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Kodak boosts d-cinema rollout

29 January 2007

Kodak has announced that its Kodak Digital Cinema content player and new Theatre Management System (TMS) will be the heart of the d-cinema system being installed at an Odeon Cinema test site in Hatfield, UK.

“We are fortunate,” said Brian Kercher, Kodak Digital Cinema general manager for Europe, “to have our full solution selected by Odeon Cinemas, the largest cinema operator in the UK. Our TMS, especially, will enable them to find new ways to automate content handling, improve their workflow, and develop new operational efficiencies. Our goal is to help them more fully realise the promise of digital cinema.”

Gerald Buckle, digital development manager, Odeon Cinemas, said: “We recognise that the digital conversion will involve a long-term effort and we are therefore happy to use Kodak digital cinema technology. This is a first step: to prove the reliability and support of the Kodak system under the demanding conditions of a busy, working theatre.”

The Kodak Digital Cinema system handles 2D or 3D movies and automatically recognises the compression format used – JPEG or MPEG – and employs that for playback. It’s designed to be used as a standalone unit for a single screen or in fully networked configurations on many screens.

“We’ve built the experience and the technology of Kodak into the system and made it very easy for projectionists to use, with all the capability their demanding job requires,” said Kercher. “It works seamlessly with all DCI-compliant feature projectors; and in the Hatfield installation is connected to NEC 2500 digital projectors. Audiences will be treated to a great motion picture experience.”

“Despite all the discussion around digital cinema, we are still in the early stages of actual testing and deployment,” said Max Bell, managing director, Bell Theatres. “We are still all learning, but there is no substitute to learning under actual market conditions, with paying customers – and their expectations for a flawless performance – sitting in the seats. The time to do that is now and we’re pleased to be working with Kodak on the process.”

“We intend this to be very much a collaboration,” said Kodak’s Kercher. “Our system complies with the industry standards of today, but as this business evolves, we expect to continue to improve our solution to meet our customers’ evolving needs. This is a new beginning for Kodak, Odeon Cinemas, and Bell Theatre Systems to work together as this business develops”.

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