Any aspect of movie making in the digital domain, including capture, editing, distribution and projection.
The projection of movies in digital formats using digital projectors such as the DLP units from TI. Movie distribution has migrated from analog to digital in order to eliminate the cost of making film copies. Satellite distribution of video to theaters is also being done; however, most data transfer is accomplished by shipping external hard drives via mail, UPS or FedEx that plug into the eSATA, USB or FireWire ports of the servers in each digital projection room.
The low-cost transfer of digital movies enables distribution to small theaters that cannot justify the expense of a film copy. Digital cinema also expands a theater's offerings, allowing it to show content, such as concerts, operas and sporting events, in addition to regular movies.
Still Shot on 35mm Film
Hollywood movies are increasingly shot entirely in digital; however, 35mm is still used. Directors have decades of experience shooting film and understand the nuances of the art. The 35mm film is then scanned at a high resolution and converted to digital. See digital intermediate
"Digital cinema" refers to digital formats in general such as MPEG, JPEG 2000 and Windows Media. For example, MPEG-2 is widely used for pre-show videos and advertising. However, "dCinema" refers to the DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) specification that uses JPEG 2000 compression and the MXF packaging format. It also includes content protection and timing data. For more information about the DCI format, visit www.dcimovies.com.
The following websites cover the nuts and bolts of digital cinema hardware and software as well as the overall industry. See JPEG 2000
, electronic cinema
and 4K resolution
Focus Industry Portal
Theater Projection www.dcinematoday.com
Go Digital Or Else!
After 70 years projecting film, in 2012 this small and much loved Bucks County, Pennsylvania theater specializing in independent art films converted to two digital projectors that cost USD $100,000 each.
Analog and Digital
Although the County Theater converted to Barco digital cinema (middle), it kept one of its 35mm film projectors, acquired in the 1970s, to be able to show old movies. The pipes on top are air vents, because the arc lamps get extremely hot in both projection systems. The hard disk (bottom), contains an encrypted copy of the entire movie, compared with 35mm film reels that each holds 20 minutes of content.