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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Variety weighs in on DCI announcement

The subhed of Variety's DCI story yesterday evening said it all: "Techies pass d-cinema torch to money men."

Reporter Ben Fritz says the next big job is creating a $3 billion fund to pay for the roll-out of digital cinema. His piece predicts that even if that happens fast, digital projectors wouldn't make a nationwide debut until 2007.

Some other good insight from the piece:

    Insiders noted that most of DCI's work was completed by late 2003. The past year and a half has been spent primarily in intense negotiations to complete the antipiracy elements of the technology so that studios can be assured that as files move throughout post-production and to theaters, they can't be decoded and put on the Internet.

    "Security issues have taken up most of our time for the past year," observed Walt Ordway, chief technology officer of DCI. "Nothing has really changed in terms of the image or audio."

Fritz also reports that each of the DCI member studios has ponied up $1.2 million to support DCI's work; with the standards project completed, DCI will likely dissolve in September.