Digital Theatre System

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Digital Theatre System (Digital cinema, or d-cinema) is perhaps the most significant challenge to the cinema industry since the introduction of sound on film. As with any new technology, there are those who want to do it fast, and those who want to do it right. Both points of view are useful. This new technology will completely replace the conventional theatre system having projectors, film boxes, low quality picture, sound system.

Let's not forget the lesson learned with the introduction of digital audio for film in the '90s. Cinema Digital Sound, a division of Optical Radiation Corporation, was the first to put digital audio on 35mm film. Very, very few remember CDS, who closed their doors long ago. Such are the rewards for being first.

In the initial trial stage, the server used for storage and play out was a QuBit unit, manufactured by QuVis. The QuVis server is loaded with the digital movie from either discs or tape, compressed with a proprietary wavelet compression algorithm. Data is scrambled on the hard drive for protection. But digital image data sent to the projector was not protected. For early trial systems, no one seemed too concerned about the potential security risks of these systems, given that it would take a knowledgeable person and a very expensive recorder to pirate the movie. (As it turns out, no digital thefts from the projection booth have ever been reported, and the patron with a digital camcorder has become the threat.) Security remained an issue, but one for a later phase.

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