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  1. #1

    • Resident Ghost
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    Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    Any idea what is being updated? So far, all I've heard is that Soarin' is going digital, but I would think that conversion would take a matter of days to install. Are we getting a new film, an updated show building, or more?

  2. #2

    • Minion
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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    One can only hope




  3. #3

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    a loop and possibly a corkscrew

  4. #4

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    They need to do something to clean it up.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  5. #5

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    As far as I read, a conversion to digital is not a simple process, considering Digital IMAX (dubbed LieMAX) was invented as a retrofit for existing IMAX theaters. The Digital IMAX retrofit projects onto a much smaller screen and the audience is moved much closer to the screen. But the difference in the two screen sizes is vast.

    An original, film IMAX screen is about 76x97 feet (Soarin' allegedly has an 80 ft screen, about this size) and a Digital IMAX screen is about 28x58. The aspect ratio of original IMAX is 1.44:1 as opposed to the Digital IMAX aspect ration of 1.9:1 (a traditional theater screen is 1.85:1).

    So if this is them going digital, they would have to have some sort of fix up their sleeve to avoid what would likely result in the pixelation of the digital film on the larger screen.

  6. #6

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    Quote Originally Posted by loungefly97 View Post
    As far as I read, a conversion to digital is not a simple process, considering Digital IMAX (dubbed LieMAX) was invented as a retrofit for existing IMAX theaters. The Digital IMAX retrofit projects onto a much smaller screen and the audience is moved much closer to the screen. But the difference in the two screen sizes is vast.

    An original, film IMAX screen is about 76x97 feet (Soarin' allegedly has an 80 ft screen, about this size) and a Digital IMAX screen is about 28x58. The aspect ratio of original IMAX is 1.44:1 as opposed to the Digital IMAX aspect ration of 1.9:1 (a traditional theater screen is 1.85:1).

    So if this is them going digital, they would have to have some sort of fix up their sleeve to avoid what would likely result in the pixelation of the digital film on the larger screen.
    Perhaps they will scale up a 4K projector to make it just HD quality?
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  7. #7

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    Quote Originally Posted by loungefly97 View Post
    As far as I read, a conversion to digital is not a simple process, considering Digital IMAX (dubbed LieMAX) was invented as a retrofit for existing IMAX theaters. The Digital IMAX retrofit projects onto a much smaller screen and the audience is moved much closer to the screen. But the difference in the two screen sizes is vast.

    An original, film IMAX screen is about 76x97 feet (Soarin' allegedly has an 80 ft screen, about this size) and a Digital IMAX screen is about 28x58. The aspect ratio of original IMAX is 1.44:1 as opposed to the Digital IMAX aspect ration of 1.9:1 (a traditional theater screen is 1.85:1).

    So if this is them going digital, they would have to have some sort of fix up their sleeve to avoid what would likely result in the pixelation of the digital film on the larger screen.
    But all that's necessary in the part is to install the new system, right? Wouldn't the conversion and everything that goes with it be done in a studio. And if they're already thinking of updating the ride, why spend extra money converting an old film to a new format?

  8. #8

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    I heard they are adding a 30 second infomercial at the beginning of the ride to discuss all the benefits of DVC. "You're ride will begin in 28 seconds..."


    I would assume it is for general clean up along with new projectors. Maybe a new screen? Didn't they just film a fly over for Soarin over the World?

  9. #9

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    They may be replacing the screen as well just because they have the time.

    when you change to digital you have to change everything including all your cable infrastructure which takes quite a while to do properly.

    They em may then want to run the projector flat out for a while to see how often they need to change lamps and so forth.

  10. #10

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    Plus it's always possible that they're looking into a major rehab on the ride mechanism itself - in which case depending on the scale of removal/reinstall could easily take a few months. They've done things like this before - "Since it's going to be down for x, let's extend it a little bit and also do y"
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  11. #11

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    Plus it's always possible that they're looking into a major rehab on the ride mechanism itself - in which case depending on the scale of removal/reinstall could easily take a few months. They've done things like this before - "Since it's going to be down for x, let's extend it a little bit and also do y"
    I expect they will do some unassembled, reassemble work. Replace major parts.

    This is far more than clean and paint.

    Soarin has had a number of multi week closures. Usually the attraction stays open as they go one side then the other. This is different so we should expect big changes.
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  12. #12

    • Minion
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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    Another thing I hope they do is get rid of the Planes characters in the preshow




  13. #13

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    Given the aspect ratio differences... I bet they'll use overlapping protectors, which is not unheard of in digital protection. (Many theaters do this, it allows you to get redundancy, more brightness, and better blub life from the projectors (although it's common for most of the projectors to have 4+ blubs and cycle through them to prolong use). Many of the high end projectors (IE: Christie) have a system that allows them to sync up with other projectors leaving a "seamless" look.

    I remember when they put IMAX (film) in Sacramento... they had to use a helicopter to get it installed... I wonder if they'll need to do some serious work to get the old projectors out...

  14. #14

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    3d ?

  15. #15

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    Re: Soarin' Over California's 3.5 month Refurb

    Do not let the digital revolution fool you, the 48fps IMAX GT currently installed in Soaring is HD, you really cannot get a higher quality, unfortunately the theatre as a whole is not maintained by professionals. The analog to digital conversion does take time, but only the projector (power supply etc.) has to change, not the screen, sound, various computer systems etc. so not that much infrastructure in the long run. The new IMAX digital GT with the laser light engine looks great but is still a half a year out at best, and keep in mind it is only 4K and $1,000,000 plus for the entire system. For the giant screen ratio, we really need 8k digital to compete with analog film. To the 3D ideas, it is not best suited for domes, the nature of the dome theatre was actually an early answer to 3D in the Giant Screen arena. In my educated opinion, if Disney does switch over to digital during this refurb, it will most likely be done with multiple "stacked" 4k's much like how E&S and others have done with digital planetariums, these off brand (read non IMAX) projectors also have the benefit of a pretty easy after install laser light engine retrofit when the time is right. I do have to agree with the Liemax comment on the early 2K systems, they tarnished the brand with that one a bit, but most of the business is transferring Hollywood films to "DMR" these days.

    Edit:
    The analog to digital comparison is somewhat skewed. You will never see a scratch on a digital print. Film is delicate and the environmental/human variable is a huge factor and must be held to very high standards, these are however certainly achievable. Also for clarity I don't mean to imply that the ladies and gentlemen that operate this system are not professionals, just that the way in which the job is done is not best practices within the industry.
    Last edited by Boosimas Johnson; 11-23-2013 at 10:58 PM.

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