Saturday, April 14, 2012

TSC Opens With Digital Cinema Deployment Update

Fifty. That is the number of standards published by SMPTE this past year, reported SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange at the opening of the NAB Show’s Technology Summit on Cinema (formerly Digital Cinema Summit), which was again co-produced with SMPTE. As an example of this year’s important work, she highlighted Time Text Standards, enabling online video captioning, which means that  "everyone can have access to and enjoy web-enabled programming.”
Opening the first session on digital cinema deployment, Michael Karagosian, president of  MKPE Consulting, reported that an estimated 70,000—more than half of the world’s estimated 123,000 total screens—are now digital (according to IHS Screen Digest research).
North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions are well underway in the transition with more than half of their screens already converted--and with North America already at roughly 70%. Karagosian pointed out that Latin America and the Middle East/Africa are at 22% though he sees Latin America “starting to take off.”
Next up was Chuck Goldwater of consultant firm Goldwater Partners—who previously headed DCI and Cinedigm (then AccessIT)—who noted that digital cinema is “here to stay” as he urged the community to “love” technology.
He suggested that exhibitors have a “golden opportunity” to offer news services while making existing services more efficient. As an example, he pointed to potential benefits afforded by new operational management software and satellite delivery.
Joe Hart, senior vp digital dinema at Deluxe Digital Cinema, reported that electronic digital cinema is “still in its infancy” though growing, particularly in North America and Europe.
But there remains some technical and economic challenges.
The business challenge is creating a wide enough footprint to make this economical. He suggested that on the technical front, “the biggest challenge for electronic distribution is 3D subtitling and higher frame rates.”

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