Qube Cinema demonstrated a series of industry firsts at CinemaCon in Las Vegas recently, including multi-IMB sync, 3D projections running at 120 fps per eye (240 fps total), and a special demonstration of new laser projection technology from Barco.
On the show floor, Qube demonstrated multi-IMB synchronization, delivering 4K content from a single Qube XP-I server to two Qube Xi 4K Integrated Media Blocks (IMBs) in two Barco DP4K-32B projectors; both images were in perfect frame synchronization.
"The high bit rate and multi-IMB sync capabilities of the XP-I server and Xi 4K IMB mean that the promise of dual projector 4K 3D digital cinema has been realized," said Eric Bergez, Qube Cinemas director of sales and marketing for the Americas. "The system is easy to operate and flattens the learning curve for projectionists by eliminating the unnecessary redundancies and complicated hardware configurations offered by previous vendors."
The Qube XP-I server has the throughput to play back at 1,000 Mbps four times the DCI bit rate specification of 250 Mbps. With 2K content, the Qube Xi can deliver up to 120 fps playback. With 4K content it can provide up to 30 fps playback. Alternatively, the high data throughput can be used to drive dual 4K or dual 2K projectors for stunning 4K 3D at up to 30 fps per eye (60 fps total).
"The image quality at these frame rates is impressive," said Bergez, "and its coming at the right time. HFR films are already in production, or in development today, so high frame rate playback capability is becoming essential for exhibitors. Qube demonstrated its ability to playback content and has emerged as a technology leader for digital cinema."
The company also demonstrated a standard Qube XP-I server paired with a single Qube Xi 4K IMB driving Barcos new prototype laser projector (aka The Dragon) in a special presentation at the Coliseum in Caesars Palace. The brightness and high contrast came through in the projection of clips from Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, as well as others, shown at 4K and 2K HFR 3D at 48 fps.
"Were delighted to work with Barco on another industry advance," said Rajesh Ramachandran, CTO of Qube Cinema. "The high brightness and color saturation of the 4K laser projection improves the 3D experience immensely."
At the Filmmakers Lunch, with special guests Ang Lee and Martin Scorsese, Qube highlighted its new multi-IMB sync and HFR-HBR technology. The presentations offered side-by-side comparisons of 2D and 3D content on three different screens, all driven by synchronized Qube Xi IMBs. The left and right screens featured single Barco DP2K-20C projectors with RealD single-projector stereoscopic configurations, while the center screen was illuminated by two vertically-stacked Barco DP2K-20C projectors. All three images were kept in perfect sync with Qubes native ability to sync multiple IMBs.
In addition, attendees were treated to a triple 3D screening of Martin Scorseses award-winning 3D film Hugo, with the Qube XP-I driving a single DCP to Qube Xi IMBs in Barco 2K projectors and RealD 3D equipment in perfect synchronization.
"CinemaCon marked a real milestone for digital cinema," said Senthil Kumar, co-founder of Real Image, the parent company of Qube Cinema. "HFR projection, coupled with stereoscopic 3D, delivers an immersive in-theater experience that people cant get anywhere else, and multi-IMB sync will play a key role in delivering it."