GSCA Digital Dome Day 2014 Testimonials

Toby Mensforth, Mensforth Associates:

"As far as I know this is the first time 1570 film's been compared 'side-by-side' to Digital on a dome. This GSCA event was another industry benchmark, equivalent to when 4K was compared to 1570 on a flat screen. I have to say that I was very impressed at how well the digital image showed compared against the selection of 1570 film screened. For me there was not a noticeable difference and I thought that the content that was originated in film showcased almost the same in both formats. There was little to choose between the two. Anything that had originated digitally looked absolutley superb on the dome. If I were still a Giant Dome theater operator, I would be proud to have this quality of image on my screen."

Tina Ratterman, Big & Digital:

"The colors on the digital projection were much more vivid and vibrant than film and the image quality was excellent in 8K. This is a really good solution for 1570 dome theaters considering converting to digital or laser and will provide new opportunities for programming giant screen content and astronomy demonstrations."

Howard George, Michigan Science Center, over 20 years projection experience with 1570 domes:

"To the naked eye, the brightness and contrast were very comparable as we watched different content put on-screen. The IMAX film seemed washed-out, brownish, and shaky, while the D5 looked sharp, blueish, and steady as all get-out. I was convinced of the digital system's superiority over the film system as far as projecting traditional fulldome live-action and animated content. The IMAX manages to be slightly brighter, but the D5 won in terms of color, stability, and contrast. I'd call resolution a tie between the two, with the digital system winning an easy victory in terms of overall image quality. There was a pastoral image scanned at 3K by 4K from IMAX film. This is when my jaw hit the floor. The picture looks nice. In person, it was eye-popping, glorious, and undoubtedly among the best fulldome images I've ever seen. Unlike IMAX, the image went all the way back to the exit doors, completely filling the screen. My general impression after the demo was that IMAX film has finally and decisively been surpassed."

Tammy Seldon, Giant Screen Cinema Association:

"The GSCA is very proud to have sponsored the first giant screen comparison of 1570 vs digital on a dome and look forward to having many similar events in the future as more 1570 domes add digital systems. A number of our members said this was a benchmark moment equivalent to when 4K digital was demonstrated side by side with 1570 film on a flat screen. Even two or three filmmakers told me that after this demonstration, they are now comfortable with showing their content on a digital dome; that we are technically now there. This is indeed a valid option for theaters that want to show giant screen films and for filmmakers looking to showcase their films on the dome."

James Neihouse, Cinematographer:

"For theaters showing film, digital dome projection is a good step in the right direction. It provides flexibility and great fun stuff for programming. With the warping capabilities, artifacts can now be taken care of and we can get rid of distortion, which I find very interesting."

Paul Fraser, Blaze Digital Cinema Works:

"The split-screen comparison between 15/70 film and digital fulldome was the highlight of dome day. (Kudo's to E&S for pulling off such a technically challenging demo). For me, this was a groundbreaking demo that instantly burned into my memory. It was proof of a very important industry development: that digital fulldome can be an acceptable replacement to 1570 film for the truly giant domes, from a quality of image standpoint. That said, the industry still has some work to do on standards and business models, and the total costs of all new digital solutions for giant domes have to be taken into consideration too, if fulldome is to realize its full potential as a replacement for 15/70 film. But this event took the image quality issue off the table, and my sense is that the word-of-mouth following the event has accelerated interest in exploring fulldome as the digital path forward for many domes."

Todd Slisher, Sloan Longway Planetarium:

"Before this demonstration, I had been a skeptic of digital multi-projector systems. The digital image was very good against 1570. The colors were more saturated and intense. Unlike the film image, there was no dust, yellowing of the image, or film jitter. The Digistar image, coming from six Christie projectors, was very well matched across the entire frame with no blending issues. The 1570 image showed some severe warping issues, but the warping software on the digital system allowed the image to fill almost the entire dome."

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Evans & Sutherland Digital Theater