Doremi can pride itself on being the last server company to enter the digital cinema market, and the first to wildly succeed. Its success has been nothing less than spectacular. As a small and nimble company, it has shown incredible deftness at not only saying “yes” to every request that comes along, but in executing those requests. Not all of this “yes” business has been smooth, however. Doremi’s product was known for bugs early on, and today the company is known for its regular stream of software updates to its servers. But it remarkably achieved and retained its position as a market leader over a few short years, leading to well over 4000 Doremi servers in the US market today.
To underscore its continued success in winning sales, Doremi is said to have gained the commitment from Cinemark for 100% of its screens, and for a major percentage of Regal’s screens.
It was pointed out earlier in this report that a/v accessibility in cinema could become a show stopper for purchases. In lieu of a standard link to 3rd party closed caption system, Doremi offers a proprietary serial link to WGBH Rear Window closed caption systems. But the proprietary link cannot be used by other closed caption manufacturers, perpetuating the non-competitive, high cost nature of closed caption systems that exhibitors seek to eliminate. Doremi’s effort has proven useful, though, for retrofit systems where Rear Window already exists. With only a few hundred Rear Window systems in the country, this is an example of the degree to which Doremi will re-engineer its product to gain prestige and sales.
Further examples of its engineering prowess can be found in 3-D, where it has successfully incorporated digital image filters to support Dolby 3-D, and it is in process of developing “ghost-busting” filters to support RealD 3-D.
Unlike competitor Dolby, Doremi is privately owned, and does not have the SOX regulation problems that Dolby has. But it does not have the diversity that Dolby has, either. Doremi makes servers for the broadcast market, but that’s all. Digital cinema sales, however, swamp its broadcast sales, which brings to bear Doremi’s biggest challenge: its growth.
Doremi needs to expand both in production capability, and customer support. The company’s sale of 3800 servers to Cinedigm did not require it to build out a customer support department, as support was provided through Christie Digital, who provided projectors in the deal. For Doremi to grow, it must expand into a full service company, and directly provide the 24×7 phone and field support that exhibitors expect. The company is engaged in building out both services and manufacturing capacity now, and it is a major leap. A planned expansion of its manufacturing operations could strain the company’s capital with the delay in DCIP orders.