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Graham Lodge, Managing Director



Welcome to our June Newsletter.

It feels as if my feet have barely touched the ground since CinemaCon and here we are, about to head to Barcelona for CineEurope.

There is no doubt that in Las Vegas, laser and immersive audio were the main talking points and I have tried to explain these new technologies in this Newsletter. Laser projectors will come at a premium, but the clarity and brightness of the picture when demonstrated, were truly stunning.

You will also see that Sound Associates have just enjoyed a very busy period, with a host of openings coming together. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ops team and all the engineers for their hard work and dedication that enabled us to meet all the deadlines.

Graham Lodge, 
Managing Director, Sound Associates


Completed Installation:

Dragon Digital put Sony 4K into post production


Sound Associates have just installed a Sony Digital Cinema 4K projector for Dragon Digital, Wales. This is the first projector of this kind in any post production house in the world.

With addition of a 4K input board, this allows a true uncompressed 4K input into the Sony SRX-R510P direct from the grading suite enabling the precise and accurate projection required for high end post production.


Dragon Digital put Sony 4K into post production


Home – a new arts centre for Manchester

Completed Installation:

Home – a new arts centre for Manchester


Sound Associates recently installed Sony 4K digital projectors and QSC powered sound systems in each of the five screens that form part of Home, the new £25m arts centre in Manchester city centre (replacing the old Manchester Cornerhouse Cinema and gallery and the Library Theatre Company).

The opening of this prestigious venue, which also houses two theatres and an art gallery, was attended by film director, Danny Boyle, who is a patron and a loyal supporter of this project. The impressive spec of Sony R515 and R510 projectors, Datasat AP20 sound processors, QSC DCA amplifiers and QSC cinema speakers provides an optimum sound and visual experience, including the ability to show live satellite broadcasts of opera and theatre productions simultaneously in all 5 screens. >> Read more




Completed Installation:

Everyman, Canary Wharf


A luxurious 3 screen cinema, with capacities of 109, 105 and 56 seats, this new member of the Everyman estate forms part of the new Crossrail Station development, Canary Wharf, London.

On the roof you will find an enchanting garden below a wooden lattice roof opening out to the London skies. Then far below, the cinema offers a true escape with a café, and three screens that provide a stunning audio visual experience thanks to the Sony 4K Digital projectors and 7:1 digital audio sound installed by Sound Associates. >> Read more


Everyman, Canary Wharf


Vue Farnborough

Completed Installation:

Vue Farnborough


Congratulations to Vue on the opening of their latest 7 screen multiplex cinema, within Farnborough’s Meads shopping centre.

Sound Associates played their part in this exciting project which will, according to councillor Gareth Lyon “provide a facility for the town that will benefit the whole community.”
Our engineers installed Sony 4K digital projectors, Dolby sound systems and QSC speakers in each of the 7 screens which range in size from 83 to 326 seats. >> Read more



Completed Installation:

The Lyric Hammersmith

The Lyric has re-opened following a multi-million pound extension and refurbishment of the original building and Sound Associates are proud to be part of this unique project.

The 120 year old theatre has long played a special role in the community, providing opportunities in the performing arts for local young people, and the new Reuben Foundation Wing incorporates a wealth of impressive facilities: film and TV recording studios, drama and dance studios and a 60 seat cinema. The cinema is to be used for in-house cinema screenings, education and presentations.

Sound Associates were chosen to equip the cinema in this exciting project, installing the latest NEC NC900 DCI Compliant projector with IMS (Integrated Media Server) together with state of the art 7.1 Audio with Datasat AP20 16 Channel audio processor, Crown amplifiers and JBL speakers. A Kramer VP437 scaler is also installed to meet the flexible requirements of the facility. The cinema is provided with a separate PA system. >> Read more


The Lyric Hammersmith


Completed Installation:

University of Westminster, Regent Street, London


In 1896 this became the first cinema in the country to show moving pictures. In 2015 Sound Associates were part of the team to renovate and reopen this iconic venue, we installed a Barco 4K23B projector with a Dolby DSS220/IMB and a Datasat AP20 sound processor as an upgrade to digital cinema playback alongside their 35mm projectors.




CinemaCon News:

Laser Projectors - The New Black


Laser Projectors - The New BlackImage courtesy of Barco


The cinema world should be full of lasers if we are to believe the recent announcements from the DCinema projector manufacturers. Big ones, little ones and maybe even ones with bells on them!

The benefits of lasers are clear to see (pardon the pun!):
• bright pictures (especially for 3D),
• better colour space,
• black is truly BLACK
• no xenon lamps to change
and the economics of adopting lasers is starting to look better and better as each month passes. But these are cost savings based on a 10+ year life span of the equipment.

Cinemeccanica are offering a kit that allows a laser to be retrofitted to any existing DLP projector and Barco will be offering Laser retrofit kits to their current ‘C’ and ‘B’ series projectors – so Lasers will be available to existing customers without them having to buy new projectors.

Still, in these days of low inflation and lower interest rates maybe there are finance institutions out there that are now more willing to look at financing a laser projector over 10 years with the promise of lower operating costs, less maintenance and none of those pesky xenon lamps that need technically minded people to change them on a regular basis – time will tell!

Mark and I also had the honour of seeing the first public demonstration of Dolby Cinema at the Coliseum theatre in Las Vegas during CinemaCon. They showed the great new Disney / Pixar film, ‘Inside Out’ using Twin Lasers offering a ‘million to 1’ contrast ratio which gave a truly outstanding picture quality alongside Dolby Atmos sound.

There were also launches for new immersive audio systems at CinemaCon, DTS:X and Barco’s AuroMax – both designed to use the newly proposed ‘open standard’ for multi-channel immersive audio systems that are currently being discussed and should be agreed sometime before the end of 2015.

It will be a fascinating few days at the end of June when another CineEurope conference kicks off in Barcelona. If you are out there then I hope to see many of you and catch up on all that is new in the world of Digital Cinema but as always, if you can’t make it to Barcelona but have questions you want answering or investigating on your behalf, then please let me know and we will do our best to answer them either before, during or after the show. Click here to send us an email.




Automation Building blocks


The engineers at Sound Associates have used their extensive knowledge of cinema equipment together with their vast experience of installations and repairs to design and manufacture cutting edge automation systems that tie together servers and sound systems.

First used in Sheffield Curzon and recently in Home, Manchester, these systems, which to the untrained eye look as if they are made up of Lego blocks, are having an impact on the way we work at every level. They can either be part of the initial design and installation of a digital cinema system, or they can easily be retro fitted.

These plug and play blocks are smaller than their larger, more cumbersome predecessors, but it is the ease of use that is most exciting. Each accessible block enables easier and faster diagnosis of problems but also allows for bespoke requirements to be fulfilled.

In addition to the many functions, the automation features a dedicated Fire Alarm input which can automatically mute the sound system, turn off the lamp in the projector and raise the auditorium lights.

We are very excited by this evolving system and Senior Engineer, Will Phillips, who builds the units, is keen to emphasise that using them makes onsite wiring faster, and their clear functionality and ease of use help engineers meet installation deadlines.


Automation Building blocks


The automation blocks can be used with any system, so far they have been used with Datasat AP20s, Sony, Dolby and Doremi IMS servers. They come with 8 outputs but could be expanded to 12 or even 16. This is a product that can be adapted to suit the specific needs of a cinema, from the initial design stage or added retrospectively. Full schematics are always provided to the client which go hand in hand with instructions written on the board itself.

Garry, Sales and Service Administrator, Sound Associates  

“After an interesting installation it was good to see the grand opening of Home, Manchester at the end of May was so successful. With the fireworks came a great sense of excitement around this new Arts Hub.

Each of the five screens brought unique challenges with state of the art digital projectors and sound systems from Sony, QSC and Datasat (see article above). This is a project Manchester is proud of and we wish them every success and look forward to maintaining their cinema equipment.”

Derek Soden, Project Manager



Antonio, Engineer, Sound Associates  

“Over the last few months the engineering team have been very busy, with a great number of sites to open in such a short time frame, and it fills me with great pride to say that due to careful planning and dedication from the installation teams, and sheer hard work we managed to fulfil our customers’ requirements and achieved every screen opening on time.”

Steve Case, Engineering Manager

Sound Associates - Go to the next level

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