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Re: Bosch Quadra

>Campers, just saw the new and improved Quadra 4:4:4:4 telecine. It was an
>demo. Looking for feedback from other TC types who have seen the demo.

I saw the demo in LA last week.
- It is still a line array CCD telecine. That's not a blanket rejection of
the technology but you can't ignore it. We live in a community dominated by
raster scan, flying spot technology.

- - I really like some of the ideas of a full spectrum white light source
for the ability to read any dye structure on the film. You have to know how
to separate and mask the signals to make pretty pictures. I was told that
BTS has superior masking matrices for positive, interpositive and negative
formats. Just that- one fixed matrix for all types of negative. Another for
all types of interpositive. I don't know about that. Something tells me
that one matrix might not be optimum for all variations in negative stock
types. Maybe that is just my prejudices showing.

- - The idea of over-sampling with a large number of pixels to allow
repositioning and size change is interesting. The number of horizontal
samples is less than 1400. This is not enough to produce the proposed 8:8:8
image proposed for universal master format but is enough to do some modest
blowups in normal resolution. The vertical resolution is not fixed but is
determined by the line structure of the digital frame store and the rate of
film movement.

- - - You have to move the film to see the picture! I can't ignore this. I
was asked to ignore this. I was told by the proponents of the telecine that
this is not an onerous requirement and that it should be no problem for an
operator to deal with. I observed the colorist at the demo spending a lot
of time rolling thru a short scene, stopping, backing up and rolling thru
again just to set the front end pickup. He says that all you have to do is
get the blacks and whites out of the clips then switch to post-store
manipulation. This colorist is very experienced on the machine. Ron (I
didn't get his card) is from the Chicago area and has been consulting with
BTS for some time and spent a month in Germany at the factory. He will be
going to work at a facility using the BTS Quadra + da Vinci Artisan. He
told me that the pre-store adjustments don't take a lot of time and aren't
critical. Sounds good but I saw him 'fussing' with the pre-store blacks and
whites a lot. He may not be aware of the time he spends doing this and may
have become tolerant to the technique. But our clients setting in the room
haven't bought in to the technology and will ask what is going on.

- - - You have to move the film to see the picture (part 2) ! To set pan
position and size on a full resolution picture, the machine has to be
controlled to sweep the frame back and forth over the line array pickup.
The interactive adjustment rate is slow and jerky because each adjustment
requires a new refresh to be seen. Even if this becomes acceptable to the
operator, I observed a significant vertical size and position variation
during this operation that would work against precision positioning (mattes
and product placement work.) There is a neat preview mode that shows you a
full frame picture with an adjustable graticule to show the size and
cropping of the frame in the normal mode. This could be really neat but I
can't predict if it will be acceptable to real clients in a real session.

- It has some of the nicest transport action I have seen on either a film
transport or an open reel tape transport. Our everyday telecine vendor
should be ashamed of the performance comparison.

- It now has a full aperture 35MM optical block. Major improvement over the
FLD-90. You still can't "zoom out" to see the sprocket holes or position
the picture inside television blanking. One is a choice of optimum use of
the pixels and the other is an arbitrary design decision (IMHO.) (Insert my
tirade on the ability of off-shore design engineering's inability to
understand and communicate with US television post production

- It is from BTS. I have had some of the best service and support in my
experience from individuals at BTS. I installed an FDL-90 in a high end
commercial post house and have some memories of communication difficulties
with the product's support and design team. The current US marketing and
product support people are new and have good backgrounds. I won't judge
them by my past experience. I also know and highly respect some others on
the team and think that the company has about the best support people they
could get.

--- David Tosh  dlt at earthlink.net  (CIS 72167,1376)
--- Video Engineer, Complete Post, Hollywood