Digital Nerd

Monday, March 21, 2005

Irish cinema set to go digital

Ireland is set to become the world's first country to have digital film in every cinema.

All movie houses in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are to have their traditional 35mm film projectors replaced. The Irish Film Board said it would lead to a "pretty amazing" picture quality for cinemagoers.

"It's pure digital projection and picture perfect quality," said the board's Moira Horgan.

It says the new digital technology will see an end to flickering and scratching associated with some old projectors. An American company is installing digital projectors in 500 cinemas to replace the traditional film projectors.
Cinemas using the technology will be able to download the latest releases to a computer server via satellite at a lower cost.

"We don't have big Hollywood budgets to market those films so any way we can save money on distribution costs and actually spend it on promotion and advertising can only be a good thing," said Ms Horgan.

This would be a significant benefit for Irish film companies, she said. Sports, Arts and Tourism Minister John O'Donoghue said it would ensure a "cinema in Tralee has the same immediate access to films as a cinema in Dublin".

Irish movie lovers have the second highest level of cinema attendance in Europe.

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