[Tig] Re: Digital Projection

digital.praxis at virgin.net digital.praxis
Thu Aug 1 00:40:06 BST 2002


Having used most digital projectors with our DI operation we have found
that the impression given by a large screen projector seems to provide a
level of comfort to clients who are expecting to see the final results
'projected' (film usually) while working from a monitor presents a more
'video' environment, making clients feel less at ease with what they are
seeing. I say this as we seem to get quicker sign-off on material we show
projected rather than on a monitor. This has to be as a result of the
environment rather than actual technical reasons as I have found it easier
to get a grade 1 monitor to balance to final film output better than
digital projectors (better colour range on a monitor than a projector? Not
my area of knowledge but its what I seem to have found from imperical
tests).

Quality of the projection has not been seen as an issue by clients as there
comes a point when good enough is good enough. This is probably the main
point to all I try an achieve. When something is good enough it will become
a standard if what it offers is of benefit. How many audio people will tell
you that CDs are better than records? None, as CDs provide a quality that
is inferior to the best 'record' setup, but that's the point. Most people
don't, or didn't, have 'the best setup' making CDs a very acceptable and
beneficial alternative.

The same is true of digital projection. If you see a print struck from the
original neg (or first generation i/n) in a top quality cinema digital
projection is inferior. But how many people ever see such quality? For the
majority digital projection shows an image that is equal to what they are
used to in their local flee-pit with the benefits offered buy a
non-physical image transport (no degredation, scratches, dust, chemical
blemishes, no weave, less focus issues, more stable colourimetry, etc). In
short, digital projection is likely to become the equavalent of the CD in
the audio world. Good enough for the majority, leaving purists to savour
the extra quality of a good film projection.

Is this a sad view of the future? I'm not sure. But is is a business view
of the future based on human nature. When (not if) the cost issues are
overcome digital will become a standard. It may be different to what we see
today, but not much. Better contrast, improved resolution? Maybe. But for
one, I'm happy with what I see at the moment given the 'normal' film
alternatives.

Would I go out of my way to see a good film projection rather than digital?
Yes! But then I'm not an average punter, and at the end of the day they pay
all our wages, and for them if the image looks 'better' than it did
yesterday when they saw that scratched, jumpy, out of focus film then we
are just waiting for the fat lady to sing.

AS ALWAYS THESE ARE MY VIEWS, AND MINE ALONE... Some who read this will
know why I say this.

Steve Shaw
Digital Praxis

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