London/Los Angeles —Jun 18, 2007
Kodak to Bring First “Universal” Theatre Management System To Europe
System will provide new connectivity, efficiencies, automation in the cinema
Kodak is announcing the European availability of its first version of the Kodak Theatre Management System (TMS), to exhibition and distribution managers at the 2007 Cinema Expo International Convention and Trade Show in Amsterdam June 25 - 29.
The Kodak TMS will be the exhibition industry’s first ‘universal’ digital system designed to manage the full cinema presentation, linking functions that are currently separate and often labor intensive. The system offers the potential to bring new workflow efficiencies to the cinema.
“We’ve been working collaboratively with major exhibitors across the world on this solution and have made great progress,” said Brian Kercher, general manager of Kodak Digital Cinema in Europe. “Our system is designed for the real needs of the industry and we will expand its functionality based on our experiences, and most importantly, exhibitors’ requirements.”
The Kodak Theatre Management System includes a server driven by unique and proprietary Kodak-written software connected to the cinema’s ticketing system. Directed by the theatre’s ticketing system, the TMS is designed to automatically load digital features, trailers, other content, and decryption keys -- and distribute, store, stage, and play everything on the right screens at the right time, according to the show play-list.
First versions of the TMS automatically load and migrate decryption keys over the network; the system is expected to evolve rapidly with full functionality available in the next few months.
The Kodak TMS is at the heart of the fully-integrated Kodak solution, which includes networked content players and feature projectors, as well as Kodak service and support.
“In the past four years, we’ve gained extensive experience in the marketplace,” said Kercher. “Currently, we have Kodak systems installed on 2100 screens in 200 sites in 8 countries. Nearly 100 of those systems are playing digital features on a regular basis and half of those are also playing 3D content. We’re working with 20 exhibition chains, connecting to 10 point-of-sale systems. We’re building all of that expertise into our new Theatre Management System.”
A key advantage of the new TMS is its ability to manage the full cinema presentation – pre-show as well as feature. It connects also to the theatre’s automation, so curtains, masking, lighting and other elements are adjusted automatically.
“Exhibitors have proven that a networked digital pre-show is an important new source of revenue,” said Kercher. “The pre-show will be able to operate on a separate network with separate components – or through the same content player and projector used for the feature. Either way, the TMS can manage it. This is a flexible solution.”
Kodak is using the opportunity at Cinema Expo to have in-depth discussions around its TMS and full solution with customers showing a serious interest in exploring an investment in digital technology. According to the company, those customers expect specific answers on how digital cinema will fit into their operations and meet their needs.
“For exhibitors, this is not about buying a ‘box’,” said Kercher. “It’s about forming a relationship with the right company that can provide the right solution. The Kodak TMS enables them to make new connections -- which allows them to generate new revenue, make their operations more efficient, automate their handling of content, and deliver the whole entertainment experience in a more polished and coordinated way.”
The Kodak Theatre Management System is now being tested in several countries. It will be available, worldwide, with full functionality, later this year.