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Cinema Picture quality

Discussion in 'TV Show Forum' started by mattruston, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. mattruston

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    probably a common question but why is the picture in the cinema so far worse than it is if you have a decent tv / dvd player? i just cant comprehend why they can release something on dvd with such clean crisp images compared to the seemingly weathered images you get at the cinema??

    it just baffles me to be honest
     
  2. owain_thomas

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    is this a joke?
     
  3. spidermanalf

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    The cinema experience for me is degenerating as well.

    The pic quality is pants, they have lights on too bright (mentioned in another thread) and compared to home cinema systems, sound pants as well!!

    I only tend to go now when there is something I HAVE to see. Where as before I went every week no matter what!!!
     
  4. daninthemix

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    The picture quality depends as much on the film print as the gear they use. Film prints degenerate with age - a good example is the Two Towers which I saw on Friday. At only three days old, the film print was incredibly crisp and as a result the film looked better and sharper than any AV system could.
     
  5. Sinzer

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    IMAX is pretty sweet!

    The thing is on your home AV you are looking at small images in comparison to a cinema. If you blew up the picture to the same size it would most probably be even worse.

    It depends also on what cinema you go to, I personally always go to Warner Village as they have the best sound and seats.

    But I do agree somewhat that watching a film at home can be far better than the cinema. I do prefer to see only a few films at the cinema and usually try to go when it is quiet.
     
  6. Desmo

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    I wouldn't consider myself a movie buff but when the new cinema opened in town recently I went to check it out. It's only a Cineworld so nothing massive or fantastic, although it does have 12 screens so not exactly a cheap job either. The picture quality leaves a lot to be desired. And the sound left me unimpressed too. I get a much better film experience staying at home. Even on my modest set up.
     
  7. Squirrel God

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    TVs are smaller. Cinema screens are bigger. The more blown up the image is, the more you see the "faults" in the film and the better (more expensive) the equipment needed to achieve first class results.
     
  8. narabdela

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    Being a bit of an old fogie, I can remember films I saw in the sixties in first run theatres which were projected from 65mm or 70mm prints. Compared to "The Two Towers" which I saw yesterday, the image quality was absolutely phenomenal. The six track magnetic sound tracks were pretty good too. The worst image quality I have seen in recent times was on "Attack of the Clones" which I saw on the day after it opened. So much for digital recording! I presume the DVD is better?

    BTW I also saw "2001" in its original Cinerama print in a dedicated Cinerama cinema. Nothing today comes anywhere near apart probably from IMAX which I haven't seen yet
     
  9. Stuart Wright

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    Strictly speaking, since film is analogue, it's potentially able to produce infinately more detail than DVD or digital cinema.
    But since the average print you see at the flix is what - 4th or 5th generation? It's pretty poor quality and has lost a lot of detail.
    Add to that print damage - scratches and dirt - and cinema prints are always eventually unwatchable.
    Digital cinema is an exception. There is no wear and it's always 1st generation. So everyone should try and see the film in digital form if they are near a suitable cinema.

    Sound quality is always better on DVD or digital cinema since Dolby Digital is located in a particularly wearable place on the print (between the sprockets) and so quickly gets damaged. And the encoding/decodng system for DTS is better on DVD anyway.

    I think a good analogy is to say that 35mm film to digital cinema is as 33rpm LPs are to CDs. The digital media have a finite (but to most people imperceptable) limit on the quality. The average film print you see at the cinema is like a very badly scratched and warped record. Except for some reason people (not me, obviously) put up with the poor quality.

    owain_thomas - obviously you haven't seen a good home cinema picture. Take a home cinema PC with appropriate DVD player software, fed into a well setup CRT projector and you have an image of usually 6 to 8 feet wide and FAR better quality than the average cinema picture. The contrast is better, there is no print damage or dirt and there are no reel change indicators.
    The exception here is digital cinema which is better than current DVD can do. EXCEPT when the cinema's DLP bulb is on the way out - like it was when I went to see Episode II. The picture flashed horribly and didn't look as good as it does on my system.
    Sound in the home is often better than at the cinema, too.
    A lot of cinemas have faulty speakers and all have to compromise on quality to cater for the large audience.
    The average home cinema can sound clearer, crisper and louder because, quite obviously, it's smaller and only has to cater for about half a dozen seats.
     
  10. BadAss

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    I dont think it matters if the film is filmed in analog or digital these days. Take FOTR for example, filmed on analog film, completly converted to digital for effects and grading and converted back to analog for an analog cinema. Analog in ten years will be a dead format.

    The best image Ive seen in the cinema was AOTC. Filmed in digital shown in analog. Watched it on the opening night and it was an A1 print. Crystal clear, no dirt scratches or grain. Perfect.
     
  11. Mr.D

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    Film is still way better than digital for capture by quite a significant margin in all areas: resolution , latitude , intensity response, colour reproduction.

    Its arguable that as a distribution medium a digital stage is the way to go for purely practical reasons but the Dcinema formats curently doing the rounds are all inferior to a good print on good equipment . The thing that worries me is that the benchmark for digital cinema reproduction is set effectively lower than the ultimate achievable standard obtainable for film . If it was better I wouldn't have a problem with it.

    I have seen a couple of Dcinema presentations and its not all wine and roses. Yes its clean but there is also occasional aliasing and localised flicker on dense areas of the image: problems representing certain colours and when it glitches its a lot more obtrusive than a bit of dirt flying past.

    As for SD video off dvd through a CRT projector and carefully scaled and deinterlaced being better than film thats just not true. You may find watching scaled dvd preferable to a really awful print in a mediocre cinema and I wouldn't necessarily disagree but frankly a decent print well projected will make the best dvd based exhibtion pale is several obvious areas: fine detail, colour resolution, intensity variation in the blacks and up towards the peak whites. ( the serious loss of detail in the blacks and those sometimes punch hole highlights are the aspects that I find most obviously lacking with video)
     
  12. Branxx

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    Couple of days ago I went to see LOTR - The Two Towers at Odeon Leicester Sq. I was sitting central to the screen in row 20. Picture is definitely below what I see projected at home even from TV sources.

    Maybe we have sharpened our critical eye for PQ and are now noticing the imperfections of traditional cinema.

    The whole things started by wanting to replicate cinema experience at home, but ended up cinemas now have to catch up and replicate the homely feeling.

    Occasionally, I come across a pirate DVD that has been shot with a camera positioned somewhere in the auditorium. Those DVD quite closely replicate the look and feel of being at the movies.
     
  13. The Nightfly

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    How do cinemas allocate seats when booking tickets ?

    Went to see The Two Towers last night at the UGC in Bolden, Tyne and Wear, having booked tickets on-line the day before. Tickets are collected with seat numbers allocated.

    When we got inside to find the seats we'd been allocated I was gutted. Back row, very last seats on the end. I couldn't believe what crappy seats we'd got. I was fuming and it ruined the movie for me. Think I'll stick with my home cinema projector based system in the future.

    What gets me is that I wouldn't be surprised if many people didn't just buy tickets on the night and got far better seats.

    Allan
     
  14. michaelm

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    You mean in London?
     
  15. iwatkins

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    We have a new (ish) Warner Village here in Worcester and went to watch the new Harry Potter there a few weeks ago.

    I also started noticing small defects in the image but not so much that it spoiled the film.

    Couple of pluses for the cinema over the home setup that I can see:

    1) You can have it really LOUD without annoying the neighbours (although you have no control over this).
    2) You can drop popcorn all over the floor and not have to clear it up.

    ;)

    Downsides

    1) You cannot pause it to go take a leak/make cup of tea.
    2) You can't smoke, if that is your thing
    3) You cannot recline fully on a sofa with lots of cushions and cuddling your teddy bear.

    :D

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  16. Desmo

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    Our new Cineworld has probably the most annoying ticket system. You buy your ticket but are not allocated a seat. So everyone ques early to make sure they get a ticket, then que for ages to make sure you get a half decent seat. It's stupid.
     
  17. Grimley

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    It can't be worse than the UCI at Lakeside.

    I went there on Boxing day to see the Two Towers.

    The film was being projected on the screen at least two feet to the left, IMO the projectionist is at fault for that.
    The sound was too loud, I heard the front speakers distort at least 5 times during the film & I couldn't hear some of the dialogue during the film due to the sound distortion. Again IMO cinema managers must think most people are deaf these days.

    Still at only £3.80 to get in (B4 5p.m.) I shouldn't really complain.

    I'll give the Cineworld a look in next I go to the Freeport shopping Village.
     
  18. narabdela

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    Yes you should! There's no excuse for sheer bloody carelessness. People started returning to cinemas because they were being offered a better experience than in the past. I've walked out of cinemas when this sort of thing happens( e.g. surround speaker obviously damaged and outputting pure distortion) No problem getting money back, but blank amazement that I was bothered by a little thing like that.

    (Full Victor Meldrew mode at the moment)

    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  19. Stuart Wright

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    No I meant country wide. There is one in Birmingham, for example.
     
  20. bobbles

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    which cinema do you frequent in Birmingham Spectre?

    I have that UGC cinema pass so I mainly use the one in 5 ways

    I only went to star city once i wasn't impressed full of complete *******

    is that the cinema you were referring to having digital?
     
  21. Apone

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    Spectre

    You are correct that the Dolby Digital track is on the film print between the sprocket holes although the worst position for the digital sound track was determined to be on the outer edges of the film from tests conducted by Dolby Labs.

    The space between the sprocket holes was deemed to be the strongest area for which to hold the soundtrack.

    Many films come out in what is called a 'Quad print'. This print would hold Dolby Digital, SDDS, DTS timecode and an analogue soundtrack as backup should the digital soundtrack playing fail or cannot be read.


    Digital Cinema is a very good medium and the future looks promising for motion picture presentation.

    Regards

    Mahmood
     
  22. Mr.D

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    At the risk of sounding argumentative I'd have to say its still not good enough. They could do with losing the edge enhancement off the spirit datacine for start.
     
  23. cybersoga

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    My local odeon (southampton) is just aweful. half the time they put the trailers on at the wrong aspect ratio (once they left it stretched so everyone was fat!), and they don't switch to DD for the DD trailer so the DD trailer was in dolby stereo! I think they have monkeys working there. The last time I went there I saw Die Another Day, and the overall volume was turned up so far that it was literally painful to listen to the loud parts of the film, the trebel was shreiking and the sound was horribly distorted.

    I saw The Two Towers at the warner THX cinema in portsmouth, and it was another story - the sound was a _lot_ better, it wasn't cranked to the point of distortion, the picture was crisp, the only small comment was that the sub bass was turned up a bit high so every bass sound made the same boom noise, but at least it had real bass - the odeon doesn't even have sub bass!

    I also saw Star Wars attack of the clones at the same THX cinema, it was shown in DD 5.1EX. The sound was good but the print had lots of artifacts - the main one being that the light level (brightness) appeared to keep changing (flickering/twitching).
     
  24. (GTV)Chris

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    MrD

    You are absolutely right! In both your responses.
    I hate the Spirit with a passion.
    We tend to use heavily modified flying spot telecines but are not that stable to be used for are graphics work...but when the Spirit stuff comes back it almost has an uncanny nack of making film look like tape :)


    Bets wishes


    Chris
     
  25. Mr.D

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    yep we've got a couple in the digital intermediate lab and we've had to do a ton of work to them ( hacking and remapping) to make em satisfactory. I've worked on a couple of shows that were either HD or had the odd spirit scan chucked in out of necessity and lacklustre is the word. I describe it as big video because thats all it looks like you really only notice the resolution improvement: colour and intensity ... and fine detail still fall noticably below film.

    Its fine for dvd and even HD transfers but anything above that and forget it.

    shame they've set the benchmark so low. I hope we will still see the D cinema formats evolve a bit yet before standardisation.
     

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