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31/08/2005

Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Network looks to latest developments

At IBC, the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Network (Hall 8, stand 221) will be presenting the latest developments in the field of Digital Cinema.
Hollywood has taken a leading role in the transition to digital technology. A new standard for Digital Cinema has already been agreed upon by the major studios Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal and Warner Bros., all members of Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI).
Extending this trend throughout the cinema production and distribution chain, the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Network is developing solutions for all key components - from cameras to projectors - thus creating complete systems for a smoothly organized digital workflow.
Digital film production generates huge quantities of data - just one minute of digital film represents 40 gigabytes of data. To store this material, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen have developed a compact recording and storage device - the Megacine field recorder. It is capable of recording video sequences in the new 2k-Digital Cinema (DC) format, or in high-definition (HD) or standard definition (SD) TV.
Megacine also allows the recorded images to be previewed, enabling the director to view the last take without leaving the set. An integrated digital display provides additional information such as timecode, number of frames, elapsed recording time, and occupied memory capacity.
Projecting digital films on a curved surface has never been an easy exercise, but the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology FIRST in Berlin has developed a more elegant solution for digital dome projection. Using standard projectors and standard PCs, it is capable of showing digital pictures and videos on a half-globe or dome. The images are distortion corrected in real-time and adapted to the real physical conditions in the dome.
Digital Cinema places special emphasis on high quality. The transition from analogue to digital technology is also expected to put an end to jerky frame movements in rapid-motion scenes. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz- Institute, HHI in Berlin have developed a system of smooth motion playback.
In the EU-project WorldScreen, coordinated by the IIS, the Fraunhofer HHI and IIS together with industrial partners are working on new solutions for Digital Cinema. The subject of their development work and studies is the use of scalable data formats in systems that will enable a smooth Digital Cinema workflow.
(CD/SP)
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