Goldwater Moves On; 5.0 Tech
DCI Gets Year-Long Extension
HOLLYWOOD – Long expected to cease operating on Sept.
30, 2004, Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) will instead continue
until Sept. 30, 2005, but will do so without CEO Chuck Goldwater,
the organization announced Sept. 6. DCI has ceased “any
significant business planning activities,” according
to a DCI press release, and longtime chief technology office
Walt Ordway will now oversee day-to-day management.
Founded in March 2002 by seven major film studios to
establish technical specifications and explore business
plans for digital
cinema, DCI also said it would release version 5.0 of its
technical specifications on Sept. 30, 2004.
Over the next year, DCI will work to refine tech specs,
address security concerns, perform interoperability tests
formalization of industry standards.”
Raised Eyebrows Down Under
Oz Movie Pros Get
D-Cinema Biz Pitch
GOLD COAST, Australia – U.S. company Cinematica pitched – to
delegates attending a seminar at August’s Australian
International Movie Convention in Gold Coast – a
business plan that would supply free Digital Light Processing
Cinema (DLPC) equipment to exhibitors.
The plan calls for distributors to pay a monthly lease
fee that would be half what distributors currently pay
to create and ship celluloid prints.
"If someone comes up with a model that works, distributors
would embrace it,” said Mike Selwyn, local managing
director for United International Pictures. “But
I can see a myriad of practical difficulties.”
“There is a myth going around that exhibitors will
get this for free,” said Hoyts Cinemas exec Paul Johnson,
who questioned who would foot the bill for maintenance
and upgrades. “If we can resolve all the issues of
upgrading, common standards, maintenance and training,
I will be at the front of the line.”
D-Rollout Likely Begins This Fall
ACAN Expects Distribs
To Have Funding Role
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Another clue has emerged regarding
the business model American Cinema Advertising Network
(ACAN) intends to use to equip dozens of U.S. screens with
high-end Digital Light Processing Cinema (DLPC) projection
equipment in the coming months.
ACAN CEO Alan Gorovitz in June told In Focus his company
expects to “be paid by both the distributor and the
exhibitor” to offset the cost of buying new high-end
digital cinema systems for San Diego-based UltraStar Cinemas.
Distribution’s involvement in financing was absent
from an April 2 press release from ACAN and UltraStar,
which revealed a deal that would see all of UltraStar’s
81 auditoria receive DLPC equipment by the end of next
A d-rollout of this size would see UltraStar come close
to singlehandedly doubling the number of ticket-selling
DLPC-equipped auditoria in the United States.
UltraStar COO John Ellison told In
Focus in June that
the first of its ACAN DLPC installations would likely come
on line in September.
Some 200 D-Screens at 150 Sites
UK Film Council Plans 200 DLPCs
LONDON – The United
Kingdom Film Council revealed in August more details of
its plan to equip cinemas nationally with digital projection
equipment, noting that $24 million has been earmarked to
upgrade approximately 200 auditoria at 150 sites with 2K
Digital Light Processing Cinema (DLPC) systems.
The installations are intended to expose moviegoers throughout
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to a broader
selection of specialized product. U.K. exhibitors agreeing
to play a specified number of specialized film titles were
expected to have until Oct. 8 to apply for the DLPC equipment,
which will be made available to certain compliant cinemas
at little or no cost.
Once deployment is completed, the United Kingdom will
likely emerge with more DLPC-equipped public auditoria
Access IT Satellite System Goes On Line In July
Cinemas Again Get Movies From Space
LOS ANGELES – After a long layoff, movies are again
being beamed into cinemas from outer space.
Access Integrated Technologies (AIT), a 4-year-old firm
which manages the storage and delivery of digital content,
an artificial satellite on July 23 to deliver Digital Light
Processing Cinema (DLPC)-compatible “digital prints” of
Warner Bros.’ “Catwoman” into 17 American
It marked the first time since Boeing Digital Cinema
halted its delivery service in mid-2003 that a DLPC-compatible
feature had been delivered to cinemas via satellite.
AIT acquired in March the assets of now-defunct Boeing
Digital Cinema, a pioneer in the satellite delivery of
to cinemas. AIT’s purchase included the servers and
DLPC projectors installed in 21 cinemas. By July 23, AIT
had added six additional systems, bringing its total to
27 satellite-ready facilities.
Subsequent to “Catwoman,” AIT’s satellite
system has been used to distribute DreamWorks’ “Collateral” and
Warner Bros.’ newly-enhanced version of “THX-1138.” Russell
Wintner, president of AIT subsidary Access Digital Media,
says he expects AIT’s satellite system to next distribute
Warner Bros.’ “Alexander” and Buena Vista’s “The
Incredibles,” both opening Nov. 5.
“We are very pleased to now be able to support the
multiple studio requests for digitally-enabled screens,” said
During the Boeing system’s year-long hiatus, most studio “digital
prints” were placed on computer drives and delivered
to America’s 80-plus public DLPC-equipped auditoria
Wintner says AIT doesn’t currently plan to expand its
satellite network beyond its current 27 sites, but would
replace all of the legacy equipment it owns in the current
sites with Hollywood studio-compliant hardware and software.