H2H Digital Limited, the leading digital cinema integrator in Asia, announced
today that a deal has been signed with Media Asia to provide telecine transfer
and encoding services to enable the distribution of two additional film titles
in 2004 to China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
H2H Digital, in collaboration with GDC Technology (GDC Tech) Limited, was
responsible for facilitating the first cross-border digital distribution of
local Hong Kong producer, Media Asia's blockbuster release, Infernal Affairs
III. GDC Tech,the worldwide leading developer of digital cinema solutions,
equipped Shaw Lido Cineplex in Singapore Theatre's with GDC Technology’s 2K DSR™
Digital Film Server to present the film at the Gala opening on 12 December 2003.
The digital version of Infernal Affairs III was distributed in several Asian
countries, including China and data security management was closely maintained
by GDC Tech, on behalf of H2H, throughout the entire process. As a result of the
successful trial, Media Asia is demonstrating its commitment to the digitization
process by committing to 2 additional films in 2004. "As the number of digital
screens are increasing in Asia, the opportunity to reduce distribution costs and
reduce piracy as a result of wider distribution through digitization makes good
business sense." Says Jeffrey Chan, Head of Distribution at Media Asia.
H2H confirmed SingTel as the first provider to participate in the trial of
crossborder film distribution to Singapore. "We first met with SingTel in
September 2003 to introduce the concept of delivering digital films to
Singapore, says Renaud Palliere, CEO of H2H Digital. "Today we are developing
and expanding partnerships with a number of satellite and fiber network
operators across the Asia-Pacific region in order to provide the film studios
and distributors with an ubiquitous, cost-efficient, secure and most
importantly, neutral intra-Asia and trans-pacific delivery mechanisms."
Since the digital delivery of Infernal Affairs 3, similar trials have been
conducted in Asia, such as the recent distribution of a filmed event to theatres
in India. In this trial, the content was distributed via satellite transmission.
“By providing the secure DVB-IP communication interface directly to our server,
which has multiple-layered encryption to protect the content, the cost benefit
of our satellite delivery solution is important factor for our clients in the
roll-out of digital cinemas in Asia”, said Dr Man Nang CHONG, GDC Technology’s
CEO. "As issues of picture quality, cost and security are some of the most
important aspects of digital film distribution, there is a great need for close
coordination between the producer, the post-postproduction house and the
distributor." Says Dr. CHONG.
“Many telecommunications companies are promoting their services on the basis of
their footprint coverage and believe they are well positioned to take over the
role of local film distributors, ultimately rending their services obsolete.
Film studios have already expressed concerns over teleco's as the new gatekeepers of
the film distribution business, and instead, are partnering with a neutral
service provider like H2H” according to Paula Brillson, Executive Vice President
of Content Services. "We have clear examples of such satellite companies who
have tried this approach and failed because they failed to win the trust of the
The H2H approach is to streamline the process of film digitization and delivery
to help reduce costs while at the same time, creating commercial opportunities
and maintaining high quality and security standards. “We do not see our services
as a replacement of the distributor or as an additional third-party player in
the distributor/theatre relationships but more as the role of neutral
integrator” concludes Brillson.
Acting at both ends of the supply chain (content providers and exhibitors) H2H
is in the process of fast tracking the industry shift toward a digital
exhibition format by offering mastering and encoding services to producers and
digital cinema equipment to the theatres in several Asian countries. H2H then
delivers the digital diskette to the distributors and, under the direction of
the distributor, transports the film directly to the theatres. In addition to
film distribution, H2H is making alternative content available to theatres
equipped with GDC satellite-enabled servers, including sporting events and
musical concerts and educational programming.