[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Hollywood hails digital film deal
Cinema audience
The cost of digital equipment may be passed to fans at box offices
The digital cinema revolution has moved a step closer after Hollywood studios reached a landmark deal that will consign reels of film to history.

Major studios have agreed how digital projectors should work, meaning approved technology can now be manufactured and installed.

With digital projectors, films are screened and distributed by computer.

Oscars president Frank Pierson said it was "an important milestone in the advancement" of motion pictures.

Studios have spent the last three years working on the technology and have now settled on specifications they say are good enough for all types of movies.

It's a giant leap forward for those of us who create movies
George Lucas
Some cinemas have already installed digital projectors, but the deal means an industry standard can be rolled out around the world.

But it is not clear whether the studios or cinema chains will foot the bill for the new equipment - and whether ticket prices will go up as a result.

It has been reported that each projector will cost $60,000-$100,000 (34,000-57,000).

Industry group Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) said the technology will become "increasingly affordable, to the point where that stumbling block should no longer be of consequence".

The cost of distributing each film will be cut by 75% because studios can send their films to cinemas by satellite, fibre optic cable or disc, instead of truck.

This now opens the door for the roll-out of digital cinema, which will revolutionise the cinematic experience for moviegoers
James Cameron
Mr Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which runs the Oscars, said the deal would equip the industry for the future.

"In its first hundred years, our art form made a forceful universal impression, at least partly because worldwide standards for projecting film were adopted early on," he said.

"The next hundred years are likely to be similarly affected by DCI's work in defining how digital motion pictures will be presented to world audiences."

Star Wars creator George Lucas hailed the deal as "a giant leap forward".

Hallelujah - it's about time
Robert Zemeckis
"We have been advocates of digital cinema for nearly a decade, and this is a day we have long hoped would come," he said.

"Digital cinema will increasingly become the standard and will change the way movies are made, seen and experienced around the world."

Titanic director James Cameron said digital cinema would "revolutionise the cinematic experience for moviegoers around the world".

Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis added: "Hallelujah - it's about time."

DCI's Walt Ordway said: "We now have a unified specification that will allow manufacturers to create products that will be employable at movie theatres throughout the country and, it is hoped, throughout the world."

Cinemas set for digital revolution
14 Jul 05 |  Technology
UK cinemas share digital windfall
26 May 05 |  Entertainment
Irish cinema 'set to go digital'
20 Mar 05 |  Northern Ireland
'Embrace digital' says film boss
14 Oct 04 |  Technology
Cinemas set for 'digital revolution'
10 Oct 03 |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific