Movies 4x sharper than High-Def?

posted by Michael Zoldessy on April 27, 2007 at 7:40 am

A new digital projector could persuade theater operators to switch over due to the large gap in clarity.

Sony is rolling out a new digital cinema projector that can display theatrical movies at a resolution four times clearer than High-Definition TV.

For more, go to TV Predictions.

Comments (23)

JodarMovieFan on April 27, 2007 at 9:34 am

This is probably the same projector that supposedly was introduced 2 years ago or so…the 4K projector? This is old news, or at the very least warmed over fresh news :)

exit on April 28, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Sounds like the mysterious Sony 4K to me. funny.. for something to be announced so long ago, as such a monumental achievement, it hasn’t been installed anywhere in the US, least of all in the most logical places to showcase a new technology (Ziegfeld, NYC Grauman’s Chinese and the Dome in LA)

A friend recently saw a 4k Demo and mentioned the Dome… the Sony rep said that a screen as big as the Dome would need TWO 4k projectors running at the same time to get enough light on that screen, which is currently running only one 2K. And that it may be possible to digitally compensate for the Dome’s picture distortion… So why isn’t it in there now?

Four times the res of HDTV doesn’t really impress me that much, since anything big enough to run in a theatre would HAVE to be many times better than HDTV.

If this is such a major improvement in picture quality, why have we still not seen it in two years?

William on April 29, 2007 at 8:07 am

CinemaSightlines, you posted that “it hasn’t been installed anywhere in the US”. The Sony 4K has been up and running for sometime in NYC at the Landmark’s Sunshine theatre. There is two units installed there. There is alot of them running too. I have one running screening room duty in NYC.

exit on April 29, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Okay then let’s change that to hasn’t had any major showplace installation. For something they claim is a great leap in cinema quality it hasn’t made much of a splash. If they want to sell 4K and build up interest, they should put it into the high profile theatres I mentioned.

I’m a former NYer and I have never heart of the Sunshine theatre. is it new, or a new name for an existing place?

William on April 29, 2007 at 3:00 pm

It’s a former theatre that Landmark restored, a few blocks east of the Angelika theatre on Houston.


exit on April 30, 2007 at 5:55 pm

Wow. Landmark is looking cooler as a chain lately. Have you seen the animated tour of their self-named 12 plex in West LA? Nice.

William on May 1, 2007 at 7:24 am

No not yet, I use to work the theatre that was located on that site, Pacific’s Picwood Theatre.

exit on May 1, 2007 at 10:12 am

From what I’ve learned about the Picwood, it’s a shame that it was lost. 4K would probably have looked better there than it would at the Landmark.

Giles on May 31, 2007 at 10:17 am

Landmark’s E Street has a DLP system, but I’m not sure if it’s 4K. There is a Sony 4K system over at the National Geographic Society auditorium.

I thought the Arclight system was a Sony 4K system. But according to a trade advertisement I saw the Arclight, Ziegfeld, the Fox theatre in Atlanta systems (as well as a few others) are NEC systems – are they 4k or 2K? What system is at Seattle’s Cinerama theatre, is that 4K?

exit on May 31, 2007 at 10:53 am

As far as I know, no Major Hollywood/LA theatres have 4K. The logical places to put them are the big screens, where they’re needed the most, like Grauman’s and the Dome, But where I’d REALLY like to see Sony debut it is the National, which could really use an advantage.

exit on May 31, 2007 at 10:55 am

BTW check out the article on Script to DVD about how 70mm can still blow the others out of the water as a source.

Giles on May 31, 2007 at 11:12 am

I thought I had read that Sony demo'ed it’s new 4K system for ‘The DaVinci Code’s run at the Dome.

tricky5500 on June 20, 2007 at 5:03 pm

There are no 4K DLPs being sold today. TI is not making a 4K DLP chip yet but I’m sure they are not far off. The Sony 4K projector uses their SXRD chips which is Sony speak for LCOS.
I personally think the industry is shooting itself in the foot by installing so many 2K projectors. What’s the point of going to the theater if the resolution is almost the same as what I get on my 1080p display at home?

Giles on June 21, 2007 at 10:58 am

I’m really confused – so what you’re saying tricky5500 is that there are no 4K units on the market? LA Weekly’s Paul Malcolm states the the 4k restoration of ‘Dr Strangelove’ is also being presented as such (4k projection) at Landmark’s new West LA theatre. I agree it doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense for the mass installation of 2K systems when 4K units are slowly being made available. Depending on what the fate of DC’s Uptown theatre come next Spring (when their lease is up and if another theatre chain steps up to the plate) a 4K DLP system should be paramount and essential to it’s commercial viability – it’s the only theatre of its size on the East Coast that doesn’t have a DLP system.

Next year should also be interesting when IMAX debuts its digital system (wonder if that can rival or exceed IMAX 65mm resolution??)

I agree with you Roadshow – the 70mm presentations I’ve recently seen, ‘Playtime’ ‘Hello Dolly!’ were jawdropping in it’s clarity and psuedo 3D look – at it’s best the image looked like you looking out through a window.

Giles on June 26, 2007 at 12:53 pm

I read that Sony will be installing 4K units at the Muvico Rosemont theatres in Illinois this August. After debuting there, Muvico and Sony will begin it’s rollout/installation of 4k units at other Muvico theatres nationwide.

tricky5500 on August 5, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Sorry I haven’t looked at this thread in awhile. What I was trying to say is if they are correct in advertising that their projection is DLP then it must be 2k. Yes, there is a 4k projector being sold by Sony but it does not use DLP technology which Texas Instruments has the patent on and only TI can make DLP chips. The Sony projector uses a different technology. It is Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS). TI is expected to release a 4K DLP chip in the next few months and we can then expect to see Christie and Barco and other digital cinema projector companies introduce 4k DLP projectors.

I read the same thing about the Muvico theaters. The way I read the press release was that every auditorium in the complex will have the Sony 4K projectors installed which will be a first for the industry. Hopefully it will start a trend toward 4K installations.

Giles on September 10, 2007 at 3:58 pm

Didn’t the Rosemont Muvico theatre open already? If it’s 4K playback – then it’s an actual 4K source, right?

exit on September 10, 2007 at 4:13 pm

I’ve been told the new Landmark in west LA has a 4K, so apparently there is 4K in Los Angeles, but apparently it’s not enough of an improvement or event to warrant much press or even word of mouth.

Kinds leads up back to the idea that Digital is still not yet up to the quality of a well-made * 70mm or even 35 print. * well-made prints of any gauge are a rarity in these days of fast, cheap and quick print distribution.

Has anyone seen a particularly impressive 4K presentation?

Giles on September 10, 2007 at 11:09 pm

I’ve only heard from one person who saw the 4K presentation of ‘Dr. Strangelove’ at the new Landmark theatre in LA and he said it was very impressive. As for the overall generalization that 2K isn’t up to par with 35mm – I don’t agree, I just saw the new ‘3:10 to Yuma’ in DLP and was exceedingly impressed with what I saw. I would hope that with the Rosemont Muvico theatre opening people will post their thoughts on 4K digital projection

Giles on October 9, 2007 at 11:41 am

looks like ‘Blade Runner’ at Landmark (Los Angeles) is 4K while the Ziegfeld engagement is standard 2K.

Giles on October 23, 2007 at 3:08 pm

I thought I had read that Warners, Paramount, Fox and Sony were providing 4K content for 4K systems. How is this implemented, or not, for such theatres like Landmark-Muvico. I don’t belive 4K resolution is integrated into REAL-D digital systems or is it?

exit on October 23, 2007 at 3:20 pm

hard to really confirm that 2K 0r 4K are up to 35mm or 70mm because a carefully produced 35mm print or a new 70mm print are scarce these days. Not hard to beat a mass produced 35mm print run through a platter.

Giles on January 15, 2008 at 1:19 pm

so… what’s the resolution of the upcoming IMAX Digital systems: 8K?

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