Tag Archives: Christie

CJ@CineAsia CineAsia University – Lasers


In an effort to provide updates on the CineAsia 2014 conference and trade show presently taking place in Hong Kong SAR, this post was written live, and in the present tense, during one of the conference’s presentations. Comments attributed to speaker(s) are paraphrased unless denoted specifically by quotation marks.

Bill Beck, The Laser Guy, Barco

Having confirmed that his business title really is ‘The Laser Guy’ Bill begins, “today I’m going to explain ‘why’ Barco laser.” Mentions the press release yesterday with the milestone of 50,000 Barco screens and Barco also market share leader in laser cinema.

From components to integration.
- First high brightness laser projector 2005,
- First and only cinema-optimised laser projector,
- First and only Integrated cinema media processor 4K3D at 60fps,
- First commercial integrated 6P laser projector.

Also award winner – Lumiere 3D AIS Award and BIRTV 2014 Grand prize.

“Most important point: no lamps. Will save the cost of 120 lamp changes. Super bright at 60,000 lumens. 6 Primary Barco Laser3D that works with all major 3D systems. Also integrates Barco Alchemy cinema processor. We call it integrated because light source is inside projector. Most safe and highest efficiency because the projectors are directly combined. Engineered and testedfor 30,000 hours. 63% more energy efficient than Xenon projector.”

Inside it is 6 Primary Laer3D sets – two each of red, green and blue. Bright, smooth and beatiful colour picture. Works with silver, matt, screen and active or passive 3D glasses. “Clean & Green” is the motto. Over 30,000 hours lifetime it provides 54,000 AVG lumens. Lifetime saving of 150,000 KwH savings over lifetime.

Improve audience experience – Improve exhibitor profitability. Dovetails with Escape, AE, Cinema Barco.

Commerciallly availlable and delivering globally. Installations in China, Europe and the Americas.

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CJ@CineAsia Monetizing Your Digital Investment-In-Theatre Pre-Show Entertainment and Lobby Display


In an effort to provide updates on the CineAsia 2014 conference and trade show presently taking place in Hong Kong SAR, this post was written live, and in the present tense, during one of the conference’s presentations. Comments attributed to speaker(s) are paraphrased unless denoted specifically by quotation marks.

Cinemas have been digitized, but for new cinemas that were not covered by VPF there is still a need to make money off digital and the pre-show. That was the topic of the second session of the second day of CineAsia, introdiced by Mark Shaw from Shaw Theatres. The talks were short and because the previous Christie session over-ran, everyone on stage talked extra fast.

Todd Hoddick, VP Global Entertainment Barco -  “You are going to see a lot of great ideas today,” he promised. “All about the ideas you see there are two things – we must improve the audience’s experience, give them an adventure and romance, something they can’t get at home. Secondly, drive revenue. These things will not be driven by VPF. With that, lets start the presentation,”  Todd announces.

1. Industry Overvew

Current state of digitization – mostly converted. Flashes up digitisation by continent (Latin America still lagging). “Most of our customers look for ONE partner they can trust. We are happy to partner with out friends GDC, Doremi and Audience Entertainment. Bring a full solution so you can have a choice of partners.”

“In mature markets we see very flat growth, maybe at most one per cent. Whereas in China we see tremendous growth. 14 screens per day in China,” Todd points out are opening.

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CJ@CineAsia Christie Laser Demo


In an effort to provide updates on the CineAsia 2014 conference and trade show presently taking place in Hong Kong SAR, this post was written live, and in the present tense, during one of the conference’s presentations. Comments attributed to speaker(s) are paraphrased unless denoted specifically by quotation marks.

Early morning talk and demo of Christie’s 6P laser light illuminated projector. Most of this is a repetition of what was said at IBC’s Christie 6P laser demo in September. First topic is ‘Market need’. Given that lasers are not cheap, why do exhibitors need them, particularly when many of them have just gone through the expensive upgrade from 35mm?

“Why is Christie building a 6P laser projector?” asks Don Shaw, Sr Director Product Management Entertainment Solutions for Christie.

“Not because it is cool or because Bill Beck [Barco] is building 6P laser projectors. Butbecause there is a well established market need – for PLF [premium large format] and for 3D. Both of them are places where exhibitors can make more money. PLF gives you an opportunity to give a differentiatied exerience and you can charge more for it. 3D has been around for longer. Ever since the “Avatar” effect. The only way to get a true immersive 3D experience is to go to cinema. The most important thing about 3D is that premium, the upcharge.”

Flashing up the chart demonstrating the decline in 3D attendance (using Screen Digest/IHS data – see above). “This is what will happen in international market if we don’t fix the problem. What does this mean to exhibitors? All the money for 3D premium is drying up.”

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 16 May 2014

NCM logo

USA (NY) - National CineMedia has announced the details of its partnership with Shazam, to create audio-embedded links in its adverts for enhanced content. There are further partnerships with Disney’s Maker Studios and Idea United.

National CineMedia revealed intriguing partnerships with Shazam and Maker Studios today at its upfront event near Lincoln Square in New York. The moves underscore how the cinema ads network increasingly sees itself as a digital company.

As part of NCM’s update to its longstanding FirstLook platform, the Shazam integration is designed to extend advertisers’ reach among smartphone-toting moviegoers. When they observe a sponsor’s FirstLook promo via the mobile app, they can consume and share that content while also making a purchase when it comes to e-commerce pitches.  LINK


Canada - Ticket prices fell in the first quarter of 2014, which is perhaps why Canada’s Cineplex is experimenting with higher charges for some seats and shows.

Later this year, at the Varsity location in Toronto’s Manulife Centre, the company will launch a pilot project in which patrons pay an extra $2-$3 for the prime seats in the middle rows of the theatre.
“We’ve had great success with our UltraAVX cinemas ($3-$5 surcharge) as well as our VIP cinemas ($7-$12 surcharge) which both offer reserved seating; and so people really like that opportunity,” said spokeswoman Pat Marshall.

“It’s really about providing our guests with choices when they go to the movies . . . I sort of position it akin to an aircraft where you have your regular coach seating, then you might want a bit more amenities, so you go into business class, and then you have a first-class.”  LINK

USA - Fandango has added three more exhibitors to its network.

Harkins Theatres, Digiplex Destinations and Premiere Cinemas have joined Fandango’s network of cinema chains, the movie ticketer said Thursday.

The company said that the new agreements will add 1,000 screens to its rolls in a dozen states including California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, New Mexico and Texas. The deals will go into effect this summer.

The online and mobile ticketer now represents more than 24,000 screens domestically.  LINK

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Christie’s New Projector Is Portent of Battle Ahead

What do you do once the majority of multiplex screens around the world are converted to digital? You mop up the remaining screens and look for new markets. That’s what we can read between the lines from the launch of the new Christie Solaria One projector at ShowEast. The projector, which is based on Texas Instrument’s new S2K DLP Cinema® chipset, 8K to 10K lumens output. While no price is given, it is expected to retail for as much as $10,000 less than Christie’s current cheapest projector. Similar projectors are coming from Barco, while Sony has already announced its cheaper entry into their market space (see previous post).

This is part of a deliberate and concerted strategy to maximise the market uptake reflecting the reality of global digital cinema penetration. With global uptake standing at just over two-thirds, with countries like Norway and Holland already having 100 per cent conversion, the question is which type of territories and cinemas remain. The brutal truth is that this 66-67 per cent represents 85-90 per cent of box office revenue generating screens. There is thus little financial incentive for converting the remaining screens and less money and almost no VPF schemes to do so. So the OEMs are launching products to mop up this last market, which faces it’s digital-or-die moment in the next 12 months.

While it is the most advanced multiplex chain of its continent, it is nevertheless telling who the client flagged in the press release is:

Ster-Kinekor Theatres, the largest cinema exhibitor in South Africa, will be first recipient of the solution, having ordered 198 projectors from the Christie Solaria One line. Ster-Kinekor Theatres CEO Fiaz Mahomed commented, “The Christie Solaria One projectors offer superb quality with a heightened viewing experience for movie lovers. These projectors are perfectly suited for smaller screens and are very cost-effective.”

What will be perhaps more interesting to see is how these new projectors filter through to new types of screening venues. not just Steven Spielberg’s home cinema, but growing mixed-use venues and bijou cinemas become possible with smaller and more affordable projectors. This will inevitably have an effect on booking patterns of film and other content. As the industry approaches the end of its one-for-one analogue-to-digital swap outs, the door to new and exiting digital cinemaa opportunities open.

Japanese Earthquake May Not Impact The D-Cinema Supply Chain

Texas Instruments DLP

Shortly after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Japan on March 11th numerous rumors and speculation have swirled around the exhibition industry over its impact on the availability of digital cinema equipment. In part, this was spurred on by Texas Instruments reporting that their manufacturing plant in Miho, Japan, about 40 miles northeast of Tokyo, “suffered substantial damage” during the quake.

Because third of the output at TI’s Miho plant is dedicated to DLP production. The DLP chip is one of the most important parts in digital cinema projectors manufactured by Barco, Christie and NEC, so it was initially thought that the industry would once again face a shortage of equipment. However, since then both Barco and Christie have publicly said they have enough inventory on hand to meet demand for months, if not a year, into the future.

As the number of emails coming in to Celluloid Junkie with questions about the issue increased to more than two dozen, I felt it appropriate to give TI a call for an update. What I learned was that, most importantly, all of TI’s personnel are safe and unharmed. The company’s fabs in both Miho and Aizu-Wakamtsu (about 150 miles north of Tokyo) were damaged in the earthquake. At Miho, the building withstood the earthquake, though the manufacturing equipment inside was damaged as it got tossed around with all of the shaking.

By the end of March repairs at Miho were finished on the facility’s infrastructure systems that deliver water, gases, chemicals and air. Most significantly, the fabs cleanroom was recertified. At the time, 90 percent of the plant’s equipment had passed electrical tests.

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Christie Takes 3D To The End Of The World

Packewaia Cinema Large.jpg

Cine Packewaia in Ushuaia, Argentina

Quick, tell me what is the southernmost location in the world where you can see a movie in digital 3D? Silly question I know, but it’s thanks to Christie, the projector company, that I can even ask it.

The company sent out a press release yesterday announcing their digital cinema projectors had been chosen by The Packewaia Cinema (Cine Packewaia) in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city on earth. The city of 65,000 rose out of a former naval facility only ten years ago and is now the capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province, otherwise known to English speakers as the “Land of Fire”.

The Packewaia Cinema is run by Gama Producciones and appears to have only one screen, which is now not only equipped with a Christie projector, but also Dolby 3D.

The release was filled with gems such as this from Craig Sholder, Christie’s vice president of Entertainment Solutions:

“It seems appropriate that ‘the land of fire’ has embraced the ‘hottest’ trend in the industry: 3D digital cinema.”

Probably the most interesting information contained in the announcement was the unique way Xenon Cinema Technology had to install the projector. Not all films are released digitally in Argentina, in fact it can sometimes take weeks before a film print makes its way as far south as Packewaia, so the 35mm projector couldn’t be completely abandoned.

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Christie Gets DCI Compliance And New Manufacturing Faciltiy

Christie's CP2220

Christie's CP2220

It’s been a busy week for Christie. The company’s CP2220 was the first series 2 digital cinema projector to pass the Compliance Test Plan (CTP) put in place by Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) to gauge whether equipment meets their published specification. As well, they announced the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China.

While many d-cinema equipment manufacturers claim their products are DCI compliant, it wasn’t until October of 2007 that a testing process was made public and testing entities were selected. Christie can now officially say the CP2220 is DCI compliant, having fully passed all tests that make up the CTP, including procedural and design reviews. Because Sony says the SRXR320 is compliant on their website I’m not sure if it’s the first digital cinema projector to pass the CTP, or just the first series 2 projector to pass it.

In the press release announcing the test results, John Hurst of CineCert, one of DCI’s icensed testing entities, said:

“We are very pleased to confirm that the Christie CP2220, featuring Texas Instruments’ Series 2 DLP Cinema technology, has passed all the requirements of the CTP.”

Passing the CTP is a huge milestone for a d-cinema technology vendor as it is the only way for equipment to become DCI compliant. Hollywood studios require all equipment playing their content to be DCI compliant. In making sure a piece of equipment meets all of the DCI specifications, one of the CTP’s main goals is to verify a device’s interoperability and content security features.

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Panavision Heads Into Theatres With Hybrid 3D System

Panavision Logo.jpg

When one thinks of Panavision, what immediately comes to mind is all of the motion picture camera systems they have manufactured since the mid-1950s, ubiquitous on the sets of countless hit movies and television shows. The thought of 3D, be it digital or on 35mm, is probably the last thing any industry professional would ever associate with Panavision. Well, that’s all about to change and I’ll explain why.

On Friday of last week, the European Digital Cinema Forum (EDCF) was kind enough to let me tag along on their annual pre-ShoWest industry tour through Los Angeles. When we arrived at Panavision I was a little baffled why a group of exhibitors and digital cinema manufacturers would want to visit a company better known for what happens on a movie set rather than a movie theatre. After a quick tour of their Woodland Hills, California facility, the group was ushered into a screening room and it became immediately obvious why were there.

We were greeted by John Galt, Panavision’s Senior Vice President of Advanced Digital Imaging, who gave us a very brief PowerPoint presentation on a project he’d been working on since the middle of 2008. Turns out while the media was busy hounding Panavision with stories about how labor strikes and production slowdowns had adversely affected the company, they have quietly been working on a 3D system for both film and digital projection. That would explain the reusable 3D glasses we were handed.

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Christie Releases Digital Cinema Trailer

Surfing around the Internet last week I stumbled across a promotional trailer for Christie, the motion picture projector manufacturer. The new trailer (see below) can be found on Christie Digital’s YouTube channel. To date, it has been viewed 280 times since it was uploaded on January 14th. The trailer is 25 seconds long and promotes Christie’s line of digital cinema projectors powered by DLP chips. It seems 3D content was taken into consideration during its production.

With the conversion to digital the number of equipment manufacturers that can be found in any given projection booth has potentially doubled. This could potentially lead to at least two minutes worth of preshow for d-cinema vendors, promoting servers, projectors and 3D technology. This isn’t even taking into account satellite content delivery providers, integrators or theatre management system developers. And I’m sure I’m leaving someone important out.

Have a look at Chrisitie’s new trailer and let us know what you think.

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