The UK's All-Digital Movie Network

By Jon Newton 2/28/05

The digital movie age has arrived.

In Britain, at least.

In the US, the members of Big Seven movie studios continue in their attempts to sue people into thinking they’re still in the last century.

However, the UK is pioneering a digital film network, says the BBC, going on that the world's first digital cinema network will be established in the UK over the next 18 months.

Jon Newton

And it’s not intending this to be a new outlet for Hollywood.

The UK Film Council has awarded a contract worth £11.5m [about $22M) to Arts Alliance Digital Cinema (AADC) to set up the network of up to 250 screens, says the BBC, going on that the AADC will oversee the selection of cinemas across the UK, which will show "mainly British and specialist films".

The new network will see up to 250 screens in up to 150 cinemas fitted with digital projectors capable of displaying high definition images.

“Cinemas will be given the film on a portable hard drive and they will then copy the content to a computer server,” says the Beeb. “Each film is about 100 gigabytes and has been compressed from an original one terabyte-size file.”

Films will be encrypted “to prevent piracy” and each cinema will have an individual key to “unlock” the movie.

The UK digital network will be the first to employ 2k projectors - which are capable of showing films at resolutions of 2048 * 1080 pixels. A separate competitive process to determine which cinemas will receive the digital screening technology will conclude in May, adds the BBC.

Almost exactly a year ago, Brazil's Rain Networks announced a low-cost, all-digital cinema distribution system for 100 theaters.

The Big Music cartel's flat refusal to join the digital 21st century has sparked a steadily expanding range of competion, the same thing will happen to Hollywood.

Watch for high quality digital movies made by indies and available on- and offline

Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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