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By Steve
#16203 I went to see a major feature in 3D this week. I thought I might have been the only person in the theater, but 4 or 6 others turned up.

But looking at the main screen, from a prime seat, it looked a bit small. A few days time, I saw a much better movie on the next screen, which was unusually good this time, not as washed out and greyish, maybe without so much ambient light (forgot to check what it was). The colour and contrast were strong. But again, it may have been a bit small.

So, what gives, what changed my perspective? I bought a crappy $89 LCD projector to experiment with, and set up an 84 inch projection screen at the base of my bed. So, just over the minimum 6 feet distance (7 feet is probably closer to 90+ inches, which is better, but dull using a wall). Even though its dull, took several hours and invention of a new calibration method to get it to dimly match my phone (believe it or not turning blue and green to zero and red to 50+ worked in the bright calibration, and red 66+, green 5+ and blue zero on the duller one, plus other calibration. I can get maybe 10% or lower calibration precision with the new methodology, but the blue primary has a lot of green, and the green primary is a bit on the yellow side. Fluorescent primaries. But despite all the shortcomings of the little LCD projector, it no longer seemed as worth it to be at the cinema anymore.

When TV's move up in size, with superior pictures, will cinema seem worth it so much anymore? Will cinema be history pieces? Projectors present ways to cheaply get the large field of view size a lot sooner, streaming quality seems to matter less on the dull screens too. A move to online streaming can see new releases unbound by theater chain studio content quoters, using independent technology, like web standards, to present pay per view content.

The results of theater chain and studio manipulations have come to roost. Theater chains had lost focus they were there for their own survival, their shareholders survival, not to keep studios alive with dud or semi performing movies, promoting them and crowding out other movies people may actually want to watch. Their obsession with little awkwardly elevated washed out low contrast screens in 2k lower grade DCI colour space without HDR, with high ticket prices and higher again for 3D, to make obsessive amounts off of the food items. In order to suite industry desires to hinder filming in cinema, to charge more for encryption and 3D, and make more money per ticket to waste that money on themselves and their stars. But let us not forget, their obsession with charging the same high ticket prices as the big screens for their little screens, bad seating positions and for movies which had been out a while. While they did all this for the movie industry, and bad little screens and seating for themselves, they were killing theatre going culture, sometimes you can be the only person in a screening session.

The solution was that the movie and equipment industry itself pull in their belts in order to demand less of a ticket price. Every screen a Max experience at normal ticket prices, variable lower pricing to reflect competition and the experience you were getting, and movie industry paid for technology development in encryption security and 3D with low licensing costs to keep the price of projection systems down, rather than getting audiences to pay for high profit margins on equipment. To increase the compression quality to near lossless, particularly on 3D, 4k and 8k screenings, which will suffer under the current regime of restive data rates. To go glasses free 3D at normal ticket prices. To keep ticket prices down to equivalent of $10US today. To to so much more again, and reduce theaters in over concentrated areas.

Now, a projection screen is really a flat panel, and some of the sophisticated ones these days, look like a flat panel stuck on the wall.

Maybe it is time to rename the site Flat Panels+ and include large screen home projection?
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By Rasmus Larsen
#16216 I think it's an interesting perspective. For the first time, TVs have surpassed cinema from a technical perspective - with 4K HDR, 8K etc. Cinema still offers superior sound, though. But it's interesting that studios are now using consumer-grade displays as reference TVs and are mastering to HDR specifically for home entertainment use.

I've recently spoken to tech people in the cinema industry. Some of them likes to point out that cinemagoers come for the latest movies, the big canvas, and amazing sound. They claim that picture quality is "good enough".

In the end I think it comes down to multiple factors but I still think that the theatrical release window is the single most important factor. That is why I see Netflix's film strategy (global releases day-and-date, although they have eased things a bit) as a bigger threat to cinema than TV picture quality factors.