MPAA deploys Pirate Eye in its capture of pirates. Pirate Eye is a camcorder detection technology first demonstrated as a bench prototype in the ETC Digital Cinema Lab in 2005. With the help of an investment from Movie Labs, the technology has transformed into a viable product. Originally developed by Apogen, a defense company, the technology is now owned by Qinetiq, and will soon be spun off in the startup Film Protection Services Inc. With first units delivered to the MPAA and to studios for evaluation, the MPAA used its units in tactical deployments, apprehending several pirates in the past few months. These were not random acts of pirating, but suspected hard criminals tracked by the MPAA through its use of forensic data. Film Protection Services is evaluating its business opportunities with the new technology.
The first meeting of industry participants in the definition of a common media block interface for screen control software is scheduled for early December. A common media block interface, in combination with in-projector media blocks, will transform the digital cinema server and TMS industry. By allowing the use of off-the-shelf servers with specialized software products using the new interface, it will eliminate the need for specialized digital cinema servers. Digital cinema installations will become more IT-like, with the projector as the only specialized digital cinema component.
Kinepolis joined Europalace in agreeing to install Central Library Servers from TDF-owned SmartJog. Unlike most other infrastructure providers, SmartJog delivers content on both satellite and terrestrial networks. Ealier his year, Arqiva signed deals with Arts Alliance Media and Dolby to provide satellite distribution infrastructure and services for digital cinema. Unlike their US brethren, European exhibitors have gotten away with infrastructure deals with a single supplier, at least so far. In the US, exhibitors tend to place as many satellite dishes as possible on roofs, duplicating the hardware required to receive such signals. Coupling the multiplicity of receiver hardware to exhibitor-provided library servers can be a costly challenge. Presumably, the US will eventually pare down to 2 or 3 such infrastructure providers per site. Eventually, similar chaos could come to Europe.