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Everything You Want To Know About Digital Theaters

May 7th, 2006 by Multimedia Mike

After reading my post last week regarding emerging digital theater technology, Baptiste Coudurier did some legwork and located the — quite public — v1 specs for the Digital Cinema System. You can download the exhaustively-detailed PDF here. The 2 general supported video resolutions are dubbed 2K and 4K which refer to 2048×1080 and 4096×2160, respectively. Section 7.5.3 specifies exactly how much storage a compliant unit is expected to have ready (a lot), and why. Video in fact is compressed, with JPEG 2000 and uses a 36 bit/pixel XYZ colorspace. Audio is uncompressed and subtitles are PNG. How did all of these open formats make it into the mix? Strange. Also, the container format is specified as MXF. Encryption is, of course, handled by AES (that thing sure caught on in a hurry).

Posted in General | 2 Comments »

2 Responses

  1. Jim Leonard Says:

    I’m amazed that 2K is even considered acceptable. They poured 36 bits per pixel into the spec, but settled for 2K?

    I saw SW:EP3 in a traditional theater and it looked great, like any other Star Wars film… I then had the opportunity to see it in a digital theater (the only one in Illinois, I was led to believe) and I sat in the front 3rd of the theater and could see pixels. If digital theater is going to work, it has to standardize on 4K resolution.

  2. Ron Says:

    at my local AMC Theater, they use a digital projector to show ads before the previews and main movie. I would guess it’s a DLP, and while it’s quite capable as far as digital projection is concerned, it would make me puke if I had to watch an actual movie in an actual theater on one of those things (black levels, color saturation, screen door, …).