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Author Topic: Update on satellite distribution of DCPs
Paul H. Rayton
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 204
From: Los Angeles, CA , USA
Registered: Aug 2003

 - posted 10-24-2013 03:58 PM      Profile for Paul H. Rayton     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In Variety and the Los Angeles Times (and probably a few other journals?), details emerging on the satellite distribution of theatrical content. Original article may be seen here [URL= [/URL]

Studios and exhibitors unveil digital cinema network

By Richard Verrier
Print edition: October 24, 2013 -- Los Angeles Times

Hollywood's long-awaited digital makeover took another big step forward at the multiplex on Wednesday.

A coalition of studios and theaters chains announced the launch of a digital and satellite delivery system to beam movies, as well promotional content and live events, directly into theaters.

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition said its distribution platform "went live" last month and will serve 17,000 screens at 1,200 theater locations across North America this year.

The coalition said it plans to distribute 31 films over its network this year, including "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" from Lionsgate and "Frozen" from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

The digital delivery of movies into theaters has long been the goal of studios and theaters, most of which have already installed digital projectors in theaters.

Currently, most movies are delivered on digital hard drives and physically shipped to theaters across the country, a costly and time-consuming process.

The new system significantly reduces the costs of showing movies in theaters. Ten to 15 years ago, it cost about $2,500 to deliver a film print to a theater. By comparison, it costs between $50 and $125 to distribute a movie print over the new digital platform.

The digital cinema coalition also named Randolph Blotky as its chief executive. Blotky is a former senior entertainment industry executive, attorney and physicist who previously served as the group's principal consultant.

“This is a truly historic moment,” Blotky, a former Warner Bros. executive, said in a statement. “DCDC represents the culmination of years of incredibly complex work, as well as the extraordinary contributions of so many visionary executives throughout the film and technology industries."

The digital cinema network is a “smart pipe” made up of sophisticated electronics, software and hardware, including satellites, high-speed terrestrial links and hard drives.

The coalition said it will cover the costs of installing and maintaining satellites and other equipment in theaters.

Deluxe/EchoStar LLC is the primary service provider, with installation and maintenance services from Hughes, a provider of digital television entertainment and satellite and wireless systems and services.

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition was formed by the nation's top three theaters chains -- Regal, AMC and Cinemark -- along with Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. to provide the industry with the latest digital distribution technologies.

The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate have joined the coalition, as have Southern Theatres and National Amusements.

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1553
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006

 - posted 10-24-2013 04:32 PM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
FYI: The correct url for the story above is HERE
(The URL in the original post, aside from being incorrectly formattted,
will not link you directly to the story.)

In addition, this link to FILM JOURNALreprints the same "press release"
story with this additional paragraph left out by the LA TIMES:

"Extra" Paragraph:
"DCDC, which will cover costs of installation and maintenance of the equipment
located at individual theatre sites, is a “smart pipe” made up of sophisticated
electronics, software and hardware, including satellites, high-speed terrestrial
links and hard drives as backup. Each exhibitor customer location will ultimately
be provided with a DCDC owned-and-operated satellite dish, V-Sat backchannel
equipment and a catch server for receiving content.

A Network Operations Center monitors all deliveries of content."

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Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 4067
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000

 - posted 10-24-2013 06:55 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is satellite delivery point to point, or does everyone get Big Movie X at a certain time?

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3776
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009

 - posted 10-24-2013 07:25 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's multicast. What you describe is the big pro for this approach. And at the same time a major con for all that need or book the content at a different time.
Yet for the larger circuits it will probably pay out.

- Carsten

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2112
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted 10-24-2013 07:58 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So what makes this different from the Deluxe and Technicolor satellite distribution we've already been getting for about a year?

As it currently stands, we receive about 90% of first run content via satellite. Sony is the only studio that still sends hard drives on a regular basis. Even when we receive something 3-4 weeks off the break, I can usually still get Deluxe or Technicolor to publish it from the private side of the satellite server to our LMS.

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