More than One Ticket to the E-Cinema

Now that e-cinema—using a non-film, digital projector in a movie theater—has started to take off, several companies are offering new technologies for getting the high-resolution data to the movie house. Last week brought news of the new FMD 100GB disc from C-3D, while this week we focus on news concerning the use of a high-bandwidth satellite to do the job.

Tiernan Communications, manufacturer of digital television compression and transmission equipment, has announced that it has successfully participated in a test satellite transmission of high-definition video intended for movie theaters. The tests were performed on Ku-band, which the company says demonstrates the feasibility of live HD broadcasts via satellite.

According to Tiernan, the THE1 HD Encoder used to prepare the signal for transmission supports HDTV service in 1080i or 720p, and its video input is a 1.5Gbps Serial Digital Interface (per SMPTE 292M). The company claims that "the THE1 HD has a unique video encoding processor that presents superior HDTV images through Tiernan's 'innovative' compression process. It provides seamless motion estimation across all picture areas and operates at ATSC standard video encoding rates."

Tiernan says that its TDR6 HD Decoder, used at the receiving end of the system, has the flexibility required to support a wide variety of high-definition and standard-definition applications, including DTV contribution, DTV distribution, and Electronic Cinema.

Tiernan's Steven Bonica, CEO of communications, said, "Until this test, it was widely assumed in the broadcast and movie industries that Ku-band would not adequately support the satellite transmission of live video to theaters. I am enormously pleased to be able to state that, based upon this test, the Tiernan THE1 HD Encoder, TDR6 HD Decoder, and TVRM75 Digital Video Modulator performed flawlessly in their support of Ku-band high-definition video transmission. The use of Ku-band for the transmission of HD video to movie theaters promises to be an important milestone for the film industry, because it provides a reliable and cost-effective way for theaters to receive high-quality live digital content."