Procrastination Nation

Things that Robert is thinking about that keep him from accomplishing anything.

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Monday, May 05, 2003
Hey, I'm 2-for-2
Some of you may recall my discussion of digital video's spread to theatres and this follow-up. Roger Ebert's Movie Answer Man column Sunday has this exchange that I think supports my contention:
Q. What are your thoughts on the recent announcement that all Landmark theaters are converting to digital screening systems? I am convinced that this is bad news; current top-of-the-line systems are putting out a 1.5K image and experts say that only a 4K image will truly approximate 35mm film. Yet as near as I can tell, the Landmark screens are going to use DVD quality or less (inferior even to the 1.5K resolution that "Attack of the Clones" was shown in last summer). I guess there are two good things about it; that it could allow some really low budget independent films easier distribution, and that the quality will so rankle filmgoers that it will push back total digital adoption even further (Landmark screens usually show films for the art house crowds, who can be the most finicky customers). Richard Huffman, Seattle

A. As I understand it, Landmark does not plan to replace traditional celluloid projection, but to augment it with video projectors that will allow the booking of low-budget indie films without the expense of making and shipping prints. This is an inventive step toward getting such films seen. A year or two ago, it appeared that film would be replaced by digital projection, but that bubble has burst. Digital projection is not ready for prime time in terms of its quality, and no workable system for distributing and encrypting it has been devised. Ebert's Response

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