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DLP Cinema FAQs
( Frequently Asked Questions )

What are the advantages of DLP Cinema?

DLP Cinema technology delivers a true digital picture with incredible clarity and vibrant colors every show. DLP Cinema technology eliminates color fading, jump and weave, scratches and dirt accumulation which are common problems that plague film. DLP Cinema offers a consistent image without degradation over time. Movie-goers can see a movie in its original pristine condition, exactly the way the director intended it, whether they see it during the first or fifth week of the run.

What are the benefits of digital cinema?

  • For moviemakers, their movies are seen exactly the way they are intended to be seen, with light, shade and texture captured with digital accuracy.
  • For movie distributors, it provides a better quality viewing experience of their movies and allows tremendous cost savings in film print reproduction and distribution.
  • For movie exhibitors, they are able to offer a consistently better visual experience to the customer while having greater flexibility in movie programming and theatre usage.
  • For the moviegoer, the advantage is a more compelling, more captivating experience without the distractions that the degradation of film brings.

What is the role of Texas Instruments in digital cinema?

Texas Instruments has developed the digital projection technology, DLP Cinema, that is making the transition to digital cinema both possible and practical.

DLP Cinema technology has its roots in a development initiative that Texas Instruments launched in the early 1980s. Since the first demonstration of DLP technology in 1994, Texas Instruments has collaborated with studios and filmmakers to develop and improve DLP Cinema projection. When judged by critical cinematographers today, images projected by DLP Cinema technology are on par with the best studio answer prints.

Does Texas Instruments build projectors?

No. Texas Instruments provides DLP Cinema technology to cinema projector customers Barco, Christie Digital and NEC. TI works closely with these companies to verify that quality standards are being met in order for these projectors to bear the DLP Cinema trademark.

Besides the digital projector, what else is needed to make digital cinema possible?

The digital projector is only the final element in the delivery of digital cinema. In the projection booth, a digital storage system, or server, is required to store the digital movie data until it is projected. (The server is loosely analogous to the platter in current 35MM systems.) Several companies have introduced server products specifically for digital cinema applications. Texas Instruments works closely with these companies to ensure compatibility and interoperability with DLP Cinema equipped projectors.

How are DLP Cinema projectors different from the DLP projectors used in the home and office?

Texas Instruments uses a similar light modulation technique for smaller home and business projectors, and for large venue projectors. These projectors feature DLP technology, as opposed to DLP Cinema technology. DLP Cinema technology is optimized specifically to meet the needs of the Hollywood creative community and light up the world's largest screens. DLP Cinema features the highest resolution of any DLP technology - up to 8.8 million pixels and specific feature sets for special management of color, security, black levels and image manipulation needed for screening movie content.

What are the differences between large venue projectors and DLP Cinema® projectors?

DLP Cinema projectors are based on DLP technology that is specifically adapted for showing movie content and meets the needs and standards of the motion picture industry. TI has been working with Hollywood since the mid-1990s to ensure that DLP Cinema offers the unique solution that serves the needs of the creative community.

Large venue projectors are based on DLP technology specifically designed for showing video and graphics content in demanding environments. Large venue projectors are highly versatile and can be used for staging and rental; large screen projection in conference centers and other public venues, such as houses of worships; and large screen, high-brightness projection in control rooms and similar locations.

What are the latest developments in digital cinema and DLP Cinema technology?

DLP Cinema continues to be the world's leading commercially available digital cinema projection technology, and is now in nearly over 80,000 screens worldwide and growing rapidly. All of the seven major studios and the majority of Independent studios have released movies for DLP Cinema. TI announced a 2K resolution DLP Cinema chip in early 2003, 4K resolution in 2010, and its newest S2K chip for small screens in 2013, which is now commercially available from all major cinema projector manufacturer customers. In 2012, DLP Cinema worked with filmmakers to introduce high-frame rates. DLP Cinema continues to work with its licensed partners, studios, and exhibitors to differentiate the moviegoing experience from the home.

What are the latest developments in digital cinema standards?

Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) was formed in 2002 by the six major Hollywood studios to tackle standards for digital cinema, and Texas Instruments has worked closely with DCI to assist in educating on digital cinema. They released the third version of their Digital Cinema System Specification standards in December 2005, and all DLP Cinema based projectors support their system requirements.

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2009 Academy Scientific and Engineering Award Winner