- NATO to review and evaluate digital cinema technologies
- Findings to be presented at the NATO AGM in 2020
- Movie theatre owners to adopt best digital technology equipment
Movie theatre owners will test evolving digital cinema technologies to set the best practise in new technology adoption set out by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO).
Taking the lead in setting requirements for new digital cinema technology, NATO announced on Tuesday that its executive board approved a resolution that outlines how digital cinema technology will be evaluated.
NATO announced that its technology committee will initiate and conduct an open process to understand and evaluate digital cinema technologies and create metrics to analyse future technologies.
The process will include various stakeholders, including filmmakers, distributors, manufacturers, service providers, and exhibitors.
The technology evaluation program was approved last month by NATO’s executive board at the organisation’s annual meeting.
According to reports, efforts are already underway to get the process started, which has included reaching out to members of the American Society of Cinematographers, as well as equipment manufacturers, service providers, and other organisations, for input and participation.
This new initiative contrasts with efforts during the early 2000s when studios were paying for the digital cinema transition through virtual print fees, which gave them a big say in setting requirements for digital cinema technology.
NATO technology committee chairman and AMC Entertainment executive vice president John McDonald said in a statement: “Digital cinema has opened up the door to a wide range of technological advances.
“Exhibitors — the primary consumers of these technologies — along with other industry stakeholders, need an open, rational testing program to determine which of these technologies will work in the cinema space.”
The Digital Cinemas Initiatives (DCI) specification — a technical blueprint for digital cinema — was first introduced in 2005 with version 1.0 and set up at a time when this transition was being subsidised through Virtual Print Fees (VPFs), to create a uniform level of security, technical performance, and quality.
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However, VPF agreements will soon be ending for most players in the domestic market, meaning that exhibitors will have more responsibility for the cost of new cinematic projection technology.
NATO announced: “The pace of technological advance has increased.
“It is, then, necessary and proper for exhibitors to take the lead in evaluating the impact of light levels, contrast and colorimetry on their patrons and the exhibition environment.
“NATO seeks to create an open process to understand and evaluate digital cinema technologies and create metrics to analyse future technologies, and to open this process to include various stakeholders including filmmakers, distributors, manufacturers, service providers, and exhibitors.”
NATO also said its technology committee, led by technology consultant Jerry Pierce, has begun initial measuring to prepare for industry-wide testing.
The new testing program will allow “exhibitors to take the lead in evaluating the impact of light levels, contrast and colorimetry on their patrons and the exhibition environment,” NATO said.
The technology committee will report its initial findings to membership at NATO annual meetings in 2020.