Electronic Cinema Projectors
Electronic Cinema Projectors – New Specs.

Electronic Cinema Projectors – New Specs.

Presaging the transition from 35mm film to electronic cinema, Lucasfilm THX today announced a specification for electronic cinema projectors as part of the THX Theatre Program. At the same time, the company announced future plans to certify electronic masters and to develop standards for digital transmission schemes.

The electronic cinema projector standard, announced here at ShoWest, is designed to provide the same guarantee for electronic cinema that the THX Theatre Program has long provided for 35mm film presentations - the very best possible theatre experience.

"The commercial inauguration of electronic cinema is not immediately imminent, but the development of a projector specification and our ongoing research into other areas of electronic cinema make it clear that THX is committed to lead rather than follow in exploring new technologies," said Monica L. Dashwood, Lucasfilm THX General Manager. "All of which underscores our pledge to ensure that the public enjoys the highest quality film presentation."

The THX specification was developed to guide theatre owners in selecting an electronic projector that provides the best possible image, while also providing the reliability and ease-of-use of a traditional film projector. The specification covers such parameters as screen light levels, resolution, color uniformity, color temperature, and warm-up time to optimum performance. At this time, no projectors have been submitted for THX certification. However, the company will be working closely with manufacturers once product is ready to be introduced into the marketplace.

"The technical hurdles electronic projectors once faced have been overcome, but it's a complex technology with plenty of opportunities for image quality to be compromised," explained Dave Schnuelle, a consultant to THX and the engineer that directed the company's electronic cinema research. "The overriding goal with the THX electronic cinema specification is to deliver image and sound quality that exceeds the best that 35mm film can offer, and do so consistently over a long period of time and from one theatre to the next."

A critical step in electronic cinema will be the film-to-digital transfer and the creation of an electronic master. To ensure that the master looks and sounds as close to the original as possible, THX will certify electronic masters, a process THX has years of experience with through its Digital Mastering Program's certification of video software. THX has also begun researching various proposed transmission schemes, all of which would require signal compression, and plans to develop a standard that would guarantee against any compromise in picture and sound quality.

For more information, about projectors and digital projection devices see digital projector.

Author Notes:

Shayda Fraser contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.projectors-projectors.com.  An online look at projectors, home theatre and accessories; such as digital, video, screens and slides.

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