Whats the resolution of a cinema screen?

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by hamd01, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. hamd01

    hamd01
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    I was talking with a friend last night, as to why high definition movies are becoming available for films 20 years old. My guess was that the films would have been filmed with a very high definition camera, in order to be able to produce the resolution required for a cinema screen. Is this the case?

    What resolution is a cinema screen at? Is it progressive or interlaced?
     
  2. mmace

    mmace
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    films are filmed on film, film has no resolution as it's not made up of pixels. for DVD's and HD the film is digitally scanned at a high resolution (usually more than 4 times the resolution of HD)

    Films are 24 frames per second progressive

    someone will probably answer more technically and more acurately then me, but the thing to remember is that it's on film where there are no pixels

    another thing to think about is that the cinema screen is just a screen, the image comes from a projector behind
     
  3. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    The effective resolution of 35mm film is about 4000x2000, so HD still has a long way to go before it catches up. What you actually see in the cinema, though, tends to be less sharp than you'd expect for that resolution. This is down to things happening after the original filming process: copying, scanning the film to do digital special effects work and then outputting it back onto celluloid, etc.

    When domestic HD is capable of beating the resolution of IMax film, that will be cool. :) But that won't be for a long time. :mad:
     
  4. StevenBagley

    StevenBagley
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    While a 35mm negative has a 'resolution' of about 4k pixels, this is only on the camera negative. Traditionally, this is cut and from that an interpositive copy is made, and from the interpositive many internegatives are made. These internegatives are then used to make the prints seen in the cinemas.

    Each of these copies eat away at the resolution to such an extent that what you'll see projected at the cinema probably only manages to have a little more resolution than SD video -- certainly less than can be achieved via HD displays.

    Of course, advances in digital technology (and the use of Digital Intermediates) mean that modern films will tend to have more resolution than older ones.

    Steven
     
  5. Goose74

    Goose74
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    sorry I had to laugh at that - what a load of utter *****
    The effective res of the average cinema film is around 2k down from arounf 4k from the neg. Still way more than 1080p
    SD video projected in cinema looks, er well... horrible!
     
  6. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    2k is 2048x1080
    HDTV is 1920x1080
     
  7. Sy1441

    Sy1441
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    HDTV can be as little as 1280 x 720
     
  8. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    pedant :D
    I was trying to clarify that Goose74 was suggesting that 2k was way better than 1080 when in fact they are very close.
    But I don't agree with StevenBagley's comment about cinema being only slightly better than SD - but I guess it depends on the cinemas.
     
  9. stefmcd

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    What's a typical cinema screen - 300 inches?

    Try blowing up Standard definition to that size and even at the back row it'll look like something John Logie Baird made in 1926!

    Anybody with experience of projectors will understand how an image deteriorates rapidly as it's stretched over a larger area. If cinema projectors were focussing on an area as small as most tv screens the detail would be amazing.
    :)
     
  10. ash

    ash
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    I heard from someone that SWIII was filmed in 1080p or somehting like that, that guy is wrong right?
     
  11. arfster

    arfster
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    Surely cinema projectors must use massive line multipliers? You'd be able to drive a bus between the pxels if not :cool:
     
  12. mmace

    mmace
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    there's no pixels, it's on film (at the moment)
     
  13. neilmcl

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    Yes, Revenge of the Sith was filmed primarily at 1080p/24 (4.4.4 RGB) using Sony HDC-F950 cameras, as well as Sin City and others.
     
  14. Rimmer

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    Maybe the poster was exaggerating in claiming that release prints are little better than SD, but most of the films I see in the cinema look grainy and blurred. Obviously the quality of the projector and especially the lens can have a major impact on picture quality, but in my opinion the picture quality in the average cinema leaves a lot to be desired.
     
  15. redpavlos

    redpavlos
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    Well, I think Steven is basically right.

    While projected cinema film does offer somewhat more resolution, the difference in practice isn't as huge as you might think.

    What matters is the effective res as seen in the cinema by the audience when projected, not what a static frame of celluloid might be capable of reproducing under a microscope in the lab.

    Most cinema ads have for years been shot on film and then edited in component SD, scanned back onto film and then projected, and they can look reasonably good.

    Having seen plenty of demos myself, a good HD 1080p projector on a cinema screen can look stunning. Partly depends on the equipment used, but 720p can look stunningly good too. Overall better, in my view, than film projected in the average cinema.

    Do bear in mind that resolution is just one of the factors that contributes to the overall image quality.
     
  16. Dave163

    Dave163
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    Almost right...since the Sony camera aspect ratio is 16:9 and doesn't have an anamorphic lens they filmed ROTS in 16:9 and chopped off the top and bottom to make it cinemascope 2.35:1 ratio, leaving it with just 700 lines.
     
  17. Mr.D

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    Here we go again.

    Highest resolution film is scanned at ( full ap 35mm frame) is 4096x3112. This is what is reffered to as "4K". 2K 2048x1556 is regarded as acceptable as on projection most people can't see a difference between 4k and 2k even on a rush print struck from the neg.

    Scanning is often undertaken for the entire films these days to allow for digital grading , its not just a requirement for effects work.

    The normal standard for motion picture film scanning is 10 bit log. This is regarded as full negative density ( to differentiate from print). To store this in a linear encoded system to the same percieved quality you would need about 18bits per channel. Video (including hidef ) is 8 bit linear at best.

    Frankly 1080p looks like pish compared with film and the resolution is only half of it.
     
  18. neilmcl

    neilmcl
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    What do you mean "almost right", my statement was 100% correct, I never mentioned anything about aspect ratios. :rolleyes:
     
  19. phillfyspoon

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    Well hopefully soon all cinemas will go digital as the HD age kicks off.
     
  20. DTSFan2001

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    I work as a Projectionist at my local cinema, and I agree that picture quality is ultimately dependant on the quality of the equipment used. However, like Home Cinema, unless it is calibrated properly, you aren't going to get the best out of what you have. I would have to say that at my cinema, the pictures are out of this world, far better than the local rival. Contrast and definition are a pleasure to watch. This is not just due to the quality of the lenses (Schneider) but also having the projector bulbs aligned properly too (makes such a difference). As for cinemas adopting digital, I think it's still a way off. You have to justify the cost to the company, especially when the average joe isn't going to notice much difference between old and new. One or two cinemas will adopt at first (West End already have it in place for Chicken Little Digital 3D), but it won't be mainstream for at least a couple of years, possibly even as far as 2010.
     
  21. owain_thomas

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    I watched The Incredibles on a digital projector in Manchester's FilmWorks the year before last.
     
  22. Goose74

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  23. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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  24. Mr.D

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    Pfft "autobalancing a 10bit log scan to 8bit tiff in photoshop" what a joke. Those are the worst 2k scans I've ever seen.

    The NFT 35mm projection is about the best I've seen. Its looks better than many fleapits even with the house lights up!
     
  25. cyberheater

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    Which is the bit that really impresses at the Cinema. My home cinema projector seems to have better contrast and blacks then my local cinema but the colours that you get at the cinema are simply gourgous.
    Hopefully, Bluray or HD-DVD and home cinema projector technology will finally solve that problem.
     
  26. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    There is no comparing the contrast range and gammut available from video relative to film , its a huge difference. Video needs a low black point and a comparatively high white point to display with any convincing sense of depth. Film can be displayed with a comparatively high black point as the available intensity range is so much more massive that there is still plenty of intensity transition to give a pleasing sense of depth. Video is quite empty by comparisson.

    The hidef formats offer little in the way of improvement over SD video other than resolution. Colour and intensity range are little different to the video we've all been looking at for years.
     
  27. White Noise

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    I'm stunned to hear that. When I was watching the digital projection I couldn't get over how pin sharp it was, close to real life. (or maybe it's time for a new eye test):D

    That quality on a domestic TV would be amazing.

    To think that my next TV in, say 5 years, will no doubt have that resolution. That is a nice thought. At 43" though 1080i should easily suffice for now.
     
  28. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    That's not a domestic format . Its not hidef video its a digital cinema format which is closer to film. Its still not actually as good though in spite of the hype.
     
  29. czytt

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    Hence the growing trend in the U.S. to wait for the DVD (now HD-DVD) instead of going to the cinema. Audiences are falling because of HDTV.

    We should also bear in mind that the source for a digital transfer is likely to be an original, not an interneg, so the digital copy is going to be at least one generation "better" than what you see in the cinema.

    Jerry
     
  30. Mr.D

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    You shouldn't overestimate the take up of HD in the states , its not that widespread and still regarded as a niche market.

    The losses incurred in an interpos dupe are minimal . At worst its going 4k to 2k . To be honest its a lot better than that. This is an optical copy remember not an electronic one. Photo technology is also used for the manufacture of chips remember the losses per generation are not that significant.

    Also its common practice to perform a digital intermediate with the entire conformed negative being scanned for digital colour correction. In theory you could then record out as many internegs for print striking as you like. In practice its still costly but this does ensure you avoid losses incurred at a normal grading stage.
     

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