Movie Spot a test for future distribution

HONG KONG — Korean telco KT is launching a nationwide digital network to distribute films into “DVD rooms,” private rooms that customers rent to watch movies.

The service, to be called Movie Spot, is seen as a test project for future theatrical distribution, since it involves essentially the same technology needed to form a nationwide digital distribution network.

KT will equip 85 such DVD rooms — which are widespread throughout South Korea — with the technology to screen films immediately upon the end of their theatrical release.

Existing software allows for simultaneous screenings to be programmed in up to 12 screening rooms per venue.

The telco is negotiating with major local distributors to acquire screening rights, including the right to screen films in full high-def format.

KT has placed a greater focus on talent in recent years, acquiring leading production house SIdusFNH in 2005 and readying itself to become a major player in the IPTV sector once the government establishes a regulatory framework.

Any move into theatrical film distribution for KT — either in partnership with an existing player or on its own — would be expected to cause significant shifts in the local distribution market.

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