Arqiva gets into Digital Cinema

Transmission specialist Arqiva has linked in a partnership with Arts Alliance to “pioneer new technology to enable the satellite transmission of digital films to cinemas”.

Arqiva says the move is seen as the future of cinema distribution as it eliminates the need to physically ship content on hard drives and manually upload them onto cinema servers and brings significant time and cost savings.

Arqiva has used its Content Delivery Network to distribute the 2008 Palme d’Or winning “Entre Les Murs” to Circuit George Raymond (CGR), one of France’s largest cinema chains. Working in partnership with Arts Alliance Media, Arqiva successfully delivered the full cinema package via the Intelsat 905 satellite direct to the library server at CGR Cinema’s megaplex site in Villenave d’Ornon, Bordeaux, France. The 216 GB file was transmitted and loaded onto the server without any operator intervention.

Rich Philips, Arts Alliance Media’s head of technical operations, said: “This important first for Arts Alliance Media has successfully established the capabilities of our Content Delivery Platform. Working closely with Arqiva and using their proven satellite expertise we have developed a viable satellite delivery platform for digital cinema content which offers tremendous potential for distributors and exhibitors.”

Barrie Woolston, commercial director at Arqiva Satellite & Media, added: “We’re delighted to partner with Arts Alliance Media in pioneering this new technology. Satellite transmission of digital films to cinemas is the future of distribution: by eliminating the need to physically ship content on hard drives and manually upload them onto cinema servers, our satellite based Content Delivery Network brings significant time and cost savings. Arqiva’s extensive international satellite infrastructure and Arts Alliance Media’s digital cinema expertise forms a strong partnership for the distribution of content, including live events, into European cinemas.”