Digital Cinema Shifts into Second Gear

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New DIGDIA report analyzes the Digital Cinema value chain as it moves into its next phase, showing issues and opportunities from "Red" to "Blu"

It has been three years since the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) published recommendations for how distributors and theaters should handle movies distributed and exhibited digitally. The recommendations have since turned into standards and the Digital Cinema industry went through a burst of activity and growth. There are now over 6,300 digital screens worldwide and major movies are now distributed digitally as well as with film.

But, there are well over 100,000 screens worldwide and the industry has hit a momentary pause as it tries to figure out how to step into the next phase. As with any complex system involving hundreds of companies and dozens of steps, people began to uncover a few things along the way that needed to be addressed to make things run smoothly. The DCI recommendations are now at version 1.2, incorporating hundreds of errata created in the beginning years. Some of these revisions affect the equipment that early adopters have already installed.

The economics are also evolving. Early deals for how to finance the equipment are evolving as financers try to balance the demands of studios, the resistance of theater owners and the realities of the market.

But, theater owners are discovering that Digital Cinema might actually be good for them, too. One bright spot is stereoscopic 3D. Some movies are known to have taken four times the box office take on a 3D screen versus a 2D screen. And, there is "Alternative Content" that is helping to fill seats during mid-week days.

Digital Cinema is more than just about a digital projector. The entire value chain is changing - everything from the excitement caused by a new company selling a camera called "Red" to new ways to make money with Blu-ray, and everything in between. It is difficult to find an industry that is undergoing so much change. And, where there is change, there are opportunities for companies to find growth.

A new market analysis report from DIGDIA takes a look at this value chain in detail. The report called Digital Cinema, Issues and Opportunities from Red to Blu covers the processes, technologies, products, issues and opportunities. A free excerpt can be downloaded at

About DIGDIA - digdia helps companies find growth opportunities, create winning strategies and business plans for companies in the digital entertainment value chain. Services include strategic consulting and market analysis with a balanced business & technical perspective. Topics covered include Digital Cinema, Digital Cable, Digital Home, Digital Consumer Electronics and Services.

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Gary Sasaki
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