Intercontinental Digital Cinema

Earlier this month, a new distribution system for the delivery of digital-cinema content across continents was tested between the US and Singapore. The system, called Cross-Continent Digital Content Transmission, or CCTx, is the result of collaboration between the Singapore government, an industry association called Singapore infocomm Technology Federation Digital Media Chapter (SiTF DMC), and the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at the University of Southern California. Other partners involved in the pilot program included Thomson Technicolor (consulting); GlobeCast, StarHub, and 1-Net (international and local circuit and data storage); and Christie, Dell, Texas Instruments, and XDC (technology).

The CCTx pilot provided seamless end-to-end digital delivery, from initial processing in the US to the final projection onto a movie screen in Singapore. The initial tests involved the digital transmission of three movie trailers: Elektra, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and Star Wars: Episode 3 from Culver City, California to 1-Net's Data Center in Singapore. A total of 3.3GB of data were delivered digitally via fiber-optic connection. These trailers were then played back from a XDC Cinestore Solo Server with Omega Decoder through a Christie CP2000 projector.

According to Mike Connors, former senior vice president of the Motion Picture Association of America, "The pilot allows the industry to identify and resolve process and business issues critical to commercial adoption of a worldwide digital distribution system."

Charles Swartz, CEO of ETC-USC, says, "For digital cinema to take off worldwide, a global, interoperable distribution system is necessary. Pilots such as CCTx are crucial to international deployment, and ETC-USC is proud to facilitate the transmission of digital files between Singapore and Los Angeles."

More partners will be involved in the CCTx pilot as it progresses to include different forms of content, transmission modes, and digital processes such as localization and sub-titling. Key insights from the pilot program will be shared with industry leaders who wish to shape the future of digital delivery.