Orlando, FL —Oct 19, 2006
Kodak Demonstrates First Comprehensive Theatre Management System
“System will deliver on the promise and potential of digital cinema,” Kodak says.
Kodak Digital Cinema today introduced its Kodak Theatre Management System (TMS) to the exhibition community. The TMS is the first comprehensive digital system designed to manage all digital cinema content and bring new connectivity to theatres in the future.
The system enables standalone cinema components and systems to be networked in ways that provide new efficiencies for exhibitors and distributors, and an enhanced audience experience.
Kodak’s innovative approach is being developed in collaboration with National CineMedia. It is based also on Kodak’s extensive market experience installing 2,200 pre-show and feature systems in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Singapore and Japan. Kodak’s software team is handling development.
The demonstrations are being held at Show East, a major annual convention and trade show for members of the entertainment industry. The show runs through October 26, in Orlando.
“To date, most digital cinema systems have been installed on a stand-alone basis,” said Bob Mayson, vice president and general manager, Kodak Digital Motion Imaging. “Each content player is separate. Lobby monitors are separate. The pre-show is handled separately from features. That approach misses the fact that digital is fundamentally ‘connective’ technology. Digital systems ‘want’ to talk to one another, to work together. For the first time, the Kodak TMS makes that possible.”
The Kodak system is interoperable; it will connect to servers, players, and other systems from multiple suppliers.
The new theatre management software, at the heart of the system, includes a standard Application Program Interface (API), the connector that enables different programs to talk to one another. Content received from multiple sources can be ‘connected’ on-site. The TMS links to the facility’s ticketing, point of sale or other programming systems, so content always ‘knows’ what is scheduled to play on which screen – in which auditorium or lobby monitor – at what time, and in what order.
The decryption keys, which unlock the security features of the content, can also be managed over the network.
“We are adding new functionality to the capability we introduced in our pre-show applications,” said Les Moore, chief technical officer for Kodak Digital Cinema. “The entire show can be programmed remotely. Trailers, features, and pre-show components arrive, are automatically assembled as directed, and play as intended. It’s a new and simplified workflow for exhibitors with new assurances for the content owners.”
At the screen level, the system monitors content receipt and playback – and sends electronic reports to the TMS. There, the information is aggregated and provided to the exhibitor and others, as agreed. The system also monitors the health of its components. Potential problems can often be diagnosed and even corrected remotely, before they become disruptive.”
“A major benefit of the Theatre Management System is that it’s software-updateable,” said Mayson. “Tomorrow’s software will work with today’s server. And that will continue to evolve from customer input and experiences. This is just the beginning of what’s possible with this new interoperable system.”
Kodak will begin beta testing first versions of the new Kodak Theatre Management System in multiple sites over the next few weeks.