Qube Cinema provided the High Frame Rate (HFR) server technology for the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), on the Titan XC screen at the Reading Courtenay theater in Wellington, NZ on Nov. 28. The Qube equipment was also used for the London premiere at the Empire Leicester Square on Dec. 12. The Qube XP-I server was chosen to stream a high bit rate DCP at 48 fps stereoscopic 3D to two Qube Xi Integrated Media Blocks (IMBs). The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first film to be distributed at this new higher frame rate, among all of the standard formats.
HFR 3D exhibition is now a reality and audiences around the world will be able to enjoy the stunning digital imagery of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for themselves. Qube Cinema was tapped to provide technology for the premiere screenings thanks to the industry-leading HFR and high bit rate capabilities of the Qube XP-I server and Qube Xi IMB. The system streamed a single DCP of the film at 48 fps with a bit rate of 450 Mbps to dual synchronized Qube Xi IMBs in two Barco DP2K-32B projectors, along with 7.1 audio channels (in Wellington) and Dolby Atmos sound (in London).
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Warner Bros. Pictures, MGM and New Line Cinema in this groundbreaking work on The Hobbit films,” said Rajesh Ramachandran, president and CTO of Qube Cinema. “Cinema just made the next big leap into the future, at a high frame rate.”
Qube first demonstrated its HFR 3D, multi-IMB synch technology at CinemaCon in Las Vegas last May. The Qube XP-I server is capable of streaming a single DCP at up to 1,000 Mbps to two synchronized Qube 4K Xi IMBs in two projectors. This means that a single XP-I server can be used to exhibit 3D content at up to 60 fps per projector. This HFR 3D system offers a simplified experience for projectionists because all the data is ingested once and then fed to the two synchronized IMBs.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened in North American theatres on Dec. 14, 2012.