[ Digital cinema, democratization, and other trends remaking the movies ]

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

News items: Yet another Blu-ray delay...Lower price points at Movielink...AccessIT Open House in Brooklyn

- According to the Wall Street Journal, Pioneer Electronics won't release its Blu-ray high-definition DVD player until later this year; they'd originally hoped to have it on the market this month. But Blu-ray players from Sony and Samsung are still expected to hit shelves this month.

- Movielink, the studio-backed digital download service, seems to be responding to a sense in the marketplace that its prices for download-to-own movies (as opposed to digital rentals) were too high. From a press release issued today: now offering new releases every Tuesday for only $15.99 - the same day they are available on DVD - one of the lowest prices available online or at retail stores. Log on today and download new releases like `Firewall' or `Underworld: Evolution.' Movie lovers will never need to leave home to get their favorite films again.

    In addition, Movielink offers hundreds of studio titles from a wide variety of genres, such as `Breakfast at Tiffany's' and `As Good As It Gets,' priced as low as $9.99. So whether at the beach, on a road trip, or just relaxing at home, movie lovers can download their favorite films and enjoy them anytime and anywhere. The lower prices make it easier than ever to build a convenient, digital film library, from a legitimate source.

- Last week, Bud Mayo was showing off AccessIT's digital cinema set-up at the multiplex the company owns in Brooklyn, the Pavilion Theatre. Annlee Ellingson of Boxoffice Magazine was there. Mayo says his company is installing digital cinema equipment at the rate of 100 screens per month -- and that they expect to be doing 200 per month by the end of the year.

“We’re the first financially viable plan that will fund all…37,000 [screens] throughout the U.S.,” Mayo tells Ellingson. “Our goal, our more modest expectation, is for 10,000 screens, but we’re not going to stop there.”

When I spoke with Mayo late last year, he wasn't willing to say that 4K was part of his company's plans -- but now he seems to be expressing the hope that 4K projectors can somehow be incorporated into the Christie/AIX roll-out. But AccessIT's partner in that roll-out, Christie Digital, doesn't yet make a 4K projector, and Texas Instruments, which makes the 2K digital micromirror devices inside each Christie projector, has no plans (at least officially ) to make a 4K chip. Watch this space for more...