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Adlabs hits the screen with digital prints
Nikhil Lohade in Mumbai | June 17, 2003 16:15 IST
If Adlabs Films has its way, more moviegoers across India will soon be able to watch new movies on the release day or at least in the first week of release.
Even with 10,000-12,000 cinemas in the country, majority of films watchers do not get to watch a film as soon as it is released.
This is because few prints of new films are released in the first week due to the high cost of a conventional film print. These same prints are then passed on to smaller centres in the subsequent weeks.
Adlabs is trying to change this by producing digital film copies in India.
They have already launched two movies -- Hero and Pran Jaaye Par Shaan Na Jaaye -- in the digital format.
The company has tied up with GDC Technology, Hong Kong, manufacturers of cinema servers, and Projection Design, Norway, manufacturers of DLP digital projection system, to produce digital cinema in India.
"We were planning to launch a new company for this venture but as of now we will continue to use the existing company for distribution of digital cinema," says Manmohan Shetty, chief managing director, Adlabs Films.
A digital copy of a film costs much less compared to the conventional film print (about Rs 16,000 compared with Rs 55,000).
This would enable more prints in the first week itself and hence enhance revenue for producers, distributors, exhibitors and cinema owners who otherwise lose out on revenue to video parlours and cable operators all across the country screening unauthorised VCDs and DVDs of new films.
As many as six theatres in Maharashtra have been equipped with digital cinema system and are running movies digitally.
Theatres equipped with digital cinema do not have to disturb the existing film projection set-up as it can run parallel for conventional films.
Existing audio systems would also support both digital conventional set-ups.
The cost of installation of a digital cinema system would be around Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million). This would include Rs 7.5 lakh for the server, Rs 7.5 lakh (Rs 750,000) for the digital projector and Rs 5 lakh (Rs 500,000)for digital speakers.
Films would be digitised and stored on hard disk drives and after encoding and encryption they would be delivered to the digital cinemas.