LAS VEGAS — Sony Cinema Products has unveiled a new lower-cost second generation version of its SDDS digital theater sound system that could offer a cure for the problem of overly loud trailers.
The new system, which is capable of reading both analog and digital soundtracks, has a memory feature that can store volume adjustments made during the program.
A projectionist need only turn the volume down slightly during the trailers and back up during the main feature the first time the film plays. On all subsequent showings in that theater, the unit will automatically “replay” the level changes.
Smaller and more streamlined than the original generation of SDDS, the DFP-3000 system also offers significantly better sound quality and a simplified installation and customization process, according to Tom Graefe, SCP chief engineer.
The DFP-3000, which consists of a sound processor and a film reader, lists for $13,450, about 20% less than the previous SDDS system. However, it’s still considerably pricier than those of its competitors.
Dolby’s CP500, the first unit to offer both analog and digital capabilities, lists for $10,800. DTS is readying its own combination unit, the 6-AD cinema processor, which will list for just under $10,000.
List prices are useful only as rough comparisons, since all three system makers offer steep volume discounts to large circuits.
Sony expects the new system to be available this summer, according to Gemma Richardson, SCP veep of worldwide marketing, who noted that DFP-3000s will make up a large part of AMC’s recent 1,700-unit SDDS order.