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TOPIC: Digital Dilemma: Centralized Storage (LMS) or not?

Digital Dilemma: Centralized Storage (LMS) or not? 12 Jul 2012 23:12 #38834

I'm having difficulty making a decision on this, and would love some advice and opinions.

We are converting our 3 screen to digital at the end of August. The options are to go with the Cinedigm Micro LMS (no centralized storage/ingestion) or the Cinedigm Mini (has storage) or the Film-Tech DCS (has storage). As per the Cinedigm VPF program, an approved LMS is required.

The Cinedigm Micro costs the least, but it's only actual function for us would be the Theatre Management Software (TMS), which should theoretically communicate with our POS to schedule and start the movies. However, I've heard the software is buggy and unreliable, with many theaters simply choosing to schedule the movies directly on each server/player. Can anyone confirm this? How much time will need to be devoted to each screen per week to manage movie and trailer content, transfer keys, create shows, schedule showtimes, etc.?

The Cinedigm Mini will cost about an additional $6000 over the Micro, with the greatest benefit being the centralized storage/ingestion of movies and trailers. Is this worth the convenience and time savings?

The Film-Tech DCS has the greatest functionality of all the options, and theoretically is designed to run a fully automated booth. It is also the most expensive, and will cost about $5,000 more than the Mini. Benefits include a central server for digestion/distribution and software that pulls start times off our POS. All one has to do is ingest movies and trailers into the central server, select the movies and trailers for each screen via web-based software, and the Film-Tech NOC will build the films and apply the proper key. Another benefit is the automated power up and down of all equipment exactly as needed (i.e. half an hour before first showtime for each screen), including house lights, marquee, house music, HVAC, on-screen advertising, etc. This should, in theory, result in energy savings. The Film-Tech units also arrive fully assembled, pre-wired, configured and tested, thus reducing installation time and complications. This all sounds great, but are the benefits worth the cost?

Anyone here have experience with any of the LMS systems? I look forward to everyone's thoughts. Thanks!
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Re: Digital Dilemma: Centralized Storage (LMS) or not? 13 Jul 2012 18:10 #38845

  • leeler
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My single screen has the micro. We don't use it at all as there is hardly a point but it was mandated from Cinedigm. It just sits there. With a three screen I think it would be more useful. We just schedule and build through the server. The Noc can look at our server and projector through it so it does have some benefit.

Our six screen has the mini. It is much more useful as it gets our schedule from our POS software and then we can ingest content and keys straight into it. the interface takes a little getting used to but I don't consider it buggy.

I'm not sure if what I just read about the Film-Tech DCS below makes it sound like it would be worth it to me.
"What a crazy business"
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Digital Dilemma: Centralized Storage (LMS) or not? 31 Oct 2012 13:03 #39447

  • Dvader1
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We ran into the same dilemma, the price increase from the micro to a central storage TMS seemed very high. However, the Cinema Equipment and Supplies TMS worked very well for our 6 screen and was much cheaper than what others were paying.
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Digital Dilemma: Centralized Storage (LMS) or not? 12 Mar 2013 10:24 #39813

  • kandstech
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As a theater tech. I think the mini would be a wise choice to invest in. You will be able to ingest multiple movies and build from one spot either your office or the booth. I have done worked a lot on the LMS and feel that the centralized ingestion and transfer to multiple screens in beneficial. The ease of doing it all from one spot is nice weather it be for 3 screens or 16. I have had very little trouble from the LMS.
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