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Digital vows for WB

'Bride' leads Warner's d-cinema charge in Japan

“Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride” is making its way to Japan in bits and bytes.

Toon is the first pic going out as part of a yearlong test Warner Bros., Nippon Telegraph & Telephone and Toho Cinemas are conducting to distribute high-resolution digital cinema over fiber-optic lines.

Pics will be in 4K format, the highest resolution currently available for digital cinema. They will be sent over NTT’s fiber-optic lines from WB’s Burbank HQ across the Pacific and then distributed to three Toho theaters in Osaka and Tokyo.

WB and NTT have been talking about such a test for a year, but had to wait until Digital Cinema Initiatives completed its technical specification for d-cinema, which occurred in August.

Joint effort will be one of the first real-world tests of the DCI spec.

If it’s successful, participants hope to make fiber optics a viable distribution method for d-cinema in certain regions.

“Whereas in the U.S. we are looking at satellites and other potential ways to distribute in huge geographic areas, this type of infrastructure should be looked at in places like Japan that are more compact,” said WB technical operations prexy Chris Cookson.

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