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Color in 'digital cinema' projection

It looks as if 'digital cinema' - video projectors good enough to
compete with 35mm in theaters - is headed our way. There are promising
products out from TI and Hughes, and lots of other technology waiting in
the wings. Each projection technology has its own gamut and contrast
capability; there are even techniques that could give wider color range
than ECP itself. As a scientist/design engineer, I think this is
exciting and great stuff.

However, I'm wondering what's going to happen in the telecine suite.
Will you have to make a separate transfer tweaked for best performance
on each projector design (not unlike a transfer targeted to CCIR709 vs
SMPTE phosphors)? Or do we try to standardize on a "least common
denominator" color space that stunts the development of improved
wide-gamut projection technology? Are we going to need ICC "projector
profiles" like the prepress folks use for high-quality color printing?
And what the heck do you use for a monitor when you're in the hot seat?

I'd love to hear what practicing colorists & DP's are thinking about
this brave new world of digital cinema.

Chuck Harrison
Far Field Associates

Thanks to Dave Reinowski and GTN for support in 1998.
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