Digital Cinema Transition Passes Halfway Point with 50 000 Screens

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Tue, 12/13/2011 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Texas Instruments DLP Cinema has announced that more than 50 000 movie theatre screens across the globe have projectors from its OEM licensees Barco Christie and NEC. This means that the transition to digital cinema has crossed a threshold with over 50 percent of the estimated worldwide commercial cinema screens having been converted to digital cinema and the industry now estimates to reach near completion by the end of 2015. 
 “Together with our licensees DLP Cinema has always focused on the goal of providing audiences with the broadest digital projection technology options possible to match and even exceed the rich color clarity and detail of 35mm and 70mm film answer prints ” says Dave Duncan manager of DLP Cinema for Texas Instruments. “When the first DLP Cinema-powered projectors were installed in 1999 we knew we had embarked on something that would eventually bring positive change and opportunities not available in the film-based era. Today we are thrilled to continue to be the driving force in making what was once considered a far off and unlikely future a clear accessible reality and are fully committed to helping exhibitors of all sizes around the world.”
 To celebrate the achievement DLP Cinema provided each of its licensees Barco Christie and NEC with a commemorative DLP Cinema chip representing the 50 000th three-chipset manufactured which will be installed at three cinemas. Barco has selected the Cinemark El Tesoro in Medellin Colombia Christie has chosen the Shanghai Film Group Corporation in China and NEC has picked the Majestic Cinema in Milwaukee Wisconsin as the worldwide representatives of this 50 000th milestone. 
  “We are very honored to receive this award from Texas Instruments for being the 50 000th location. United Circuit Cinemas and Shanghai Film Group would like to thank Texas Instruments and Christie Digital Systems for staying ahead of technological innovation for exhibitors ” says Xu Xiaoping general manager United Circuit Cinemas Shanghai Film Group.
  “After an exhaustive review of all digital cinema providers by Jane Durment The Marcus Corporation’s chief information officer and Mark Collins our director of projection technology DLP Cinema was selected as Marcus Theatres’ digital cinema solution ” says Bruce Olson president of Marcus Theatres. “Marcus Theatres is proud that the Majestic Cinema in suburban Milwaukee Wisconsin was selected as one of the sites for one of DLP Cinema’s 50 000th chipsets.” 
  In the twelve-month period between December 1 2010 and November 30 2011 the number of DLP Cinema screens worldwide grew to a total of 51 620 (up from 28 036) – nearly double the amount of such screens at this point in 2010 – for an increase of 84 percent. DLP Cinema 3D screens have risen 65 percent to 30 290 in total (from 18 367) during the same twelve-month period. The total DLP Cinema worldwide screens do not include IMAX digital powered by DLP Cinema which separately grew to 410 sites globally (256 in North America and 154 internationally).
 The switch to digital projection has been particularly rapid in China with 7 745 DLP Cinema screens – an amount that is nearly 60 percent of all digital screens in the Asia Pacific region which includes India Australia and New Zealand – and 4 409 of the screens are 3D-enabled. This latest research estimates that China will have a nationwide footprint of all-digital commercial cinemas by the end of 2013. In the Asia Pacific region as a whole between December 1 2010 and November 30 2011 there was 92 percent growth in DLP Cinema screens to 13 365 (up from 6 972) and a 82 percent jump for 3D screens (from 4 583). 
Europe the Middle East and Africa experienced similar growth to Asia Pacific during this same twelve-month period with a 91 percent increase for DLP Cinema screens (17 670 total) and 56 percent increase with 3D (10 848 total). In Latin America DLP Cinema screens grew to 2 424 (an 83 percent increase) and 2 343 (83 percent change) with 3D capabilities. This continued global success further affirms DLP Cinema’s longstanding leadership position in the digital cinema space and represents a positive outlook for the months and years ahead.
 Christie announced that it has shipped and installed more than 26 000 digital cinema projectors worldwide and Barco announced that it has delivered more than 20 000 digital cinema projectors. “The versatility and convenience of our one-stop shopping approach based on our deep understanding of exhibitor needs has won us new customers across the globe. Christie continues to be the exhibitors’ choice for financing options like our innovative Virtual Print Fee program in North America leading edge-hardware and software and unparalleled support from Christie’s Managed Services ” says Jack Kline president and chief operating officer Christie Digital Systems USA. “All of this enables exhibitors to deliver a filmmaker's vision today in 2D 3D 4K and future-proofs their investments for 3D High Frame Rate projection quality depending upon the movie’s format and our clients’ budgets and audience expectations ” says Kline. “Combined with display support for 2D 3D 4K and 3D High Frame Rate projection exhibitors can choose between formats to suit their budgets and audience expectations and deliver a filmmaker’s vision or broadcast content the way it was intended while future-proofing their investments.” JP Tanghe senior vice president at Barco says As a listed company Barco has always cherished offering its shareholders and other stakeholders the highest level of transparency accuracy and trustworthiness when sharing information and that it intends to continue along this path in the future.  We are proud of our large contribution to the worldwide success of Texas Instruments' award-winning DLP Cinema technology. As this technology is now passing the 50 000 units milestone we are happy to announce that Barco's share in this success story represents no less than 40 percent or well over 20 000 units ” says Wim Buyens senior vice president of Barco's entertainment division. “Moreover various big incoming orders from large international cinema chains as well as regional exhibitors – including Cinepolis in Latin America SF Bio in Scandinavia and many others – prove that Barco remains a preferred cinema technology partner for the future.