There’s a lot of interest being shown within the film industry in this idea. The intention is to cut out the expensive and slow business of duplicating and distributing prints of feature films to cinemas (movie theaters in North America, though electronic cinema seems to be used on both sides of the Atlantic). Instead, it’s proposed that films will be transmitted in digital form to cinemas using satellite technology and projected to the customers through an enhanced high-definition television system. In Europe, at least two consortia are working on such systems. The demonstration in London by one group recently was greatly enlivened when the managing director of a key member, the British image-processing firm, Snell and Wilcox, got up at the end and denounced it as “junk”, being quoted in the press as saying “I am ashamed to be associated with this event. We can do ten times better. You people just don’t understand digital processing”, which came as a great embarrassment for British Telecom, who organised the event. The system is also known, perhaps inevitably, as cyber cinema.
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