Remember the first time somebody told you about DVD technology, back when it was largely uncharted territory? Most of us opined: “I’m sure it’s better, but, VHS is just fine” (and you couldn’t even record on a DVD? Puh-lease.).
But, then, the tidal wave hit (for me, seeing Dark City in 1999), and suddenly we counter-offered: “Oh, wow. So that’s DVD.”
Next thing you know there’s something called High Definition, and a whole new slew of toys to go with: plasma screens, Blu-ray discs, stations like HDNET and ESPN in HD. With five-channel audio and high-end video projectors, more and more folks are investing in home theaters for their living rooms.
So, by 2007 we’re obviously savvy to the concept of picture and sound quality, but the crew at Dolby Digital feels like we’re still missing the big picture, quite literally: movie theaters in DLP, a.k.a. Digital Light Projection. Maybe you’ve heard of them, maybe you’ve even seen one. It’s a concept that’s quickly catching on with exhibitors around the world.
What’s the advantage? Just about everything.
With a side-by-side comparison of a film print and digital projection, the most notable differences are the clarity of image, the absence of a shaky film image and the numerous blips of dust, hair and scratches that can accumulate over repeated viewings of a non-digital format.
If DLP is anything like DVD and HDTV technology (which it is, in terms of quantum leaps of aesthetic improvement), it’s only a matter of time before we don’t have a choice, either way. Prepare yourself for resolution so striking, hindsight bias will kick in and you’ll wonder how you ever survived the dark ages where we watched movies on – gasp! – film prints. Save those stories of 35mm for the grandkids.
I suppose the moral here is cut to the future already. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End was released digitally on 25 percent of its screens. So, next time you’re out for a flick, look for one, and if you have a choice, go digital.
And if you get a chance to see the new U2 concert in 3D Digital, do it. This is coming from a guy who doesn’t care for the musical stylings of Bono in the least, but what I witnessed was simply jaw dropping.
This was a sophisticated, startlingly sharp 3D experience that refrained from obnoxiously reaching out at the viewer with showoff-y posturing, but rather, invited you in with its astonishing depth. As far as I can tell, I was actually at a U2 concert and enjoying myself, something only the technical miracle of Digital Cinema could make possible.
Film: Special Features [Digital Films]
Seeing Is Believing: Digital Movie-Going
By Mike Venezia
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Article posted on 7/5/2007
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