Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL), one of the world’s top satellite operators, and dcinex from Belgium, Europe’s leading digital cinema company, today announced an agreement to create a joint venture company called DSAT Cinema specialised in servicing the cinema industry in Europe as it accelerates the transition from celluloid to digitisation.
The two enterprises will combine their experience to become the point of reference in the fast-growing market for management and distribution of 2D and 3D films as well as exceptional cultural events to screens across Europe.
Digital cinema has been taking hold over the last decade, with the market gaining traction since 2010 as the industry accelerates the shift to full digitisation of cinematographic data, processing, distribution and projection. Technological advancements, including2K, 4K and Stereoscopic 3D digital projection, are further enhancing quality and generating Digital Cinema Packages (DCP) ofhundreds of Gigabytes. Efficient content distribution is a key success factor to this market, with satellite emerging as the most cost-effective platform for secure transmissions to cinemas irrespective of their location. Heavy files that otherwise take days to deliver can be received and stored by satellite in just a few hours.
Eutelsat and dcinex have been steadily building expertise in this market over the last three years. More than 700 sites in 20 European countries are already equipped by Eutelsat for reception of live and pre-recorded content. Its satellites regularly manage high-speed transfers of up to 140 Mbps via hubs in France and Italy with network operations managed in Europe by OpenSky.Dcinex has deployed 2,000 digital screens in Europe with a further 3,000 to deploy by 2014. The company is also the first in Europe to have Virtual Print Fee (VPF) deployment agreements with all major US studios.
DSAT Cinema will offer a single point of contact for a full range of services, radically simplifying the process of operating in a fully digital environment for content owners and distributors. The new venture will be led by Fabrice Testa, an industry professional in building digital screen networks and content distribution. Fabrice is currently Vice-President Alternative Content & Distribution Development at dcinex following over 10 years of international experience in digital projection and content production.
Marc Welinski, Director of marketing of Eutelsat stated: “Over 50% of cinema screens in Europe are now capable of digital projection, with forecasts that the market will be virtually 100% digital by the middle of the decade. Satellites are a natural distribution platform for this fast-growing sector, providing bandwidth and coverage to efficiently deliver rich content to screens across Europe. We are delighted to pursue this opportunity with dcinex that has proven skills and an entrepreneurial approach. This joint venture will further increase Eutelsat’s expertise in emerging formats such as 4k and will be a major player serving distributors and exhibitors.”
Serge Plasch, CEO of dcinex added: “This joint venture will buttress dcinex’s objective to enable content owners and distributors to easily and securely deliver their content to cinemas equipped with digital technology. It will benefit from the support of dcinex services that include sales, installation, postproduction and digital rights management. Working with Eutelsat, in this venture we will be equipped to offer a unique one-stop-shop service to the cinema industry in Europe.”