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Digital cinemas could soon be reality

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The curtain is closing on traditional cinematography as the limitations of traditional 35mm film are exceeded by modern digital technology. It’s a process that at face value seems an obvious inevitability – yet despite the availability of appropriate technology, digital cinemas have yet to become a viable reality anywhere in the world.

However, that was before South African company, Central Point Communications (CPC), hit the scene with the support of Argil Venture Capital, a company which manages a Technology Fund, whose investors include Ernst & Young.
Central Point Communications has concluded the rollout of digital cinema servers in 36 NuMetro Cinema complexes around South Africa, enabling these cinemas to exhibit high definition advertising and full length feature movies from a digital platform.
Using its experience in developing Digital Signage software and content delivery engines, CPC has developed an advanced Digital Cinema offering based on its popular DC Media Digital Display technology.
"Our software platform is flexible enough to support newer multimedia formats including High Definition (HD), allowing our customer to innovate without the need for re-capitalisation’ says Richard Brock, director of software development at CPC. Aside from facilitating playback of digital content, the CPC Digital Cinema product includes comprehensive management software that provides continuous feedback and remote control mechanisms.
By leveraging off the reliability and high quality displays produced by DC Media, the CPC Digital Cinema offering facilitates the playback of advertising material and feature movies in either standard definition or high definition.
“This is one of the drivers behind the digital cinema: the traditional medium of 35mm film stock is expensive, while the film itself is delicate and sustains damage as it is exhibited,” says Paul Dixon, MD of Argil Venture Capital. “Eliminating the need for a print, one of which must be supplied to every cinema, immediately and significantly reduces the cost of screenings both for advertising and movies.
“The advantages of digital cinemas go much further than the massive savings on the costs of film distribution,” continues Dixon. “The visual quality of the show is better over time (a traditional film print deteriorates with repeated screenings) and advertisements can be added to the feature with ease, a previously error-prone process of splicing advertising reels onto the feature using adhesive tape. More importantly, the elimination of the cost of producing and distributing physical film, independent movie producers are able to take their productions to the public at a far reduced cost.”