A dual projection system consisting of two SRX-R320 projectors provided by Sony Digital Cinema 4K was recently installed into London’s Royal Albert Hall for the world premiere of SPECTRE, which was attended by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and by the film’s leading actors Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, David Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott and Ralph Fiennes.

The cast was joined on the red carpet by director Sam Mendes and producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

SPECTRE is the second Bond film to be mastered and delivered to cinemas as a 4K DCP (Digital Cinema Package).

Boasting four times the resolution of consumers’ full HD televisions or conventional 2K projection, 4K guarantees the highest possible clarity for cinema audiences – even on very large screens.

The screen used for the premiere measured approximately 21m wide in a 1:2.39 ‘scope’ aspect ratio.

“A royal world premiere is all about the experience and the atmosphere,” Oliver Pasch, head of European digital cinema sales, Sony digital cinema 4K tells CIE after the event.

“The atmosphere was magic – even early in the morning of the premiere day when the giant screen was put up and we started to calibrate the projectors. Everyone involved was fully aware that this was something very special: from the enormous pressure to deliver nothing less than 100%, to the excitement of seeing the end credits on screen. The whole production team was attending, so you might guess what that means in terms of quality expectations – anything less than perfect would have been unacceptable.”

“If there’s one man who’s always certain to look his best, it’s James Bond,” agrees David McIntosh, vice president, Sony Digital Cinema 4K Solutions for Europe and the Americas. “We were delighted to support Sony Pictures on this very special occasion. Projected in Sony 4K, the world premiere of SPECTRE gave the audience a truly sensational spectacle.”

“With SPECTRE mastered as a 4K DCP, Sony’s solution was an obvious choice to ensure the movie was also projected in 4K for the greatest onscreen result – the way it was meant to be seen,” says Oliver.

 

Why was the SRX-R320 dual projection system selected for this prestigious event?

“Sony offers dual projection solutions that are specifically designed to provide outstanding 4K picture quality with industry leading clarity, colour and contrast on large screens,” Oliver explains.

“Innovation in entertainment and delivering the very best visual experience both remain at the very heart of Sony’s mission. For over 10 years Sony has been at the cutting edge of 4K technology, introducing solutions that deliver incredible viewer experiences exactly as the director or creator intended, ensuring our SRX-R320 was up to the task of presenting Bond at his best.”

The SRX-R320 is an end-to-end 4K system. The special set up at the Royal Albert Hall was provided by special software allowing convergence adjustment on a pixel basis, delivering a true 4K image experience from a dual projection system. At present, there are approximately 18,000 Sony 4K projectors installed worldwide.

What makes the SRX-R320 innovative in a competitive market?

“4K is not just for the reserve of cinema though, there has also been an increase in 4K adoption in the home with over the top streaming services such as Netflix commissioning 4K content”

“Using two SRX-R320 projectors was a special solution for this premiere event,” Oliver answers. “For large commercial cinema screens, we have our SRX-R515DS dual projection system, which automates the alignment of two projectors in daily cinema operation. Besides the unique multi high pressure mercury lamp array, the SRX-R515DS features an industry leading contrast ratio of 8000:1, even beating laser projection systems currently on the market, delivering the best image quality available.”

Do you think that films being mastered and delivered to cinemas as a 4K DCP is the future of cinema?

“Yes,” Oliver states. “4K delivers four times more detail than ordinary HD and more and more movies are being shot, distributed and projected in 4K. SPECTRE was the second Bond movie to be mastered in 4K. At Sony, we only make 4K digital cinema projectors because we know they deliver better-looking pictures.

“From TV to tablets, the world is going 4K, so you wouldn’t want to give your audiences anything less. For cinema lovers 4K provides the best possible on-screen experience, pulling audiences into the action like never before. Plus releasing to cinemas in 4K also doesn’t cost any more if the original distribution master has been created in 4K. We see a growing number of major releases in 4K to cinemas these days as a 4K DCP (Digital Cinema Package).”

Do you think that the regular cinemagoer is becoming more educated in terms of appreciating 4K technology and what it has to offer?

“Yes,” says Oliver. “4K has come of age and is the choice of audiences and the industry alike, winning Hollywood’s commitment with heavyweights like Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies), Brad Bird (Tomorrowland), Sam Mendes (SPECTRE), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar), M. Night Shyamalan (After Earth), David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl) and Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), – who have all released blockbusters in 4K.

“4K is not just for the reserve of cinema though, there has also been an increase in 4K adoption in the home with over the top streaming services such as Netflix commissioning 4K content,” he points out.

“Audiences are therefore more universally educated on 4K, wanting to view movies or programmes in the best possible quality. 4K in the cinema ensures exhibitors are able to offer their customers the most enjoyment for a truly immersive experience on the big screen that you can’t get at home.”

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