Hoyts Theatres Convert to Digital with HP Servers and Storage

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Wed, 12/09/2009 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Australian exhibitor Hoyts will convert its cinemas across the country to digital projection using server and storage infrastructure from HP and assisted by a HP business partner and networking integrator. Server specialist Daraco Services and networking specialist eintellego will supervise the installations. Full deployment will start early next year. It is expected 32 cinema complexes will go digital under the project covering over 300 screens. HP servers and storage solutions will be used to run theatre management systems centrally and at each site. The systems are used to control multiple screenings at once. Specifically HP ProLiant DL380 servers running an SQL database and specialist applications along with HP StorageWorks X1600 network storage system and HP StorageWorks modular smart array will be installed into each of the cinema complexes. Content will be stored in a library management system housed on the HP modular smart array. Large sites will require 14 TB of usable storage to store the content. The theatre management system server will ingest and store content then process schedule and manage the transfer of content to individual auditorium servers for screening according to Hoyts group technology director Adam Wrightson. The servers will be required to store feature films trailers and advertising with features having average file sizes in excess of 250 GB. Because these servers may be ingesting several pieces of content at the same time strong processing power fast file sharing and reliability are a critical requirement. The theatre management system will also be connected to an HP ProCurve 2901al switch via a 10 Gbps connection. Each auditorium has its own network running on HP 2510 switches Wrightson says. HP will also be supplying desktops printers and dedicated back-up server solutions for each of the sites. Hoyts will first convert a flagship site in Sydney to test and evaluate the theatre management system and HP infrastructure components in a production environment the company says.