astman Kodak Company announced today at
the annual ShowEast Conference that the company is taking a major step forward
in its goal of making high-quality digital cinema available for motion picture
exhibitors around the world. The company is demonstrating the Kodak Digital
Cinema Solution for Feature Presentations, a bundled package of hardware,
software, and support services.
The core of the package is a unique Kodak CineServer, which includes proprietary
color technology and image science to deliver high-quality images to the cinema
screen. The full solution includes preparation and distribution of content and
“This is a significant step in our continuing commitment to help assure the
evolution of digital cinema in ways that best serve the interests of exhibitors,
studios, the creative community and the movie-going public,” said Bill Doeren,
general manager of Kodak Digital Cinema.
Doeren emphasized that Kodak sees digital cinema as a whole new process that
involves the preparation, distribution, and display of movies in a new way.
“Our approach,” said Doeren, “is to offer a menu of choices to help simplify
complexity, to provide the solutions they need to ‘go digital’ when they’re
ready, and to assure them of the quality and attention they expect when working
Kodak services include preparation of the Digital Source Master files by
LaserPacific, a Kodak company. LaserPacific provides complete digital
postproduction services, including digital intermediates, encryption,
compression, and encoding in digital cinema color space, all designed to enable
audiences to experience movies they way the filmmakers intended.
The digital content is transferred to a hard disk drive or DVD-ROM, which are
distributed to cinemas. The disks are loaded into the Kodak CineServer, which
decrypts and decompresses the movie and sends it to a cinema-grade digital
projector to play on the theatre screen.
Customers can choose the projector brand and quality level to best meet their
current needs. The Kodak server is compatible with projectors up to and
including those with 2K resolution.
“The Kodak CineServer supports MPEG2 encoded video today and we’re committed to
raising the quality bar by offering JPEG2000 tomorrow,” Doeren said. “We intend
to be compatible with all industry standards as they evolve.”
All components can be connected to the Kodak network, which serves as a vital
communications link and adds effectiveness and efficiency to the entire process.
Kodak’s Digital Cinema Services uses the network to provide the security keys,
which protect against movie piracy. Kodak also monitors the health and
performance of system components, and verifies that all content has been
received and plays as scheduled.
The in-cinema network includes a Kodak Content Manager which handles all
scheduling via its interface to the ticketing system – so movies play on the
screens where they’re booked. The Kodak CineServers are networked to the
theatre’s automation system, which controls curtains, lighting, and projector
As part of Kodak’s approach, the company also can handle all aspects of project
management, including training staffs in their new capabilities.
Doeren emphasized that Kodak is making a long-term commitment to continued
advancements in digital cinema.
“We will make additional announcements regarding progress during the coming
months,” Doeren said. “The industry wants high standards for digital projection.
That’s a complex issue involving many factors including resolution, color and
contrast to retain the nuances that audiences expect in motion pictures. We
intend to lead the way by listening to our customers and working with them. Our
new solution for feature presentations paves the way for a long-term
For large-scale deployment, the company emphasizes the effectiveness of its
networked version of the Kodak Digital Cinema Solution for Feature
Presentations; however, a non-networked version also will be available. Kodak
expects the standalone version to find strong acceptance in emerging markets for
showing local language movies, documentaries, and independent features.
Kodak plans a very limited number of beta sites around the world where the
company can test future developments. The company is now taking orders for the