Digital Projection
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How to Build a Digital Cinema PT 2

June 2016

Let’s Get This Projector into the Gallery Theatre!"

The final chapter of how the Gallery Theatre
got a new projector after a long long struggle

by Michael Horton

For those who have been following the “Let’s Get a Damn New Projector into the Gallery Theatre” saga, this will be the last post on the matter.

What are you talking about Horton?

I’m talking about this. Read it if you wish to know the story or be reminded. I’ll wait.

It been almost a year since I posted anything about the projector installation. It’s not that I have stopped trying to get a new projector into the theatre, but to be quite honest, the fight just sucked the life out of me and I had little fight left. So I took a break.

About three months ago I got a call from Stephanie over at Blackmagic Design asking me if lacpug would like to host a presentation of DaVinci Resolve 12.5 with Paul Saccone. Of course we would! Only trouble is, the projector we currently have won’t support the default resolution of Resolve. Of course Stephanie knew that. I went on to tell her that our projector has gotten so bad that it now could see very few computers. So few in fact, we have had to resort to using Target Disk Mode on more than one occasion to get anything on screen. Sometimes THAT did not even work. It’s high drama, hair pulling and lots of DAMNIT, WHY IS THIS NOT WORKING remarks each month. So, as they had done for past BMD events, Stephanie agreed to rent a projector that we could use.

Those of you who showed up at the May 2016 lacpug meet saw this projector. Or at least saw the image. It’s this one:

Vivitek D8800 Super Bright Network Centric Large Venue Projector

No, its not a 2K or 4K Digital Cinema Projector, but unless you have a cinematographer’s eye, I’m betting you can’t tell the difference, especially in a theatre the size of the Gallery.

The Vivitek is 1500 Lumens brighter than our current Sanyo projector and more importantly, it has a native resolution of 1920x1200 meaning it supports modern software without having to scale. And even more importantly when you plug a computer into it, the projector sees it. WooHoo! Oh, and it’s brand new and has a five year warranty.

Neal Sullivan of VES in Anaheim is the person who turned me onto this projector as he is the guy who has done the install each time we did a BMD event. He has repeatedly said he could get us a good deal on this model, but I had to repeatedly reply we did not have the money. This went on for three years.

This time however Neal said he could get us a GREAT deal. So great I had to somehow make this work, bite the bullet and buy this projector. I was given a deadline of end of May, 2016 to come up with the money. Hell, the Sanyo was about to explode and we had no choice here but to get a new projector. I already had donations from Adobe, DigitalFilm Tree, DVcreators and lot’s of lacpug members to help pay for the Christie 2K. But I was still about 1/3 short of paying for THIS projector. So - knowing I was not going to be able to sell the Christie 2K in time in order to buy this thing, (more about that below) I started writing letters to every company I knew asking them for a donation. And to my great surprise and absolute delight OWC came through in a HUGE way and funded the remaining amount of what we needed to purchase AND install this projector.

So - on Tuesday June 21 at noon PST, Neal Sullivan will install this projector in the booth of the Gallery Theatre. LACPUG, DMALA and everyone who rents this facility will be able to use. It will be on permanent loan to the City of LA’s Cultural Affairs Dept,meaning if they decide they no longer wish us to hold our meets at the Gallery, we leave and take the equipment with us. This is the same deal we have had with them for the past 12 years.

In addition to the projector we will be installing HDMI over fiber to the booth and using a HDMI 4x4 Matrix Switcher for multiple computer presentations. We are looking into options for converters so we can record all presentations directly rather than filming the screen.

So what about that Christie 2K projector? What happened to it?
Nothing. We are still trying to sell it. It’s sitting in the booth at the Gallery gathering dust and I am desperate to get it out of there and into a good home. Trust me when I say I am motivated to sell. We have it up on EBAY, but so far no takers. See it here:

Please, please spread the word on this projector. Someone must want this thing. And it's a hell of a deal.

Q) - I donated more than $20.00 for the projector for a chance to win a copy of DaVinci Resolve. What happened there?

Answer: I have each and every one of your names, emails and will draw the name and announce the winner at the June 22 lacpug meet. No you do not need to be there to win. I apologize for this taking so long, but who knew.

So there you have it. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Gallery Theatre will have a new projector on June 21. We want to thank Adobe, DigitalFilm Tree, DVcreators, OWC, Neal Sullivan, Warren Heaton, Ko Maruyama and LACPUG members like you. This would of not happended if you had not donated or cared.

You can see this projector at the June 21 DMALA meet or lacpug’s sweet 16th birthday meet on June 22. And then forever more. A nice way to celebrate our birthday, don’t you think?

copyright © Michael Horton 2000-2016 All rights reserved