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DCI Projectors

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Cinema projectors and their accessories

In the year 1895 the first film was shown in the Berliner Wintergarten. Already 30 years later, in the golden 20's, there were big cinemas in many big cities in Europe and America, which attracted many visitors and offered a new, exciting form of entertainment. The first cinema projectors were used in these cultural venues, which were initially modeled after opera halls and concert halls. With the advent of the sound film in the 1930s, the new technology made another leap and sound and image formed the unit still known and used today. Until the advent of digital cinema technology in the 90s, the cinema projectors of that time were operated analogously. Here, a film reel with the image and sound material was played and reproduced by the projector or sound system. The most important manufacturers of analogue cinema projectors from this period include Ernemann, Zeiss and AEG.

With the ever more powerful microchips and the emergence of digital technology, cinema operations and the reproduction of films changed dramatically: films were no longer saved on film reels, but digitally, as zeros and ones, on digital storage media. 
Of course, digital players and projectors are also needed to play these back. In digital cinema, the cinema projector forms a unit with the cinema server.

The cinema server (also called DCI server) serves to decrypt the encrypted film signal and pass it on to the DCI projector and the sound system. DCI stands for Digital Cinema Initiatives and is the umbrella organization of American film studios that are responsible for the corresponding DCI standards. See also our DCI FAQs.

For about 10 years, 3D films have become more and more popular, and depending on the technology used, they make additional demands on the projectors. For example, 3D images can be generated using polarization or 3D glasses. In addition to 3D technology, there are now also 4D cinemas (also called effect cinemas), which include wind, water and smells in the cinema experience. Unfortunately, in Germany these can only be found in the large amusement and adventure parks. In other European countries, however, it is easier to find them, at least in the big cities. 

In addition to the DCI standards, there are other less common cinema formats. For example, there is the so-called A-Cinema, which was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute, among others. In Asia, the so-called eCinema (Electronic Cinema) is very widespread. Both formats offer the advantage that they can be used more cost-effectively. However, these are only sporadically supported by the major film distributors, which is why they have been more of a niche market until now.

Major manufacturers of DCI projectors include Barco, Christie, NEC and Sony. The basic projection technology is comparable to "normal" projectors. The only difference is the fixed connection to the respective DCI servers and the adapted color space to display as natural colors as possible. In terms of quality, the projectors are all of a very high standard and can easily withstand a service life of 50,000 hours with appropriate maintenance and care. Therefore, they are also well suited as used or reconditioned goods with simultaneous cost savings and a positive environmental balance.

Among the most important server manufacturers are GDC, Dolby, Barco and Christie. However, there are a large number of providers who leave nothing to be desired in terms of functions.  ReBeam also offers suitable (used and new) DCI servers for your requirements and projectors. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

In addition to the use in classic cinemas, more and more outdoor and mobile cinemas are opening up, which also rely on the corresponding technology and ReBeam's experience. Although it is also possible to rent digital cinema projectors, refurbished projectors can pay for themselves within one season and represent a good alternative to renting. Small cinema operators who do not have the financial means to rely on new DCI technology also have the opportunity to show their audience current cinema films. 

ReBeam would like to support these small companies and give them access to the latest technology at a manageable cost. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our products.