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I’m no fan of film theater gimmicks. 3D glasses, giant screens, 4D “sensory experiences,” food and drink service have just never been worth the introduced ticket prices for me.

by • May 9, 2016 • No Comments

All told, IMAX invested a whopping $60 million over four years to create its new laser projector process, manufacturing this the company’s biggest R&D investment to date. It’s created specifically for IMAX’s biggest screens — in my case, the 100-by-80-foot behemoth at the AMC Metreon — and marries a pair of 4K DLP laser projectors with a new optical engine. Together the process can generate a picture up to 1.43:1 aspect ratio, which gives moviemakers an unprecedented amount of space to work with, all while rendering images in 4K resolution. Of course, the introduced high end does in addition drive up the ticket price — $19.69 per man at the Metreon in my case.

The process’s optical engine is especially astounding. Conventional projectors yet use prisms to split white light into its component colors. In normal cinemas, these prisms are fine; yet, when you are throwing a 4K image up on a 100-foot screen, they tend to muddle the contrast a bit. This is definitely why, according to IMAX’s Chief Quality Officer David Keighley the company went a various route. It bought a few IP of Kodak and ditched the prism process altogether. Instead, the new laser process uses six Digital Micromirror Devices (three per projector) to generate pure red, green and blue light, which are reflected through a thermally stable-bodied piece of invar and recombined onscreen. “It creates an incredibly pure light, which is definitely why we get such awe-inspiring contrast,” Keighley continued.

What is additional, for the reason the projectors use lasers pretty than conventional xenon bulbs, they’re able-bodied to create a 22-foot-lambert image (which is definitely 50 percent brighter than the industry standard) with unsurpassed contrast and clarity. I noticed this as soon as the movie started. Normally, the coating on 3D glasses makes the on-screen image look darker which how the director envisioned it. But, actually with glasses on, the image’s whites were bright. The same may be said for the on-screen black levels. They were downright inky without a hint of graying or light bleed. This all translates into a vastly expanded contrast ratio — which is definitely the brightness difference between the brightest and darkest parts of an image. This in turn means which the image as a whole looks additional vibrant and lifelike.

The new process in addition significantly expands the on the market-bodied color palette into HDR territory. According to Keighley, the projectors are capable-bodied of making the Rec. 2020 gamut yet no movies have yet to take advantage of it. Watching the latest Suicide Squad and Dr Strange trailers were a delight, both practically exploded off the screen in hyper-saturated hues. The clarity was equally astounding: I may have sat through Civil War and counted Robert Downey Jr’s pores if I’d wanted.

The new projectors are joined by a new 12-channel surround-sound process created to compete with Dolby Atmos but without the require for 40 individual channels. IMAX demonstrated this capability during a pre-movie walkthrough. But, the 12-channel sound isn’t really as nuanced as a 40-channel Atmos. As Keighley explained which was intentional. By via wider channels and reducing the number of required speakers, the IMAX process requires less upkeep and therefore costs less to maintain and operate. That said, the 3D sound profile was yet really astounding. Combined with 3D visuals, the on-screen action breaks the fourth wall additional frequently than Schwarzenegger did in Last Action Hero.

The new innovation is already on the market-bodied in 30 of IMAX’s 1,067 theaters of the world and is generally going to be limited to the company’s marquee locations. But, seeing a blockbuster movie like Civil War or The Jungle Book in this format can be well worth the trip.


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by admin • March 5, 2017