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With our technical enhancements complete, IMAX in Darling Harbour now has in place an IMAX twin-digital projection system in addition to our existing IMAX GT 1570 Film projector. The installation of the new IMAX digital projection system allows the Theatre to screen a wider choice of movies, including even more blockbusters than ever before.
Why add an IMAX digital system?
This step was necessary as a result of the cinema industry’s rapid transition from analogue film to digital technology, which has also affected the IMAX industry. In recent years, some movies were available to the Theatre as IMAX 1570 film and some films were only available as IMAX digital presentations, hence unavailable to our audiences. By embracing the digital technology, our stream of movies will be more consistent and there’ll be a bigger choice throughout the entire year. While we will operate the two IMAX systems, we will continue a strong commitment to screen movies in IMAX 1570 film if they are available. It’s important to note, however, that the decision to release specific films in the IMAX format, whether in film or digital, is not one that we make at the Theatre level. Rather, this happens way back up the chain in Hollywood.
Just how big is big?
Movies screened using the twin-digital projection system at IMAX in Darling Harbour will be approximately 25 metres wide, and up to 14 metres high, depending on the aspect ratio and creative choices made by the filmmakers. The result on-screen is an impressive, phenomenally crisp, clear image, which has the added benefit of a completely new laser-aligned digital sound system developed by IMAX.
What’s the future?
Our new dual-format projection capability is a short term strategy. Looking ahead, we are planning for the 2014 release of IMAX’s brand new 4K digital projection system that uses LASER TECHNOLOGY as the light source. Current 1570 IMAX film projectors, as well as IMAX twin-digital systems, use a more traditional Xenon lamp as the light source. It is the light source which determines to a great extent just how big we can project images onto our screen.
With considerable research and development in laser technology, IMAX has led the way worldwide in finding a solution to achieving the biggest images on the world’s biggest screens using digital technology. At IMAX in Darling Harbour, we will aim to install a new IMAX Laser system in late 2014 which will ultimately replace both the IMAX 1570 film projector and the twin-digital projection system.
It's exciting times ahead and you can be certain that things won't stay the same for too long when it comes to movies on the big screen. We hope you'll come with us as we embark on this new phase in IMAX's evolution.
For now - How will we know which movies will be presented in IMAX digital or 1570 film?
Check our website for information about the system that each title will use. The digital presentations will be flagged with “EXPERIENCE IT IN DIGITAL IMAX 3D”.
READ MORE about the technology behind the IMAX screen.
Take a tour IMAX Corporation's technology headquarters, including a sneak peek at progress with the IMAX laser digital system: