MELBOURNE, Australia—Mar 6, 2008
Hoyts Chadstone Pilots Automated Digital Cinema System
In a groundbreaking first for Australia and New Zealand, Hoyts Corporation is installing an integrated, state-of-the-art, fully networked and automated Kodak Digital Cinema solution into its Chadstone cinema multiplex.
Hoyts held comprehensive discussions with Kodak to ensure the new system met all of their specific business needs and technical requirements. Taking into account Kodak’s active role as a system integrator for digital cinema in Australia, Hoyts chose the Kodak solution, which to date numbers eighteen separate RealD 3D digital cinema installations including seven for the Hoyts Corporation.
The Kodak system along with a mix of Christie and Barco 2K digital cinema projectors will be installed in five of the sixteen screens at Chadstone incorporating the recently released Kodak Theatre Management System.
“Making this key investment is an important step in the evolution of digital projection,” said Delfin Fernandez, Group Chief Executive Officer, Hoyts Corporation, “We feel it is important to have a pilot site with enough digital screens to provide our engineers and projection staff with a true and thorough test. We are delighted to be able to partner with our film distributors, as well as Kodak, who are working closely with our staff and supporting our challenge for the future,”
At the heart of the complex is the Kodak Theatre Management System (TMS), which migrates and manages content and licence Keys from multiple sources, distributing all components of a presentation – pre-show, trailers, snipes, and ‘features’ – to the correct screens, allowing each to be played as scheduled.
Through its ‘in-booth’ network connections, the TMS directs each Kodak Content Player to automate a number of presentation functions, including the control of audio, masking, lighting, and the starting and stopping of projector functions.
The system also generates and collects data – which includes content receipt and play, system performance, and even diagnostic information regarding potential problems. The ‘pulse’ of all key components is automatically monitored every five seconds.
“The Kodak Digital Cinema system has been previously tested in several sites in the U.S.A. Canada and Europe and we expect it will help achieve productivity for Hoyts whilst also improving workflow flexibility and automating content handling,” said David Sanderson, General Manager, Kodak Digital Cinema, Asia Pacific Region. “The system handles 2D or RealD 3D movies and automatically recognizes the compression format used - JPEG or MPEG - employing that for playback. The Hoyts’ Chadstone installation is a fully networked configuration providing the complex with new capability, flexibility, and efficiency.”
Currently, Kodak Digital Cinema systems are installed on 2000 screens with 40 exhibition chains in more than 260 sites in 14 countries. Nearly 140 of those systems are playing digital features on a regular basis and a third of those are also playing 3D content.
As multiplex cinemas across the world evolve to digital, such automated control of the many complex functions required to efficiently manage content and get it to the right screens ‘on time’ along with the licence to allow it to be played, will eventually become commonplace.
The investment to make this happen is substantial and thus, such testing is a critical part of the future decision making process for the cinema industry. The foresight of Hoyts demonstrates their commitment to maintaining their position as one of the region’s leading cinema operators.