Cinema is deeply woven into the Indian culture. But it might surprise many to know that the motion picture industry in India, affectionately referred to as “Bollywood,” holds the global record for the most number of first-release films produced annually.
High movie printing costs, however, have limited the pace at which movies are released across India. Movies advertised on national television can take up to five months to reach rural areas, resulting in slower payback for movie producers and loss of interest from viewers.
The emergence of digital cinema is now causing a revolution in the Indian motion picture industry. Digital cinema, also known as e-Cinema, refers to the projection of film through a digital video system. Recording of movies onto electronic media instead of film enables almost instantaneous distribution of these films to theaters. The cinema world first adopted this form of movie distribution when Hughes helped pioneer the delivery of entertainment using broadband satellite a few years ago (see Channels Spring 2004 edition). According to a recent report by Yes Bank, as many as 1,000 of India’s nearly 12,000 cinema screens will suit the digital cinema format over the next year.
Today, HughesNet digital cinema services enables 400 theaters across India to access the latest films concurrently that play in leading urban theaters.
With audio and video quality that is superior to traditional tape, digital cinema sharply enhances the overall movie experience. Digital cinema also allows for the simultaneous distribution of new movies, yielding considerable savings on print costs. And because digital cinema eliminates physical handling of the film or print, it helps to curb piracy.
Worldwide, satellite is the preferred choice for delivering digital content to movie theaters. National CineMedia, the sales and marketing arm of the three largest theater companies in the U.S., including Regal Entertainment Group, is delivering digital content via HughesNet broadband satellite technology to U.S. theaters. National CineMedia uses the HughesNet solution to distribute pre-show advertising, and to broadcast both live and pre-recorded special events such as concerts, sporting events, and business conferences and seminars.
With the explosive growth in this new technology, the day is not far off when digital cinema will be the way to distribute and view cinema—one that will enhance the theater experience in India and all over the world.