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Dear Craig, dear Rob. 

The problem with us manufacturers is that we are generally not so good at
listening to our customers. This is a problem and when we want to correct it
it turns out that getting a dialogue going is very difficult. It is not that
nobody says anything but there are to few that do so .If I simplify the issue
somewhat, the manufacturer has the theory and you the user the practise. To
get a real
working product/tool the two must be combined. When we eventually get our
acts together and when you,  the customer gets your act together the hardware
to be there, only yesterday. This is all VERY understandable but a problem as
all find us in highly accelerated state of development and pushed very hard
all the time. Add inter manufacturer competition, cost of these development
projects, support issues, marketing etc, you will find that staying on course
as a company requires a steady hand. This is of course not only a challenge
great fun too. That is why I, we, want you, the user to educate us. For this
reason this BBS is in my mind the best thing that has happened in this
business from an evolutionistic sense in a very very long time. If this was
an English
BBS we would soon have to add Sir to Rob.  We still avoid kicking or dogs and
cats. So much for religion.

Yes I am too astounded that I suggest moving off the telecine...On one hand
what is a greater experience watching a great film on the screen with good
On the other hand film is still the greatest recording media but the transfer
a digital IP is yet to be perfected. Another aspect is that it makes sense
an economic, logistic, resource point of view (and now i recently learned
many colourists are scared stiff putting up a reel in the TK)  to move out of
Telecine area asap . In this respect both you and I are beeing led on by
greater forces.

Add another, broader sense, has the telecine gotten better? Well in some
respects yes but in others no. Particularly the digital signal paths are in
reality not better than the analog ones, arguably worse. Also in my mind the
colorimetric performance of Ranks and FDL's leave much to be wished for. The
only really interesting thing that has happened recently is BTS's and Kodak
FLH1000. Kodak's work on the optical path is a impressive. 

How about scanners then? Ok I am out on thin ice here since my knowledge is
limited to a few brochures. So correct me if I got this wrong. They are
telecines for the printing industry put on a broadcast show and thus respond
to all that you have asked for by a telecine? I would guess not. Scanners
in the direction of the future no doubt. That is important as I think they
a message to convey and that is that CCD tecnology is not a dirty word. While
beeing more acceptable for short run length job's i.e commercials they are
less so for full length features. To satisfy my sceptisism(?) I will walk
over and
check it out at NAB.  Now if someone want to teach me a lesson please
acompany me on this venture.

Scanners have a serious defect, they are non real time and they put out video
as data in a format that can only be interpreted by essentially some computer
platform, again non real time. Particularly non real time if we are thinking
of a universal telecine master. Guess who drives that part of the game? The
computer industry. Not only SGI but IBM and DEC are lurking there. Do I think
they have more noble intentions than us who live so close to the film

The company I work for, plus I am sure our nearest competitors, keep a keen
eye on what is going on in the open architecture platforms and some may even
trying out a trick or two on them. Nobody is yet attempting to do what you
really need to have in a hardworking telecine and tape grading domain. That
is, real time operation of all required functions. 

We think it is possible for the bulk of telecine transfers, not the critical
(commercials) top quality neg job's, to be carried out in the tape domain. We
have listened (for once) to the voices of the technology council of the
motion picture and TV industry. What they say is that they want all us
to create a digital mastering system for film. The reason for this is that
present method of film to video transfer is creating an increasing cost and
complexity on the studios. This is because there is a demand for so many new
formats and to avoid quality losses a new transfer must be made for each

We are talking motion pictures here, not commercial productions. Looking just
a bit further ahead even commercial work in tape/digital domain has some
benefits.  DV has a product that takes care of some of these problems, the
AFC. taking a sligth technological step further, you have the HIRES1440 group
which we are a member supplying some of the 844 processing required to make
up a complete digital telecine to tape path in order to create a workable

At the end of the day, the colorists is not a dying breed, in fact he or she
is a person that is constantly challenged with new problems that can only be
addressed based on great professional skills and experience. What in my mind
is dying is the telecine process as we are used to. 

At the end of yet another day, just as with the high school kid posting his
wild, plausible idea, the claims of  4000x3000 pix res. and colour depth to
match it blinds many of us. Just the resolution issue alone can be a real
problem to handle and to get down to the delivery format. It certainly is way
over the top for a workable SYSTEM today.

Hope I haven't  bored you or crashed a drive somewhere. 


Subj:	Re: Layman's Terms
Date:	95-03-21 12:32:51 EST
From:	rob at xyzoom.alegria.com
To:	telecine at xyzoom.alegria.com