Last updateThu, 21 Dec 2017 2pm


Introducing – Tools for Cinema Quality Assurance


Cinema Test Tools for the non-Technical Manager – Post Installation Quality Assurance Has Begun

Cinema Test Tools is a free resource for the cinema industry, tuned most particularly for the non-technical manager. The tools include several DCPs, all with interesting means of testing the sound and picture quality for the interested by lightly trained staff. The lessons on sound and light are written to provide a foundation to communicate with the technician who must respond quickly and well to the information that they discover.

The key is a free Managers Walk Through Checklist that correlates with the many DCPs. It helps bring an understanding of the many nuances of the auditorium's situation in a straightforward way. 

Artist's Intent Exposed~! See it here first. Where? In the cinema, the temporary home provided by exhibitors.

MDA Immersive Audio Demo'd, and Openly (Patently?) More

Accolades to the Editor's Guild for allowing Mel Lambert to pursue the evolving world of immersive audio in this, his second instructive article on the topic. Accolades to Mel for fitting so much audio and corporate and engineering community nuance into the editorial constraints of a timely article.


Mel's first article on the topic, for the Editor's Guild Magazine CineMontage;

CineMontage - Motion Picture Editor's Guild Magazine - May/Jun 2013 – Prepare for Sonic Immersion

Let's just dig into one aspect of this topic which wasn't developed in Mel's technology and politics article. A guidon was raised in the immersive field last year that used the adjective Open with different nouns, but the fluttering flags seem to have settled on "Open Standard". The subject hasn't been much explored…perhaps because too many engineers had to send their BS detectors off for recalibration, if only to check why so many simultaneously went off. Just to inspire simultaneous interest, with pictures and arrows on the back, an interesting patent document is attached below: Patent WO2013181272A2 - Object-based audio system using vector base amplitude panning - Google Patents

What means Open Standard?

Read more ...

[Update] QC the Screen – Harkness Webinar

The Harkness Webinar showed the functions of their updated Apps, which are extensive and well-done. The details are now there which can take care of many potential points of failure that keep screen luminance from being consistent monitored.

The most valuable might be the Digital Screen Archiver. It isn't a secret that people don't test often enough, and when they do test the record keeping isn't as usable as it should be. A year later and this App is quite complete, with a number of subtle features and great interface to the other two systems. Using it with the Screen Checker can have a profound impact on quality control…which is best done before the customer sees the problem.

Digital Screen Checker - The low-cost digital luminance meter for 2D and 3D Cinema

Digital Screen Modeller - 3D Real-time rendering tool for digital cinema design and equipment

Digital Screen Archiver - Secure data capture and storage tool for iOS and web which allows cinema operators to manage light on screen

Make certain to see the webinar the next time that it is available.

See also:

CinemaCon 2013: Maturity Brings Discussions of Quality in Digital Cinema

Post-Installation Cinema Test Tools; USL LSS-100 and DTT Digital eXperience Guardian

More Quality Assurance From USL

Read more ...

States of Exhibition–Evolution


DCinema could be said to have started before the turn of the century, or possibly when George Lucas pushed so hard to get the first 100 systems installed to light up Attack of the Clones in 2002. My moment of 'made it' came during the set-up week prior to the Cannes Film Festival in 2004, when projector-derived subtitles were working on a 2K projector.


So choosing that date as when the R&D project stopped and real products began, we're closing in on 10 years of evolution. Some tools came very recently, such as implemented standards and products for the deaf/blind/hard of hearing and visually impaired audience members. In North America there has been several chains which are now 100% covered for 100% of movies with closed caption and enhanced and descriptive audio. Obviously 3D got past the needles-in-the-eyes stage of Chicken Little, and it will only get better when laser light engines get integrated with HFR...and by that one presumes it will have to be after all the NIH leaves the projector manufacturers and 48fps leaves the field of HFR.

Here's a drawing that tries to show the evolution to the degree that a 2D drawing can show such details. Anyone who wants to help map it into HTML for some obvious cool tricks is invited to write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - likewise, anyone who needs to strip the sponsored bits to make the drawing into a teaching device...please write. It is an evolving drawing as well, so if you'd like to be informed when revisions are've got the address.

The full drawing is at: 

[Update] EU Cinema Numbers – UNIC 2013

More numbers to parse…the North America numbers will come out at CinemaCon time, but they are slightly up generally (in spite of two big but disappointing movies), just as these EU numbers are slightly down year-to-year, after a good couple of years previous.

Interesting to see the factional nature of the continent in terms of local content and digitalization.

Business-model-wise, where the North America market gets to rely upon upgrading Series One systems and the breakout of laser-driven systems, the EU has 15% of the market to install or see go away…plus Series One and laser upgrades.

Please find the full report and press release attached and on UNIC's website.

We have asked for the obvious information that would round out the statistics on pages 7 and 8 and hope to update this article when UNIC responds.

[Update] And here are the answers: total number of screens across all UNIC territories is 30,206. On page 7 of the report, that would be all the countries listed, less Russia. (See DGT Online Informer No. 101 - 3 February 2014 - for more interesting numbers).

The number of screens per million is changing due to some late additional data: 57 screens per million instead of 62. The population figure used in the data is: 524 million (all the countries on the list, except for Russia.)



Jeesh: The Berlinale was an excuse for Media Salles to introduce a whole new set of numbers.

DGT Online Informer No. 102 - 8 February 2014 -

Europe starts 2014 with more than 30,000 digital projectors, a growth rate of 21%

According to the initial figures available, the number of screens equipped with either DLP Cinema™ or SXRD™ technology has risen to 30,402, with a 21% increase compared to 1st January 2013, when there were 25,084.

Europe thus starts 2014 with around 84% of its screens having converted to digital. This is a slightly lower penetration rate than the world average, which touches on 87%. Instead, there is a more marked difference compared to North America, where digital projectors are installed on 93% of screens.

Of the over 30,000 European digital projectors, around 72% are to be found on the six leading markets (France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia), which, including screens not yet converted, account for around 68.5% of European screens.

There is a lot more data at the link...

DGT Online Informer No. 102 - 8 February 2014

Naming Convention #9

After a great deal of effort, the latest version of the digital cinema Naming Convention has hit the streets. Look at ‎ early in the week for the official update from Version 8.3

Also look at the ISDCF site page Digital Cinema Versions for the latest in projector and SMS software and firmware version numbers.

Update: Countering the "Maltin Rant"

I love a good rant as much as the next person, but I don't like it when it doesn't stay on point, is too anecdotal, or uses too many "everybody knows" to make the argument…all of which I think the film critic Leonard Maltin got trapped in during his now infamous rant about…well, watch it yourself at:

▶ Leonard Maltin's First Rant - YouTube

It's his first rant. Maybe he'll get better when he has ranted more. My counter-points can be seen after clicking the Read More button.

Read more ...

Live SMPTE webcast tonight Pacific Time

Today and Tomorrow 18-19 June 2013  SMPTE is holding it's first ever conference at the 1878 home of motion picture technology, Stanford University.  (see

"Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age" addresses technical and business issues which arise from the increased capability of the Internet to deliver very high quality video content.  300+ attendees and presenters from major studios and internet companies (Apple being the one exception) attest to the importance of this subject matter to both content creators and internet service providers.

Information about the conference can be found at   For those of you who are unable to attend in person, go to that link to watch live tonight's session "Legal and Illegal Distribution Over the Internet: Can We Find Common Solution(s)?" 18:30-20:15 PDT.


The technology of exhibition explained; from media players and projectors, to memory and local storage, from satellites and devices for the hearing and visual or read it here.

Uncountable little pieces of experience add to a wealth of knowledge that should be shared for the betterment of the community. Please contribute.

The feet hitting the street. This is where it all plays out.

Digital, though costing more, allows for more variety, sometimes at a lower cost and a better return. That variety is called "alternative content."

Building auditoriums for the Arts is a tradition from the Greeks. Projection has since been added.