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Proceedings Paper

Optics of digital cinema
Author(s): George P. Pinho
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Paper Abstract

The wide acceptance of digital cinema depends on the ability of the projector to at the very least match film in color gamut, contrast, brightness, and resolution consistently. In most cases, digital projection is expected to even outperform film as a requirement for switching from film to digital because of digital projection cost. This paper examines DLP based digital projection and the optics required to produce an acceptable digital image that exceeds theatrical release film. Optical path efficiencies, tolerances, coating properties and the DMD are important parameters for color, brightness, contrast, and uniformity of the image. The efficiency and tolerancing of the optical system are key drivers for obtaining consistent high brightness and uniformity, while coatings and the DMD mainly affect consistency in color and contrast. DLP Cinema projection, based on the optics discussed, is shown to deliver a stable color gamut slightly smaller than film having consistent uniformity <300 K across a native white image with consistent brightness of 12 ft-L on screens up to 15 m. The contrast and resolution are native to the DMD but contrast can be influenced using apertures in the lenses and illumination system. Contrasts up to 3000:1 on/off are possible by the use of asymmetric apertures. These results are compared to the color gamut, contrast, brightness, and resolution of typical theatrical release film.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 March 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5002, Projection Displays IX, (28 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.473832
Show Author Affiliations
George P. Pinho, Christie Digital Systems (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5002:
Projection Displays IX
Ming H. Wu, Editor(s)

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