Introducing – Tools for Cinema Quality Assurance

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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. 

CGI, X'Y'Z' to P3, there are so many things going on. Here's the news.

Ubuntu/VirtualBox setup followup

When setting up VirtualBox there are two time sinks that one can be easily get trapped by.

The first is getting an Internet connection. In theory, the Internet link of the computer that you are setting the Virtual Machine onto will be automagically linked to. Open Firefox and off you go.

Yeah; until it doesn't auto set up. Then, it is poking around until you find the right combination of not-so-obvious tricks. And here is a synopsis that I just had to find and go through, and which hopefully will save you some time.

  1. Shut down the OS. Leave VirtualBox running.
  2. Click onto the Ubuntu VM
  3. Up above or on the right panel, choose Network
  4. Click Adapter 1 and set for NAT
  5. Click Adapter 2 and set for Bridged Adapter, then select the adapter that has the link: e.g., en0, Wi-Fi (Airport)
  6. Click OK.

As long as that is open,

  1. Click on Ports
  2. Click on USB. Make certain that the USB 3.0 Controller is selected. 
  3. Click OK.
  4. When you have the Virtual Machine running, click the icon on the bottom right that looks like a USB plug. Select USB Settings 
  5. On the right side click the icon with a Plus (+) symbol on the USB Plug.
  6. Select a plugged in drive from the list. If the drive that you expect to be showing isn't showing, it may have been captured by the computers native drive system. Every Operating System is going to have a little different method for disconnecting an attached drive. Technically, it is called an UnMount. It gets a 2nd dose of complication because you can't just say 'unmount'...you must say umt (or something like that) and the name of the drive...which you probably don't know. 
  7. If you are only going to do this once in a while, go to your Disk Utility, find the drive on the list and click unmount.

At some future date, this article may be appended to include some more clues about unmounting, but this articles purpose was to get the 1st two points onto this virtual tissue.

DCP Tools: Windows for Virtual Developers

Most everyone will want to have a Unix virtual machine on their Mac, but if there is a need for Windows inside your VirtualBox (or other VM), Microsoft offers a version of Windows so we don't have to spend $159.99 for a legal copy just, as their website says, "support the Windows 10 media creation tool." I'm guessing that they mean testing websites using Microsoft Edge. 

Download Windows 10 Disc Image (ISO File) – Note: the download is free, but the product key is not.

Here is a nice write up of the process of the entire virtual event. How to Run Microsoft Edge Web Browser in Mac OS X

Read more ...

Validating a DCP

DCPs are in transition again. Without getting into the Whys and Wherefores, suffice to say that the end goal is a package that can automate more features more reliably for a broad range of users and machines. ...even users who are just glad to have made it over the finishline, and who are making their first package with free software and who have only tested the DCP on ...well, can't test it until we gets us to the festival tomorrow morning....in a few hours.

There are hundreds of stories now of DCPs that get to a festival which will get QC'd on one set of equipment – Phew! Working – and then be found unable to play on another type of media player. Or, will not play on the same type of player because – it seems – it has different software/firmware. Or will play on the same type of player, even with a different software version, but on a projector with different firmware. Ah, the vagaries of digital. The potential variations are endless, even when there is a stable standard for equipment manufacturers to interpret and comply with. A professional DCP creation house will have several media servers and projectors to test a DCP on, but the less expensive solutions/situations are lucky if they have a friend who can play the DCP at the cinema two villages over.

Read more ...

BT.1886 Q&A - SpectraCal

When extended band-width in video is discussed, BT.1886 gets mentioned. What is it?

SpectraCal has a nice whitepaper on the subject.

Lest there be any confusion, SMPTE specifies a gamut, so this is not going to be in the DCI projector for movies for a while. But some clever cable box or satellite group might use it to make the darks better in an alternative content feed, for example.

10 Questions, 10 Answers – BT.1886

Should Know About Color Correction

You don't do it maybe, but you should know about it and Steve Hullfish tells it well.

Steve Hullfish Color Correction Tips on Vimeo