Technology leader Qube Cinema made history at the Moody Gardens Digital Cinema Symposium last week delivering a high bit-rate 4K stereoscopic DCP through two Barco projectors. Presented to a live audience at the Moody Gardens 80' by 60' Giant Screen in Galveston, TX, the demonstration used a standard Qube XP-I server paired with Qube Xi 4K Integrated Media Blocks (IMBs) installed in two Barco DP4K-32B projectors. With this advance in digital cinema technology, high bit-rate, stereoscopic 4K projection from a single DCP through a single server is now a reality for exhibitors.
At the Digital Cinema Symposium, the Qube Cinema system played back an 800 Mbps DCP, more than three times the maximum DCI bit rate specification of 250. The data speeds of the Qube XP-I server make it possible, for the first time, for a single server with one DCP to drive two projectors, each with their own IMB.
"Seeing the film in 4K 3D was a startling experience," said director Melissa Butts, speaking about her latest movie, Space Junk 3D, narrated by Academy Award(r) Nominee, Tom Wilkinson, which was shown at the Symposium on the Moody Garden's Giant Screen. "All the hard work we put into shading, lighting and textures was that much more brilliant and remarkable. What Qube is offering is very exciting for filmmakers and audiences. With all the detail, everything just looks and feels more real."
"With 4K 3D, and the high frame rate capabilities of the Qube XP-I server, the promise of digital cinema is now being realized," said Rajesh Ramachandran, president and CTO of Qube Cinema. "Exhibitors can now offer a truly stunning theater experience for their patrons."
Delivering High Frame Rate Content
At Moody Gardens, Qube Cinema also demonstrated the high frame rate (HFR) capabilities of the Qube XP-I server with 2K stereoscopic content on the Giant Screen. This demonstration compared 3D material at 24, 48 and 60 fps. At 60 fps, motion blur disappears and rich detail is clearly visible in the moving images. Accustomed to 24 fps playback, many people are not aware of the image compromises associated with this standard, especially for stereo 3D. The difference was immediately apparent during the Qube presentation, including side-by-side split-screen comparisons at the Digital Cinema Symposium.
"I was most impressed with the Qube XP-I's ability to play back all our high bit rate 4K and high frame rate 2K content from a single server," said Andy Wood, senior vice president, Business Development at D3D Cinema and Giant Screen Films. "Before Qube's innovation, at standard DCI specs, we could only achieve dual projector 4K 3D playback with a complicated double server configuration which included ancillary sync generators and a very restrictive setup. Qube Cinema has made 4K 3D and high frame rate 2K a reality."
"The ability to power multiple projectors through a single interface is both elegant and easy to operate for projectionists," added Ramachandran.
As currently configured, the Qube XP-I server with the Qube Xi 4K IMB is capable of data rates of up to 1,000 Mbps - or 500 Mbps per projector, allowing for pristine 4K stereo 3D. The system can support frame rates of 30 fps for 4K projection, and frame rates of up to 120 fps for 2K content.
The Qube XP-I digital cinema server and the Qube Xi 4K IMB are available from Qube Cinema and its worldwide reseller network. For more information, visit www.qubecinema.com.