Customer Story

Paramount Pictures German Headquarters In-house Cinema

Paramount is one of the six major studios in Hollywood, in addition to Disney, MGM, Warner Brothers, Universal and 20th Century Fox. From "A Beautiful Mind" to the action blockbuster "Transformers", there's something for every age and every taste.

But Paramount is not only a movie distributor, but also offers film material to private customers through its home entertainment division. Paramount Pictures Germany, the German subsidiary, has its headquarters in Munich at Unterföhring’s Beta-Street, which turns into the ZDF-Street after crossing over the Media -Alley - right in the midst of film companies and one of Germany’s major TV broadcast studios, Paramount’s office building was and is being renovated floor by floor – while operations continue.

In addition to the conference rooms on the ground floor, an in-house cinema has been built, where film material, e. g., a freshly dubbed movie, is previewed before going into distribution. An investment for the future, as they not only installed a 35 mm Film Projector for analogue screenings, but also a D-Cinema projector. In this case the decision was made to use the Christie CP2000-ZX, Christie’s most popular 2K DLP Cinema projector through which all digital material is projected in brilliant colours and contrast onto the screen.

With Paramount also believing that 3D movies will become more and more important, they opted for a Christie CP2000-ZX with integrated Dolby-3D system. Furthermore, the new generation of Christie projectors feature Brilliant3D™. Where 3D projections generally requires a lot of light – here now the whole surface of the 1.2" DMD chip is utilized, which makes the 3D projection significantly brighter. Once viewers put on their glasses, they are faced with impressive bright pictures and effects.

Projectors and media control were installed by Christie's partner Film-Ton Technik (FTT), based in Düsseldorf (Germany). They had previously already realized other projects for Paramount Pictures Germany. One of which was the technical support at the German Premiere of “Transformers-The Revenge” which took place in June this year in Berlin. During this time they became familiar not only with FTT but also with Christie projectors. "We are glad that we were able to continue the good cooperation with Paramount, here as well," confirmed FTT's General Manager Egon Gräfen.

Dolby 3D is one of the three 3-D technologies on the market. Colours are filtered out in a special process and can only be seen by one or the other eye when wearing special 3D glasses. This way, two different pictures are alternately displayed at a rapid pace, which the brain assembles into a 3D colour image.

In terms of technology, this is achieved by placing a colour wheel in the light's path which operates synchronously with the projector and provides one picture for the right and one picture for the left eye. Since the projector is capable of delivering 72 images per second for the left and 72 images for the right eye, a completely flicker-free clear image is created consisting of 144 individual images per second.

Inside the Paramount cinema, the projection screen is six metres wide. To show an ideal image the projector which is installed at a distance of eleven metres uses a 2KW lamp - sufficient to provide an unparalleled picture quality. Installation and set-up of the CP2000-ZX was performed on a normal laptop using a web interface, saving maintenance-intensive operating elements on the projector.

In regard to the sources used, the projector gets its signal from a latest generation 3-D Dolby Showplayer that delivers different signals to the projector. The Showplayer also provides the audio signals for the Dolby CPC 650 audio processor which reverts the signal back into an analogue signal only just before going to the amplifiers.

Not only here but in all cinema environments, security and movie protection is a major issue. The Dolby Showplayer itself receives its signal from the so-called Dolby Showstore, which contains the whole encrypted material that has to be converted inside the show player first. On the path to the projector, the signal is encrypted again and then decrypted by the projector. For this purpose, the Christie CP2000-ZX is connected to the Showplayer by Ethernet and the respective keys are changed all the time. An enormous effort to absolutely prevent bootleg copies to be taken and to follow DCI standards. And even if someone would try taking a copy, it can be seen where it was taken as the Christie projector sends an invisible ID-code which allows clear identification of the server and therefore the cinema it was taken in.

In addition to the preview of movie material, Paramount Pictures Germany also wanted to use its cinema to watch Digi-Beta, Blueray or DVD material. Therefore the whole setup was additionally designed to also allow showing business presentations, like PowerPoint. A scaler is used to process the material which is then projected onto the screen using Christie’s CP2000-ZX.

Quick Facts

  • Customer:
    Paramount Pictures Germany
  • Partner:
    Film-Ton Technik (FTT)
  • Location:
    Germany
  • Configuration:
    Christie CP2000-ZX