Cinema Technology Dec. 04, 2022
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These days, it’s no longer just about technology, it’s about experiences – WOW experiences. We are a team of cinema and technology experts from around the globe – Barco, ALPD, and CGS – who help you in creating surprising experiences.  We combine innovative cinema technologies with our unique and comprehensive service models to guarantee your peace of mind. So you can focus on new ways to surprise and delight your customers for years to come. Together, we engage to deliver a world-class cinema experience - the one you’ve been waiting for.

GDC Technology is a leading manufacturer and provider of cinema equipment and solutions including cinema automation systems, cinema servers, cinema enterprise software, cinema storage, cinema audio solutions, and cinema projectors that meet the highly demanding performance, security and reliability requirements established by motion picture studios.

Christie is a leader in visual solutions for world-class organizations, offering diverse applications for business, entertainment, and industry. A leading innovator in film projection since 1929 and a pioneer in projection systems since 1979, Christie has established a global reputation as a total service provider and the world's single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions. Christie offers comprehensive solutions for cinema, large audience venues, control rooms, business presentations, training facilities, 3D and Virtual Reality, simulation and education as well as industrial and government environments.

SHARP NEC Display Solutions’ Digital Cinema Projector Series offers the most comprehensive digital cinema solution on the market today. These 3D-capable models enable theaters to deliver stunning digital images regardless of screen size, while simplifying theater management and reducing costs. All of SHARP NEC's digital cinema projectors meet DCI specifications for performance and reliability, meeting the requirements of today’s cinema industry. SHARP NEC also offers full digital signage solutions, highlighted by its award-winning 32”-98” LCD displays, multimedia projectors and desktop monitors for lobbies, concessions and concourses.

Arts Alliance Media (AAM) is the global leader in digital cinema software and services, offering a wide range of solutions which help exhibitors to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve the cinematic experience for their customers.

AAM’s extensive portfolio, including Producer, Screenwriter, Lifeguard, MX4D, and HeyLED, touches over 42,000 screens worldwide, while their network operations centre (NOC) supports several thousand screens.

AAM is part of the Luxin-Rio Group, the world’s foremost cinema technologies provider.

QSC is the global leader in cinema signal processing, power amplifiers, and loudspeakers for all applications within today's modern cinema entertainment center. Our “SystemSynergy” design approach ensures that the entire system, from source to sound, delivers an audio experience as intended by the filmmakers. Beyond cinema audio for the movies, QSC also provides complete audio systems with network control and monitoring for other areas in the cinema entertainment complex, such as lobbies, concession, food service, arcades, and bowling centers.

Strong Cinema, a segment of Ballantyne Strong, Inc., consists of:

Strong Technical Services (STS) that offers a comprehensive suite of cinema-focused services, including installation, maintenance, and technical support, to exhibitors throughout the United States.

Strong/MDI Screen Systems Inc. one of the world's leading cinema screen manufacturers that produces and sells specialty screens, screen support structures, and other film exhibition equipment for customers globally.  

USHIO manufactures the highest-quality digital cinema projection bulbs available. USHIO xenon short-arc lamps boast a spectrum that is closer to natural sunlight than that of any other artificial light source. In addition to commercializing products for search and spot lights, which demand precise, powerful white beam lamps, USHIO became the first in the world to develop a xenon short-arc lamp exclusively for large scale, theater-use movie projectors.

Industry Partners

For more than a century, the people of SMPTE (pronounced “simp-tee”) have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology, from the introduction of “talkies” and color television to HD and UHD (4K, 8K) TV. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has received an Oscar® and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. 

The International Cinema Technology Association is a global network of professionals in the motion picture industry. Members of the ICTA are those companies that manufacture, service and create the equipment that goes into movie theatres. Our members are on the cutting edge of new technologies and have been the driving force in digital, 3D, immersive sound systems, high frame rates and lasers. The ICTA promotes technological advancements in the motion picture industry through educational seminars and programs. The ICTA logo stands for excellence and professionalism and when on a member’s letterhead signifies that the company is reliable, competent and committed.

The Union Internationale des Cinémas/International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) represents the interests of cinema trade associations and cinema operators covering 37 countries in Europe and neighboring regions.​ ​

The EDCF is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation that aims to act as a "Forum" to discuss key issues surrounding Digital Cinema in Europe. The purpose of EDCF is to provide a basis of common understanding across all European territories of the business and technical matters of digital cinema. 

The Inter-Society for the Enhancement of Cinema Presentation, Inc. promotes interactive dialogue and information exchange between cinema-related entities with the goal of resolving issues affecting the overall cinema presentation. Founded in 1978 by Eastman Kodak VP Ken Mason, membership is composed of its four charter trade organizations - International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) - along with over 40 member companies, made up of trade organizations, motion picture studios, exhibition companies, manufacturers, technical consultants, and other industry stakeholders.

Shows & Events

CineAsia 2022 has been scheduled for Dec 5-8, 2022 in Bangkok.  Check links for more information.  The CineAsia trade show is where cinema exhibition and distribution professional come to do business and network. The convention will also feature product presentations and screenings of major upcoming films, exclusive sponsored events, and seminars relating to current and future trends happening across the industry.  Additional information on CineAsia can be found at

ShowEast 2022 scheduled to be held in Miami from Oct 17-20, 2022 at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, features a range of exclusive product presentations and screenings from both Independent and Major Hollywood studios to help you make important programming decisions for the 4th quarter box office.  Powerhouse seminars offer valuable insight from top executives on the latest industry trends and concerns; while our EXPO experience offers delegates a glance at the latest and best technologies, entertainment, services, comforts, and conveniences to make their theatres must-attend destinations.  ShowEast’s International program draws a large contingency of Latin and South American delegates – more than any other convention of its kind. A one and a half day program dedicated to the latest content and concerns and within this rising region.

CinemaCon 2023 has been scheduled for 24-27 April 2023 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  Check the links below for the latest information. 

CineEurope 2022, has been scheduled for June 20-23, 2022 in Barcelona.  CineEurope promises to bring you another year with the very best in exclusive studio screenings and product presentations, cinematic technologies and innovations and educational seminars to keep your business on top of industry trends.

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El Segundo, Calif.—Feb 13, 2013

Technology Moves to the Forefront in Cinema as Digital Overtakes Film

For the first time, 35mm film in 2012 became the minority cinema format after nearly 90,000 screens went digital worldwide at the end of last year. As a result, cinema has moved from what once was a technology-free zone to one driven by technology, according to the IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence Service from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).

Just a scant six years ago, in 2007, digital cinema was virtually nonexistent with only 5,158 screens worldwide, compared to 107,832 35mm film screens. Starting in 2010, ISO-standard digital screens and 3-D screens began to take hold with 12,743 digital 2-D screens and 22,327 3-D screens. But compared to 82,105 35mm screens, digital was still in the minority.

Nonetheless, digital 2-D screens at the end of 2012 had increased to 43,796, with an additional 45,545 in 3-D—as well as 5,500 lower-end e-cinema systems in India—pushing 35mm screens to the minority with just 35,087 remaining, as shown in the attached figure .

“The first foray into digital technology in cinemas came with sound, and then indirectly with online ticketing, moving afterward onto cinema advertising, then digital cinema, digital 3-D and the use of social media,” said David Hancock, senior principal analyst for cinema at IHS. “Outside of the films themselves, the industry side of the film business is also dealing with issues such as high and variable frame rates (HFR and VFR), 4K image capture, digital archiving, object-based sound, electronic distribution and a wide range of other issues. Cinemas are now at the nexus of consumer and industrial technologies, and applications and cinema owners will continue to respond to this trend during the year ahead.”

Change is afoot
This change in film format also meant that 35mm is no longer needed in volume for release prints and image capture, which indicates that the old film format more than likely will die out within three years. Fuji is already phasing out film for production purposes beginning in March, although some professionals still prefer film for the look it gives. Films now are distributed on hard drives, or by satellite or fiber directly to the cinema. The industry will continue to see some major developments in this space in 2013.

For image capture, about 70 percent of high-end films now are shot digitally, generating a huge amount of data for each production—between 2 terabytes and 10 TB a day, and anywhere between 100TB to 1 petabyte over the whole shoot. This data all needs to be stored, processed, secured and transported, creating an entirely new workflow for post-production, as well as a new infrastructure for supporting film productions.

HFR on the agenda
The issue of the moment has to be high frame rates. For “The Hobbit,” IHS Screen Digest estimates that approximately 1,200 screens around the world upgraded their technology to play the HFR version—somewhat less than originally envisioned but still a promising start overall.

The jury is still out on whether higher frame rates have any place in cinema, but director Peter Jackson’s move in pushing the technology boundaries forward underlines where the cinema industry is heading and how technology will impact the business in the future.

The second part of the Jackson franchise in 2013, as well as the run-up to “Avatar 2,” will ensure that high frame rates stay on the agenda.

Laser tag
Laser illumination is also a live issue, potentially offering a low cost of ownership to exhibitors with a light source that can last 30,000 hours compared to an average 1,000 hours for traditional lamps. The technology has several hurdles to overcome, not least the issue of speckle and safety parameters. But a transition is likely to begin, starting with the largest and most profitable screens as well as giant screen theaters. The cost of this technology is currently prohibitive; further research and coordinated development is needed this year in order to offer an economically viable projector for the next generation of digital cinema.

Premium concessions
Premium cinema has been around for some time, but it suffered from focusing solely on comfort and extra snacks. Yet technology, too, is having an impact on this area. Exhibitors now have a palette of options to choose from that give the consumer an enhanced “Cinema Experience.” Here, HFR, 3-D, object-based sound, Imax, and 4-D are all possible options on top of the enhancements that can be achieved with better seating, mobile ticketing, in-theater dining and so on.

The home cinema environment is also moving forward—with lower-cost wide-screen TVs, cheaper and better surround sound systems, 3-D TV, online downloads at narrower windows, as well as video on demand (VoD). Even so, cinema—now with the armory to raise the bar—can maintain the gap between the home-viewing experience and a movie-going event.

Wider demographics sought
Digitized cinema delivery and projection also allows the exhibitor to program their cinemas more flexibly, as it means no expensive 35mm print is needed, allowing exhibitors to respond to the needs of a wider local demographic with more films. The emergence of alternative content or non-film programming, such as opera, ballet or theater, is widening cinema—viewing options while bringing older people back to the cinema.
The number of events is growing every year. For instance, there were 121 events offered in U.K. cinemas in 2012, up from 109 in 2011 and only 44 in 2010, and further growth in this sector will occur during the years to come, IHS Screen Digest believes.

Cinema on Demand, often using social networking technology, is also taking its first steps as part of what the cinema exhibitor can do—offering groups of motivated customers the chance to influence directly the cinema program. Exhibitors will begin to experiment with the concept this year.

A shot in the arm
Movies in 3-D have provided a shot in the arm to the movie business for several years now, with “Avatar” at the very heart of this trend. As 3-D matures, audiences are also increasingly seeking out the best 3-D experiences, especially as the premium price needs to be justified in value on monetary terms.

Several new technologies are helping to elevate the 3-D experience in theaters to make it more desirable, notably higher-frame-rate 3-D, seen after the release of “The Hobbit.” This year the format will be more widely adopted across the globe as theaters decide to invest in advance of the second “Hobbit” movie and James Cameron’s HFR “Avatar” follow-up a year later. The development of laser-illuminated projectors as mentioned above, also enables much brighter 3-D presentation, something that audiences are demanding.
For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Cassell
Senior Manager, Editorial
Mobile: + 408 921 3754
IHS Media Relations

About IHS Screen Digest: Screen Digest is the pre-eminent firm of industry analysts covering global media markets including film, television, broadband media, mobile media, cinema, home entertainment, gaming, and advertising. In November 2010, Screen Digest Limited was acquired by US research company iSuppli Corporation who were subsequently acquired by IHS, one of the biggest providers of market research and insight globally. Together IHS Screen Digest and IHS iSuppli offer the most complete and insightful analysis of the global technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector. IHS Screen Digest Directory page

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