San Francisco -- Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB), MikroM GmbH, USL, Inc., and XDC together announced an alliance to promote greater interoperability within the digital cinema market. The companies joining in this collaborative effort, referred to as the Digital Cinema Open System Alliance (DCOSA), are working to establish open interface standards for core system components.

Initial goals of the DCOSA are to develop common interface specifications between digital cinema servers and integrated media block (IMB) products and to promote these specifications for use across the cinema market. By introducing these open standards, the DCOSA hopes to drive down the cost of development, to increase flexibility, and to provide a platform for innovation.

"The cinema industry is interested in moving away from having a tightly coupled server and media block available only from a single vendor and moving toward an IMB built using open interface specifications," said Robin Selden, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Dolby Laboratories. "An open platform will increase competition within the industry and encourage cutting-edge development."

"With the rapid pace of advancement in hardware technology, the DCOSA hopes to decrease time to market by enabling flexibility in the choice of core system components. These systems have not been designed for interoperability in the past because of the lack of interface specifications," said Holger Krahn, Chief Executive Officer, MikroM. "Effectively, this initiative will provide exhibitors with more options in the selection of system components."

"As the digital cinema industry continues to evolve, there is an increasing need for well-defined interfaces," said Larry Hildenbrand, Director, Engineering, USL, Inc. "The DCOSA will help to deliver open standards allowing for greater flexibility in system design and enabling exhibitors to create custom installations."

"As more and more playback technology moves into the projector, it is critical that the industry adopt common interface standards," said Jérôme Delvaux, Vice President, Technology, XDC. "We are excited to be a part of the DCOSA, since establishing interoperability will be instrumental in the ultimate success of this market."

The DCOSA plans to make its server and IMB interface specifications available as an open standard for use by the digital cinema industry. The specifications are expected to be completed and available in the first half of 2011. Information regarding specific product availability can be obtained directly from the member companies.

 

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OMAHA, Neb. -- Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTN), a provider of digital cinema projection equipment and services, cinema screens and other cinema products, announced today the opening of its 2,800 square-foot, state-of-the-art Digital Network Operations Center ("NOC"). The new facility, located at the Company's Omaha, NE headquarters, provides 24/7 remote monitoring services capable of tracking and managing a full range of digital equipment, including all makes of digital projection systems, audio, flat panels and the associated networks that provide the unifying connections and systems security. Ballantyne will highlight the NOC's capabilities next week at ShowEast in Orlando (Oct. 12-14th, Booth #401).

The NOC is staffed with a team of experienced hardware, network and engineering professionals. The NOC provides real-time support for technical issues, parts supply and dispatch of Ballantyne's nationwide Strong Technical Services (STS) team. By subscribing to Ballantyne's NOC service, customers will be better able to identify and address potential operational or maintenance issues before they can impact a theatre's operations.

Allen Coburn, President of Bedford, NH-based Chunky's Cinema Pub, an early adopter of Ballantyne's NOC service, stated, "Given the excellent job Ballantyne's service group has done with our NEC digital projection equipment installs, it was an easy decision to register for their NOC service. Having a team of skilled technicians available on a 24/7 basis provides early identification of potential issues and gives us the added confidence that we are well covered in the event of an emergency or malfunction of our digital equipment."

Ballantyne Strong President and CEO John P. Wilmers, stated, "The opening of Ballantyne's cutting-edge Network Operations Center is another important step in our evolution as a one-stop provider of a full range of digital cinema products and services. The NOC represents yet another operational advantage that theatre owners will gain in converting to digital technologies. We believe the NOC's capabilities, combined with our 70-person team of field technicians, provides our customers with the highest level of support available to keep their theatres up and running all year long."

 

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LOS ANGELES -- Rentrak Corporation (Nasdaq: RENT), today announced the top ten DVD sales and rentals for the prior week based on estimated consumer spending.

According to the company's Retail Essentials and Home Video Essentials tracking services, the top ten selling DVDs and the top ten most-rented motion pictures, per data collected for the week ending October 3, 2010 include:

rentrakdvd107.jpg

 

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Source: Vulture

Mike Myers will provide the voice of debonair skunk Pepé Le Pew in a live action/CGI film that is being housed at Warner Bros. The studio is obviously ready to start bringing back a lot of old cartoon properties. Yogi Bear opens against Tron Legacy on December 17. It's only a matter of time before Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and other return to the big screen.

Myers is coming off the $730 million+ worldwide performance of Shrek Forever After, which is supposedly the last film in the series. Pepé Le Pew could be the beginning of a new franchise for the comedic actor.

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LOS ANGELES -- The International 3D Society will be continuing its "3D University" educational series for 3D professionals in association with the Entertainment Technology Center at USC. The class is scheduled for Saturday, October 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Sony Pictures Imageworks and will focus on 3D Postproduction Planning; 2D to 3D Conversion; 3D Writing; 3D Live Events; and Previsualization.

A blue-ribbon panel of experts in the educational series will include Buzz Hays, International 3D Society chair and Executive Stereoscopic 3D Producer for the Sony 3D Technology Center, Sony Corporation of America, Tim Sassoon, President and Creative Director, Sassoon Film Design, Ray Zone, President, 3D Zone, Catherine Owens, Director, U2 3D and Ken Schafer, Lead Program Architect, Innoventive Software, LLC.

The 3D University series is an immersive, ongoing, stereoscopic 3D education and training program created to improve the core competencies of professional participants. Past speakers include Phil McNally, DreamWorks Animation (DWA), Lenny Lipton, Oculus 3D, Steve Schklair, 3ailty Digital and John Nicolard, Fotokem. The courses are offered to 3D Society, Cinematographers Guild, BAFTA-LA and PGA members for free with live demonstrations and discussions.

"We are proud to offer Society members the opportunity to learn from industry experts in a forum such as this. The International 3D Society stands alone in providing a comprehensive continuing education program for tomorrow's 3D creative professionals," said Jim Mainard, International 3D Society Vice-Chair and Head of Production Development of DreamWorks Animation (DWA).

Jim Chabin, President of the International 3D Society, added, "The Society's mission is to guide professionals to 3D expertise by sharing "Best Practices" from our 3D leaders at 3DU. The response to the program has been very strong."

The International 3D Society provides community, education, and recognition to its membership and is dedicated to the advancement of Stereoscopic 3D arts and technology. The Society is the producer of the 3D Technology Awards on October 19, as well as educational programs throughout the year, including the 3D University series.

International 3D Society sponsors include Signature Sponsor XpanD and Founding Sponsors MasterImage 3D, Panasonic Hollywood Lab, DreamWorks Animation (DWA), The Walt Disney Studios, PIXAR, Dolby Laboratories, Sony Corporation of America, IMAX, and Member Sponsors, Discovery Communications, DirecTV and Autodesk. For membership or to RSVP, please visit info@international3dsociety.com.

 

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