Sunday, June 10, 2007

Digital Projection Review

I saw Knocked Up in Digital Projection at the Petaluma Boulevard Cinemas (Auditorium 5, 9:40, 07/09/07). The screen was small but not tiny.

Their website proudly proclaims: "When the lights go down... we're commercial free!" Of course, this actually means that there are non-stop commercials from the moment you enter the theatre until the first trailer starts.

Before the movie, there was an incessant rumble from an auditorium next door (Pirates 3, I suspect). I only noticed this once during the movie.

There was a trailer for Digital Projection from Christie and another from Texas Instruments.

I noticed some jagged lines in some of the titles, especially during the trailers. And the end credits seemed to "blip" their way up the screen with a bit of blur.

Overall, the picture was ok. It was rock-solid steady, which was nice. The biggest negative: frequently, I could not see the difference between the pupils and irises in the actors' eyes. Instead of a black pupil surrounded by a blue or brown iris, there was just a large, dark blob. Unnerving.

Despite all the money sunk into fancy new digital projectors (which are out-of-date now that 4k is here), large portions of the picture were projected off of the screen onto the maskings, on all four sides. (This was most distracting on the right.) There was also a stain or seam running straight up the center of the bottom half of the screen that was noticable in bright scenes.

This was my first digital screening in a public theatre. (I saw The Phantom Menace projected digitally at the Stag Theatre in 1999).

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