Digitizing Chennai Theatres

The negative will be changed in digital HD 5 format and encrypted and put on the centralised server. It will then be up-linked to satellite. The theatre concerned will receive the signals, which in turn will go into the local server and then on to a digital projector. The digital projector would be used for screening on a bright background screen.

Pyramid Saimira’s idea for digital projection of movies seems very very interesting. Not only it reduces the hardship of actually moving the ‘Potti’ around but also a huge savings in printing cost. On the contrary, I don’t see this idea of satellite uplinking to reduce piracy as the Pyramid Saimira company claims. BTW, what is S.Ve.Shekhar and Madan doing in the advisory panel.

If only this is successful, its another baby step towards better quality of cinema in theatres[not content though].

16 responses to “Digitizing Chennai Theatres”

  1. Venkat Avatar

    Hi Guru,
    I don’t know if I’m right here, but doesn’t this proposed venture open up another avenue for piracy. I mean hacking of these signals (regardless of how well they are encrypted)? Also, bit rates, interferneces all are going to cause problems. And worse still, if the server goes down, every theatre in Chennai goes down. Not nice…

    As usual, Have A Good Day Man!!!
    (ps. i might just put HGDM for “have a good day man” from now on)


  2. Lazy Geek Avatar

    Oh yeah !! perfect. piracy cannnot be controlled until the theatres reduce the ticket price and lure the public who are stuck with television. above all, we must be making good cinema, first.

    HGDM 😉


  3. Venkat Avatar

    Yeh you gotta point there Guru, they should make good movies. What else do u think a cinema can do to lure a viewer out? I don’t know about the majority, but I rarely find the interest to go to movies. Especially true for English movies. They are about $15 here in Australia, and a DVD is about $20. I would rather pay $5 extra and watch it 20x than just 1x.

    Also, I think the really big reason why piracy is rife in India is because not many vendors actually sell original DVDs. How many shops sell you a proper copy? How many producers manufacture DVD’s? In India, (as far as I know) its none.

    What the hell do they expect. If there are no legal options given for the home, I don’t think you can expect people to watch a movie 20x at the theatre.

    HGDM 🙂


  4. mutRupuLLi Avatar

    I agree with your opinion that to reduce piracy
    the cost of the ticket has to come down. But what is this thing about making good cinema.
    Are you trying to say that there is a major connection between piracy and quality of movies produced?????


  5. subbu Avatar


    Blog something abt Mani ratnam’s new hollywood project that is supposed to go on floors next month….


  6. Arjuna Avatar

    Lazy, check the news about Maniratnam’s new film 🙂



  7. Lazy Geek Avatar

    Mutrupulli, Yep !! I know sevral people who are totally upset that kolllywood is seriouly out of form. noone can bring them back to theatres.

    but when u genuinely persuade people to abolish piracy with a honest product, you can reduce piracy. never to stop it. i think i.raja’s TIS is a recent example.


  8. girish Avatar

    once it comes on local server…write it on a dvd..(ill save u guys on the intricate details)..make more copies and sell it on the streets for two movies for 10RS..or mms it to ur friends..cmon..its digital..u have all the options..yayyy


  9. Kishore Avatar

    If u cant beat them, join them.. well, I wonder if framing a “controlled” law (whatever that means) legalizing piracy would atleast result in a relatively lesser loss.. i see all new technologies like DRM and stuff talking big of curbing piracy.. but this world functions as it does because every negative is balanced by a positive and vice-versa.. (Hail Newton!) so u come up with any revolution to curb piracy and minutes later someone finds a way out..!!


  10. Bharath Avatar


    Talking abt making quality cinemas, i feel tamil cinemas are anyday much more advanced and good comparing to some of the other language ones.I see in bangalore people flocking to watch tamil movies more than anything, PVR screens charge you a constant 100 bucks regardless of which show and which day u wanna watch a tamil movie, it’s not so that way for the other ones….
    Guess this digital stuff may be another way of bringing people to the big screens…


  11. suresh Avatar

    why put stuff on a central server. Make it distributed. Each distributor(“new age distributor”) will own a server from which he can transmit to the theatres.


  12. Silicon Sillu Avatar

    One of the biggest advantage of Digitizing the movies, either with central server-satelite system OR giving a Master DVD to exibitor, is that PottiTHookki Ramadoss and Kaaduvetti Gurus will not be able to ‘lift’ the box

    Even they try to lift the DVD, !!! there is Central Server System

    And Piracy control also can be acheived, if u infringe a specific id to each exibitor. Whether the police may be on track to stop piracy or not, the producer always can find out the culprit through the infringed data in that Thiruttu VCD. Yeah, Way to go


  13. Ramana Avatar

    They have been talking about digitizing movies, streaming them to theatres for a long time now… It started out with VaanamVasappadum. THe projection costs for the theatres is also one-time… and if the movie is shot in digital format, the producers do save a lot of money.

    ANyone know why the effects and the picture quality in Mombai express was so bad compared to Vaanam Vasappadum… also shot in a similar format?

    About the quality of Tamil movies, I beg to differ. I dont want them to improve. If i want to watch good movies with interesting storylines and histrionics, I would watch Hollywood movies. Tamil movies should maitain the formula and try to reach the level of Telugu movies…


  14. Ravi Avatar

    Isn’t there some rule in TN that a Tamil movie can only be released on video a few years after the theatrical release? Hindi movies are released on DVD by companies like Eros, etc. in the US/UK and Shemaroo in India not long after the theatrical release.

    The negative quality of 35mm is better than HD, but by the time that negative is turned into an interpositive, then an internegative, then a theater print, the quality is diminished, so digital projection makes sense.

    But I agree about the inconvenience of 35mm. I’ve handled feature-length 35mm cans before, and they are HEAVY.

    And what is so great about Telugu movies 🙂


  15. Lazy Geek Avatar

    Ravi, Going by comment seems you are familiar with the handling films, rolls and other stuff. you have email id that says ravi_k. This isn’t funny but are you by any way Ravi K Chandran 😉


  16. Ravi Avatar

    LOL, no I’m not him.