astman Kodak Company announced a
series of advancements in its Digital Cinema operations that will generate
increased revenue for exhibitors and enhance the movie-going experience for
consumers, including the company's first system for the digital projection of
Kodak will demonstrate the system at the annual ShowEast exhibitors conference
this week in Orlando, Florida. The company's activity at ShowEast includes:
-- The official entrance into full-length digital feature projection with the
introduction of the Kodak CineServer. The new server is designed to enable
exhibitors to decrypt, decompress and send feature-length content to any digital
projector of up to 2K resolution. This unique server incorporates Kodak
technology and image science, and is driven by proprietary Kodak software.
Commercial versions will be available worldwide beginning early next year. Kodak
also remains committed to a 4K system and will provide leadership as digital
projection technology continues to evolve, using the ever-improving quality of
film as the target for digital projection excellence.
-- Cinema Screen Media (CSM), the world's largest, independent provider of
digital pre-show presentations, has made an additional purchase of more than 200
Kodak Digital Cinema advertising systems. CSM will use the systems to present
the CSM digital pre-show entertainment program to audiences in the growing
network of Harkins Theatres.
-- The naming of Kodak as a "preferred partner" in the Pepsi Digital Alliance, a
new worldwide initiative by PepsiCo Inc. to bring innovative solutions to their
exhibition customers. This program will give Pepsi's customers special
incentives to purchase Kodak Digital Cinema pre-show solutions and to enjoy the
benefits of bringing digital advertising to their screens.
"The Digital Cinema marketplace has evolved dramatically over the last few
years, and so has Kodak's participation in that market," said Eric Rodli,
President, Entertainment Imaging, and a Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak
Company. "We began our efforts in digital cinema by becoming a leading provider
of systems that manage and project pre-show advertising. Now we're introducing
systems that will allow exhibitors to manage and show full-length feature films
while we also expand our efforts in the pre-show advertising market with Pepsi
Consistent with the company's strategy of employing a comprehensive approach in
the digital cinema market, the Kodak CineServer is more than just a projection
"At Kodak, 'digital cinema' represents much more than a new technology or a
single piece of equipment," said Bill Doeren, the general manager of Kodak's
Digital Cinema operations and a vice president, Entertainment Imaging. "It's a
whole new operating model that involves the digital preparation, distribution
and display of content. The Kodak CineServer is the heart of our solution; it
has our company's unique imaging science 'baked in'. It supports MPEG2 encoded
video today, but it's upgradeable to JPEG2000 tomorrow. We intend to be
compatible with all industry standards as they evolve."
Kodak, working with its advertising supplier customers, has become the number
three provider of digital pre-show systems worldwide during the past eight
months. Pre-shows distributed by Kodak are currently seen by more than two
million moviegoers per month. This is primarily through its partnership with
Cinema Screen Media (CSM) -- the world's largest independent provider of digital
pre-show presentations. Since November 2003, CSM has purchased more than
thirteen hundred Kodak digital cinema pre-show systems.
Harkins is the fourth major chain with an exclusive partnership with CSM and
with Kodak. All Classic, Century, and CineArts theatres are in the process of
being equipped with Kodak digital pre-show systems.
"We're helping our partners to build a digital entertainment network," Doeren
said. "At present, advertising is the primary application, but these systems can
also support alternative programming, special events and now feature-length
According to Pepsi, a major cinema advertiser, digital pre-show systems provide
exhibitors additional sources of revenue and enable the soft drink company to
better target its ad messages and refresh them more often.
Connecting all components is the Kodak network, which serves as a vital
communications link. Kodak's Digital Cinema Services uses the network to provide
the security keys (which protect against movie piracy), to monitor the health
and performance of system components, and to verify that all content has been
received and plays as scheduled.
"Digital cinema is a completely different model that creates a whole host of new
opportunities," Doeren said. "It also allows for greater flexibility in moving
content around, the ability to show alternative content, and much tighter
demographic targeting for cinema advertising."