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Arqiva active in cinema and Tube

19 October 2006

A busy week for Arqiva, which has secured a deal to install a live digital cinema network in all Picturehouse franchises across the UK, and design, implement and operate an innovative content delivery network across the London Underground.

The first deal – with City Screen Limited, owners of the Picturehouse cinemas – is to install a live digital cinema network in all Picturehouse franchises across the UK. The deal will enable the live screening of major entertainment and sporting events in standard and high definition via Arqiva’s digital satellite network. The first event to be screened using the new network was the return of Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball, the legendary comedy and music event, on October 14.

Arqiva will install and maintain the permanent satellite infrastructure at the Picturehouse cinemas. The satellite receivers will connect to the cinemas’ digital projectors, equipping the cinemas to screen live events in SD or HD. Arqiva will also provide the Outside Broadcasts to enable the live transmission of events. Live feeds will be collected on location, turned around and distributed nationwide via a range of satellites.

“We’re committed to providing a diverse and innovative range of listings to our customers, now including lectures, music and sporting events, and are delighted to be able to offer Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball as our launch event,” commented Marc John of City Screens Limited. “This is a great step forward for the concept of alternative digital programming which will help us drive new revenues while broadening our range of screenings. City Screen is the first cinema circuit to install a nationwide private satellite network and we’re excited to be at the forefront of developments in UK digital cinema”.

George Eyles, head of sales for Digital Media Networks at Arqiva added: “As an independent provider of integrated digital media networks, Arqiva is in the unique position of being able to tailor services for each individual customer. We’re working closely with City Screens to develop a solution that works for each of their Picturehouse cinemas, enabling them to broaden their offering, both in terms of the variety in their programming and the new technologies at their disposal. This live satellite network is an innovation in digital media networks and we’re committed to continuing development of new technologies and delivering a broader range of content.”

Meanwhile, in the run up to the London Olympics, the company has also secured a deal with Viacom Outdoor to provide a content delivery network to enable Viacom Outdoor’s range of digital advertising technologies across London Underground. The 8-year deal will see Arqiva managing and delivering content to VO’s digital escalator panels, large format digital LCD screens and cross -track projectors. Arqiva’s network will support Viacom Outdoor planned installation of more than 2,000 digital sites across the UK, creating the UK’s largest single digital advertising network.

Arqiva will be responsible for the design, implementation, operation and ongoing support of the digital content delivery network. Providing the hosting and support services for the entire network, Arqiva will manage the content from the point of digital delivery from the production houses to the point of display on Viacom Outdoor’s digital media. Arqiva’s solution will also enable the continuous monitoring of the integrity of the content files to ensure the seamless display of content across the underground’s digital sites. The content delivery network will be supported by a Wide Area Network connecting all 30 of the London Underground stations which will carry the digital technologies, as well as a local area network to implement the system at each station.

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