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Digital light processing cinema technology enters India

Rohini Mohan

The new technique offers crystal-clear images and detailed sound


  • Supports 35 trillion colours
  • Repeated showings do not corrode image
  • Film is encrypted up to projection
  • Inbuilt anti-piracy tools

    CHENNAI: "Most movie-goers think digital cinema already exists in India," said Swaroop Reddy, Director, Sathyam Cinemas, while launching the Real Digital Experience (RDX) for the first time in India.

    Sathyam is the first cinema hall in the country to obtain DLP (Digital Light Processing) cinema technology for digital cinema with crystal-clear image, detailed sound and vibrant colour. With a DLP projector developed by Texas Instruments, Sathyam will now be able to screen even those Hollywood films that were sometimes inaccessible — or, if accessible, were of poorer quality when converted to film medium — to the Indian market because they were in digital format.

    There have been about 45 digital movies to date that require DLP technology to be screened in full brilliance.

    The server, projector and overall image quality of DLP cinema adheres to the specifications of Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI), a Hollywood-funded body that sets standards for digital cinema. Mr. Reddy said that what was already available in India was "E-cinema (electronic cinema), which is low-end projection — low resolution, limited colour, and unimpressive sound." Today, it is film that is considered the best quality format since it supports 4 trillion colours. However, DLP cinema technology is said to support 35 trillion colours, and repeated showings do not corrode the image.

    Ganesh, Business Development Manager, Texas Instruments, said that apart from the non-diminishing quality of each digital print, one of the greatest benefits of digital cinema is that it is encrypted right up to the projection, and there are inbuilt anti-piracy tools.

    Sathyam Cinemas will kick off its RDX initiative with the world premier of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith on Friday.

    Mr. Reddy said that for the first few weeks, the price of tickets for the RDX showings would be increased by Rs. 20 for the I and II class, and by Rs. 30 for the balcony.

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