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DCI agreement advances digital cinema

Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) has completed system specifications to help theatrical projector and equipment manufacturers create uniform and compatible digital cinema equipment throughout the United States.

Walt Ordway, DCI’s chief technology officer, said as the market gets more competitive, the price of the equipment and its installation — previously thought to be a major barrier to digital cinema — will become increasingly affordable, to the point where that stumbling block should no longer be of consequence.

DCI member studios and industry leaders hailed this long-awaited development, which will be applicable to both 2K and 4K resolutions. “Twentieth Century Fox will release all of its theatrical feature film digital content in full compliance with the DCI specification,” the studio said in statement.

Dan Fellman, president, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, said with the essential specification now in place, Warner Bros. plans that to release its movies by the end of the year in two formats: 35mm film and DCI digital cinema.

Similar endorsements came from Sony Pictures, Paramount, Universal, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, the National Organization of Theater Owners (NATO), the American Society of Cinematographers and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The specification is expected to give a boost to electronics manufacturers. Sony Electronics is expected to benefit since it has already released two digital projectors that incorporate the new DCI specifications. Both of Sony’s 4K projectors (the SRX-R110 and SRX-R105) use Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD) imaging technology to offer 4096x2160 pixel resolution and a ratio of >1800:1.

DCI was created in March 2002 and is a joint venture of Disney, FOX, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal and Warner Bros. Studios. DCI’s primary purpose is to establish and document voluntary specifications for an open architecture for digital cinema that ensures a uniform and high level of technical performance, reliability and quality control.

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