Proceedings PaperDevelopment of electronic cinema projectors
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All of the components for the electronic cinema are now commercially available. Sony has a high definition progressively scanned 24 frame per second electronic cinema camera. This can be recorded digitally on tape or film on hard drives in RAID recorders. Much of the post production processing is now done digitally by scanning film, processing it digitally, and recording it on film for release. Fiber links and satellites can transmit cinema program material to theaters in real time. RAID or tape recorders can play programs for viewing at a much lower cost than storage on film. Two companies now have electronic cinema projectors on the market. Of all of the components, the electronic cinema projector is the most challenging. Achieving the resolution, light, output, contrast ratio, and color rendition all at the same time without visible artifacts is a difficult task. Film itself is, of course, a form of light-valve. However, electronically modulated light uses other techniques rather than changes in density to control the light. The optical techniques that have been the basis for many electronic light-valves have been under development for over 100 years. Many of these techniques are based on optical diffraction to modulate the light. This paper will trace the history of these techniques and show how they may be extended to produce electronic cinema projectors in the future.