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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Studios agree to pay for digital projectors. (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Studios agree to pay for digital projectors.
Christian Volpi
Master Film Handler

Posts: 349
From: Arlington, NE
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 03-30-2005 12:48 PM      Profile for Christian Volpi   Author's Homepage   Email Christian Volpi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
IMDB News
Studios Agree To Pay for Digital Projectors

Hollywood's major studios are close to an agreement to finance the installation of digital projectors in theaters across the country, Investor's Business Daily reported today (Tuesday), citing unnamed people in the industry. The agreement would end the years-long standoff between the studios and the theaters over who should pay for the digital projectors. Theaters have long held that they would receive little benefit from the new apparatus (although Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner who also owns the Landmark Theater chain, announced recently that he plans to install them in his theaters in order to present concerts, sports events and other live entertainment). IBD said Walt Disney, Sony and Warner Bros. plan to raise some $3 billion for theater owners to use to buy the digital projectors. There was no mention of the four other major studios in the article. Sony, one of the three studios involved in the deal, may have a special interest in promoting the digital rollout since corporate sibling Sony Electronics has developed the ultra-high definition projection system that Landmark is planning to install in its theaters.

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Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1331
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 03-30-2005 12:54 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To me "finance the installation of" and "pay for" are two very different things. "Pay for" would mean the studios were going to buy the projectors and give them to the theatres. "Finance the installation of" sounds like a loan program. GM is more than willing to "finance the purchase of" a new car.

Remains to be seen which one they mean.

I guess the biggest downside if the studios do decide to pay for them is that they will be the ones to decide if 2k is good enough or if a push should be made to 4k. My guess would be that they will decide that 2k is good enough.

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Dan Lyons
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 698
From: Seal Beach, CA
Registered: Sep 2002


 - posted 03-30-2005 01:04 PM      Profile for Dan Lyons   Email Dan Lyons   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm guessing this is an April Fool's Day thing, but the dumbass at IMDB News doesn't know how to read his calendar. ha~! [thumbsup]

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Richard May
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 994
From: Floral Park, NY USA
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted 03-30-2005 01:06 PM      Profile for Richard May   Email Richard May   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I will believe it when I see it. I've heard a lot over the years that was just a bunch of [bs] .

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 03-30-2005 08:04 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looks like something of that magnatude would have shown up more when I did various google searches. Nothing brought up an Investment Business Daily artical about the subject. The site does require registering so that may have prevented it. Only thing I got was the IMDB info. No other news sources or organizations matched the exact search terms just random old news. By the way that link is no good now or at least it didn't work when I tried it. I have a feeling there may be trickery when it comes to financing. Someone has to pay it back.

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4397
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 03-30-2005 08:16 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The main difficulty with this is the promise "that ALL theatres in an area would get the Digital equipment." Light must be a significant problem, judging from the tests that use 35mm=3000 watt versus TV with 5000 watt. Am I to understand that every small and large cinema and drive in will be served on the same financial basis?? Be realistic. No one is really going to spend this level of money across the board. Class action lawsuits will abound if they don't. (And I am not even including weekend resort cinema, monastaries, prisons, etc......in other words some of my customers who are not, how we say, completely commercial.)

Other questions: does anyone know if ANY of the installed Digital systems were actually paid for by the customer theatre circuit? Or were these "placed?"

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 03-30-2005 08:22 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think the ones that cinemark uses were put there by Texas Instruments and were not a cost to the company. They have two in Plano Texas and one maybe two in Valley view Ohio both locations near Texas Instruments facilities

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Jon Miller
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 973
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 03-30-2005 08:54 PM      Profile for Jon Miller   Email Jon Miller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So the studios are helping finance original installations...

Just how do they plan to cover the inevitable obsolescence of the equipment? Even though replacement equipment will cost less than the equipment originally installed, upgrades of digital projection hardware will still cost far more than a major upgrade for film-based equipment, especially when you have to upgrade an expensive projection head or movie server to enjoy a resolution upgrade.

Knowing that digital and video equipment gets obsolete very fast (and that film resolution is self-upgrading whenever Kodak and others introduce improved film stocks), I would be leery of replacing a technology with a proven track record (that's film) with something that could very well be a technological fad.

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 03-30-2005 11:35 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeh, what about the constant 'upgrades' that will be required every few months to these video projectors? Who's gonna pay for that? The studios are gonna figure out some way to make you keep paying and paying for these video projectors.

Considering that a lot of theaters have film projectors 20+ years old and happily chugging along, how long before you have to throw one of these video projectors away? One year? Two years?

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Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 03-31-2005 12:33 AM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Three billion dollars? That paltry sum won'r make even a small dent in the cost of fitting the thousands of theaters in the U.S. alone

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12106
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-31-2005 02:16 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sure it would. Figuring $100,000 for each projector, and approximately 36,000 screens in the U.S., that's $3.6 billion. Projectors would probably cost less than that if bought in that kind of quantities.

As for the question "who's going to pay for it," it's obvious the studios should just shell out. They will be saving the cash, the theatres won't.

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Alejandro Lopez
Film Handler

Posts: 22
From: Santiago de Compostela (A Coruña) Spain
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 03-31-2005 03:30 AM      Profile for Alejandro Lopez   Email Alejandro Lopez   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi: I work in a TV studio since 1985. We started with 1" Ampex (and then Sony) VTR´s, Ampex and Sony Betacam VCR´s for news. Since them we upgraded to Betacam SP, them to Digital Betacam and, finally? (I don´t think so...) to DV Pro and Avid Non Lineal Edition and PostProduction. All this in less than twenty years... A Digital Betacam recorder costs more than 36.000$ and this is only a video recorder... Due to its youth we can suppose that Digital Cinema will become obsolete every few years and theater owners will have to invest, if they can, a lot of money to update and/or upgrade their digital equipment several times in the first ten years. Presumibly most of independent exhibitors will have to close...

Alejandro.

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Thomas Jonsson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 215
From: Bromolla, Sweden
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted 03-31-2005 05:26 AM      Profile for Thomas Jonsson   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Exactly! I hope this Digital shit never happens. What scares me
most is what happens if the damn thing breaks down on a weekend
with the opening of Star Wars Episode 3. How fast can I get a
data freak to fix the problem for me - how many shows do I have
to cancel? Will the audience happily return after so and so many
cancelled shows? I don´t think so.

So far, I´ve never had to cancel a show because of technical
problems. But with this Digital stuff, I will probably be as
helpless as a new-born baby, totally at the mercy of the data
freaks.

Thomas

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7867
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-31-2005 07:33 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Out of curiousity, why would a TV station go from Digi-Beta to DV? That sounds like a pretty substantial downgrade to me....

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Alejandro Lopez
Film Handler

Posts: 22
From: Santiago de Compostela (A Coruña) Spain
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 03-31-2005 09:28 AM      Profile for Alejandro Lopez   Email Alejandro Lopez   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, as the Engineering chief said to me, Panasonic offered them very good economical conditions for chanching with free maintaning costs for some years. I also think it´s a downgrade. I can even understand choosing DV Pro for news gathering, but not for feature films, series and programs broadcasting.

Alejandro.

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