Re: [Frameworks] The Digital Video Exhibition Problem: And An Offer To Address It

From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Dec 05 2010 - 21:18:10 PST

On Dec 5, 2010, at 7:13 PM, Brook Hinton wrote:

> in my experience reliable playback across devices of HD on a DVD-R means using a bitrate well below the 18mb/s Aaron helpfully looked up as the supposed max for this workflow. On 1080p material with significant motion and detail it's not great, but again, the artifacting isn't as bad as it is on SD DVDs.

There are very few video projectors that will do 1080P. The majority of the 'installed base' max out at 1080i/720P. The projection imager type is more important than resolution - that is a 720P 3-chip DLP is superior to a 1080P 1-chip DLP. In addition, the difference in perceptual quality between SD and 720P is quite noticeable, while bumping up to 1080P is less so. Thus, 720P is a better choice for projection in most cases. For a given data rate 720P requires less compression and thus can yield fewer artifacts. I have projected 720P in a commercial theater for a special presentation, using the "preshow" digital projector. It looked as good as that projector is capable of looking, which is good enough. There were no glitches, and no-one in the SRO audience had any comments about the technology. All comments related to the film itself, which is what we all want.

> Also the ratio of good to bad 16mm projectors is significantly higher than the ratio of good to bad disposable plastic dvd and blu ray players. That's not counting professional equipment though, which is out of range for many of the folks we're talking about.
> 16mm can also often be serviced in-house in many cases.

If it is indeed the case that the liklihood of encountering good 16mm projection is higher, that is because the pool is smaller. Few are willing to take up 16mm unless they have the knowledge and resources. If you have any sort of in-house service for 16mm available, we're talking about a whole different ballgame. Put that same expertise, and whatever it costs in money or in-kind into digital, and the results will be at least comparable.

>> In acknowledging that HD video can be written to standard DVD blanks, you added the caveat, "assuming a dead-compatible player". Well, why would any screening venue have anything BUT a "dead-compatible player"?
> Because it happens. Because people don't think things through. Because they got a player from ebay that worked with two discs and then realized the night of the program that three pieces would not play on it, and money and time were so tight they couldn't do anything

Well, HD isn't going away. Exhibitors are going to have to learn to think things through, plan ahead. Again, if you're holding a 16mm film festival, and you just haul some Eikis out of storage, thread up the prints, throw the knobs into forward and cross your fingers that everything is working, you shouldn't be screening prints. People don't do that (often) though, because they know better.

> Because few venues that show experimental work can afford professional decks. Because many are begging and borrowing whatever they can to get the show running.

Professional decks are not required, or even desired. For example, recordable DVD playback is often far more reliable on cheaper off-brand players than on name brands. Such players aren't necessarily built to last, but they're cheap enough (e.g. $40 at Wal-Mart) to be essentially disposable.

FrameWorks mailing list
email suppressed