ShowEast deals round up – Day 1

By Patrick von Sychowski | October 16, 2007 4:29 am PDT

As always, a raft of digital and cinema related deals were announced on the first day of ShowEast. Below are the key ones.

AccessIT partners Sensio for live 3D streaming

Sensio Digital cinema integrator AccessIT has announced a partnership with stereoscopic technology solutions provider Sensio to broadcast live 3D events, together with AccessIT’s existing satellite partner IDC.

Access Integrated Technologies, Inc. (“AccessIT”) (NasdaqGM:AIXDNews) announced today, CineLiveSM, a new proprietary product that will bring both 2-D and 3-D live content to movie theatres equipped with digital cinema. CineLive, the next step in leveraging the digital era to further enhance exhibition offerings, is a new set of hardware, developed exclusively for AccessIT by International Datacasting Corporation (Toronto:IDC.TONews) and Sensio® Technologies Inc. (Sensio) (CDNX:SIO.VNews) which allows live 3-D and 2-D content to be converted from satellite feeds into theatrical entertainment.

What the press release takes a round about and convoluted way of saying is that Sensio has a technology for squeezing two high definition video streams (left eye, right eye) into one HD channel, so tat 3D events can be transmitted in real time over existing HD(TV) network, such as IDC’s. This should be a boost for AccessIT’s live events division, though as of yet they have not announced what events they have lined up, with rumours saying that Cirque de Solei might be one.

AccessIT signs up Krikorian Theatres – tally at 3,743


The latest cinema to sign up to be part of Christie/AccessIT’s initial 4,000 digital screens in Krikorian Permier Theatres, bringing Christie/AIX within 257 screens of their first goal. The press release does not go into detail about Krikorian (location, number of theatres, number of screens – a check on the website seems to indicate eight sites) other than Christie’s Craig Sholder welcoming the company to Christie/AIX bosom with the words,

These are very exciting times as more and more leading exhibitors like Krikorian Premiere Theatres recognize the enormous value-added potential of Digital Cinema systems. Krikorian audiences will enjoy top-quality screenings every time, featuring vibrant colors and razor-sharp images provided by the world-famous Christie CP2000 DLP Cinema® projector.

I’m sure AccessIT would have preferred to announce the complete signing of 4,000 screens at ShowEast, but you have to take what you are given and Krikorian it is.

Dolby announces exhibitor customers for 3D system

Dolby is trumpeting the exhibitors around the world that have bought into their digital 3D solution ahead of the openings of ‘Beowulf‘ and ‘Nightmare Before Christmas‘. Some of these were known and some are new. From the press release:

A number of key exhibitors will be installing the first Dolby 3D Digital Cinema systems in locations throughout the world, including Carousel Cinemas, Cinema City, Cinetopia, Cobb Theatres, Kerasotes Theatres, Malco Theatres, Marcus Theatres, Maya Cinemas, Megaplex Theatres, Starlight Cinemas, Sundance Cinemas, Warren Theatres, Kinepolis Group of Belgium, and Supercines of Ecuador. Dolby plans to continue installing its solution on additional screens in time for Paramount Pictures Beowulf, opening in several territories beginning November 16, 2007.

It must be an interesting re-boot for Dolby’s efforts in this field as they pioneered the installation of digital 3D in cinemas two years ago for the first ever major digital stereoscopic title (Disney’s ‘Chicken Little’) but back then using the RealD system, which they ae now directly competing against.

Ballantyne buys Canadian cinema screen maker

Ballantyne of Omaha logo Projector manufacturer Ballantyne of Omaha has acquired Canadian cinema screen manufacturer Marcel Desrochers Inc. (MDI) for $3.4m in cash. From the press release:

With 32 employees, based outside Montreal, MDI is a market-leader in the North American screen manufacturing industry. MDI expects fiscal 2007 revenue to approach Cdn. $4 million. Like Ballantyne, MDI has an excellent reputation for quality products and service, strong customer relationships and boasts an experienced technical staff. MDI continues to invest in new cinema screen technologies and has been very active in providing specialty “silver” screens required for certain 3-D cinema technologies including the Real D 3-D technology.

The investent makes sense for providing bulb-to-screen products for cinema operators.

Patrick von Sychowski
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