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Major studios reach landmark deal on digital cinema

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Jul 2005 20:30 User comments (13)

Major studios reach landmark deal on digital cinema Major Hollywood studios have reached an agreement on digital projector technology that will change cinema throughout the world. This deal will make movie reels a thing of the past, making way for more modern methods of distributing movies like via fibre optic cables or satellite. Now that a standard is reached, the manufacturing and installation process can begin. Frank Pierson, Oscars President, said that it was an important milestone in the advancement of motion pictures.
It is not clear however who will take the bill for the new equipment. It has been reported that each projector will cost $60,000-$100,000. It is also not clear how this will affect ticket prices throughout the world. Nevertheless it's a sweet deal for the studios who now see a 75% cut on the costs of distributing movies to theatres. Of course the agreement has received praise all around in Hollywood.

"In its first hundred years, our art form made a forceful universal impression, at least partly because worldwide standards for projecting film were adopted early on," Mr Pierson said. "The next hundred years are likely to be similarly affected by DCI's work in defining how digital motion pictures will be presented to world audiences." George Lucas is also delighted with the news. "We have been advocates of digital cinema for nearly a decade, and this is a day we have long hoped would come," he said. "Digital cinema will increasingly become the standard and will change the way movies are made, seen and experienced around the world."

BBC News

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13 user comments

128.7.2005 23:44

Cool, I hope they crack the DRM by then. No more telecines ;-)

229.7.2005 11:58

I read a similar article that said that the studios would be picking up the tab (or at least most of it), for the new projectors, while the theaters would have to provide for installation and maintenance. Sounds like a fair compromise to me. They could have just said, "Hey - we're going to digital distribution. If you want to show any new movies Mr. Theater Owner, you're going to have to shell out for the new equipment or just go without." It's nice to say something nice about the studios for a change. By the way, I'm sure the transmissions will be fully encrypted. Yeah, everybody's going to say "Well someone will figure out how to break it." I don't believe it. There's been 128 bit encryption on the internet for years now, and I've never heard of anyone "breaking" it yet. Yes, people have gotten around it. And people will get around this as well. You'll see leaks from insiders (just like you do now).

329.7.2005 17:13

perhaps they will make a program called "DigiCineDecrypter" ;-) Only time will tell..

429.7.2005 19:06

Amazing! The studios finally got wise enough to find another way to increase profit instead of gouging the consumer!! It's about time!

531.7.2005 15:32

75% CUT... Who will benefit???

631.7.2005 15:51

Way to bring 70-35mm film down to home theater quality! Woohoo! This theater is just like watching a movie at home! You'd think our "theater" standards would have risen to at least every theater upgrading to IMAX or something... nooooo forget bigger and better screens, let's go with same size but in a lossy digital compression format so we can increase our profit margin.

731.7.2005 22:22

I don't believe it will halt the decline in theatre attendances. Hollywood just doesn't seem to grasp that there's a fundamental change in the way to look at movies. I have to drive 20 miles to my nearest theatre. the alternative is to use my digital projector and surround sound. Guess which wins? I'm happy to pay a sensible price for a DVD and I do - say twice the cost of a moovie theatre ticket - if the industry doesn't make the legal product available, it must make the pirate version attractive. They need to get into the real world.

81.8.2005 3:50

YES!! I hated to go to the movies cause of the crappy picture. So i enjoyed watching DVDs, but once the new tech comes out i think i'll go see movies more often.

91.8.2005 4:21

Well, DRM 2.0 Has been cracked already :) I dont think im allowed to say anything more, but yea a bunch of cool guys found away around both Version of DRM! . and looking forward to finally getting the movies in the cinemas in here FASTER!!

101.8.2005 6:20

$2.30 US for a gallon of gas, $5.00 for popcorn, $4.00 for drinks, and $14.00 for the tickets; After this new equipment is installed, these prices will likely double. No Thanks, my DVDs come via mail and I'm only paying $14.00 a month for all that I can watch. Need a snack or a pause-for-the-cause, stop the movie and take care of your business. Theatre owners established there product as a socially acceptable form of entertainment back in the late 1920s with the introduction of sound. The great depression cemented their position as the average person could afford little else. The movie production companies have been held hostage ever since as this was the only way to distribute and sell their product. Lots of choices today, cable, satellite, and DVDS. Over the past five years, DVD proceeds have increased and surpassed theatre revenues every year. The movie industry has missed their golden opportunity to dump this losing sector of their business without the legal expense of breaking their contracts with the theatre owners. In this economy, you would think that the movie industry would be looking at every opportunity to cut out the middle man!

111.8.2005 6:57

Anyone know who makes the projectors? Now might be the time to invest in some stock.

121.8.2005 8:15

Only worth investing in projector stock if you beleive the movie theater has a future. As I said previously, I don't believe it does. Much better to invest in the company that thinks of creative things to do with discarded movie theaters. Where I live, there's already a crisis, which the owners are seeking to avert by reducing ticket prices. You can't reduce prices AND invest in new technology. it just don't adda up!

131.8.2005 18:20

well i have been a projectionist for about 35 years and i have seen the coming and going of technology i currently run some of the digital cinema projection i think it is crap the blacks don't look good at times you can see artfax in the imaging the only films that look good are cartoon type films.lets face it hollywood is nolonger about art it is all about greenbacks when you think about it what does a theatre have to gain by going all digital all they will save is print costs in shiping from one point to another.they will still pay the same rental price to the film company about 90 percent goes to the studios and 10 percent to the theatre thats why concessions are so expensive.we the movie going audience will be forking out more mony for an inferior product which is equeal to a home video longer will we see the excitement of big screen thrills with high film resolution format.Fortunitly though this will leave the classic movie theatres with a greater appeal for viewing true professonal film making when video was a tv format The Projectionist.

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