ITEA Success Story

Digital Cinema

Seizing the high ground

Ten years ago, from January 2001 until June 2003, Barco, with the support of the Flemish Government Agency IWT, headed the ITEA project "Digital Cinema" to develop the key components for the transition of the movie industry from analogue 35mm film to digital technology.

Digital Cinema is a good example of a project seizing the high ground through its commercial success and simplifying considerably the life of the users (copy virtualisation thus reducing the global cost, good content protection, high quality projection).

Philippe Letellier - ITEA Vice-chairman

The main innovation in this project centred on:

  • Projectors

    Barco was able to develop a Digital Cinema product family ranging from the first DP30 to the DP100 projector, which was Barco's first 2K digital projector to support the DCI standard drafted at the time.

  • Communicator software

    This software allows post-production houses to build customised projector profiles, with full access to all the projector parameters including an integrated 3D colour look-up table. Cinema Exhibitor's technical staff can remotely monitor, set up and upgrade a suite of projectors.

  • Alternative Content interfaces

    Digital projectors enable new applications for Cinema Exhibitors: B2B presentations, live events, opera, gaming... It was therefore important to offer an optional interface (Barco's ACSAR) to connect and format any type of video or PC signal, with fully integrated control to enable single button operation of the projector and the interface.
  • Subtitling

    Projectors were outfitted with the capability to render and overlay subtitles internally. Subtitles were delivered as independent XML files enabling easy localisation of a single digital distribution master.

The stimulation and support of ITEA and IWT helped Barco to develop, already in 2001-2002, key innovations that laid the foundation for the huge success of today's Digital Cinema business.

Jan Willem Brands - CTO Barco N.V.

The completion of this project kicked-off 10 years of digital cinema pioneering for Barco. The result today is:

  • Nearly 40,000 Barco projectors deployed globally enchanting 50 million moviegoers everyday
  • Undisputed global market leadership for Barco in Digital Cinema, including more than 10,000 screens equipped in both China and the US.
  • Impressive growth realised, year-on-year from 2011 to 2012 standing at 50% (e.g., China 15%, India 60%, Latin America >400%!).

The business success of this project was such that some partners merged after the completion of the project to better access the market (Octalis acquired by Thomson, Barco acquiring some activities of XDC (previously part of EVS).


More information

Download Digital Cinema Success story

Related projects

Digital Cinema

Related organisations

Barco N.V. (Belgium)