Ireland to convert to Digital Cinema in one move!


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.

Wow, that news from BBC came out of the blue. I know that an initiative was pushing to convert Scottish cinemas, but the whole of Ireland? That’s one mean feat.

An American company is installing digital projectors in 500 cinemas to replace the traditional film projectors.

Five hundred cinemas is a huge number, this is bound to cost an absolute fortune. The cost of the digital equipment is high, and as someone said in a comment before, digital equipment becomes obsolete so easily and the latest version is out before you know it.

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…

…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.

So the costs will be saved in distribution, and as we’ve seen before, the costs of reproducing reels of film are very expensive. It will be interesting to see if this works. Oh, and who guessed Ireland have the second highest cinema attendance in Europe?! There’s a huge surprise.

This could be an ideal model for digital cinema implementations, do it, and do it big to reap the benefits. There’s certainly mixed views on Digital Cinema, do we have any witnesses amongst us?

Comment with Facebook

5 thoughts on “Ireland to convert to Digital Cinema in one move!

  1. Hi
    Yes IRELAND has the largest cinema going population average of 8 visits per person as opposed to the UK which has only 2
    Avica Technology are planning to fit out 515 screens by 2006 many feel this is ambitious and technology is not quite there yet UIP BVI and others are pushing this to save on print costs
    lets see what happens!

  2. Well it would be if the film comparison was brand new stock without a mark or having ever been used. The big deal is that the amount of showings a copy goes through degrades it quite early on and it begins to mark and fade. Not digital.

    There are loads of other issues, like it’s easier to retain local cinema settings for the screen from picture to picture if the source is digital. The cost to copy and distribute, etc, etc.

  3. surely digital will only be “better” quality, if the actul film was shot in digital as well?

    the distribution angle is very good though. anything that makes more films avaiable is a huge plus. but doenst it mean that every film will have to be converted to this digital format? does that restrict the film availabilty?

    as long as the distribution costs equal or are greater than the cost of the switchover, then i don’t think it’s too early.
    is it possible to upgrade the equipment?

    finally, if that is the case, who has the highest level of cinema attendance in Europe?

  4. It’s interesting how the comparison is mirrored in photography. 35mm will still beat digital for quality and detail.

    Darker is often better though, When I first setup my home cinema system I was amazed how much darker it looked, and softer. It took a lot of getting used to as most TV’s and Cinemas crank up the contrast, colour and sharpness. Take them down and measure them accurately together and you get a more “real” image with the blacks matching those that were filmed.

    Does take some getting used to, and watching with no ambient light.

    Still, similar things I’ve heard said that digital cinema just isn’t quite there. Have Ireland taken the leap too soon?

  5. The AMC complex in Oakville ontario as a TI DLP system which I’ve seen ATTACK OF THE CLONES, The reissue of 1979’s ALIEN, and DAREDEVIL digitally projected.

    On the plus side, there are no scratches, reel-change indicators (in the Fight Club vernacular: Cigarette Burns), or audio blips.

    On the Minus side..the picture is darker (this was especially apparent in ALIEN, and somewhat in Attack of the Clones which I saw only the night before projected on typical 35MM in the same theatre). I could see minor ‘aliasing’ (i.e. jaggies), but less than 1% of the time, and usually around text (i.e. credits). But I bet if you somehow managed to project the two images side-by-side the regular 35MM projected version would look better.

    We are not quite there…Any notions of Digital projecting bringing increased quality are still several years off….

    Have no illusions, this type of move is being made solely to make film distribution easier for the studios/distributors/cinemas…and has nothing to do with a better theatrical experience, until at least the second or even third major digital upgrade.

    Given the choice to see something projected on the cinema in Digital or Analogue….my choice is still 35MM (or 70MM IMAX if available…waaaaay better than Digital)

    That being said, I have a digital projector at home to watch all my DVDs and on an 8 foot screen it is quite good for home viewing…but cinema size…digital isn’t their yet…

Leave a Reply