Omnex Newsletter: April 2023

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IN THIS ISSUE

Our news, our views

APRIL 2023

Projector

Series guide

— what does it all mean?

60-seconds: with new and familiar faces at Omnex

Take a bow: British Empire Medal and a cinema hero

mne
0161 477 7633 mne
info@omnex.co.uk
SHOPPING@OMNEX OUR ONLINE PORTAL FOR A RANGE OF THE BEST-VALUE CINEMA SUNDRIES www.omnex.co.uk/shop

Use less energy, against increasing energy costs — the case for laser

The latest from our world — and a medal for JamJar’s Dan Ellis 08

Geoff Newitt has some advice to ensure safe projector placement. 10

16 Celebrating the UK’s Cinema Heroes... people like Rob Younger

24

Check out our Supplier Showcase for a flavour of those Omnex works with

44

Sixty secs with our latest and one of our longestserving engineers

Darren Briggs opens the door on a new 6-screen: the Parkway Workington.

Steve Case finds out what’s new in the world of GDC Technology. 12

54

The filter: a simple piece of kit, but keep it clean to save yourself heartache

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2, 2023 3 Contents Discover… In the April 2023 issue +44 (0)161 477 7633 info@omnex.co.uk omnex.co.uk Get in touch with us at Omnex… Omnex is
of the MPS
part
group. 04

An industry with energy

GREENING THE BIG SCREEN EXPERIENCE

was the title of this year’s UKCA Conference held at Picturehouse Central. The conference attracted over 300 cinema professionals from across the UK and beyond to discuss an important topic: the rapidly growing importance of environmental sustainability in the cinema sector.

As with many other industries, the cinema sector has been feeling the pressure to address issues related to environmental sustainability, including resource use and costs. The conference highlighted the need for action and explored ways in which we can tackle these challenges.

me on the final panel of the day, were representatives from Barco, Christie and NEC alongside WTW Scott Cinemas and The Chapter Arts, Cardiff.

Simply put, laser has brought our industry visible and fantastic improvements to the quality of the on-screen experience, but with laser in some cases using 20 per cent less energy than xenon illuminated projectors and with energy pricing recently more than doubling, it soon becomes a quick calculation to see where savings come into play.

If you missed out on that presentation you can read up on the subject on page 20 where we go into detail a little further.

There is input from Omnex’s team of dedicated professionals, whose daily focus revolves around installation, remote intervention, on-site servicing, and support. They work tirelessly to ensure that we provide the best possible service to cinemas.

We’re fortunate enough to work with a hugely diverse range of cinemas, people, and their technology, and in this issue, we’d like to highlight that diversity by introducing you to two of our team members: Pete Naples, our lifer, and Blade Frampton, who recently joined us from Merlin Cinemas — find out more about what makes them tick in our ‘60-seconds...’ interviews on pages 44-47.

AT THE

TWO-DAY

EVENT, I hosted a presentation on laser illumination, with the focus on energy and cost savings. Joining

IN THIS EDITION of our newsletter, we cover a variety of topics that we hope will be of interest. As you may already know, we release our newsletter twice a year, April and October.

I hope you enjoy reading a little bit about these members of the team. It’s thanks to them and the whole Omnex family that we are able to offer the support you need when you need it.

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk 4 Q2 2023

What a state to be in...

“ THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY...” Whenever you see those words, it tends to be the precursor to a negative story! Well, I may need a reality check, but the latest news is showing that the state of our industry is actually proving to be on the UP!

Last month, the international cinema trade body UNIC released its preliminary estimates for the 2022 box office and admissions across the territories it covers —

and the figures show a significant recovery across all of the countries when compared to the Covid lows of 2020 and 2021. Not surprising, right? Then again, we are seeing estimated box office for 2022 being some 30.8% below the 2019 record-year, with admissions down by 35.1%.

However, it’s important to bear in mind that here in the UK, we focus on the money earned by cinemas rather than the number of tickets sold, which may explain the difference in box office figures compared with those EU countries that primarily count the number of tickets sold.

EARLY FIGURES FOR 2023 are more encouraging. In January, the EMEA region recorded the highest-grossing month since the

same month in 2020, with box office revenues reaching healthy levels of approximately €821m.

Success stories from across Europe included many national Cinema Days, which helped to boost admissions. The UK’s own national Cinema Day saw 1.46m admissions a great achievement, when considering the challenges we’ve faced in the past few years.

We’re confident that we’re on the road to full recovery, and a constant supply of new and diverse titles will be crucial in order to continue to drive box office and admissions forward.

So, let’s look forward to an even brighter ‘state of the industry’ for UK cinema in 2023 —and beyond!

Simon Tandy, MD, Omnex

Supply of new and diverse titles will be crucial in driving box office growth throughout 2023
www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2 2023 5 Our Views mne *Slide kindly shared by Digital Cinema Media 5

British Empire Medal for Jam Jar’s Dan Ellis

A REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT for his contribution to cinema, Dan Ellis, the founder of Whitley Bay’s independent cinema, has received the prestigious British Empire Medal. At the age of just 33, Dan received the honour for his services to cinema as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee honours, although due to delays caused by the late Queen’s passing, he was only recently able to collect the medal.

Dan established the Jam Jar Cinema in 2013 with a mission to bring the magic of cinema to the town of Whitley Bay. His aim was to offer cinema-goers a more personal experience, away from the corporate ‘cuboid auditorium’. Jam Jar has become one of the best loved spots in the area and was even named the best small business in the UK in 2020.

The Jam Jar has three cinema screens, the largest of which seats 47, while the smallest seats 29, and there is a warm and welcoming bar. Visitors can watch everything from the latest Hollywood blockbusters to independent British films, and the venue has become a real

favourite among locals, thanks in part to its affordable ticket prices.

IN 2019, Jam Jar became England’s first-ever ‘Pay As You Please’ cinema, offering three different ticket price tiers to suit its visitors’ financial situation. Additionally, the cinema is committed to supporting local causes and has donated all profit from ticket sales of the film ‘To Leslie’ to local charities that help people affected by the issues portrayed in the film. After a challenging period during the pandemic, the Jam Jar venue has bounced back stronger than ever, with 2021 being its most successful year. Dan is now planning to open a second Jam Jar venue in the region by the end of next year.

Naturually, Dan is incredibly proud of what the cinema and his dedicated staff have achieved in the past decade. “I’ve got the best job in the world,” he says. Something, we’d all agree with. A lovely reminder that fulfillment and purpose are alive and kicking in our industry.

Many Congratulations to you Dan!

6 Q2, 2023
Omnex news
- Dan Ellis, Founder of Jam Jar Cinema.
mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk
(Image: Jam Jar Cinema)
I’ve got the best job in the world!

Keeping your Doremi servers alive.

ALL OF YOUR CINEMA equipment requires routine maintenance and — importantly — when required, software and firmware upgrades. This is carried out during the year remotely or during one of our on-site service visits.

Some of the older Doremi servers at sites we visit have remained in constant operation for up to 18 years, far longer than their anticipated life. This has resulted in them requiring a mandatory software upgrade to refresh on-board certificates which control the servers’ permissions to play DCPs.

All Omnex supported sites will have this upgrade carried out (many have already had this) seamlessly as part of our service. Should you not have a service plan with us, we are very happy to help on an adhoc basis, but do note you need to have your server upgraded prior to November 2025 (still plenty of time). Also note that Dolby* has requested to complete the updates before the end of 2023. This will extend the permission for playback to 2038. *Dolby now support these legacy products although they are EOL

More reasons to shop with us...

Whether you are an existing contract customer or new to shopping@Omnex, we invite you to visit our website to discover the convenience of shopping with the best-value technology provider in the industry: www.omnex.co.uk/shop

Our handy online shop offers a range of products from brands such as NEC, Barco, Christie, Sony, and GDC, with an inventory that includes everything you need to keep your cinema operational and up-todate. And as a thank you for your loyalty, we offer a useful 10% discount on all sundry items purchased through our website.

Unlike others, we believe in full transparency and that is why we publicly advertise our prices. You’ll never have to wonder if you’re getting the best deal with us!

Q2, 2023 7

Projector Placement: What you need to know about the safe zone

By considering the safe zone and the hazard distance for projector placement, you can ensure that you comply with the new safety standards... and keep your patrons safe.

YOU CAN BE FORGIVEN if you missed a technical standard that was published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) providing guidelines for the evaluation of optical radiation hazards associated with artificial light sources...! And if that’s not enough of a mouthful, the guidelines themselves might also set you on a confused path. Omnex’s Geoff Newitt has put together this overview to help you understand what the update means to you.

THE IEC EN 62471-5 OPTICAL RADIATION STANDARD, which came into effect on 20th December 2020, applies to all new projectors on the market. Its primary purpose is to protect individuals from any excessive optical radiation that could potentially harm their eyes if they were to look directly

into the lens from a close distance. While this standard previously only applied to laser light source projectors, it now applies to all new projectors that are available on the market.

TO COMPLY with this standard, you will need to ensure there is a safe zone in front of the projector where viewers cannot see directly into the projection beam. This safe zone is determined by a calculated hazard distance, which takes into account the lens installed in the projector location. A longer throw lens or zoom used will require a larger safe zone distance away from the lens compared with a short, wider-angle lens or zoom, as the image will be larger and

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk 8 Q2, 2023
Changing screens
Protecting people from excessive light is crucial.

faster once it exits the lens, thereby reducing the intensity of the light.

FOR NEW BUILD VENUES the projector location must be considered, and the calculated hazard distance must be in place.

FOR EXISTING EQUIPMENT and installations, there is no need to change anything, but it should be considered, if possible, to reduce risk.

FOR SECOND-HAND EQUIPMENT being installed, the safety rules should be considered, and the hazard distance and safe zone should be calculated [Omnex is able to support] depending on the auditorium design and the type of projector.

Compliance with the standard is crucial in order to protect your viewers from potential harm. As an integrator, Omnex can help calculate the hazard distance and the safe zone for your cinema’s projector location, and ensure that your technology is up to date and compliant with this important standard.

For more information on this standard, you can contact any of us at Omnex, plus there are additional resources available, for example from the European Digital Cinema Forum (EDCF). It is important to keep up with industry standards and regulations that ensure the safety of your viewers — and the longevity of your cinema’s technology.

Omnex can help calculate the hazard distance and safe zone for your cinema’s projector location,

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2, 2023 9
Image courtesy of BARCO

Talking innovation, with GDC Technology

Omnex’s very own Steve Case spent some time with Adam MacDonald, European Sales Manager of GDC Technology to find out more about their range of products and services.

GDC, headquartered in Hong Kong, supports the UK from its European office in London. Inspired by advances being made in digital filmmaking and projection in the late 1990s, it was founded in 2000 by Dr. Man-Nang Chong. Today, GDC has an award-winning range of cinema technologies. Here’s what they had to say:

Steve: Can you start by telling us a little bit about GDC?

Adam: Steve, thank you for taking the time to speak with me… GDC Technology is a global leader in the design, manufacture and sales of digital cinema solutions. We provide innovative hardware and software products and services to help cinemas enhance the movie-going experience for audiences around the world.

Steve: Could you tell us about GDC Technology and its role within the cinema industry?

Adam: We offer a comprehensive suite of products from media servers through to new audio solutions, together with technical and customer services that enable cinema operators to deliver a high-quality experience to audiences.

Steve: Over the past few years you have seen tremendous sales of the SR1000 IMB (over 20,000+ sold!). Can you tell us why it has enjoyed such success?

Adam: The SR-1000 IMB is a nextgeneration IMB that features advanced

audio and video processing capabilities. It supports the latest immersive audio formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for IAB, as well as advanced video playback such as HFR up to 4K 3D at 120 frames per second. It also has an optional built-in 2Tb CineCache (cache memory storage) and content security features to ensure content is protected from piracy.

Steve: It sounds powerful. What impact is it having on the industry?

Adam: We believe that the SR-1000 helps cinema operators provide an even more immersive experience to their audiences. For example, the SR-1000 with its optional built-in cinema audio processor support for immersive audio with DTS:X for IAB will allow moviegoers to feel as if they are in the middle of the action. Additionally, the content security features will help protect the valuable content that cinemas rely on. Let’s also not forget how important reliability is! This product is independently tested by SGS for 100,000-hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) for ultra-high reliability

Q&A 10 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk
GDC Update
To get the most out of existing equipment, we have Series 1 DLP Projector kits that enable the latest IMB technology in legacy systems.

Steve: Can you share details on other transformative products GDC has?

Adam: We are constantly working on new products and improvements to our technologies. This year, we are launching much-needed audio products, such as digital to analogue converters and more. We appreciate cinema operators want to deliver the best experiences and also need to be conscious of getting the most life out of their existing technology. For example, GDC can offer technology to prolong the life of Sony’s SRX-320 projectors with a special kit that can allow our IMB technology to work within these projectors; and we even have Series 1 DLP Cinema projector kits to also allow the latest IMB technology in these legacy systems.

Steve: What makes GDC Technology’s cinema solutions stand out?

Adam: Our solutions are designed to provide the best possible movie-going experience for audiences and to help cinemas to streamline their operations and reduce costs. We have a wide range of products that can help cinemas to reduce costs and increase efficiency with technology such as the Cinema Automation CA2.0 Streaming and Automation suite; we also have Power Management technology to assist cinemas in the automated turning on and off of equipment in the projection booth — so important in this day and age where energy costs are high and any way to save energy is a positive!

We’re proud of the work we do at GDC Technology. Our goal is to help cinemas deliver the best possible moviegoing experience for audiences, and we’re always striving to find new ways to achieve that goal.

GDC CEO Dr. Chong looks to the future

“I BELIEVE IN SCHOLARSHIPS, I benefited from one,” says Dr. Man-Nang Chong. The chairman, CEO, and founder of GDC Technology studied in Scotland during the 1980s, specialising in electronics and, later, computer science and image processing. Because he did not come from a wealthy background, Dr. Chong would later reflect, without financial assistance that he would not have been able to complete his Ph.D: “I would not have been able to achieve what I have achieved today and have contributed to the digital cinema industry.”

In 2012, Dr. Chong began paying it forward with the GDC Scholarship. Granted to between 30 and 50 students every year, the scholarship is given in co-operation with the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) to undergraduate and postgraduate students from three USTC colleges: the School of Computer Science and Technology, the School of Information Science and Technology, and the School of Software Engineering.

THE SCHOLARSHIP, explains Dr. Chong, is a way for him to “repay society” for the help that he was given decades previously. More than that, however, the GDC Scholarship is intended to “encourage today’s engineers or engineers-tobe to think more about media technology,” specifically when it comes to cinemas. “We wanted to encourage bright engineers to think about what they can do for the industry, not just apps or other technology!”

“I think education is so important,” continues Dr. Chong. “It can change a person.” Through the GDC Scholarship, Dr. Chong says he hopes to motivate, encourage, and inspire future innovators in the cinema-technology industry. “We hope to continue to contribute and to make exhibitors and moviegoers happy,” he says. “Most important are the moviegoers — they need to experience these new technologies in the cinema, so that they keep coming back instead of watching movies on their iPads, their phones, or their tablets. This is what we want to do through GDC’s technology and its contributions to future generations — make theatres innovative to bring in more moviegoers.”

A
mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2 2023 11

Accessibility and stateof-the-art projection make Parkway’s new venue a cinematic tour de force

A fresh six-screens for Parkway Workington

Darren Briggs heads north to take in the full effect at Parkway Cinema’s latest six-screen cinema revival in Workington.

PARKWAY ENTERTAINMENT, CREATED by the late Gerald Parkes, continues to thrive with his sons Richard and Gerrard now operating the chain. They have just opened their latest venue, Parkway Workington.

The latest instalment sees Parkway build its estate to four cinemas and a total of 26 screens. The cinema in Workington is a six-screen venue with projector technologies from NEC including a range of RB and modular laser, 3D screens, coupled with luxury

recliner seating throughout. The site was originally slated to open in December 2022, but building cinemas is never always that straightforward — the result, however, is certainly worth the brief wait.

The technical project, led by me (Omnex’s Head of Technical services), was a project that our team has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of. We supported the complete design, specification and installation of the projection and sound equipment. Projectors are from NEC from a 4K

12 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk
Omnex news

NC1843ML to NC120L units in the smaller screens. A 24,000 Lumen NC2403ML is used in the 3D screen.

The largest screen, at almost 15m wide, provides the customers with a seriously big screen experience in 4K resolution! Screen 2 is equipped with a Volfoni 3D system and all screens utilise Dolby’s IMS3000 servers and Dolby CP950 sound processors. QSC DCA amplifiers and speakers provide the final audio into the auditoriums. For HI and VI, a Dolby DAS system is fitted into every screen. This allows both Audio HI or VI soundtracks plus Closed Captions on the devices. The latter allows for any show to be used as a subtitled show when the DCP has compatible Closed Captions (CCAP). Films such as Avatar WOW DCPs were supplied with CCAP on all DCPs.

The cinema is driven by a new Omnex TMS, powered by Arts Alliance Media’s Screenwriter software. The big

brother nine-screen Parkway site in Cleethorpes has also just upgraded to this new Omnex TMS in line with the Beverley cinema in which we installed the Screenwriter TMS in 2015.

All screens at Workington were calibrated using the CP950 via the Atmos Designer with eight microphones for the best possible quality.

The people of Workington are lucky to have such as high spec luxury cinema — and we wish the Parkway team every success from the get-go this spring.

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2 , 2023 13
At 15m wide and in 4K, the big screen experience is a serious one at Workington

Our Expertise. Your Technology.

With the very best engineers across the UK, keeping you on screen is even more cost-effective.

OUR SERVICE PLANS ARE MORE AFFORDABLE WITH PAY-MONTHLY PLANS FROM JUST £59 PER MONTH

14 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk National Cinema Support

In a nutshell? Our pay-monthly service plans are now more affordable than previous annual service contracts and — for plans that don’t already include 24/7 callouts — we’ve made our callout fees cheaper.

Our pay-monthly plans mean you don’t need to pay in full and up front on your service contracts — a benefit we hope will really help you. And whether you choose to pay monthly or not, the annual cost is the same — there’s no penalty for improving your cashflow.

Sign up to any of our monthly plans and the following are included:

We aim to save you money, improve cashflow, and keep you on screen - all for as little as £59 p/month.

You can sign up to a our Silver, Gold or Platinum service plans, which combine Omnex’s daily telephone support and remote intervention.

Our engineers are geographically spread across the UK to provide outof-hours support 8am - 10pm daily.

All of our support plans provide you with access to our online shopping portal for further discounts on Lamps and sundries.

PLANS SILVER GOLD PLATINUM Price per screen £59 p/month £109 p/month £149 p/month Remote Support Inclusive & unlimited Inclusive & unlimited Inclusive & unlimited Annual Projector Service Included Included Included Annual Audio Calibration Included Included Included ATMOS Calibration Included Included Included Software updates Included Included Included Call-out Fee Anytime 7-days p/week £450.00 Mon-Fri, 8-5, off-screencall-outs are free - ‘after hours’, Sat & Sunday £450.00 7-days p/week all offscreen call-outs are inclusive Lamp Prices Discount against list price Discount against list price Discount against list price Shipment of parts At cost At cost At cost Subject to T&C’s. Information correct at time of printing Fully trained and qualified engineers Remote intervention and support; 8am - 10pm, 7-days a week Unlimited remote support
Annual projector service
SERVICE
Annual audio calibration (including ATMOS calibration) Software updates
www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2 2023 5 mne 15
National Cinema Support

Not all heroes wear a cape!

THE UK CINEMA ASSOCIATION and Searchlight Pictures jointly announced the winner of their UK Cinema Heroes competition in February. Rob Younger, the owner of the Parkway Barnsley and a veteran of the industry for more than 40 years, has been declared the winner of this prestigious award.

Robwas chosen from a list of over 200 industry figures who collectively received more than 1,000 nominations. The judging panel, comprising colleagues from the UKCA and Searchlight as well as film-makers, had a tough job selecting the winner from an exceptional short-listed of 10.

Rob was selected as the winner, with

Joyce Kane of ODEON Kilmarnock and Mark Gallagher of the Arc Hucknall as worthy runners-up. All three nominees are a true credit to the industry and deserve high praise for their dedication and service to their communities.

Speaking about the announcement, UK Cinema Association Chief Executive Phil Clapp remarked that the number and range of nominations received for the competition speaks volumes about the extent to which cinema-goers recognise and appreciate the dedication shown by those working in the sector. He also acknowledged that it was particularly pleasing to see nominations covering cinemas from across the UK and of all types and sizes.

16 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk
Cinema Hero!
A fantastic competition to recognise heroes of cinema saw worthy entrants — and a thoroughly deserving winner!

THE PARKWAY is a community venue that regularly hosts mainstream film screenings, 35mm and 70mm film shows, event cinema, live stage shows and private hires. Rob manages and often introduces these events with undimmed energy and enthusiasm.

On winning the UK Cinema Heroes competition, Rob said that he was absolutely delighted and honoured. He expressed his surprise, especially after seeing those nominated in the top ten list. He also thanked all those who took the time to put him forward in this amazing competition. Rob won a trip for two to Hollywood (Simon: I’m available Rob!) and a pair of tickets to an upcoming red-carpet event in London. Searchlight Pictures will also provide a staff party package at Rob’s cinema to celebrate his victory with his colleagues. Joyce and Mark, the runners-up, also each won a pair of tickets to an upcoming redcarpet event in London.

Rob’s commitment to the industry and the communities he serves is second to none. He is a worthy winner of the UK Cinema Heroes competition — and well done to all the winners and nominees!

LET’S DUMB DOWN THE FORMALITIES; Rob is a cinema veteran with more than 40 years of experience! But here’s some fun facts to share about a man who has become a recognised and welcomed friend to the industry. He began his career as a projectionist at the ODEON Barnsley in the late 1970s, before returning to education to study electronics, whilst still working part-time in cinemas. He went on to install and service sound and projection kit in many cinemas in the UK, Ireland, Germany and even Malta and had a brief stint as an engineer with Cannon Cinemas.

In 2003, he became the manager of the Penistone Paramount, a venue that he had long been connected with and, in 2005, he was appointed as Head of Technical Services at Picturehouse Cinemas. During his time at Picturehouse Cinemas, Rob had the opportunity to fit out and open the Station Cinema in Richmond and also to acquire the former Odeon in Barnsley (where it all began) with the late Gerald Parkes. After renaming the site the Parkway, Rob and the Parkes family managed to purchase the freehold of the Barnsley site in October of last year.

In addition to his work in the cinema industry, Rob is also involved in restoring and refurbishing the cinema frontage of the Parkway, with funding support from the local council and Historic England. He is also often seen helping out at the other four Parkway sites and is in regular contact with other cinema owners.

As the winner of the UK Cinema Heroes competition jointly launched by the UK Cinema Association and Searchlight Pictures, Rob has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the industry.

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2 , 2023 17
“A movie isn’t just a pastime. It’s a window to the world.”
Rob Younger reminds us that cinema is more than just a way to kill a few hours.

Talking about the TMS…

Is basic sufficient, or do you need a feature-rich system?

Your theatre management system is a powerful tool in day-today cinema management. Darren Briggs looks at some of the features you could take advantage of with a full TMS system.

FIRST OFF... WHAT’S the difference when it comes to managing your content? In simple terms, a TMS (Theatre Management System) is the software package which will run on hardware. This hardware — on a full system — Is generally known as a LMS – Library Management Server.

Larger storage capacity on the Library Management Server is one major use of the LMS, alongside running the operating system the TMS software relies on. The LMS and the TMS go handin-hand to manage content, playlists and scheduling efficiently.

The LMS is used to ingest all content from all sources, via the TMS software. Only content required on the individual playback servers is sent so as not to use the playback servers as general storage.

The latest Smart TMS functions can also manage and auto-delete content and playlists on the screen servers, optimising their local storage.

The TMS software then speaks to the screen servers, advert delivery systems, content delivery systems and even POS

systems as the hub of all operations required, using the LMS hardware as the main Library for content storage.

ENTRY TMS OR basic level TMS Software often only provides enough interaction to add dynamic advertising packs. The systems don’t allow remote projector control or status of the projection system to be controlled or allow you to manage content from all devices on the network. Also the smaller the server the less content storage in general. That means these more rudimentary systems can’t be used as long-term storage and they don’t ingest from external delivery devices such as LANsat. For some sites that’s not a major drama, but for others its means substantially more manual management of content is required, ingesting to screen servers directly from such solutions as LANsat. Fine if you don’t put on many shows, but a more seamless solution can often deliver so much more — and that’s where a full TMS solution comes in.

18 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Content management

A FULL TMS SOFTWARE solution, as you can imagine, provides Management of your theatres. A full TMS is usually licensed per screen per year, with the rationale behind this business model being that it adds far more control over your complex and updates regularly as the software is further developed. It ensures compatability with new servers and projectors as you upgrade your kit. Linking to a POS system is also a big advantage to cinemas where available, as it can auto-populate your schedule to match the box office.

A typical full LMS will have at least 11TB of usable storage. Generally, the smaller the cinema, the more varied a film program is played and therefore sites do find that local server storage does quickly become very full and larger capacity is often required.

CONTENT MANAGEMENT is key to ensuring an efficient cinema operation. A TMS will never replace fully decisions required on content, but the latest smart TMS solutions certainly give operators a huge helping hand. Control over the server and projector is also available on full TMS systems, avoiding the frustrating ‘Function Not available’ message you see on entry level systems when tantalising buttons are pressed.

If you opt for a full TMS software solution, you will find it goes hand-inhand with a large reliable LMS hardware solution. Omnex has a new LMS server designed to run the latest Screenwriter smart TMS software. This is a software widely used around the world and will integrate with your POS and all delivery server options. Give us a call if you’d like to know more!

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2 , 2023 19
Smaller sites with more varied programs often find local server storage quickly becomes very full

Laser projectors are now widely available to suit all budgets

Bring on the lasers!

As laser projection becomes a reality for a wider spectrum of cinemas, Omnex’s Head of Technical Services Darren Briggs examines the key facts and figures you need to know if you’re in the market for an upgrade.

IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, laser light projectors are becoming the norm. The manufacturers now have a good range suitable for smaller screens as well as initial ranges made for the PLF screens.

Xenon machines featuring the latest electronics still have their place, notably in post-production screening rooms or part-time cinemas where it is still the most cost-effective of routes into DCI Cinema projection. From a technical perspective, standard* DCI content is

ELECTRICITY COSTS Xenon Vs Laser

As of Sept 2022 a cost increase of an average of 73% in 2002 over 2021 came in — a unit price of an average 19p/kWh to 33p/kWh. What does that mean to a projector’s running costs?

2021 2022

Xenon Projector £1,995 £3,465

Electricity cost

Laser Projector £718 £1,247

Electricity cost

Based on average 4,200hrs’ operation, electricity costs/year (11.5 hours/day)

presently mastered for the DCI P3 colour space which xenon projectors easily operate in. This means the wider colour gamut in some laser units is not used fully for DCI projection — currently.

ALTHOUGH ALL projectors require to be operated within a set temperature range, heat from a laser projector is greatly reduced compared to a xenon unit. The knock-on is the possibility of removing the extract ducting fully and

Laser vs Xenon power consumption

A smaller S2K Xenon projector consumes approx. 2.5kW

A comparable Laser based system only 0.9kW

The scale remains similar all the way through model ranges and is an average. The headline average is that a laser projector draws at least 50% less power.

How much could switching from a small xenon-based projector save you per year?

Saving of £3,051 / year

Laser projection 20 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk
£££
Lamp Costs 2022 Total (3000/Lamp) Power Running Costs Xenon £595 usage £3,465 £4,298 Laser N/A £1,247 £1,247

simply cooling the room with A/C. Each cinema is unique and Omnex can advise on the environment vs any saving to be made when upgrading to laser. A standard projection room of a new build will not require extract ducting, only room A/C. (A xenon unit requires both). With Omnex finance options available, paying a set monthly fee for a new projector, warrantied and supported, makes upgrading easier still.

IN PRACTICAL TERMS, laser does generally improve contrast and longterm stable 14fl brightness is a huge benefit in comparison to a xenon** projector whose light output decreases over its hours before being replaced. Power consumption of laser light source projectors can be a lot lower than xenon equivalents. This can make a material difference to operating costs. Look for the Lumens Per Watt figures. With the vast range of laser light source projectors available to fit most budgets, in 2023, laser is certainly here for the masses. *Dolby Cinema and IMAX laser both have bespoke DCPs created to use the wider colours available.

**A xenon projector should not fall lower than DCI min. brightness if specified, calibrated and maintained correctly.

KEY TERMS AND PRODUCTS AVAILABLE

LASER PHOSPHOR LIGHT SOURCE - Use of a combination of Laser plus a Phosphor wheel (Which in turn generates a different colour) to generate a White Light source. Often just Blue or Red and Blue lasers are used. NEC use Blue laser and Red/Blue laser light sources in combination with the use of a phosphor wheel. The advantage of Phosphor is the near elimination of all visible Speckle.

RGB – Pure Red, Green and Blue lasers making up the White light source. Providing the widest range of colour reproduction and can produce very bright images for larger screens.

RGB 6P – As per RGB but when using dual projectors, left and right with different wavelengths of the three Primary colours. Using colour filtering glasses, 3D can be achieved without any further equipment (Dolby Cinema for example).

CHRISTIE’S RGBE - Pure Red, Green and Blue Laser with phosphor wheel to provide low to non-existent speckle but at a lower cost to pure RGB for smaller screens.

BARCO SMART LASER – The range of SP projectors use a varied combination of R/G/B lasers with a Phosphor wheel to produce the white light source. A great modular design which has greatly reduced the cost of Laser light source for the latest range of 2K and 4K projectors

SPECKLE – The name given to the visible interference patter generated between the laser light reflected from the screen surface and the laser light being projected to the screen causing the wavelengths to interact. Generally higher reflective screens cause more speckle. Speckle has been greatly reduced by both projector manufactures and the latest generations of screen surfaces. Matt White screens don’t suffer with speckle.

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2, 2023 21

Series what?

Digital cinema projectors are often referred to by their series numbers. The exact differences can vary depending on the manufacturer. In general, the series number typically refers to the level of technology, performance, and features offered by the projector. Here is an overview to demistify the range...

Series 1:

THESE ARE THE first-generation digital cinema projectors and are often limited to 2K resolution. They typically have lower brightness levels and less advanced features compared to newer series.

Series 2:

THESE PROJECTORS are the second generation of digital cinema projectors and often offer 4K resolution capabilities. They usually have higher brightness levels, improved contrast ratios, and more advanced features such as 3D projection and advanced color management.

Series 3:

THESE PROJECTORS typically offer even higher levels of brightness, contrast, and color accuracy compared to previous generations. They may also

offer improved lamp life, reduced fan noise, and other enhancements.

Series 4:

SERIES 4 MODELS are the latest generation of digital cinema projectors and often feature the most advanced technology and features. They may offer even higher resolutions, improved contrast ratios, wider color gamut, and support for HDR content. They may also feature laser light sources for longer life, reduced maintenance, and improved image quality.

It is important to note that different manufacturers can use different naming conventions and offer varying levels of technology and features within each series.

*DCI – Digital Cinema Initiatives – Set of standards set out to ensure cross compatibility of content with any server and projector. All equipment and cinemas adhere to the DCI standard.

Did you know?
22 Q2, 2023

2004 - 2010:

The first 2K DLP projectors were released and made to adhere to the DCI* standard. Using 3 electronic boards for the DLP projector processing 3D Capable, later series 1 models improved this compatibility further.

Christie CP2000S

Barco DP100

NEC NC800/NC1200

From 2010:

This was a step forwards, introducing 4K DLP Cinema. A more streamline single board was then used for the DLP projector processing.

Introduction of the ability to use an IMB server housed within the projector improved security and ability for 4K content

Christie CP2210, CP2220, CP2320, CP4220, CP4230; Barco DP2K-12C, DP2K-20C, DP2K-19B, DP4K-32B; NEC NC2000, NC3240

TODAY:

The DLP projector processing is now combined with the projector’s own electronics. Christie introduced a full range of ‘CineLife’ projectors. Barco added the ICMP server (Combined a server and DLP projector processing). NEC’s latest design could be classed as Series 3.

Christie CP2308, CP4320; NEC NC1202L, NC1843ML; Any Barco Series 2 equipped with an ICMP

AND LOOKING AHEAD:

Further improvements on Series 3 projectors as manufacturers expand their ranges. Even higher frame rates possible at 4K resolution. Barco’s new range of SP2K and SP4K projectors

Christie CineLife+ Range

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2, 2023 23

Omnex is a cinema technology company headquartered in Aylesbury with an experienced team of cinema-focused professionals.

Our UK-wide team of engineers are all qualified to install and support all major cinema projection equipment. In addition, we are distributors of all major cinema sound and server equipment, as well as automation, video distribution, and conferencing systems. Our website, www.omnex. co.uk offers affordable pricing on a range of cinema sundries.

Despite the impact of the Covid pandemic on

the industry, we have reduced our Annual Service agreements and offer monthly payment options — via Direct Debit if you need. This allows us to provide annual service and support from as little as £59 per month.

Our support includes 7-days a week, 8am until 10pm remote intervention via your internet connection, with a dedicated engineering team available for remote support during those hours. We also ensure that all software/firmware is upto-date and includes full projector servicing and audio EQs annually.

24 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk

April 2023 spotlight on Omnex suppliers

Furthermore, we have a dedicated Cinema Seating Team for sales, installation, and repair. We pride ourselves on delivering the best-value so that cinema can remain the best place to watch content. The big screen experience is in our DNA.

We are proud to work with a range of leading suppliers and the following pages allow us to introduce you to the innovative products that they offer. If you’d like to know more about these suppliers and indeed the full range of products and services Omnex can support you with, please drop the team a line: info@omnex.co.uk

supplier showcase

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2, 2023 25

20 Year Anniversar y 2003-2023

20 Year Anniversar y 2003-2023

September 6th, 2016

First Trinnov Cinema Processor in the UK Thanks Omnex!

Simply Epic!

CREATE OUSTANDING CINEMA IN MOBILE AND SMALLER THEATRES

Enjoy captivating movie experiences, lower TCO, easy lamp replacement, and lower lamp costs, with the compact, lightweight and quiet NEC NC1000.

Highly flexible with floor and ceiling installation and versatile content playback, the NEC NC1000 is ideal for Art Houses, Mobile Cinemas, Cinemas in Universities and Public Buildings.

Visit sharpnecdisplays.eu

Keeping you connected

RHM Telecommunications are a key technology partner of OMNEX & Motion Picture Solutions.

As part of Motion Picture Solutions’ drive to deliver content digitally, RHM have supported them with rolling out Broadband services into Cinemas across the UK.

RHM are here to support the Cinema industry with advice, consultancy, products and services.

Energy Costs

If you negotiated a long-term contract before the rise in energy prices then you may be in for a big shock when it comes to your next renewal. Right now though you may be able to negotiate a reasonable renewal, as due to a warm winter prices have fallen sharply.

RHM offer an Energy brokerage service that tracks the top 23 UK suppliers. Simply send us a bill to enquiries@rhmtelecom.com and we will give you a free report on how your current package would compare to what is available in the market today.

https://www.rhmtelecom.com/energy/

Internet

There has been an explosion in investment-backed alternative fibre providers rolling out Fibre Broadband. This has resulted in the market for Fibre Broadband becoming very fragmented. It might sound complex, but working with an alternative provider can save you money.

It is estimated by some analysts that by the end of 2026 35% of the UK’s Fibre Broadband will not be supplied by BT Openreach.

It’s a perfect alternative to a leased line connection that can end up costing cinemas hundreds every month.

To see the services available in your area, use our broadband checker at https://www.rhmtelecom.com/broadband-checker/

BT’s Big Switch off

At the end of 2025 BT is intending to switch off all their traditional telephone lines.

These are lines that Cinemas use to deliver Broadband, alarm lines, lift lines, or phone lines connected to a telephone system. Businesses need to start thinking about how they are going to navigate this change, RHM can help.

We can help you put a plan of action together to assess what you have on your estate now and how you can get 2025 switch-off ready. More information is available at https://www.rhmtelecom.com/isdn/

Cinionic: laser solutions

Working hand in hand with exhibitors, Cinionic is elevating the cinema experience

OFFERING THE INDUSTRY the most extensive laser portfolio, cinemas globally benefit from Cinionic’s awardwinning and sustainable laser solutions for all screens, from boutique to giant.

As innovators in cinema, we know technology is always evolving. Founded in 2018 as the Barco cinema-focused joint venture, Cinionic unites global leaders committed to creating a new visual standard and moving the cinema industry forward. Cinionic’s future-ready enhanced services and technology solutions all work together to help you create compelling cinema experiences.

Key benefits of laser...

MOVIEGOER SATISFACTION

Cinionic laser offers proven benefits to enhance visual performance and audience satisfaction. Laser improves colour quality and brightness levels. Research has shown that picture quality is the number one factor in a moviegoer’s decision to see a movie in a cinema. When educated about the benefits of laser, they seek it out.

VISUAL PERFORMANCE

Superior visual performance is delivered across various facets of image quality — different laser solutions amplify different elements, outperforming lamp projection.

• Improved colour

• Higher contrast Brightness increase

• Higher uniformity, no more lamp flicker

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE

Bringing new levels of predictability and standardization for complete peace of mind

LASER UPGRADES: Cinionic’s laser upgrades provide viewers with the best possible visual experience consistently over time. It’s about more than just light. It’s about keeping light on the screen and taking advantage of the latest technological advantages with laser, movie after movie.

5 REASONS TO UPGRADE

1. better image quality

2. prolong projector lifetimewarranty extension included

3. no worries - 100% lamp free

4. financial flexibility - possibility to personalize your financial plan

5. environmentally friendly save up to 70% on energy and reduce waste

RESOURCE EFFICIENCY

When a cinema chooses laser, it’s a choice to use fewer resources and to deliver an eco-friendly presentation.

• optimize lifetime

• save on cinema construction

SUSTAINABILITY

• HVAC reduction

• no more lamp expenditures

Efficiency, fewer resources and reduced consumption are all benefits of laser-powered cinema solutions for your business. And the planet. Thanks to our eco-aware approach, our solutions are designed with the environment in mind from the very start.

Whether you want to use less energy, extend the lifetime of your existing hardware, minimize your carbon footprint, or move to an outcome-based as-a-Service model, Cinionic is committed to cinema and helping you deliver a greener future.

32 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk
Cinionic laser
Scan to find the fastest way to laser

Always setting the pace

At Christie, we set the pace by delivering what exhibitors, directors, and audiences truly seek in their cinema experiences.

THERE’S A NEW DEMAND in cinema exhibition to create even more jawdropping experiences for moviegoers, writes Christie cinema sales manager Phil Lord. As directors consistently push the boundaries of what’s possible in storytelling, we’re working hard to help them deliver the wow factor audiences crave. Working directly with directors

and studios, we continue to expand our future-proofed electronics platform and provide the means to screen the latest in cinema excellence. The result of our work means we have the only cinema projection hardware that can accurately portray these new depths of visuals. At Christie, we don’t play catchup; we consistently set the pace.

Our CineLife+ Series with Real|Laser™ illumination technology offers exhibitors the lowest cost of operation on the market today. With a focus on energy efficiency and on limiting impact on the environment, these projectors have a light source that never needs to be changed and lasts 50,000 hours! Daily usage-cost savings add up year on year.

• Frame rates up to 4K 120fps

• 4 x 12G SDI inputs and high-speed HDMI 2.0

• Perfect pixel alignment with electronic color convergence

• Remote UI for touch panel-free control and operation

• Eco mode for added power savings

Christie technology
36
2023
Q2,
CineLife+ Series: high energy efficiency, coupled with a low cost of operation:
mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk

Master your cinema with Christie’s CineMaster…

WE MADE IT EASY to find the right fit for your cinema with CineMaster, our cinema projection calculator. The app is specifically designed to guide exhibitors through the first steps of their decisionmaking process as they choose their projection equipment. Simply input your auditorium’s dimensions, and the

calculator shows you the ideal projector and lens combination for your screen. We also equipped the calculator with NOHD warnings and other technical considerations to make the decision and planning process even easier. christiedigital.com/cinemaster

PRIORITIZING ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The Exhibitors have spoken... Reducing projection energy costs is a key priority. We’re listening. That’s why we developed the most efficient projectors in the cinema industry. With our latest Christie CineLife+™ laser projectors, there’s a cost-saving advantage of up to 32% over competitors!

We also look for ways to help exhibitors make the right choice for their cinema with our energy rating guide that walks them through potential energy savings. By sharing energy efficiency ratings and the cost of ownership numbers, they can make the smart choice for their long-term plans.

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk
Exhibitors have spoken... Reducing energy costs is a key priority and at Christie, we are listening

Odeon Cinemas

From Odeon Cinemas to Wimbledon Centre Court, Camatic Seating delivers high quality seating solutions to venues across the United Kingdom and Europe.

From Odeon Cinemas to Wimbledon Centre Court, Camatic Seating delivers high quality seating solutions to venues across the United Kingdom and Europe.

All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon

WORLD LEADING CINEMA AND STADIUM SEATING MANUFACTURERS WITH MORE THAN 50 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.

WORLD LEADING CINEMA AND STADIUM SEATING MANUFACTURERS WITH MORE THAN 50 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.

Working with some of the most recognisable facilities in cinema and sports architecture, Camatic Seating designs and manufactures high quality seating solutions that perform above venue managers expectations and leave audiences comfortable for hours. We have a proven range of in house designed products and tailored services to suit the following venues.

Working with some of the most recognisable facilities in cinema and sports architecture, Camatic Seating designs and manufactures high quality seating solutions that perform above venue managers expectations and leave audiences comfortable for hours. We have a proven range of in house designed products and tailored services to suit the following venues.

• Cinemas and theatres

• Cinemas and theatres

• Stadiums and arenas

• Stadiums and arenas

• Retractable seating

• Retractable seating

• Product customisation, installation, servicing and maintenance contracts

• Product customisation, installation, servicing and maintenance contracts

Camatic Seating is proud to have strategically partnered with Omnex to deliver cinema seating installation and programmed maintenance packages across the UK and Europe. Contact our newly established European office to discuss your next project and let us guide you to your perfect seating solution.

Camatic Seating is proud to have strategically partnered with Omnex to deliver cinema seating installation and programmed maintenance packages across the UK and Europe. Contact our newly established European office to discuss your next project and let us guide you to your perfect seating solution.

EUROPEAN OFFICE

EUROPEAN OFFICE

Camatic Seating

Camatic Seating

C/ Travesseres nr. 43

C/ Travesseres nr. 43

08401 - Granollers

08401 - Granollers

Barcelona, Spain

GLOBAL HEAD OFFICE

GLOBAL HEAD OFFICE

Camatic Pty Ltd 93 Lewis Road Wantirna South, VIC 3152

Camatic Pty Ltd

93 Lewis Road Wantirna South, VIC 3152

Australia

Australia

Telephone: +34 620 216 673

Barcelona, Spain

Telephone: +61 3 9837 7777

Telephone: +34 620 216 673

Email: sales@camatic.com

Email: sales@camatic.com

Telephone: +61 3 9837 7777

Email: sales@camatic.com

website: www.camatic.com/uk

website: www.camatic.com/uk

Website: www.camatic.com/au

Email: sales@camatic.com

Website: www.camatic.com/au

Integrated innovations for a complete cinema solution

Introducing Dolby Cinema Processor CP950A

Fully featured, fully immersive Dolby Atmos

The Dolby Atmos Cinema Processor CP950A, the newest addition to Dolby’s market-leading line of cinema processors, is designed to deliver an exceptionally immersive Dolby Atmos experience in a fl exible, modular, cost-efficient solution.

The Dolby Integrated Media Server IMS3000

With fl exible storage options and robust feature set.

Dolby, and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. © 2022 Dolby Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved.
Wanttoknowmore aboutoursuppliers? supplier showcase Get in touch: T: +44 (0)161 477 7633 E: info@omnex.co.uk Q-SYS allows remote monitoring which means there is less showtime. ©2022 Q-SYS, LLC all rights trademarks in the U.S. Patent connect, monitor support users with remote helpdesk tool See and interact with your remote systems’ user control interfaces from a simple web browser, and resolve issues without putting boots on the ground. increase uptime with remote design updates Troubleshoot, update and redeploy design files to systems anytime from anywhere, without the need for complex network or remote desktop configurations. for Omnex customers 60 day free www.qsys.com/reflect Bring Screens to Life! The NEC NC1202L & NC1402L DC Laser Projectors deliver the ultimate theatre experience. Captivate your audience with ultra-crisp almost speckle-free Laser technology with 7,000 and 9,500 lumens in 2K resolutions. Visit sharpnecdisplays.eu LASER CINEMA 7/9/2565 BE 23:15

Sixty seconds with our newest recruit... Blade

With 25 years of experience, from cleaner to Technical Manager. From The Palace to Merlin Cinemas, it’s our very own Blade Frampton, Cinema Engineer, South West of England

How did you make your start in the world of cinema?

I stumbled into the industry back in 1997 while studying for my A-levels and pursuing a career as a helicopter pilot. That didn’t work out so while wondering what I wanted to do with myself, I was introduced to cinema! At the time, my uncle managed the Palace Cinema, Bridport (under Reel Time Entertainment). He asked if I wanted to cover his cleaner’s maternity leave, which is when I discovered ‘the projector’ and got bitten by the bug. Since then, I have remained in the industry, moving from Reel Time Ent. to Apollo Cinemas, before Merlin Cinemas, where I spent the past 21 years of my career from projectionist to Technical Manager.

What led you from projectionist to an engineer, and how did that experience shape your career path?

Twenty-one years ago, Merlin had just one cinema in Torquay. It was a fantastic journey to be a part of their growth and expansion. This expansion created the need for someone to manage and take care of the technical aspects, which I fulfilled until recently joining Omnex.

What do you consider to be your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why is it significant to you?

Not so much an accomplishment, but the most meaningful moment in my career was the recent service visit to the Electric Palace, Bridport. Walking through the doors for the first time after 25 years was a very special moment. It has certainly changed and looks amazing, but the memories all came flooding back — even sharing a ghost story or two with the staff. It still felt like home. It’s amazing that after all this time I now look after the very place where it all unexpectedly started.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

I would say the rollout of digital cinema was daunting. Having spent years learning as much as possible about film, projection, and engineering to keep it all running, digital cinema brought about change overnight. I was fortunate and took every opportunity to embrace the new technology. Learn as much as you can and do as much as you can! I was busier than ever after digital came in.

What are the most important skills and qualities for someone working in

Walking through the doors of the Electric Palace for the first time after 25 years was a very special moment
Meet the Team 44 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk

cinema technology, and how have you developed those in your career?

Patience and a cool head could well be top of the list! Undoubtedly you will come across a job that may not go the way you start, and it can test you. Anyone can read a manual and learn how something works, but being able to think outside of the box to tackle a problem is a useful trait to have.

What drew you to Omnex and your current role?

I had known Simon from the early days of LANsat and Darren previously from AAM. Omnex supplied equipment to Merlin for the past few years, providing amazing assistance during the stressful re-opening after the Covid shutdown. During this time I got to know to several of the Omnex team. Merlin continues to grow and as such it was challenging for one person to keep up with the workload. Omnex saw a potential fix for this and offered me the opportunity to join their team, to support Merlin as a service customer. This has given Merlin the coverage they need and now I work with a great team of engineers sharing the load. Omnex has also opened many new doors for learning and training opportunities for me.

Can you describe your experience working as a projectionist, and what did you enjoy most about that role?

I found projection to be an oddly satisfying job. There’s something about getting a presentation onto the screen with perfectly timed lights/curtains from your own world behind the glass that just gives you a buzz. It might sound silly to some. Working alone, in

the dark next to a clattering beast that’s reliant on you to keep it oiled and maintained, projecting a film that you had to piece together late into the night. Those are fond memories.

How has your experience working in a cinema as a projectionist influenced your approach to working with cinema owners and managers now that you’re an engineer?

Having first-hand experience working as a projectionist, I understand training and knowledge is important in keeping problems to a minimum. It also helps, as an engineer, for the on-site team to have some knowledge and understanding. It makes communication when dealing with issues easier for all parties. I’m an open book and always happy to show and share experience and knowledge with others, but be warned, once I get started, I can talk for England!

I am always happy to share knowledge but be warned... I can talk for England!

Sixty seconds with our senior engineer, Pete

Based in Scotland, our Senior Engineer Pete Naples has been working in the cinema world since 1991… and has more than a few stories to tell.

What inspired you to pursue a career in cinema technology?

I was the ‘AV kid’ at school, always interested in anything that made an image or a noise. I always wanted to be a photographer; I sort of fell into cinema when that path ended.

How did you get started in this field, and what led you to join Omnex?

In my teens I had a weekend job as a projectionist. Leaving school I worked in what we’d call today: ‘content creation’. We worked all over the UK and Europe. Photographing petrol pumps, capturing video of offshore fire training, covering royal visits. From there it was live music and theatrical sound as well. Again, if it made a noise or an image, I was there.

Whilst at University I needed a job, so wrote to all the cinemas. Initially I started at the ABC on Lothian Road, moving on to the Cameo. I took relief shifts at others. At almost every cinema I worked in, our equipment was serviced by Omnex.

Simon Galton, the Omnex engineer at the time would visit the Cameo and he would drive up from Leicester. I asked if it made sense for me to cover Scotland?

One visit, he arrived with Ged Atherton in tow. A conversation was had over dinner, and here I am. That was 1998.

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest cinema technology trends and advancements, and what resources do you rely on for information?

Manufacturers’ websites, bulletins, etc. We should also look outside our field, can equipment from the AV and live events world be used in ours? Lately we see more and DMX controlled LED lighting. This is actually very old tech, but new to the cinema industry.

What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on, and how did you overcome those challenges?

The setup for Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Hateful Eight’ in Ultra-Panavision 70mm at the Filmhouse, Edinburgh. I collected lamphouses from Belfast. Grafting those 1990’s lamphouses onto 1950’s Phillips DP70 projectors, with help from a local blacksmith. Aligning both projectors in terms of their film path (this was quite tricky, following the procedure in the manual meitculously, taking readings with dial-calipers, dial-test-indicator and a micrometer. Optically aligning those lamphouses and finding the sweet-spot in terms of light output, calculating the appropriate backing lenses to go with the special anamorphic attachments, then cutting the plates neatly.

46 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Meet the Team
A lot of sketches were made, some out-loud thinking and a fair bit of swearing. It worked very well.

As far as I know, no-one else ran that film on two projectors. Three cinemas in the UK ran it 70mm, the other two had platters. As far as I know all of the 100 or so screens in the US had platters. We had a hard time getting the distributor to understand why we needed two anamorphs when the Odeon Leicester Square just needed one! No-one working in the UK industry at the time had worked with Ultra-Panavision 70mm, so I couldn’t ‘phone a friend’. Legends like Steve Grant, and Nigel Shore were long retired. A lot of sketches were made, some out-loud thinking and a fair bit of swearing. It worked very well.

What motivates you to come to work, and what advice do you have for someone starting out in this field?

I have a wife, two kids and a mortgage... But I’m really motivated by customers, many of whom I consider as friends. I was always given the advice, “don’t!”. Thirty years on I’m still here, cinema is still here. Learn something every day!

What is the future of cinema technology, and how do you think Omnex will be a part of that?

I don’t know... AI, immersive technology, LED screens, telepathy or maybe LED illuminated projectors? One thing I do know, the industry has to keep evolving. Yes, there are lots of lovely old cinemas, but they are not using the same seats, the same sound, HVAC or projection technology as they did when built.

Omnex has its 36-year roots in the industry, we have grown, kept up with technology and now we are bigger, better and stronger, we will continue to keep on the leading edge.

Pete joined Omnex in 1998 and today works as our Senior Engineer. Whilst his main stomping ground covers cinemas across Scotland, Pete supports cinemas in N. Ireland and much of Northern England. The Hateful 8, locked and loaded for the 70mm screening.
mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2, 2023 47
11 reels of panavision 70mm beauty! All prepped in advance of the screening.
There are lots of lovely old cinemas still with us, but they aren’t still using the same technology they were built with

We’ve got our eyes on you... but in a good way!

Omnex’s NOC+ services help to keep your cinema systems online day and night. Darren Briggs illustrates the benefit of our brand of 24/7 surveillance.

WE have a 24/7 monitoring system, which forms the backbone of the NOC+ services that we deliver to our customers. For added peace of mind, our NOC+ services are backed up by our engineers who are on call 8-10pm every day of the year, with the exception of Christmas Day.

AT OMNEX

To provide an efficient service, we make use of a custom ticketing system. This system allows us to manage and communicate information to cinemas in a timely manner, and it also supplies service reports which are emailed out to cinemas after one of our visits has taken place. This ensures your own information is kept fully up to date.

AT THE HEART OF the NOC+ services are the monitoring systems and the

associated tools that alert us to a variety of issues arising in any device connected to our NOC service — for example, a degraded RAID or a fan failure.

To allow connection, we work with the cinema and update to a dedicated IP range assigned to your cinema to benefit from this service. All existing customers are currently being added as we update out-of-the-box standard IP schemes in use at cinemas.

WE HAVE MULTIPLE staff each day providing the NOC service. They are all contactable via our new phone system which allows calls to be directed straight to the engineers on duty.

Our systems also provide the ability for engineers to connect securely into the monitoring system and, therefore,

Red notice? The lamp on site has a run-time warning

Monitoring services
Omnex NOC+
48 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk

they can support any cinema remotely from anywhere in the world.

Existing customers will already receive ticket alerts from our custom Cinema

Ticketing System when any issues are raised either by the cinema or through pro-active intervention from Omnex.

SNMP is the backbone of the monitoring system (see the panel on the right for a detailed explanation). Every screen has, on average, at least four devices to be monitored. In turn, each device then reports multiple items (i.e. model, serial, software, firmware, lamp/laser, lens, fans, temperatures, interlocks, security, status and information).

OUR SYSTEMS monitor thousands of devices connected to hundreds of screens internationally. On average, 30 items are monitored per device. That means tens of thousands of separate items monitored, delivering resilience to customers’ businesses. Data such as fan speeds and temperature are logged to provide a detailed equipment history, while certain items automatically alert us if an error demands an engineer be sent to investigate and resolve it. We can identify lamps nearing end of life, fans running slowly, software which requires upgrading and other items, all of which contribute to the integrity of our support.

To join the world of Omnex and gain peace of mind that your system is being looked after, contact us to discuss the various support offerings.

SNMP? It’s a system lifeline

SIMPLE NETWORK Management

Protocol (SNMP) is a protocol used primarily for the monitoring of networkconnected devices — and it’s fairly fundamental to the way your cinema systems operate, writes Omnex service engineer John Caswell.

Embedded into most modern network devices, such as your projector, server, sound processor and router, SNMP has been about in some form for more than 30 years. And here’s why it’s so important — SNMP allows for passive monitoring and for networked devices

SNMP actively flags your system errors — like a cry for help

actively to send out messages in case of errors and failures, like a cry for help.

We use SNMP for our Monitoring Server, which is a part of our Network Operations Centre (NOC). This allows us to monitor your equipment for errors and equipment failures (aspects such as fan and hard drive health, temperatures etc), usually allowing us to pick up on any issues before they develop into drama. We’re also able to monitor when you may need a new lamp for your projector. Any supported cinemas to which we have a remote connection, can be on our Monitoring System. It’s a handy service that can prevent problems before they occur, so give us a call if you’d like to know more!

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2, 2023 49

CHRISTIE M1 SPEAKER SYSTEM

WINNERS!

The M1 stereo system is a high quality audio speaker system that showcases key features of Christie® Vive Audio™, including Christie ribbon driver technology and class D amplification. Perfect for your office or home. The sound is excellent – rich and clear!

CHRISTIE M1 SPEAKER SYSTEM

›A pair of M1 ribbon driver speakers

In our previous Newsletter, our friends at Christie Vive kindly put up £1,000 of audio technology for our Free Prize Draw!

›One class D digital mini amplifier

The M1 stereo system is a high quality audio speaker system that showcases key features of Christie® Vive Audio™, including Christie ribbon driver technology and class D amplification. Perfect for your office or home. The sound is excellent – rich and clear!

›Necessary connecting wires and power cord

This impressive package, inspired by the Christie Vive Audio brand campaign “Complete the Experience”, includes the following components:

›A pair of M1 ribbon driver speakers

›One class D digital mini amplifier

Congratulations to: Alex Murray at the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, and Liam McClelland from The Wellington Orbit who each received an M1 Vive Audio System.

›Necessary connecting wires and power cord

This impressive package, inspired by the Christie Vive Audio brand campaign “Complete the Experience”, includes the following components: christiedigital.com/cinema

Christie Digital Systems, Inc. 10550 Camden Drive | Cypress, CA 90630
christiedigital.com/cinema
Christie Digital Systems, Inc. 10550 Camden Drive | Cypress, CA 90630

HDMI — making the right connection

HDMI may be a simple enough cable, but it can be the cause of many frustrations. Kris Bell explains how to keep things well-connected

WHEN LANSAT switched to IP delivery of live broadcasts last year, we found that a lot of cinemas changed their event cinema set-up to accommodate new equipment. I’ve taken a number of calls from cinemas looking for advice in setting up a reliable HDMI system that does not end up with the user doing the stressful unplug / replug / reboot dance every time you schedule a live event.

Every cinema is different, but here are things to consider when designing a system that works for you.

HDCP & EDID

This is the digital handshake that occurs between equipment. If you have a lot of items in the chain you are likely to have had problems with this. HDCP ensures that every device in your HDMI chain is secure. The two main versions are HDCP 1.4 and HDCP 2.2. HDCP 1.4 was designed for HD content, while HDCP 2.2 relates to 4K media. To view content in 4K across devices, all components must comply with HDCP 2.2. EDID is the information provided by a display (projector) to a video source, outlining the capabilities of the output

device. This can cause issues, as many cinemas have multiple output devices like projectors and confidence monitors all with different capabilities. This is why we often recommend devices with EDID management.

It’s important to note that many IMBs and projectors capable of presenting 4K DCPs may not have 4K capabilities through the HDMI port. The Doremi IMB, for example, uses a HDMI v1.3 chipset limiting the HDMI to 1080p although the internal playback server outputs 4K.

CABLE

The most important things you need to know are the resolution, Hz and speeds that it can handle. A high-speed HDMI cable will do fine in the majority of cases

DID YOU KNOW?

THE HDMI CHIPSET in an IMS3000 uses Dolby’s own FPGA code and so is upgradeable with a software update — so the HDMI port will stay current.

SOME IMS’S also have the option to change HDMI versions in the settings. We’ve had to do with older Icecrypt receivers that have been dusted off and disliked the IMS’s newer HDMI 2.0.

52 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk
HDMI set-up
Don’t end up doing the un-plug, re-plug, re-boot dance

HDMI VERSIONS

HAVING ALL your equipment on a similar HDMI version can help the reliability of the HDCP and EDID handshake. Each HDMI version differs in the way it handles picture and sound:

HDMI 1.3: Up to 1080p at 60Hz

HDMI 1.4: Up to 4K at 30Hz

HDMI 2.0: Up to 4K at 60Hz

HDMI 2.1: Up to 4K at 120Hz and 8K at 120Hz

HDMI TROUBLESHOOTING...

HAVE YOU TURNED IT OFF AND ON...? It’s a joke for a reason. A reboot will wipe away the current state of the software and any mis-behaving code. With HDMI, there are a lot of digital handshakes between devices and EDID management, so a reboot is often a good first fix.

CHECK/RESEAT CABLES… It can be weeks between HDMI screenings. Things get knocked or unplugged. Check status LEDs on equipment and that power is running to all equipment. A handy tip: before you unplug too much, take some photos so that you can put it back again.

TRY A DIFFERENT SOURCE… This will quickly determine if the source is the problem. Take the HDMI cable out of the back of the source device and plug it into something else.

audio. On many alternative sources, the audio can be encoded differently (Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Plus/ DTS etc) which is why often the HDMI is looped through the cinema’s audio processor or the Bit-stream audio is de-embedded on a digital coax cable which is then sent to the audio processor.

HAVE A MONITOR IN THE BOOTH… Check the monitor will accept the signal your projector is expecting (in most cases a 1080p monitor will do). Plug the HDMI from the source directly into Monitor 2, check the settings on the source device are outputting what your projector and audio processor is expecting. Then add equipment like a splitter/ HDBaseT links into the chain to narrow down the problem. Try to use the same cables; they can often be the culprit.

STILL STUCK? CALL OMNEX SUPPORT… Often, doing the above will resolve issues but if it doesn’t then our team is on hand between 8am and 10pm every day.

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2, 2023 53

Filters: a breath of fresh air to keep your projectors running

REGULAR MAINTENANCE is essential to keep your projector running smoothly. One important part of this is checking and cleaning your projector’s air filters. When filters become clogged, they can cause problems such as overheating, which can ultimately lead to fans failing earlier, causing other components to fail, or ultimately place you off-screen.

Most projector models have at least one air filter, which should be checked at regular intervals, and cleaned when necessary. They are often easy to remove, please drop us a line via support@omnex.co.uk and we will be happy to explain where and how you should access your projectors filters.

THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF FILTERS available: paper/fibre filters and mesh filters. Mesh filters may appear more expensive, but they can be washed clean on-site and left to dry. If treated well, they will outlast paper filters many times over. Paper/fibre filters, on the other hand, should be checked regularly, and you can usually vacuum out a lot of the dust and debris.

Taking care of your air filters is a small but important step in maintaining longevity and ensuring the projector continues to perform at its best. So, make sure to check your filters regularly and clean them when necessary to keep your projector running smoothly.

Filter
Maintenance
54 Q2, 2023 mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk
Continuing our DIY guide, John Caswell provides a useful suggestion to keep your machines running healthier and longer.

SIMON TANDY

Managing Director, London

Simon started in cinema in 1995, working in indies and multiplexes, then creating the product LANsat for live events and DCP delivery.

NIGEL PRIEST

Asst Engineering Manager, W. Midlands

Nigel’s first role in cinema was as an usher at UCI, He joined AAM in 2006, helping to roll out digital projectors for the UKFC.

CHANTAL GUTHRIE:

Head of Seating

Chantal manages a team of nine seating technicians, directing installations — as well as managing more than 44,000 seating checks across Europe.

DANNY LOVERIDGE Warehouse Operations Supervisor

Danny started at Arts Alliance Media in 2011 as a warehouse assistant and is now responsible for our Warehouse Ops Team.

TONY EVERETT-SPEARING:

Service Engineer, Suffolk

Based in Suffolk, Tony is an experienced Omnex engineer and considered our expert wireman — he creates order out of chaos in any installation.

KRIS BELL:

Cinema Engineer, Sussex

Before Omnex, Kris worked in technical theatre. Today, as many cinemas become more multifunctional, his advice on live sound and lighting is invaluable.

JOHN CASWELL:

Service engineer, Liverpool

John has been a field engineer for more than a decade — prior to that, he was the chief projectionist for FACT in his home town of Liverpool.

BLADE FRAMPTON

Cinema Engineer, South West

Starting as a projectionsit some 25 years ago, Blade was the Technical Manager for Merlin Cinemas prior to joining Omnex in 2022

DARREN BRIGGS

Head of Engineering, York, Starting his cinema life in 1999 for City Screen, Darren was instrumental in training several hundred projectionists in the digital rollout nationwide.

STEVE CASE

Technical Sales Manager, London

“30-years man ‘n boy” Steve has vast knowledge of mechanical and digital systems to support cinemas’ installations.

AMY PERRY:

Admin Support

Joining us in 2022, Amy Supports the Warehouse and Engineering Team, with a keen eye for the business and her photography skills

RICHARD LYON

Warehouse Operations Support

Rich supports our warehouse operations and also provides vital support to our service engineers on bigger jobs.

PETE NAPLES:

Senior Engineer, Scotland

Based in Dunfermline, Pete has been a cinema engineer since 1998. He has also worked in television production and is a keen photographer.

GEOFF NEWITT:

Service engineer, Oxford

Formerly head of tech ops at Picturehouse, Geoff has been working in projection rooms since his student days; joining Omnex in 2018.

mne www.omnex.co.uk info@omnex.co.uk Q2, 2023 55
Our team
mne 0161 477 7633 info@omnex.co.uk finance solutions for the best-value cinema technology

Articles inside

Omnex Newsletter: April 2023 article cover image

Omnex Newsletter: April 2023

4min
pages 16-17
Filters: a breath of fresh air to keep your projectors running article cover image

Filters: a breath of fresh air to keep your projectors running

2min
pages 54-55
HDMI — making the right connection article cover image

HDMI — making the right connection

3min
pages 52-53
WINNERS! article cover image

WINNERS!

1min
pages 50-51
SNMP? It’s a system lifeline article cover image

SNMP? It’s a system lifeline

1min
pages 49-50
We’ve got our eyes on you... but in a good way! article cover image

We’ve got our eyes on you... but in a good way!

2min
pages 48-49
Sixty seconds with our senior engineer, Pete article cover image

Sixty seconds with our senior engineer, Pete

2min
pages 46-47
Sixty seconds with our newest recruit... Blade article cover image

Sixty seconds with our newest recruit... Blade

3min
pages 44-45
Always setting the pace article cover image

Always setting the pace

1min
pages 36-38
Cinionic: laser solutions article cover image

Cinionic: laser solutions

1min
pages 32, 34-35
Simply Epic! article cover image

Simply Epic!

1min
pages 29-31
April 2023 spotlight on Omnex suppliers article cover image

April 2023 spotlight on Omnex suppliers

1min
pages 25-28
Series what? article cover image

Series what?

2min
pages 22-24
Bring on the lasers! article cover image

Bring on the lasers!

3min
pages 20-21
Talking about the TMS… article cover image

Talking about the TMS…

2min
pages 18-20
Not all heroes wear a cape! article cover image

Not all heroes wear a cape!

2min
pages 16-17
Our Expertise. Your Technology. article cover image

Our Expertise. Your Technology.

1min
pages 14-15
A fresh six-screens for Parkway Workington article cover image

A fresh six-screens for Parkway Workington

1min
pages 12-13
GDC CEO Dr. Chong looks to the future article cover image

GDC CEO Dr. Chong looks to the future

1min
pages 11-12
Talking innovation, with GDC Technology article cover image

Talking innovation, with GDC Technology

2min
pages 10-11
Projector Placement: What you need to know about the safe zone article cover image

Projector Placement: What you need to know about the safe zone

1min
pages 8-9
More reasons to shop with us... article cover image

More reasons to shop with us...

1min
page 7
Keeping your Doremi servers alive. article cover image

Keeping your Doremi servers alive.

1min
page 7
British Empire Medal for Jam Jar’s Dan Ellis article cover image

British Empire Medal for Jam Jar’s Dan Ellis

1min
page 6
What a state to be in... article cover image

What a state to be in...

1min
page 5
An industry with energy article cover image

An industry with energy

1min
page 4
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