG2000 is called...JPG 2000!)

DCI Compliancy isn't as simple as answering yes and no. I should rephrase; it was before our projector existed! Now, we've closed the gap so much that I believe the issue should be revisited. If we could close the gap more we would...but 2K would drive up our price point significantly and movie theaters are only a small portion of our market. With 850,000 projectors sold each year in the US we had to make a choice: be under 3 grand and meet 99% of everyone's needs or be over 10 grand and meet only 1%.

NATO has told independent theaters how much they value them: "convert or die." I'm here with the best solution you can hope for: "Convert for 3 grand and be within 5% of what the biggest multiplexes are screening with ten times the features."

If that isn't good enough I can tell you now nothing will be and you might as well sell your theaters and give up on saving our culture. AMC hopes you make that choice. Paramount really couldn't care less. They'd both be happy if there were only four exhibitors and six distributors in America.

We built this art form. WE. Making and exhibiting movies is an American birthright. And it has been subsumed by a corporate hydra that pretends there is a difference between the studios and the big four exhibitors.

The only way independent theaters survive is if digital exhibition is dirt cheap, if conversion can be done on a credit card and paid off in 1-2 months and if that digital conversion makes it effortless to run a theater. Then, independent theaters can determine what they screen and how they make money.

This war is similar to the one fought in the 1930's. ASCAP charged radio stations higher fees and represented the "best" music. They told radio stations "convert or die." Luckily, BMI came along. They represented "lesser" artists at the time but radio stations told ASCAP to screw itself, dropped their music and for a period of time only played BMI licensed music.

ASCAP caved.

The result was a fair system in which ASCAP and BMI charged about the same fees and radio stations could make a profit.

The more things change the more they stay the same. You, the independent theater owner need a weapon. You need to be able to say "Okay, Hollywood. You want to force me to change? No problem. I'll buy this amazing projector for the cost of a used 2002 Honda. With it I can exhibit every classic film, every free film, every independent film without your permission. You don't value me? Well, I don't want to go bankrupt. I also don't want to be your property. I'm independent for a reason. So, let's see how well you do if your box office for new films drops off another 10%...whoops. That's your profit margin. Now who has control?"

If you choose to close your doors or become indebted to a big projector manufacturer who charged you 40 grand or more for a 2K system I understand. I think it will be a shame because I think 200 phone calls from 200 independent theaters that say "We will comply to your security needs but the 2K standard is artificially expensive, one of your own members has a massive conflict of interest by being a projector manufacturer while establishing the 2K standard and from 10 feet away you can't tell the difference between well projected 1080p and 2K." They'll cave. They have to; they want your money. They want your box office. They want access to your customers.

It makes absolutely no financial sense to mortgage your entire business's future to convert to a digital system. As a projector designer I can tell you the prices are artificially high. It allows them to differentiate between a cinema projector and a home theater projector. The problem is that this is an artificial barrier; technology closed the gap and now the difference is customer service and the experience of being in an amazing venue.

This isn't about lower standards. This is about smart economics. This isn't about defying Hollywood. It is about reminding Hollywood that exhibitors can do what they want if it is in the best interest of their customers and their own bottom line. It is about good business!

I'll continue to sell projectors to projection mappers, churches, businesses, independent filmmakers and home theater enthusiasts. 1,000 sales won't change our company's future...

...but it will change yours. It will allow you to become your own collective and it will allow you to stay up with the times without mortgaging your future. Hasn't the last three years taught us that the dumbest way to get ahead is through debt? How do you prosper if you're sweating monthly payments?

Conversion can be cheap. Conversion can be easy. Conversion can be the least complicated choice you make. If you inform the DCI that there is a new choice and that choice satisfies almost every criteria they have without putting you in the position of going broke.

Why can't independent theaters lobby the DCI for a "2K exemption" if every other criteria is met? Why can't there be a exemption for exhibitors who own less than a certain number of screens and earn less than a certain level?

The founder of this website said "There needs to be a middle ground" in his latest article on Indiewire. This is that middle ground. This allows you to deliver a great experience to the audience without risking your own financial future.
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 26 Feb 2012 18:31 #37936

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I suggest you pair up with another active forum participant and see if what you say can work.
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Re: HELP FOR DIGITAL!!! 28 Feb 2012 20:30 #37950

  • techman707
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BryteWerks,

You say allot in your long post, however, the bottom line with DCI is "COMPLY OR DIE". Everyone knows that the cost of DCI compliant projection equipment is way overpriced in today's digital world. However, "they" made the rules and if you want to play "their game" you MUST COMPLY. It's that simple. :)

If what you're selling is that good, you should attempt to equip it to comply and submit it for approval. But consider, even the OWNER of a DCI system can not repair their own equipment (assuming they even have the ability), since they can't go past the decryption block without "their" (DCI's) approval, which a theatre owner is not likely to get. :blink:

If a theatre owner just wants to run DVD's or Blu-rays (licensed of course), then your projector is probably just fine, but, for today's new films (or should I say videos), it won't make the cut as described.

btw-you didn't mention what technology your projector uses. Is it DLP, LCoS, LCD?
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