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Re: Spirit, Light Bulbs, etc...

At 10:32 PM 3/24/97, Neil B. Feldman wrote:

>I have never contested the quality or the impressive features of the
>Spirit, nor would I.  I have contested the high price one must pay to get
>those features.  I felt this was a bad precedent for our industry; one
>which I feel we will all ultimately pay for, whether we purchase this
>machine or not.

I think Neil has effectively summed up many people's mixed feelings about
the Spirit.
I personally am disappointed that the machine is touted as having "2k"
resolution, while in fact having no such thing. 1920 pixels luma and 960
pixels RGB does not constitute the same as a 2k RGB scanner.

The pictures from the machine are certainly the most amazing that I have
ever seen from any real-time telecine. This is not the entire story as far
as the folks on the left coast are concerned. There is the question of
functionality and applicability. Interestingly enough, the machine has yet
to find significant acceptance in Hollywood. One reason? We can buy five
scanners for the same price.

Another reason: like it or not, we are in a fashion industry. Clients are
currently asking for URSA Gold. This situation is likely to continue if
people like Stuart at Innovation, Brad at V.P. & T., and Dave Walker at DAV
consistently refine the machine. The folks at Steadifilm will tell you that
true and accurate pin-registration is still a major force in LA. They
should know, Editel, among others have been hassling them to improve their
stability still further. This is stuff which does not exist for the Spirit,
and may never exist in its present form.

It is quite difficult to amortize the cost of an URSA suite over 5 years,
God only knows what the situation will be for the Spirit. I predict a
ratecard war as transfer prices plummet to perhaps below cost. I agree with
Neil: this can only harm our industry. I want to go further and beat an old
drum of mine: its time to get out of real-time telecine, and into scanning.
For a couple of hundred grand, and a little time and craftsmanship, we know
people who can produce a picture that can put the Spirit to shame.

Spirit is neither fish nor fowl. The resolution increase does not justify
120% price increase over loaded Gold or Diamond, and there is no good way
to use the information coming out of the data port. I'd like to at least
wait for the Mk 2 version, and so far, opinion in Hollywood appears to
concur. In other words, when is the "high resolution" version going to come

P.S. my real problem with Spirit is it being contrary to the old adage: "an
Engineer can do for a quarter what any bloody fool can do for a buck"
(translated from the English version). What does this make people who give
up megabucks (quite literally) for a telecine?

As always, it will be an interesting NAB. See you all at the telecine fun
night, or you can just slag me off here on the TIG.

Love and lightbulbs to all.....

Mike ("I have plenty of opinions, how many would you like?") Orton

| "I do not distinguish by the eye, but by the mind,      |
|   which is the proper judge of the man."                |
|         Seneca. 8 B.C.- 65 A.D.                         |

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