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donaldk, Author at Cineramax

donaldk

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May 4, 2015

6P LASER and the 2020 ideal

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Insight Media analyst Chris Chinnock threw a monkey wrench between the spokes of the cutting edge of High-end Hometheater, this past week following his visit of the Barco factory in Belgium, when he posited that 6P cannot meet or exceed the Rec. 2020. To meet this widest colour gamut allowing for the deepest reds, blues and greens, 3P LASER with a separate anti-speckle remedy would be required. The second set of RGB Primary colours, slightly off-set to the base primaries, this makes the Red, Green and Blue less coherent, and the narrow spectrum, and coherence of the LASER light is what causes speckle on the screen.

So, what can be the reasoning behind this. The delta between the two sets of primaries isn’t that large or is it, and if the first set of primaries is right at the frequencies specified in Rec.2020, why not select higher frequencies for the second, off-set primary colours.

So, I asked Chris to clarify his position:

“The 2020 spec requires the RGB primaries be right on the spectral locus – right at the edge of the color horseshoe. To actually meet the spec, you must use lasers at those primaries, which are commercially hard to obtain. With a 6p system, you have 2 red, 2 green and 2 blue lasers offset by 10-20 nm. This essentially brings the resulting color space in off the spectral locus slightly. Technically, that means is it not achieving 100% of the 2020 gamut, but I suspect that are essentially no images where this slight detuning would be visible”.

So, it is indeed the off-set primaries, and it is a formal non-compliance, not a substantial one.

The 2020 standard was set as ideal, as a target beyond reach of even OLED. In LCD flat panels Quantum Dots used to convert blue LED light to red, green and Blue, can only reach 93% of the required colour space, with further research, it may reach up to 97% of the current Rec.2020 colour space, according to public statements by the manufacturer. And the around $120,000 list price 3 DMD 4K LED projector announced by DPI can’t fully meet the requirement either, as Mike Bridwell, the vendor’s VP told me at the ISE show this February, the Red Primary falls a few percentage points short of the standard.

Compared to the issue for flat panels the commercial availability of the LASERS required for high-end projection displays is on a minute scale, but still a serious one, as feature film content production and presentation leads the industry on this.

So, what to do, will we see a revisit of the issue of 100% NTSC colour and available efficient CRT Phosphor. NTSC setting a paper standard requiring a wide colour space that could not be met efficiently by available phosphors, used in CRTs to convert electromagnetic energy to optical energy, or light. In Europe the EBU instead chose a colourspace and associated primary colours amounting to approximately 70 percent of the NTSC standard. To work with efficient and commercially available phosphors. In practice NTSC TVs used the same phosphors and colours, turning the NTSC standard a paper, not a de-facto standard, as it concerns colour.

So, will we see a change to the standard to follow what is possible, and not trying to make work, what to date does not work.  Chris expects so:

“I suspect the 2020 spec will be modified as there is momentum building to do so. It would likely adjust the primaries to reflect commercially available lasers and provide a tolerance to the primaries so the 6p system would be fully compliant”.

So, we can savely go ahead and follow through without worrying about a standard not being met. Intense colours will be reproduced.

There will be demo’s with 2020 content on various wide gamut displays, at the Display Summit conference, taking place on June 15-16, in Orlando Florida, ahead of Infocomm. There will also be the Eizo monitor that has an Alert mode to show colours outside Rec. 709 in a greyscale, or clipped to 709 space, to show how it will look on a regular HDTV.

donaldk

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March 12, 2015

CineCity breaks ground on Holland’s second Dolby Cinema

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Cine City Cinema in the Dutch city of Vlissingen, is breaking ground on its new 700 seat extension. Scheduled for completion by late August the new room will become the country’s second Dolby Cinema. The theater complex hosts the Film by the Sea festival this September. Wich will see the newly constructed Dolby Cinema theater’s formal opening.

So far Dolby has only announced ‘Dolby Cinema Partners’ in the newly constructed JT Cinemas complex in Eindhoven The Netherlands and the UCI/Cinesa La Maquinista complex in Barcelona Spain. But the city council of Vlissingen approved the construction proposal and associated reconstruction and traffic re-routing surrounding the theater complex on December 18 2014,

The Architects preliminary proposal is dated last September, and recently published by the municpal government on its website.

Dolby Cinema offers a complete package to cinema operators that includes the Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range LASER projection system, co-developed with Christie Digital. And Dolby’s immersive audio system Atmos.

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March 2, 2015

NEC Pushes blue LASER

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NEC’s new PH1201QL, 4K Blue LASER-Phosphor 12000 lumens projector listing for €79000.-

NEC was showing a complete line up of commercial Hybrid LASER projectors at the ISE, besides the much talked about 12K lumens 4K 3 DMD DLP, the PH1201QL that will also be marketed to the Hometheater market by DPI. There was the HD version, the PH1202HL, to demonstrate pixelmapping or warping. A blended pair of XGA projectors, PX602UL, that is also available in 1200×800, the PX602WL, was shooting at the ceiling.

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These 6000 lumens projectors have been available since December, and the widescreen version lists in the US for $9200,-

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And there was the P502HL , a compact HD, 5K lumens, single chipper. That stood up nicely against the booth lighting.

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All of the images were projected above people’s heads, so the projection path was not obstructed, but it also made it hard to judge the picture quality. Also the graphics style content instead of fast moving video was not representative of use as video displays.

NEC Europe is still looking for delivery in April, but at the show Director Product Management Projectors Klaus Auerböck, was careful to allow for the possibility of a slight delay into May.

List price for the PH1201QL is set at €79,000.-

donaldk

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March 2, 2015

3000 Lumens DPI LED after all

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Michael Bridwell, Vice President of Marketing and Home entertainment at Digital Projection, Inc. told me at ISE that DPI is still looking to bring a 3000 lumens version of its 3 DMD 4K LED projector to market. He expects this to be around November. “It isn’t simply a matter of doubling the number of LEDs to get double the output”, well it is out of the LEDs, “but you can’t get it out of the projector” Mike added.

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There was some disappointment when, following the first announcement last year, DPI had reduced the preliminary spec. from 3000 Lumens to 2000 Lumens. 3000, already a tad low for the price level, around the $120K mark. Especially since you can’t use two in an Infinitec passive 3D set-up, and active 3D requires a lot of light with shutter systems costing 84% to 86% of the projector’s original output. This persuaded people to go for the DPI Blue LASER Phosphor Hybrid projector instead that is listed at 12K lumens, the same as its NEC sibling.

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However just after the show reports of color issue that started to appear on the NEC Blue Push LASER projector that precedes this 4K model, the 1080P version, so those that want to avoid these issues might now find an answer in LED, but not till towards the end of the year, and three thousand Lumens might still be too little, for High-End Home Theater.

DPI was also showing a 5K lumens single chip DLP, with Hybrid LASER light source, still a prototype, and it wasn’t running when I visited.Well, as shown above its lens was covered. And whomever says Solid State Lights don’t produce heat should have visited the dark room at the heart of DPIs ISE booth that had the 2000 Lumens LED and a single chip LASER projector running.

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February 16, 2015

Where’s high-end 4K scaling and processing, not at ISE

February 16, 2015 | By | No Comments">No Comments

ISE 2015

ISE 2015

Walking through the halls, or picking up a copy of the show daily at the Infocomm and Cedia backed Integrated Systems Europe show held in Amsterdam this past week, 4K60P was everywhere, but things aren’t always what they seem, what actually is this 4K60P they are promoting…

So, I asked processing and distribution vendor Zigen, that announced a new card for its modular matrix with support for 4K at sixty frames per second With HDCP2.2 communication. Bluntly and direct; do your processors support 4K60P at, at least 4:2:2 chromasubsampling and 10 Bits (per subpixel)? The answer was NO. “All of our processors support 4K 60P, but we, like everyone else, are limited by the processor at 300 Mhz. This is what everyone means when they speak of 4K60P, the company rep said as he stepped aside to pick up his binder with specsheets, it listed “4K, 60 frames per second, 24 bpp, at 4:2:0. Anything higher will require a more powerful processor, there is one very expensive chip from SiliconOptix that can do that. 300 Mhz and 4:2:0 at 8 bits is state of the art, and we are still seeing limited demand for 4K”. He was expecting or better hoping for some other chips to come online, but coudn’t provide any specifics. 

Calibre, the UK based vendor that has been making high(er) end scalers for the past twenty-seven years, sees traditional chipvendors, such as SiliconOptix, Gennum and Genesis, withdrawing from the commercial market, focussing on cheap mass market chips for consumer electronics, as developing new ASIC platforms costs ten of millions. It went ahead and launched its FPGA based platform , using its own set of algorithmes, for 4K.

“Not yet, June, Infocomm time”, promised Chairman Tim Brooksbank, when asked if his new 4K processorplatform supports 10 Bits 4:2:2 at 60FPS, unwilling to discuss any further details about the upcoming product range.

 

Crestron grand entrance

Crestron grand entrance

Crestron was all out with ads on the back of the catalog and the Daily for its all new 4K60 DM 3.0 platform, with a huge stand directly at the enterance. ISE is clearly a salesshow, where large companies like Crestron’s first question is; ‘which territory are you from’, and you go, I want some-one who knows about your highly promoted scaler, what do I care if he or she is Dutch or not. I was met by two guys from the support department, in the hospitality area, but the scaler launched at the show was so new that they were only ‘briefed by engineering’ on the absolute basics.

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So it is a ‘software programmed scaler’ but no details on FPGA, DSP, or? Nor the capabilities of the processor itself. I was assured that there was room for functional expansion in the processor, but to what extend remains unclear. According to the online productpage I was shown, the limit is currently at 4K 60P, 4:2:0. without mention of the bitrate per(sub)pixel. Engineering should get back to me on this, but untill they tell me it is 10 Bits, I presume it to be bog down standard 4:2:0 at 8 bits per subpixel, like every-one else seems to offer, so no deep colour support.

“The 60P 4:2:0 is due to HDMI”, Andreas Ströbele, support engineer at Crestron Germany, explained. Adding: “You really need HDMI 2.0 at the full bandwidth to support 4K at 60 frames in 4:4:4”.

The DM-RMC-4K-SCALER-C, RMC stands for Room Controller, only has a single HDMI output, no HDMI input, as shown in the pictures below, so it seems one can not use it as a stand alone scaler for 3D to 2D downconversion, 4K to 1080P downconversion, 24/25/30 to 60 upscaling or 60P to 30P downscaling. “The scaler is the end point of HDBaseT distribution, the RX, the roombox, has the scaler built-in”, Kenneth Noyens, Senior support Engineer at Crestron in Belgium, explains.

No specific info on how the box takes care of the scaling, was available. It lists at € 1890,- excluding VAT, unless one wants 7.1 multichannel audio downconversion to stereo, then it costs € 2310,-.

Is high end 4K scaling and processing scarse at the show, HDBaseT and distribution of 4K over it was everywhere, with Aurora Multimedia www.auroramm.com launching its IPX-TC1 transceiver, that can send and receive 4K 60P, 4:4:4 without compression or latency over 10Gigabit/s fiber. In addition to HDCP routing and videowallcontroller. Atlona introduced three UHD-EX HDMI enxtenders with HDCP 2.2 Passthrough offering 4K 60P transport over 100 or 70 meters.

Planar, known in the HT world as the owners of Runco, wich hasn’t had a pressence at the show for the past two years, has a 1RU videowall processor that can output two 4K 30P signals to two seperate displays over Displayport outputs. Thomas Guillot from the vendor’s French R+D center and factory claims these can be combined to display 60P on one display, but he didn’t sound very shure of this. All of this is at only 8 bits though.

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The box requires an accompanying workstation and control software, so the total package runs to somewhere between €7K and €10K. And still doesn’t offer the functionality one is looking for High-end 4K Home Theater.

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Analog Way, launched the smaller version of its ascender swithcer platform, the 16. The only difference between the versions is the number of picture-in-picture layers, the 16 Ascender offers only two layers, but who cares. With 12 inputs and 4 outputs, but only at 30P for now. 4K in itself is an option.

Analog Way 16 Ascender Switcher, with optional 4K @30P

Analog Way 16 Ascender Switcher, with optional 4K @30P

The Barco box that Peter always toutes, wasn’t at the show, as Barco showed only 2K, blended displays excluded. Nice S-shaped screen above its booth to show of the warping and blending capabilities of its FLEX 30, 30,000 lumens Xenon projetcor, and upgrade to 20 and 24 K lumens rental and staging projectors. In the High-end Residential demo room there was a three 16:9 Orion projector blend, that had a pixel size comparable to 4K, without the need for 4K projectors or processing. Blending was PC-based if I understood correctly.

This leaves the pc/server based systems like that of AV Stumpfl, an extension of the Wings blending and presentation software, or Coolux Media Systems, acquired by Christie last December. That offer 4K/8K play-out. But can be mapped on an even greater number of pixels, for a giant blended or multiscreen display. But with anything beyond Coolux’ Pandorabox’ commodity Digital Signage box, turning complicated and confusing quickly, like the pricing structure, that allows for great flexibility, and limited clarity. How many 2500,- euro licenses does one need for 4K, one or four…

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Making my way to the Dolby Atmos demo my eye caught a small booth on the wall, having a sign 4K60 on the headboard, when I entered there were two Sony VW1000s sitting next to each other on a table. What where they doing there… David Fung Managing Director at Prime Quality Company Ltd. told me “most vendors use an extender for 4K, but this leads to image quality degradation”. He therefore offers HDMI cables that can distribute 4K HDMI signals over upto twenty meters. That Sony projector had a big roll of cable next to it, that was the Chinese 10 meter long HDMI cable, sold in the US under the Golden Sound USA brand, according to the ‘older’ product brochure I was handed.

Fung told me: “with the advent of HDCP 2.2 at the end of this year our cables will do 60P 4K at 4:2:2, 10 bits, and higher”, so there is life left in HDMI. Once the full bandwidth HDMI and HDCP handshaking chipset finally hit the market.