October 17 -LONDON - The leadership of the IBC, the International Broadcasting Conference, based here, which holds its show each September at the RAI center in Amsterdam, is gratified that it played up the potential of digital cinema at this year's show.
The IBC announced that interest is indeed high in this emerging technology and that last month's show attracted 2,200 attendees to its four-day "d-cinema initiative" (or DCI) demos held in a special theater venue at the RAI. The IBC's 1700-seat d-cinema extravaganza also attracted good-sized audiences for screenings that included Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" and a fully-restored 1933 "Robin Hood."
Attendees at the IBC's Monday DCI conference were shown how progress was already being made across the board, including many companies and organizations deeply involved in the D-Cinema business that are already making money. Seasoned conference watchers also commented that the DCI does appear to be making positive steps toward defining the technical requirements of Hollywood studios. John Fithian of the National Association of Theater Owners agrees, adding that the cost burden would need to be carried by the distributors while he confirmed that discussions were moving forward positively. Wendy Aylsworth of Warner Bros. emphasized how important it was to get the format right, given that this was a "unique opportunity," and she revealed that her company's preference was to use JPEG2000 as the compression scheme. If this was to be the high-end solution, there is now recognition that 2K projection or less has its place according to content and location.
In all, the overwhelming message was that D-Cinema is definitely coming, although nobody knows for certain when.