Than 300 Screens Earmarked For Emerald Isle
Irish Republic To Go
100% Big-D By March
DUBLIN, Ireland – The Republic
of Ireland intends to convert all of its cinemas to digital
projection by next
spring, the Irish Film Board announced in late March.
The nation is expected to become the
first to equip every one of its movie auditoria - more
than 300 in all – with
the “big d” digital projection technology approved
for features by Hollywood’s major studios.
This puts the IFB on a faster track than the United Kingdom
Film Council, which announced weeks earlier that England,
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would have 250 of
their more than 3,000 screens converted to “big-d” by
late 2006 [In Focus, May
Investor consortium Digital Cinema
Limited Ireland, led by privately held Avica Technology
Corp. of Santa Monica,
is instituting the $50-million conversion and will assume
the responsibility of installing digital storage servers,
players and management software along with NEC projectors
equipped with Texas Instruments’ DLP Cinema technology.
Avica will also build and operate a satellite distribution
system to deliver content to theatres, with the reported
estimated cost approaching $100,000 per screen.
By the end of 2006, the activity in
Ireland and the U.K. is expected to give Europe a “big-d” screen
count of more than 600 screens, more than any other continent.
By contrast, there are fewer than 100 public “big-d” auditoria
in the United States.