It turns out they weren’t kidding when they said the new Century RiverPark 16 theater at The Collection is state of the art. According to a list of HFR-capable theaters on The One Ring Oxnard’s new movie theater is the only one in the area (and one of only 450 in the world) capable of playing the upcoming prequel to The Lord of the Rings in the High Frame Rate video it was intended to be exhibited in. What exactly is HFR, and why should you care? Hit the jump to find out.
Without getting too technical, typical films are shot at a rate of 24 frames per second (fps). That means that when you watch one second of a movie you’re really seeing 24 still images shown in rapid succession to create the illusion of motion thanks to our persistence of vision. Think of it as one long flipbook. High Frame Rate video (or HFR for short) uses 48fps instead of the traditional 24fps.
So what’s the benefit of doubling the amount of frames shown in the same amount of time? There are a couple, actually. For one, action and motion on the screen will appear much more fluid and life-like. That makes a movie with a lot of action (like The Hobbit) perfect for showing off the benefits of the higher frame rate. Here’s an excerpt from an article on red.com about how HFR helps minimize motion artifacts:
HFR also minimizes the appearance of motion artifacts — especially when viewed in a theater. Moving objects may strobe or have a “picket fence” appearance as they traverse a large screen. At 24 fps, a 50 foot screen shows an object as jumping in 2 foot increments if that object takes one second to traverse the screen. This can appear as “judder” with fast panning and other types of camera movements.
Another benefit of the new technology is that it can reduce eye-strain and fatigue. Typical 3D projectors darken the image in order to reduce flickering. With HFR the projection can be brightened, thus reducing fatigue.
So far I haven’t been a huge fan of 3D. I’ve found the images to be too dark and blurry to really enjoy. I much prefer the higher image quality of a great 2D theater. However, I’m definitely intrigued by the improvements to 3D utilizing the new HFR format and am excited to give it a try. I’ve always wanted to like 3D. Maybe now I’ll finally be able to.
What do you guys prefer? 3D or 2D? Are you excited to check out The Hobbit in the new formats at Century RiverPark 16? Sound off in the comments below!