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When are movies in theaters going to be HD?

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When are movies in theaters going to be HD?

Old 10-24-07, 09:00 PM
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When are movies in theaters going to be HD?

If they're not already, i'm not too sure how it works. Movies at the theater look great but not HD great.

But really, why aren't movies at the cinema not HD yet? Wouldn't that be amazing to see on the big screen? Huge detailed movies.

Is it purely from a financial stand-point? Would it be super expensive to have a big HD projector? Or is it just because movies are still being shot on film?

I remember Lucas shooting on Digital for his Star Wars prequels, so were they HD?

Thanks in advance to all the experts on this!
Old 10-24-07, 09:11 PM
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Aren't the digital projectors HD? They sure look it.
Old 10-24-07, 09:37 PM
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Do you understand that HD is not even close to the resolution of film? HD only has 2 million pixels, 35mm film can top out around 12 million
Old 10-24-07, 09:40 PM
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digital movie theatre projectors are 4k

the "hd great" stuff you're watching is 2k

size matters
Old 10-25-07, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonno2006
If they're not already, i'm not too sure how it works. Movies at the theater look great but not HD great.

But really, why aren't movies at the cinema not HD yet? Wouldn't that be amazing to see on the big screen? Huge detailed movies.

Is it purely from a financial stand-point? Would it be super expensive to have a big HD projector? Or is it just because movies are still being shot on film?

I remember Lucas shooting on Digital for his Star Wars prequels, so were they HD?

Thanks in advance to all the experts on this!
As has been mentioned before, 35 mm film has never been close to matched by digital exhibition. It's a matter of time, though.

Also, it would cost between 3 and 7 billion, according to estimations, to replace film projectors with digital ones. Studios don't want to foot the bill and cinemas can't afford it. And 95% of the viewing public wouldn't notice a difference anyway.
Old 10-25-07, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by her34
digital movie theatre projectors are 4k

the "hd great" stuff you're watching is 2k

size matters
uh, not quite:

DLP theatre systems are 2K
Sony's LCoS digital systems are 4K
IMAX's future digital system's will be 8k
Old 10-25-07, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
uh, not quite:

DLP theatre systems are 2K
Sony's LCoS digital systems are 4K
IMAX's future digital system's will be 8k
Giles, I think he's referring to the resolution of FILM itself, which has been estimated at 4,000 lines of resolution, if such a thing could be measured as film does not have lines of resolution.

So then the comparison would be 4000 vs. 1080 (again, if possible).
Old 10-25-07, 10:33 AM
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I understand that 35mm has more potential than today's DLP systems, but the fact is that most modern DLP presentations look far better than the average 35mm multi-plex presentation these days.

Careless projection, poor quality prints, dim projector bulbs and the like are commonplace at local theaters running 35mm prints, while the DLP screens don't seem to have this problem. Yet!

However, when a good quality 35mm is presented under proper conditions, it looks amazing. It just doesn't happen very often in 2007.
Old 10-25-07, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillips
I understand that 35mm has more potential than today's DLP systems, but the fact is that most modern DLP presentations look far better than the average 35mm multi-plex presentation these days.
Well, they're certainly brighter.
Old 10-25-07, 10:55 AM
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that's certainly not the case last week when I saw 'Nightmare Before Christmas' and '30 Days of Night' in DLP. For 'Nightmare' - an audio dropout occurred and when comparing one DLP system to another (Tyson's/Gallery Place), the latter had increased brightness and better dimensionality. For '30 Days' it was probably the worst DLP presentation, because of multiple audio dropouts during the first ten minutes and the system cutting out twice.

'3:10 to Yuma' in DLP at Cinema De Lux looked very impressive and windowlike.

Last edited by Giles; 10-25-07 at 11:05 AM.
Old 10-25-07, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillips
I understand that 35mm has more potential than today's DLP systems, but the fact is that most modern DLP presentations look far better than the average 35mm multi-plex presentation these days.

Careless projection, poor quality prints, dim projector bulbs and the like are commonplace at local theaters running 35mm prints, while the DLP screens don't seem to have this problem. Yet!

However, when a good quality 35mm is presented under proper conditions, it looks amazing. It just doesn't happen very often in 2007.
but even the best 35mm prints I've seen are always marred with the distracting cigarette burns (why are these soooo blatant and annoying), the thin white scratches that stretch across the entire length of the screen and the obligatory theatre marker dots.
Old 10-25-07, 11:04 AM
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I do have to give props to the AFI Silver Theatre for the HiDef 'films' they've shown during their annual AFI/Discovery Channel SilverDocs Fest - HiDef on the big screen looks stunning.

even the standard-def DVD's that the Avalon theatre (DC) projects looks pretty impressive.
Old 10-26-07, 05:03 PM
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When are movies in theaters going to be HD?

Hopefully never. Why would you want lower resolution than current 35mm systems?
Old 10-26-07, 05:47 PM
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Yeah, I know that film is supposedly better than actual HD, but man, it sure looks like crap at theaters for the most part...
Old 10-27-07, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Anubis2005X
Yeah, I know that film is supposedly better than actual HD, but man, it sure looks like crap at theaters for the most part...
Most theaters don't seem to maintain their equipment well and have dim bulbs, projector issues, and dirty screens, but even putting that aside... try blowing up your HD video to a movie theater-sized screen and it won't look near as good as your tv in front of you.
Old 10-27-07, 01:38 AM
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I went to a theater today, where every screen has a digital projector. It was great, so crisp and vibrant colors + no film & reel sounds coming from the booth. This was my first experience with digital.
Old 10-27-07, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SPiRAL
I went to a theater today, where every screen has a digital projector. It was great, so crisp and vibrant colors + no film & reel sounds coming from the booth. This was my first experience with digital.
In LA? Which theater?
Old 10-27-07, 02:10 AM
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Arclight... Arclight (Sherman Oaks), when it re-opens... Mann's Chinese Theater... The new Landmark Theaters, where Blade Runner is playing.

Many of the theaters have digital projection. Just check the listings. Not every film has been transfered for Digital Projection though.

fitprod
Old 10-27-07, 02:19 AM
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But none of those have every screen on a digital projector, as far as I know. That's why I was curious.
Old 10-27-07, 02:35 AM
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Digital looks great, now, but their bulbs will dim over time, as well. And theater managers will decided to use cheaper, dimmer replacement bulbs to save costs. And those DLP and LCoS chips don't last forever. How many dead pixels will they accumulate before being replaced? At least with film you start fresh with each new movie.

Honestly I think film and digital will be just as good in the long run unless the neighborhood megaplex ups their standards. I doubt it, though. I live in Dallas, home of the first THX theater. (Northpark I & II) That was nearly 30 years ago, and now there isn't a single THX theater within 50 miles of us and only FIVE in the entire state of Texas. FIVE.
Old 10-27-07, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by FinkPish
Do you understand that HD is not even close to the resolution of film? HD only has 2 million pixels, 35mm film can top out around 12 million
12 million?

I don't know about 35mm film, but it should be the same principle as photography. If you look at a regular photograph it is not made of pixels, but of flowing colors, so the resolution is infinite. Only limited by man's eyes' ability to focus.

If home theater equipment had developed from film technique instead of from TV pixel technique (there was time when it was modestly tried, in the 70s when some bought projectors and Super 8mm and 16mm films. I am sure that if the money had been invested into research along this road instead of TVs, it would have developed from the projecters at the back of the room to the picture coming out of a screen much like a TV, but without the pixels), then we would not have had a discussion of resolution today. Instead the discussion would have been about quality of lenses and cameramens' range of eyesight and competence in handling their equipment. But this is all science fiction, since the investors early on chose to go down the TV road. Ultimately it probably leads to the same end though, since pixel resolution will become finer and finer till it reaches the infinite with nano science.

Digital is the purely mathematical technical way. The rational, the fear of letting go. Film is more of alchemy. Intuitive. The digital technique reflects what has become of our whole modern society: there is no magic left.

Last edited by Terri; 10-27-07 at 06:51 AM.
Old 10-27-07, 03:51 PM
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Except film doesn't have infinite resolution, any more than the human eye does. The light-sensitive bits of film are called grains, and the more sensitive your film is the bigger the grains are. That's why higher-ISO film is grainier than low-ISO film. And it's also why 35mm film looks better than 16mm, 70mm better than 35mm, and IMAX blows them all away. It's all about film size, grain size, and the density of the grains. (Just like a high-megapixel camera with a small sensor has noisier pictures than a low-MP camera with a large sensor, like a DSLR)

And your retina is made up of millions of light-sensitive receptors, so again it limits your "resolution."
Old 10-27-07, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by fitprod
Not every film has been transfered for Digital Projection though.
Most have; the exceptions may be very low-budget movies with limited theatrical release.

The issue isn't the films being transferred to digital projection. It's whether your local theater has installed a digital projector.
Old 10-27-07, 07:30 PM
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Am I the only one that likes film looking the way it does on the big screen? Without debating the resolution issues, I don't want horror flicks in 'High Def' on the big screen. They look just fine on my 27 in. HDTV. Almost too good for me to handle.
Old 10-28-07, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by shaun3000
Except film doesn't have infinite resolution, any more than the human eye does. The light-sensitive bits of film are called grains, and the more sensitive your film is the bigger the grains are. That's why higher-ISO film is grainier than low-ISO film. And it's also why 35mm film looks better than 16mm, 70mm better than 35mm, and IMAX blows them all away. It's all about film size, grain size, and the density of the grains.

And your retina is made up of millions of light-sensitive receptors, so again it limits your "resolution."
OK. At least film can get as close to the infinite as the eye is able to make out. Also in the finished photgraph (and film I presume) there are no dots (I looked through a magnifier), but flowing colors, so the level of details that has been reached blend softly into each other.

One thing though. It would probably be impossible to get as brilliant, contrasty, and rich colors on film as with digital technique.

I regret though that digital creates purely artificial special effects through CGI. It's all illusions from the computor. Film requires that everything is created in the real in front of the camera, and if the film road had been continued it would have developed much expertise in robotics for example. On the other hand, maybe CGI is more environmental friendly.

I wonder why 3D was never further developed beyond films like The Creature From the Black Lagoon? Even those Disney children's toys, with a round revolving picture card having double photos, that look like a pair of binoculars, give a better image, without color loss. Simply using two parallel cameras. Surely it would be a greater experience to watch film in 3D. Maybe we should have watched TV through two tubes. Or have a digital screen cusp over each eye. Then everyone would really be inside his/her own universe!

Last edited by Terri; 10-28-07 at 03:08 AM.

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