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RE: Spirit/C-Reality at IBC

         Reply to:   RE: [TIG] Spirit/C-Reality at IBC
I was present at the IBC on the last day for the "shoot-out" between the Spirit and C-Reality. There were a lot of people there that afternoon, mostly BTS & Cintel, along with a couple of industry people like myself.  I realize that if you  ask 10 people what they saw that day you will probably get 10 different opinions,  but I  can  only  tell you  what I saw.  I admire both technologies and feel there is  a place for each of them in our industry. I also feel that any real comparison needs to be done in a more controlled environment.  
When I  arrived at  Cintel that afternoon every one was huddled around a  C-REALITY looking at film. It was an exterior shot outside a cafe during the day with 2 women sitting at a table.  One woman was wearing a white shirt and the other was wearing a white shirt with a gray or dark colored sweater over it.  The operator for Cintel did a blowup into the women at the table to look for noise and  artifacts in the whites. I thought this was a reasonable test to identify noise.  
The picture from the C-REALITY was a 601 output and it looked damn good. No one could find  much to complain  about including the BTS people; maybe they were being diplomatic I don't really know. Then someone  suggested taking the film over to the Pandora booth to see what it looked like on the  Spirit.  
Seamus from VTR did a balance and a blowup to match what we had seen on the C-Reality.  Everyone looked very closely at the monitor which was a Barco. Some people were smiling at what they saw and some were not.  What I saw  was a difference in the whites to the grays in the picture. The texture and frequency of the noise/grain were different in the white shirt to  the  women with the gray sweater on. The  noise/grain did not appear to be even across the frame. It seemed to me that the noise /grain in the whites were vibrating at a different rate than in the grays.  I commented that it looked like the Spirit had some sizzle in the whites, to which someone else suggested that it was actually grain.  
My expertise doesn't extend to the grain structure of film so all I can do is repeat what Brad Hunt from Cintel said.  He stated that the film used was Kodak 45 which has an even grain structure throughout.  Thus, there should be no difference in grain between the white and gray areas of the test film.

Right  after that it was suggested that we put the film back on the C-Reality.
After getting the film on the machine and starting to balance it, the Pogle or the  C-Reality crashed and had to be rebooted . When the  system came up the same blowup was done as before. Upon close inspection it looked like the frequency of the grain structure was even throughout the film frame. Focus was checked on the C-reality and it was peaked.  I agree this was quick test and not done under identical and controlled conditions. A Dell chart was never put up prior to the test on either machine to accurately measure system resolution.

I personally was impressed by the picture quality of the C-REALITY;  it seems to have come a long way  since  NAB, but it is also clear to me that Cintel has some work yet to do to make it a finished product.   
I was also thoroughly impressed with the BTS Spirit. It's a finished product now and it is being refined to meet all industry demands- data transfers, interfacing with Discreet Logic and SGI systems, etc. I also find the  Virtual Telecine to be very exciting and to be of value in certain applications. 
Also, TK Innovations once again showed how much can be accomplished with CRT technology.   The Y-Front upgrade for the Ursa Diamond was the most impressive telecine item at the show.  We purchased 2 of them for our telecine suites on the first day. 
Finally, after IBC I have come to conclusion that CRT technology is not only still viable but can easily compete head to head with other scanning systems on the market today whether used for 525/625, HD or 2K.

Joe Bottazzi           Voice 212-683-1704
V.P. of Engineering    Fax   212-683-9233    Nice Shoes, NYC

Thanks to Steve Robinson and Phil Voss for support in 1998.
No product marketing allowed on the main TIG.  Contact rob at alegria.com
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