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Early DCinema = Server has separate text file that the TI or Sony rendering chip can place on the screen with the picture. This relies upon several standards being complied with, not all of which could be predicted, so that dozens of versions of digital prints were made with the subtitles 'burned in.'
Full SMPTE Compliant DCinema | being implemented starting this month and projected to take a (long) year = Subtitle file (xml) sent with graphic file and rendered by chip. This goes hand in hand with the objective of one file for all movies in distribution.
PS - If you haven't seen sub-titles in digital, you are missing a great quality experience. The first time I saw them I walked up to the screen (at the Palais in Cannes, which is a pain to get to from the projection room) and touched them. They are stable and crisp and it is possible to put them in different positions.
Side note: Hearing impaired standard calls out for two possible languages choices. But there are 16 audio tracks in the audio package, of which 8 might be used for standard audio (7.1), plus 2 for HI and 1 for VI. This leaves many channels that a distribution company could spell out to the projection staff...Please patch these channels for use into your equipment if you have the equipment and the audience for W, X, Y and Z languages.
I'll get the pertinent links that detail this. But what you are interested in is the packaging aspects of the mastering phase of the process. I'll get details of some of that as well.
China (mainland) is quite compliant in their cinema theater installations, and have been from the beginning. This, despite their constant, long-running battle with the major studios on other issues. One of the companies who are a major supplier of servers is a Chinese company, GDC.
For a while, China was neck and neck in world-wide installs with a significant share (of a small gross number), in what appeared to be a plan to take a measure of the market by buying some of everything. They slowed down for a while, but seem to have picked up again. (Disclosure: I spent a week as part of a 3 team squad who installed 15 of some of the first systems in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Beijing (among other cities) in 2002.)
Side note to China question - It was actually the Indian market that tried to go with what is termed as e-cinema, which is virtually the same equipment (often from the same vendors) but without the security features (at a much lower cost.) Their logic is that most of their market is in their own films which have a quick turnover. A huge audience sees the movie in the theater, then is ready to see the next one, I guess with a smaller interest in DVD sell on.
But in the last year, even that market is going d-cinema and following the specifications that the conglomerate of studios the DCI group) laid down as the minimum that they would consider.
I was thinking of doing market share for Part III, especially since I just got the statistics from a presentation given last week.
Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.
Frank Delaney ~ Ireland
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