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TOPIC: New Digital Technologies on the Horizon - Part 1

New Digital Technologies on the Horizon - Part 1 24 Jun 2012 04:08 #38698

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I've spent a good deal of time over the past few days reading about some new digital technologies that tout lower cost for digital conversion by smaller theaters. The first one is the new "Cinema Libre" system. The press release says that JVC is partnering with ITA-USA to bring out this new system. The second one is the NC900C projector from NEC. I will post a press release for the first one here and a press release for the second one under a separate topic.

pro.jvc.com/pro/pr/2012/releases/jvc_ita.html

JVC PARTNERS WITH INDEPENDENT THEATRE ALLIANCE TO PROVIDE ‘CINEMA LIBRE’ SYSTEM AS 35MM PROJECTOR REPLACEMENT

WAYNE, NJ (June 18, 2012) – JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., today announced it has partnered with the Independent Theatre Alliance (ITA) to offer the “Cinema Libre” digital cinema projection system for independent movie theater operators facing the end of 35mm film prints. The Cinema Libre system includes a JVC D-ILA projector with 4K precision coupled with a DCI-compliant server.

Bill Dever, ITA founder and president, said studio motion pictures are expected to only be available in digital format in the United States by the end of 2013, so independent theater owners have a limited time to convert 35mm operations. “This was an issue that had to be addressed. It will be a financial challenge for a lot of independent theater owners to implement a digital delivery system,” said Dever.

The Cinema Libre system has been tested on a variety of screens and delivers the brightness necessary for movie theater projection. “We evaluated several manufacturers, but we chose JVC because of cost, contrast, and ease of use,” Dever added. “Plus, we felt that JVC really grasped the challenges of independent operators today.”

"As far as clarity, color, resolution, and lack of pixelization, the JVC 4K projector blew away the competition,” said Buck Kolkmeyer, ITA co-founder and owner of Nova Cinemas, which has already purchased six Cinema Libre systems. "This could be a real game-changer for independent theaters that must convert to digital by the end of next year."

“Owners are facing a tight deadline for converting their independent film theaters to digital. The Cinema Libre system offers an affordable option that uses our D-ILA technology to deliver stunning images for moviegoers,” said John Havens, marketing manager, JVC Visual Systems Division. “We look forward to working with the ITA and keeping the tradition of neighborhood movie theaters alive.”

An association of independent theater owners and movie industry professionals, the ITA is an advocate for its members on a variety of issues. It represents close to 100 theater owners who have nearly 600 screens in theaters and drive-in locations across the country. The Cinema Libre system is available now and can be purchased through the ITA. For more information, visit www.ita-usa.com.

ABOUT JVC PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS COMPANY
Headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey, JVC Professional Products Company is a division of JVC Americas Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of JVC Kenwood Corporation. JVC is a leading manufacturer and distributor of broadcast and professional video and audio equipment, security products including IP network cameras and recorders, premium front projection systems for home theatre use, and projection displays and optics used in aviation simulators. The JVC Technology Center provides advanced technology in support of major JVC business alliances. For further product information, visit JVC Professional’s Web site at pro.jvc.com or call (800) 582-5825.

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Re: New Digital Technologies on the Horizon - Part 1 24 Jun 2012 04:34 #38700

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I read over at Film-Tech that some are criticizing the new Cinema Libre system without knowing all the facts. I contacted the president of ITA, Bill Dever, and asked him a few questions. From his answers, I learned that there is still work to be done getting this system approved by movie distributors. He did say that the projectors would cost $8,000, or $7,000 for ITA members. Of course, any price at this point is subject to your own verification, should you be interested. In other words, it's not my company and I suspect prices will certainly change over time. You should check with ITA if you are interested. Don't ask me. Also, be aware that the price given was just for the projector and did not include a server or other possibly needed equipment.

The press release said the projector would be coupled with a DCI compliant server, but the folks over at film-tech pointed out that the projector is not DCI compliant and were speculating on its capabilities and performance based on others listed on a JVC website. Mr. Dever did say that they had just released this projector, so it seems to me that it may not be listed on the JVC website yet and it is highly unlikely that the people who participate at film-tech have the inside knowledge necessary to determine if the Cinema Libre system will be approved as DCI compliant and deemed acceptable to exhibit product from major movie distributors.

I for one will be keeping an eye on the Cinema Libre system. I'm hoping that it will be a big success, as I would for any new lower cost technology to benefit small independent theaters. I'm hoping that when a spec sheet or product brochure becomes available, ITA or JVC will make it widely available, as they have done with the recent press release. Too much is still unknown at this point to start spending money, in my opinion, but I find the progress made by ITA to be encouraging.
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