Digital cinema takes new releases to villages | india | Hindustan Times
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Digital cinema takes new releases to villages

india Updated: Sep 27, 2006 16:21 IST
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MOVIE BUFFS of villages like Depalpur near here do not have to come to Indore these days to watch the latest Bollywood films or hunt for pirated CDs. Thanks to digital cinema, now they too can watch a new release here at the same time the movies are released in Mumbai – ‘first day first show’.

The digital movie system launched in India by United Film Organizers (UFO) India Private Limited, Mumbai, a year ago has indeed become a blessing for these rural and semi-urban dwellers. This system allows the theatre owner to download the movie and play it later.

UFO Moviez regional manager (Madhya Pradesh) Ashish Dubey told Hindustan Times that this system could transform the way movies are distributed and exhibited in theatres. Digital Cinema could curb piracy to the major extent since each server at the theatre is encrypted and has watermark. Video and audio quality is superb. The initial investment for the theatre is just Rs 2.5 lakh, Dubey said.

This new concept uses digital media (DVD, Fibre Optics, Satellite Transmission) instead of analogue media (prints) to record, transmit and replay images. Digital cinema uses digital video projectors instead of analogue projectors.

It can store, transmit, retrieve and replay a huge amount of information exactly as it was originally recorded. There is more flexibility in Digital Cinema as the data can be manipulated at low cost and effectively.

A theatre can become a member of exhibition franchise to get digital cinema. UFO provides each franchisee theatre with the digital cinema system comprising a satellite receiving system, play out server and related computer system, digital projector system and UPS. It comes in two variants - a single chip DLP projector or three chip DLP projector depending on the size of screen.

The process actually starts with the consent of producer. Th e company then digitises the movie with the help of software ‘Tele Cine’. The franchisee theatre downloads this digitised movie in various cycles. This way the theatres could use this satellite download of movie for various shows.

Could this eliminate the distributors from the chain? The answer is ‘no’, because UFO Moviez seeks permission from the distributor of particular regions to give the movie to the theatres. Dubey said that it is profitable for the distributor as he saves the print cost (Rs 70-75,000). Also, the theatre keeps on paying to both the distributor and UFO.

This does not, however, mean the theatre suffers losses. Jajoo, who owns the Depalpur’s Pushp Kunj cinema, says that this deal is lucrative as the new movie attracts lot of crowd.

The quality is better and less electricity is consumed. He said that the distributors used to send the movie print to smaller places only after 15 days or one month of its release. The print used to be depleted from regular use at the multiplexes or cinemas.

The ticket rates in Depalpur are Rs 12 and Rs 15. People prefer to watch movies at this low rate as they are saved the inconvenience of coming to Indore or buying a CD.

And, for the knowledge of users this digital technology is not limited to towns and villages. It is used by some of the multiplexes, for instance Velocity and Inox in Indore.